Frequently Asked Questions
What is Injection molding?
This is one of the most common forms of tooling. This will usually be a block of steel or alloy that is precision machined as a reverse image of the part being produced. In its simplest form, it is a two-part mold with an A and a B side that opens and closes with hydraulic pressure. A hopper filled with plastic pellets feeds the machine and injects the plastic into the cavity under high heat and pressure to take the shape of the part being produced within the mold. Once cooled, the two halves of the mold are separated, and the plastic part is ejected from the mold. Once out of the mold, the part is ready for assembly or post-processing which can include painting, chrome plating, or printing with additional elements like a company logo etc. Many everyday household objects are produced in this manner.
What is Tooling?
To put it simply, tooling is the backbone of the physical production of a product. Much like how you could not make muffins without a muffin tin, many consumer products need their own version of a “muffin tin” in order to be mass-produced. For many, this is the non-glamourous side of production but without it, products simply do not exist. The term “tooling” refers to any number of implements required to produce a product.
What is Prototyping?
Prototyping is an experimental process where design teams implement ideas into tangible forms from paper to digital. Teams build prototypes of varying degrees of fidelity to capture design concepts and test on users. With prototypes, you can refine and validate your designs so your brand can release the right products.
What is CAD?
CAD (computer-aided design) is the use of computer-based software to aid in design processes. CAD software is frequently used by different types of engineers and designers. CAD software can be used to create two-dimensional (2-D) drawings or three-dimensional (3-D) models.
What is a Patent?
A patent is a property right that the government grants to inventors to forbid others from making or using an invention for a limited period of time (usually 20 years). If someone does steal your invention, the patent grants you the right to sue the guilty party. Sometimes, someone who did not invent an item can hold the patent right when a patent owner chooses to sell the patent for profit. However, only the person who originally came up with the patented item may obtain the patent in the first place.