A high-quality die-cast component begins with a quality die. The die itself determines the tolerances held, repeatability, strength, complexity, and how many parts can be created utilizing that single die. A well-designed die should incorporate as many features as possible to minimize post machining operations; thus saving money for the final unit part cost and faster throughput.
Designing your die for optimal manufacturability (or DFM) is what will truly makes it a high-quality tool. Keeping manufacturability in mind not only delivers a successful die but also one that will last and create more consistent, higher-performance parts.
It is always a good idea to partner with your die casting company early in your project in order to get the best quality casts possible. The die casting engineers can assess your project’s concept or existing part, from design to end product, and work with you to optimize the design for casting. They will go over specifics such as:
• Critical tolerances
• Wall thickness
• Functional requirements
• Cosmetic requirements
• Secondary operations
• Mating parts or assemblies
• Project completion expectations
• And more
Though dies can be expensive to create, and it can be appealing to try to cut costs in this area, it is never a good idea to go with the lowest bidder when it comes to die creation. Die design and creation affects the overall quality, uniformity, shape, and configuration of your final cast part. An improperly created die will result in inferior cast products, as well as tool or material corrosion. A die that fails will grind production to a halt and force you to spend more time and money rebuilding your die. Working closely with an experienced die caster will help you not only achieve the best possible product but also save you both time and money in the long run.
A few other things to keep in mind to ensure a long-lasting and quality die that produces consistent high quality parts:
• Make sure that your die is created with high-quality materials by an experienced shop
• Allow for some wiggle room in tolerances for non-critical design elements
• Plan for some flexibility in the draft angles of non-critical design elements (this will help ensure easy part extraction which will extend the life of the die)
• Make sure to partner with your die caster early in the process (that way their engineers can help make adjustments in the design phase which will save you some money avoiding re-designs)
Ready to get started?
A&B Die Casting utilizes 3D models and our FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling Machine) to check die layouts for part design fit and moldability. This helps us quickly address potential design for manufacturability (DFM) issues so that we can optimize the design for the die casting process. Utilizing our FDM in this manner also allows us to revise the design prior to the creation of the production die which saves you both time and money.
With over 75 years of die casting expertise, our team of experienced engineers will evaluate your requirements to help you decide which would be the best option to achieve the desired result for your part. Our in-depth knowledge and experience allows us to control the entire pre- and post-operative processing, as well as provide turn key part solutions with a variety of options, to meet our customer’s individual needs. Contact A&B Die Casting today to get started on your next project!