An example of break down for plastic injection mold cost

For anyone who is about to start a plastic injection molding project, one of the main questions is: what is (are) the true cost of my plastic injection mold(s). Everybody wants cheaper prices, but, to what level is the price still reasonable to ensure a satisfactory quality?

Well, to understand what the mold cost consists of, an easy way is to ask your mold maker to submit the cost break down in a spreadsheet. Let’s dive right into an example.

This is an example of a square plastic lid

This is a square lid for a plastic box, the basic information is as follows:

  • Product material: PP
  • Product dimension: 150*150*15mm
  • Mold material: 718H
  • Number of cavities: 1
  • Ejection method: ejection plate

Our quote for this mold is $1250, the cost break down is listed below:

CatogoryItemDescriptionUnit price
Qty. (unit)Amount
Material Mold base (standard)
Material 1045, outer dimension
300*280*260mm, 60 kgs.
$1001 (piece)
Core plate
Material 718H, 280*280*80mm, 50 kgs.
$1501 (piece)
Cavity plate
Material 718H, 280*280*80mm, 50 kgs.
$1501 (piece)
EDM electrode (for core)
Copper, 150*150*20mm, 4 kgs
$351 (piece)$35
Bolts, hose connectores ,etc.
$501 (set)$30
DesigningPart designing fee
$501 (piece)$50
Mold designing fee
$1001 (piece)$100
MachiningCNC milling
15 (hours)
CNC engraving
10 (hours)$40
Wire EDM
$1.5/hour6 (hours)$9
EDM discharging
$3/hour10 (hours)$30
Surface polishing$8/hour6 (hours)$48
Assembly, heat treatment,
mold testing
10 (hours)$80
Heat treatment$0.5/kgNone
Mold testing$20/time2 (times)$40
Tax, overhead and others
Administration fee$95

So in this particular case, the general composition of the mold cost is:

mold cost percentage

Are these numbers accurate?

You may wonder are these numbers accurate? How do I know the mold maker does not overrate the costs?

True, the mold maker will not be happy with a mere 10% of profit, so they will put some room in some of their calculations.

However, I do not mean they are all dishonest. Many of them will try to give you a close costs estimation, partly, it is because of the competition they are facing. You will always to ask several mold makers to quote your project, aren’t you?

First of all, they will calculate the material cost on every job they are quoting, and the material cost (weight and price) is quite transparent, in most cases they will tell you exactly what it is. Usually, it should be no more than 5% of the real cost.

It will be less accurate when it comes to the machining cost, it is usually a rough estimation based on their experience. It is hard to predict the exact machining time needed to accomplish each process (milling, EDM discharging, etc) precisely, in order not to quote a price lower than the actual costs that is going to incur, they will put some safe room into it. It is quite often that they will quote you 10~20% more than the real cost.

Please look at the table below for the accuracy of each cost estimation:

Material Accurate (0~+5%)
Designing Less accurate(0~+10%)
Machining Not accurate (0~+20%)
Assembly, heat treatment, mold testing Accurate (0~+5%)
Tax, overhead and others Accurate (0~+5%)

Overall, the profit for the mold maker will be somewhere between 15-30%, if they are willing to work at a lower range of profit. By saying this, I mean many mold maker will quote you higher prices and expect a high profit margin.

To calculate the mold price is a bit more complex than a simple math!

This is just one example of mold price. In real life, the mold prices have to do with a lot of factors, which include the part size and complexity, part material, mold steel, number of cavities, machining equipments used, and so forth.

Let’s say, even two plastic parts have similar sizes, one mold can be several times more expensive than the other due to higher precision, more complex mold structure, and better mold steel required.

A quick self-estimation of your mold cost

To help you quickly estimate your mold price, please use the below table as a reference. We have listed many mold prices for different kind of plastic parts.

PictureProduct name and descriptionMold informationMold priceNote
Mold-price-2-end-capEnd cap
Mold material P20
4 cavities
Polished finish
$500$500 is probably our the lowest price for very simple and small plastic molds. This mold does not have any sliders.
Mold-price-1-socket-cover small pictureElectrical socket cover
Mold material 718H
Family mold 1+1 cavities
Polished finish
$1,600There are multiple internal and external sliders for the side holes and some internal features.
Mold-price-3-square-containerSquare container
Mold material 718H
1 cavity
Polished finish
$1,900We use air ejection in this mold, meaning the parts are blow out by compressed air. This way there are no marks on the surface caused by ejection pins.
Mold-price-4-appliance-lidPlastic cover for electrical appliance
PC/ABS alloy
ø 220*25mm
Mold material 718H
1 cavity
Polished finish
$2,600It is critical to have an appealing appearance on the outside surface on this product.
Mold-price-5-plastic-barrelPlastic bucket
ø380*450mm (40 liters)
Mold material 718H
1 cavity
$13,000Need to have smooth finish on the entire surface and even wall thickness.
Mold-price-6-bulb-socketLED light bulb socket
ø 50*55mm
Mold material H13
8 cavity
$9,000This is a very large volume product, it is critical to make each of them the exact weight. The mold is made to very high precision.
Mold-price-7-LED-lensLED lens
Mold material S136
2 cavity
$11,000Very precise mold, for example, the polishing was done in a dustless room.
Mold-price-8-power-tool-handlePower tool handle
Mold material
2 cavity (2 molds)
($5000 each)
2 molds are needed. One is for producing the substrates, the other is for TPE overmolding. High precision is required as well.

Contact us to get a more accurate quote!

However, if you want to get a precise quote for your mold(s), please contact us, we will usually send you the quote within 24 hours.

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