Fiberglass Prices, Costs, and Quotes
Although we use fiberglass as an example here, the processes and factors which affect price are similar for most composite fabrication projects, FRPís, and carbon fiber.
There are several factors that can influence the overall cost of a fiberglass fabrication project:
- Product Design Cost
- Fiberglass Plug Design, Development, and Creation
- Fiberglass Mold Design, Development, and Creation
- Cost of manufacturing the actual fiberglass part or component
Some of these cost factors may not apply to a particular fiberglass project. For example, if you supply Fiberglass Sales (the fiberglass fabricator) with a finished part, component, or plug, and we are able to pull a mold directly from that part or component, then there will be no charge for product design or plug development.
Product DesignProduct design cost is based on our estimated design time multiplied by our hourly rate. Product design services utilize full CAD development to minimize development time and cost and the time and cost required for design modifications and changes.
Plug DevelopmentPlug development cost is also a factor of design time and hourly rate. The cost to produce the plug is also affected by the complexity of the part or component and the type of plug required. Some plugs can be produced by hand or cut from foam, while others need to be milled from wood or machined from more complex material.
Fiberglass Mold DesignFiberglass mold development cost is based on the complexity and size of the mold. A small multi-faceted mold can be as costly as a larger but simpler mold (a box, for example). The projected number of future parts made from this mold will also affect the pricing. The more parts in the initial purchase order and the greater the number of parts projected to be made from the mold, the lower the price charged for the mold in both absolute and relative terms.
Fiberglass Part ProductionFive items influence the per-unit cost of fiberglass part production.
- The number (quantity) of parts in a purchase order - Larger quantities reduce the per-unit part cost and are less expensive on a per-unit basis versus smaller quantities of the same part or component.
- The weight of each composite or fiberglass part - We calculate fiberglass part costs (taking into consideration the above outlined factors) by weighing the part (or calculating the estimated weight) and multiplying this by a per-pound price. In general, the heavier the part, the more it costs. The exception is for fiberglass parts that weigh less than one or two pounds where weight plays less of a role in calculating cost.
- The material used (cloth or woven roven) in each part - Different materials have different cost structures.
- The physical size of each part - Very bulky parts can influence cost as they require more personnel to handle and space to manufacture.
- The complexity of the part - Simple two dimensional parts that can be 'layed - up' faster than complex parts will generally be less expensive to manufacture on a per-unit basis.