Can You Build a Mold for This?


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Over the years, I have listened as my dad related stories of how someone called him or came to his mold shop to enlist his help with making a new product that they invented, usually for the consumer market.

This product was something everyone needed or could use once they saw what it did, they’d tell him. And sometimes my dad would think yes, it could be a good product to make. But do they understand what goes into building a mold for a new product?

Sometimes, dad said, the Inventor would have done some homework on the subject of product design and development and would have an idea about mold building and bringing a new item to market. But most would have no idea of the time and costs involved. Dad would spend a few minutes giving the Inventor some idea of the steps required and then gently lower the boom on price. Sticker shock would be an understated term used to describe the reaction.

I’m sure most mold builders have encountered this same experience—and probably many times over, like my dad has. But one has to admit that it’s rather interesting to see what some Inventors come up with, how they approached their ideas and designed them—if they designed them, and what brought them to one’s company for help. How many Inventors actually followed through, despite the costs and time, to actually make their product? What kinds of products were they? Were they profitable?

I’m planning to write a feature about these experiences and would like to begin gathering some stories to use from MMT readers. If you have a good story, whether the product came to fruition or not, that you would like to share, please email me