If you have reached this stage and are now looking to receive manufacturing quotes for your invention, then you have finalized the design of your product. In this step, you are looking to source manufacturers to supply you with quotes to get your invention made.
It is extremely important to ensure that, during the design phase, your designer supplies you with all of the files of your product that are required to receive manufacturing quotes. Generally speaking, the majority of the companies in the industry both locally and internationally utilize IGES files; however, some companies may request STL or STEP files. When discussing the process with your designer in the early stages, be sure to ask the designer for multiple files types in advance. This will eliminate any misunderstanding or confusion throughout the process. Also, be sure that the designer does not charge you more for these files as they are a design requirement and, to be quite honest, only take about 2 minutes total to save.
Typically, to receive quotes from a manufacturer, the manufacture needs 3D CAD models of the design. In some cases, the manufacturer may require 2D CAD drawings in addition to or instead of the 3D CAD models. Generally speaking, 2D CAD drawings are used when tolerances are required on the parts. These 2D drawings indicate how much detail needs to be applied to certain areas.
When you receive your manufacturing quotes, you will notice a cost for tooling. What does this include? Tooling costs are for the dies to make the parts and then the individual part costs.
Do not pay for quotes: First and foremost, remember that all quotes should be supplied from manufacturers free of charge. Never fall into the trap of paying more for a quote. If the manufacturer requires payment for the quote, save time and money by moving on to the next as there are millions of other manufacturers that will be happy to help . Typically if using an Agent for quotes this should be supplied for free but at their discretion based on the number of parts and how time consuming the quote will take to prepare.
Compare Apples to Apples: When requesting quotes from manufacturers, be sure to request the same quantities and qualities of materials across the board. Although it may seem obvious to most, comparing manufacturing costs when each manufacturer’s quotes are based on different components is pointless and a waste of time. By ensuring that the quotes are based on the same factors, you will have a better idea of the breakdown of the associated costs from manufacturing and tooling to shipping and money transfers.
Hidden Costs: As you begin the process of requesting quotes, be sure to ask in advance if there are any hidden costs. Be aware of smaller costs that can add up quickly such as shipping and money transfers. If you discover these costs, consider alternatives that may reduce these factors or eliminate them altogether (i.e. utilizing PayPal eliminates fees associated with money transfers).
Negotiate: Do not be afraid to negotiate with the manufacturing companies on their pricing. Review each quote carefully and consider your options. With a strong budget in mind, you know what you can afford so do not be afraid to revisit the quote to negotiate better pricing for your product. Remember that most quotes usually have a time limit (typically 30 days), which allows you plenty of time for consideration and review; however, it also gives you a deadline so be mindful of your timeframe.