I want to get manufacturing done for custom designed copper connector which I am planning use it in my home automation project. I created design of the connector in Freecad . I have exported the designs in PDF and published to local manufacturers.

To be frank I am from software background and it is first time I am creating designs and getting them manufactured.

After publishing my designs I got few replies. One of the reply asked me which production process to be followed extrusion or die casting.

I have no idea of this, tried google to search for any clues which would help me deciding .

After browsing few pages I got to know only one difference one of process involves melting the metal and other one include forcing cold metal to shape it in desired design.

Can someone please help me deciding.how to chose the production process which would suite my application?

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    $\begingroup$ Yes. The prospective suppliers would be in the best position to tell you the costs, advantages and drawbacks of each. Talk to them. $\endgroup$ – user_1818839 Nov 22 '16 at 13:57

Extrusion and die casting are both fairly high volume processes which allow relatively rapid and cheap costs per item at the expense of high setup costs.

Extrusion involves forcing a plastic material through a die, a bit like piping icing onto a cake this means that you are limited to producing prisms (in the geometric sense) ie a strip of arbitrary length with constant section.

Die casting gives a bit more flexibility in producing shapes with dimensions which vary in all three axes although there can be limitations compared to other casting processes.

In both cases once you have designed and manufactured the tooling you are very limited in what changes you can make. So if you are still at the prototyping stage it may be that neither is appropriate. Going into volume production without having produced and evaluated a physical prototype is pretty risky, especially if you don't have much design for manufacturing experience.

As mentioned in the comments it is impossible to give any definite advice without seeing your design and specification in more detail and the best bet is just to ask your suppliers for prices for the volume you want. Note that the volume you will need can make a big difference to the price per unit.

Also consider that for smaller volumes especially there are lots of other possible methods but again without seeing the design it is a bit difficult to make suggestions.

You also need to be careful about designing things which are unnecessarily difficult to manufacture which is easy to do if you don't have much experience in the manufacturing processes you are using. Again it can be helpful to have a proper dialogue with your suppliers about what it is that you actually want to achieve.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for sure. It's really easy to design things which are very difficult to make of you don't know manufacturing processes. Considering he said this was a connector for a home automation project (I noticed he said connector, not connectors). I doubt the volume would be very large. It would be wise to discuss what is best with the suppliers. It might be easier to modify a preexisting part. $\endgroup$ – JMac Nov 23 '16 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac: volume I am trying to manufacture is 4 types of connectors[ 1000*4 pieces], I think I definitely need to understand the manufacturing processes to come up with efficient designs. I already tried checking already available components in the market non of that fit the requirement. Can you suggest some good resources which can get me started to understand how to make efficient designs considering the manufacturing processed $\endgroup$ – Xinus Nov 24 '16 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ If you're making 1000 of each, I'm less skeptical of why they suggested a casting method. Maybe try asking the supplier if there's anything in the design that is difficult to manufacture. You may be able to redesign something while keeping functionality. It does seem a bit odd to me that you have to come up with a new connector; there's a lot of different hardware that gets made. $\endgroup$ – JMac Nov 24 '16 at 11:22

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