Many Designers and Mechanical Engineers may have designed a product with injection molding, thermoforming or perhaps sheet metal in mind. RIM has many advantages but requires slight adjustments to the part design. We also want to optimize your design so that the parts can be molded with the highest efficiency possible.
Just send us your CAD file by e-mail or though our secure file upload link and we will provide you initial feedback - usually within 24 hours.
Getting to a RIM-feasible design takes 3 simple steps.
As shown in the graphic below, it starts when you send us your CAD file. Together we will perform 3 simple steps:
|RIM Process||Injection Molding||Thermoforming
|Cast Metal||Sheet Metal|
|YES - a "Sweet Spot" for RIM||YES||LIMITED||YES||VERY LIMITED|
|Self-Supporting, Structural Parts?||YES, polyurethane structural foam is ideal for this application||LIMITED, for small parts only||NO, requires structrual frame||YES||NO, requires structural frame|
|Thin & Thick Wall Sections in same part||YES - easily mold thin and thick part geometries without sink marks or warp using polyurethane structural foam.||NO - very limited wall thickness variation||NO - very limited wall thickness variation||YES - but sink marks are common||NO - must weld various parts thickness together|
|Mold Very Large Parts?||YES, a RIM "Sweet Spot"||YES, but extremely high tooling and equipment expense||YES for simple geometries||YES, but very expensive||YES, but requires multi-step assembly|
|Easily Mold Deep Draw Parts with Ribs?||YES||LIMITED||LIMITED - thinning of material due to stretching||YES||NO|
|Tooling Costs & Materials||Low tooling investment using primarily aluminum but also lower cost materials||high to very high investment - using mostly steel||moderate to expensive - using a variety of materials||moderate to expensive||low to very expensive - limited to steel due to pressures if forming is required (stamping)|
|Prototype Tool to be Production Tool||YES - low cost tooling can be used for prototype and production||LIMITED - can add cavities under certain circumstances||LIMITED - can add cavities under certain circumstances||LIMITED||LIMITED|
|Material Versatility? Foam/ Solid?||Highly Versatile range of foam and solid materials resulting in broad range of part characteristics. Can mold foam or solid materials with same equipment||VERY LIMITED - requires separate tooling and equipment for foam and solid||NO||NO||NO|
|Easily Encapsulate Components and Attachment Points?||YES - metal hardware, magnets, antennas, batteries, electronics, PCB's can be encapsulated right into the molded part.||LIMITED - to hardware only||NO||NO||NO|
|Annual Production Rates?||Low to medium high||Medium high to extremely high||Low to medium||low to high||low to medium|
|In Essence:||Polyurethane structural foam makes RIM a very versatile process for parts the size of your phone to an MRI machine in medium production volumes. The bigger and more complex, the better.
THINK: what can be molded in place instead of being assembled? Including the supporting frame.
|great for small parts and high volume prodction.||for simple skins without strucutral function||well suited for heavy duty machinery||... if you just need a box ...|
Rimnetics has built hundreds of tools for the most diverse applications, each one with its very unique requirements, budgets and timelines. Whether you are looking for tooling that will last for a lifetime or for tooling that needs to last for a limited run or low annual volume, Rimnetics has several tooling options, including low cost tooling to meet the needs of your project.
Our process does not require steel tools. Machined aluminum is the highest grade tooling necessary and at Rimnetics, it is guaranteed for unlimited shots. Our tool shop is located in Loomis, CA in the same facility where we also do molding. This allows tool adjustments to be made quickly and First Article parts to be molded in the shortest possible time.
More than once, prospective customers have asked Rimnetics to take over foreign made tooling, improve the tools and make the project work for the customer. We can do that for you too.
One of the most important questions to decide when purchasing a tool is "How many units can we expect to sell per year?" This can be a very difficult to answer and being wrong can be expensive. Our RIM tooling comes with a very low tooling investment. It allows you to get your product to the market quickly and at much lower risk than the tooling needed for injection molding. In economically challenging times that is a very good thing.