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The Prototyping Blog

the prototyping blog

The REAL Cost Of Buying Cheap Prototypes

Posted by Matt Sweeney on Feb 10, 2017

Dollars_Cents.jpgAs an engineer, your job is inherent with risks every day. Your company relies on you to launch new project, push the technology envelope, take ideas and turn them into something usable and most of all, profitable. By now, you're pretty good at mitigating risks that will delay your project. After all, math makes sense to you: low risk = successful project, right? But during your prototype launch, some risks are out of your control and in the hands of your chosen prototype house. 

It's not uncommon for cost-conscious manufacturers to outsource their prototype development overseas or through a fast prototyping service in order to save a few dollars. Unfortunately, many of those prototyping companies sacrifice quality in order to get your prototype finished as fast and as cheap as possible. Cutting corners on your prototype leaves you susceptible to risks such as warped parts, incorrect material selection, size variations, and cracking. Any of these faults can make it impossible to test your part correctly, requiring you to spend more time and money on a second or third prototype. The long-term cost of building a substandard prototype tool can end up costing you double or triple your initial investment...far more than the few dollars you saved initially. How can you explain to your boss, who is already breathing down your neck, that a twelve cent plastic part is delaying your million dollar project?  

That's where we come in. We're your risk mitigator. By trusting The ERC with your prototype launch, you'll be on a risk-free path that results in a smooth project timeline, confidence in your part design, and high quality, functional parts that are fit for testing. Our expert engineers will take care of any problems that may arise so that you can focus on what you do best. In the end, you'll get parts exactly as you designed, for a competitive price and lead time...no delays. Lowering the risk from the start...that's what we are committed to. 

So how much does risk cost? Ask yourself: Can I afford to double our lead time and budget to replace a bad prototype? Is the stress worth it? Contact Matt at msweeney@theerc.com and let The ERC manage your risk on your next injection molded prototype or low volume project. 

Have you ever lost money by taking the cheap route? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!