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FAQ

What is the advantage of working with elimold? Why should I choose your company to make my parts?
Our industrial 3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, and injection molding services provide parts made directly from the customer’s 3D CAD model, reducing the likelihood of errors. Proprietary software automates toolpath generation to decrease manufacturing times and reduce costs.

What companies do you work with?
Due to the proprietary and competitive nature of projects we work on, we do not disclose a listing of our customers. However, we do regularly receive permission to share customer success stories. Read our success stories here.

Is a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) required to do business with elimold?

An NDA is not necessary to do business with elimold. When uploading your CAD model to our site, we employ state-of-the-art encryption and anything you upload is protected by confidentiality obligations. For more information, contact your account representative.

What industries use elimold services?
We serve a variety of industries including medical device, automotive, lighting, aerospace, technology, consumer product, and electronics.

When should I use machining versus injection molding?
Before making the investment to have injection-mold tooling made or high-volume machining processes, you likely will want to test a part that is as close to the production part as possible. CNC machining is the best option for this situation.

Additionally, engineers often need just one or maybe a few parts for test fixtures, assembly jigs, or assembly fixtures. Machining is the best option here as well, but traditional machine shops often charge a significant non-recurring engineering (NRE) charge for programming and fixturing. This NRE charge often makes getting very small quantities not affordable. The automated CNC machining process eliminates the upfront NRE costs and is able to offer quantities as low as one part at an affordable price and get parts in your hands in as fast as 1 day.

Injection molding is better suited to support larger amounts of samples for functional or market testing, bridge tooling, or low-volume production. If you need parts before a steel tool can be made (typically 6 to 10 weeks with other molders) or your volume requirements don't justify expensive steel production tooling, we can supply production parts to meet your full requirements (up to 10,000+ parts) in 1 to 15 days.

Why do you have manufacturing facilities in other countries?
We manufacture all parts for North America at our U.S. facilities. We also ship internationally to many other countries from our U.S. facilities. Our manufacturing facility in England supports all of the European countries, and our Japan facilities manufactures exclusively for Japan.

How do I get a quote?
To get a quote for all of our services, simply upload a 3D CAD model on our site. You'll get an interactive quote within hours with free design feedback. If there are problem areas in the submitted design, our quoting engine provides detailed information on the potential manufacturing issues and suggests possible solutions.

Can I quote my part with all services at once?
You can get a quote for injection molding and machining, but a second quote for 3D printing will need to be requested.

What types of files do you accept?
We can accept native SolidWorks (.sldprt) or ProE (.prt) files as well as solid 3D CAD models from other CAD systems output in IGES (.igs), STEP (.stp), ACIS (.sat) or Parasolid (.x_t or .x_b) format. We can also accept .stl files. Two-dimensional (2D) drawings are not accepted.

I don’t have a 3D CAD model. Can you create one for me?
We do not offer any design services at this time. If you need assistance creating a 3D CAD model of your idea, contact us via email and we’ll get you contact information for designers who are familiar with our process.

Does elimold offer finishing options and secondary processes with its services?
Enhanced finishing options and secondary processes are available for 3D printing, sheet metal, and injection molding processes. We do not offer secondary processes for CNC machining at this time.

Do you provide first article of inspection (FAI) service?
We offer FAIs on machined and molded parts.

Can elimold make design drawings for me?
We do not provide design services. You are responsible for submitting 2D and 3D CAD drawings, and we can then provide a Design for Manufacturing review upon receiving your order. Read how to prepare your CAD drawings for manufacturing.

What type of design files does elimold accept for quoting?
In order to provide an accurate and timely quote, we only accept 3D CAD files in STL, STEP or IGES format. 2D drawings with reference dimensions must be in PDF format. We must receive complete manufacturing information as part of this technical documentation. Informal communication via SMS, Skype, email, etc., will not be considered as admissible for manufacturing purposes.

How long does a quotation take?
In most cases, we respond within a couple of days of receiving an RFQ. If the quote is delayed, we will notify you as soon as possible.

Can I use my own material for production?
Yes, customer-supplied material is fine so long as it fits with our machine capabilities.

Can I use my own master model for making duplicate copies for vacuum

casting or CNC machining?
Yes, master models are used to create silicone molds for vacuum casting and can be made from any rigid solid that can withstand heat up to 100° C. Models used for CNC machining will be 3D scanned to create a CAD/CAM program for production.

How do I know my design will be kept confidential?
We of course will sign and adhere to any non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement. We also have a strict policy within our factory that no photographs are ever allowed of a customer’s product without express permission. Ultimately we rely on our reputation of working with hundreds of thousands of unique designs over many years and never allowing any proprietary information to be disclosed to a third party.

How does elimold compare to other suppliers on price?
Although direct comparisons are difficult, elimold’s prices will be typically 25-45% less for plastic injection mold tools and CNC machined / turned parts when compared to suppliers in North America and Europe.

As compared to Chinese suppliers, we choose to not to compete on price but to offer the highest levels of quality, rapid response and professional results.

Are lead times in working days or calendar days?
Lead times are quoted in calendar days. As per our Terms and Conditions, quoted lead times commence only after completion and confirmation of design for manufacturing review and the beginning of actual production.

How quickly can I get my parts?
Quality parts can be made in as little as two weeks if you provide us with complete 2D and 3D CAD models. More complex parts requiring or other special features will take longer. Request a quote to get more accurate lead times based on your project.

As for shipping, most of our shipments are via air freight, which can take a few days from China to Europe or North America.

What tolerances can elimold achieve?
There is not a given set of tolerances that fits all processes and materials. In every case, the final tolerances on your part will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Part size
  • Design geometry
  • The number, type and size of features
  • Material(s)
  • Surface finish
  • Manufacturing process
    Once your order is confirmed, we will review your design and provide a design for manufacturing review, pointing out any areas where we may not be able to achieve your desired tolerances. It’s helpful if you can specify which areas in your design have critical tolerances that must be met and which can be slightly modified if needed to reduce time and costs involved.

Here are some general tolerance guidelines:

General tolerances for CNC machining in metal and plastic
Plastic injection molding tolerances
Reference charts for CNC metals and plastic injection molding materials
General tolerance for metal 3D printing is +/- 0.5mm
Shrinkage rate of +/- 0.15% is to be expected for vacuum casting
All manufacturing and technical specifications need to be clearly specified in the 2D drawings in order to be followed.

How does elimold ensure the quality of my parts?
Once your order is confirmed, we will perform a full Design for Manufacturing (DFM) review to point out any issues that our engineers feel may affect the quality of your parts.
All incoming materials are inspected and verified with a suite of testing equipment.
Final inspection reports before shipment.
We have the ability to share inspection data with you in real-time so we can work together to address any quality issues you may have during production.

What type of surface finishes does elimold provide?
We offer a wide variety of finishing services to achieve almost any look and feel on your parts. We offer treatments for metal, texturing for plastic injection mold tools, painting for metal and plastic, and many more. You can also learn how to specify the surface texture you want in this blog.

Can elimold passivate my parts?
Passivation is a treatment that changes the surface chemistry of some kinds of metals. We offer passivation for corrossion protection, durability, cosmetics and more.

Can elimold provide optical quality on my plastic parts?
Yes. We offer a special vapor polishing service to achieve high transparency for your clear plastic parts.

Does elimold insure delivered goods?
No, we do not insure deliveries. However, you are free to use your own insurance.

How much import duty will I need to pay for my goods?
There is no single answer to this question but a few rules apply. For customers in Australia, new CHAFTA regulations allow for a progressive roll-out of duty-free import into Australia. Import duties vary widely between countries, and are dependent on the type of good being imported. Most countries in the world conform to the international Harmonized System (HS) codes that categorize virtually all commercial trade goods.

What are elimold’s shipping terms?
Our standard terms are Ex Works (EXW) for rapid prototyping and regular production orders. This means the customer is responsible for shipping, customs clearance and all other associated fees once the goods have left our premises.

For express shipments, we use Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU), which means that the client is responsible for paying import duty when the goods arrive to your destination.

Does elimold provide export molds?
Yes. However, we must explain that our tooling is manufactured to be compliant with our Modular Unit Dies (MUD). This means they are a uniform base size, so the customer must be prepared to receive tools in that size to fit into their own machines.

What if I am not completely satisfied with the parts I receive?
We guarantee our materials and workmanship based on the terms of the initial order and the information provided by you. Any disputes based on a subjective determination shall be brought to the attention of management who will act in good faith to provide you with complete satisfaction. Our continuing business relies on earning your confidence in our ability to meet and exceed any reasonable expectations.