Hi Scott, You mention that metal molds are the only way to go for runs
over 50 pieces. There are a few problems with the statement that I
wish to point out/ clarify without any offense to you, but rather for
the general Orchid public at large who may misinterpret.
Metal molds are excellent for many types of jewelry , Mostly related
to emblematic detail such as school rings and flat items with deep
design/ lettering etc.
It is not suited for complex 3d type of jewelry such as basket ring
settings and items with deep undercuts.The tooling ro do that type of
work is in many cases impossible or cost prohibitive.
We do have cad/cam/cnc capability and make many models with this
system and also produce metal molds for our production items that
However, when there is a “choice based on experience” between metal
molds or rubber molds,The rubber molds will win out. specifically in
large quantity runs The reason I mention this is the following:
rubber molds are very inexpensive to produce versus metal
molds.You can easily make 10 rubber molds for the cost of 1 metal
Wax production in metal molds is much slower than rubber molds .
With 10 rubber molds running , we can achieve over 1000 waxes/
day/employee. with metal molds, it does not matter how many molds you
have,You can only inject and remove at max speed about 40 pcs / hour
or 320 pcs/day. The methods used to clamp metal molds closed for high
pressure injection take much more time and also many metal molds
require a combination of release spray and/or powder to get the detail
to really come out perfect.metal ring molds are usually 3 to 4
seperate parts that need to be assembled in the proper order and
disasembled the same way to remove a wax. This is time consuming and
There are applications where metal molds far exceed the quality of a
rubber mold, but that is not the "normal " jewlery that many people
on orchid produce.
Just my Dollars worth of input. Daniel Grandi We do casting/molding
finishing in gold, silver, brass/bronze and pewter
for people in the trade.