The tooling cost has two main components – the mold base and the machining of the cavities. The cost of the mold base is primarily controlled by the size of the part’s envelope. A larger part requires a larger, more expensive, mold base. The cost of machining the cavities is affected by nearly every aspect of the part’s geometry. The primary cost driver is the size of the cavity that must be machined, measured by the projected area of the cavity (equal to the projected area of the part and projected holes) and its depth. Any other elements that will require additional machining time will add to the cost, including the feature count, parting surface, side-cores, lifters, unscrewing devices, tolerance, and surface roughness.
The quantity of parts also impacts the tooling cost. A larger production quantity will require a higher class mold that will not wear as quickly. The stronger mold material results in a higher mold base cost and more machining time.
One final consideration is the number of side-action directions, which can indirectly affect the cost. The additional cost for side-cores is determined by how many are used. However, the number of directions can restrict the number of cavities that can be included in the mold. For example, the mold for a part which requires 3 side-action directions can only contain 2 cavities. There is no direct cost added, but it is possible that the use of more cavities could provide further savings.