5 Factors Affecting Manufacturing Costs

star rapid manufacturing engineer

Star Rapid Engineer with CNC Machines

Requesting a quote for the manufacturing of your product or parts can sometimes feel like a shot in the dark. It can be hard to predict the kind of time and price estimate you’re going to get back.

Let’s make one thing clear from the outset: it’s impossible to tell you here and now just how much it will cost to produce your project without seeing your 3D and 2D CAD files. There are several factors that directly affect the cost of creating plastic and metal prototypes such as material used, size of the parts, manufacturing process used, quantity needed and tooling requirements. Despite this, we want to provide you with a few basic guidelines to give you a better idea of the things that will impact your manufacturing costs.

1. Raw Materials

The material you choose will impact the cost of your project. Material costs around the world are slowly aligning so you can expect fairly similar material costs regardless of where you manufacture. So finding out your local cost for raw material can give you a rough idea of material costs. It’s possible to get both cheaper and more expensive materials for your product. However, this will mean a trade-off for the final product. Cheaper raw material will mean a cheaper product but it might lack durability or quality. A more expensive material will instantly raise the manufacturing costs but provide a product that lasts longer and is of higher quality. If you’d like more information on material properties, we recommend checking out matweb.com.

2. Quality Required

When it comes to manufacturing, you pay for quality. When you’re working with a reliable manufacturer it usually means they invest in quality control. Although this adds a bit to the final cost of your product, it helps ensure that your product is produced using the right material and follows your specifications. Investing in quality will save you money in the long run as you will run into fewer issues and avoid non-conformity.


Measuring a part with a CMM at Star Rapid

A Substantial Quality Control Department Will Be Beneficial In The Long Run

3. Location of Manufacturing Facilities

The location of your manufacturing partner will impact the cost of your project for a range of reasons. In the 2016 Deloitte Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, countries were ranked according to how competitive they are when it comes to manufacturing.

According to the index, China is an ideal location for manufacturing parts and products due to well-developed manufacturing infrastructure as well as competitive pricing. It’s worth noting that you’ll find quite a range of pricing options when manufacturing in China depending on other considerations such as quality and material used.


Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index 2016

Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index 2016

4. Lead Time

If you want something quickly this can impact the cost depending on the project. Manufacturing a product quickly is more expensive than a longer lead-time. It’s all about resource management for the manufacturer. A quick turnaround means dedicating more resources, both in terms of manpower and machinery, which will inevitably be a bit pricier than a longer turnaround time. So if you want your part quickly, be prepared to fork out a bit more money. However, there are always limitations to how quickly your parts can be produced. Although allocating additional resources will speed up the manufacturing process it shouldn’t compromise the quality of the finished part.

5. Facilities and Equipment

Building complex designs requires a combination of knowledge, skill and equipment. However, the complexity of the design will also impact your manufacturing costs. With advanced designs you’re more likely to require more advanced machines which come at a higher rate. A manufacturer that works with state-of-the-art machinery will be more likely to meet all your manufacturing needs but their investment in high-end machinery will also have an impact on your price as a customer. Advanced equipment does provide a range of opportunities and will lead to a better manufacturing experience.

CNC machine tools at Star Rapid

High-tech Manufacturing Equipment Will Improve Efficiency

How To Get A Quote For Your Next Project

When evaluating a quote from a manufacturing partner there are a few things to consider when looking at the price. At Star Rapid, we can provide you with a free competitive quote. Simply upload your 2D and 3D CAD files and our engineers will look at your requirements and send you the cost. We offer a wide range of manufacturing processes and have an in-house quality control team making sure you get the results you expect.


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