Engineering & Prototyping

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Decades of Expertise

Collaboration between Cadrex engineers and your team early in the prototyping and NPI stages, where design obstacles and cost avoidance opportunities can be addressed, is critical. Our front-end DFM experts review customer designs to ensure the final assemblies meet the desired outcome and can be manufactured in the most efficient way.

Cadrex DFM and manufacturing engineers collaborate with our tooling, quality, and automation engineers to develop solutions for our customers that enhance their products and ensure the longevity and scalability of the program.

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Engineering Capabilities

  • Design for Manufacturability (DFM) & Design for Excellence (DFX)

  • CAD/CAM powered product development and reverse engineering

  • 3D design concepting and additive manufacturing

  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD+T)

  • Sheet metal and injection molding tooling design

  • Prototyping and New Product Introduction (NPI)

  • Automation design & robotic programming

  • Continuous process improvement

  • Quality engineering & state-of-the-art labs

Design Guide

Plastic Injection Molding Design Tips

Our injection molding design for Manufacturing (DFM) engineers put together 6 tips to help mechanical engineers design for plastic parts.

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Closeup of open panel on the side of a plastic injection molding machine

Design for Excellence (DFX) 

Design for Excellence, or X, where X is a variable that can have one of many possible values, including manufacturability, cost, time, assembly, logistics, etc. DFX is an extension of DFM to include a broader view of everything required during manufacturing because manufacturability is only part of the picture.

Our front-end DF(x) experts review customer parts to ensure the final assemblies meet the desired outcome. Our experienced team ensures that your parts are manufacturable, cost-conscious, and can seamlessly move into production, assembly, and testing.


Prototyping is a crucial step in the product development phase and working collaboratively with our customers sets everyone up for a successful product launch and the ability to scale quickly. Our product development center is dedicated to customers qualifying new parts and assemblies for production.

Our prototype team consists of technical experts and engineers who collaborate with our customers to ensure the final prototypes function as intended. We go beyond just providing custom parts and assemblies and can include purchased components, integration, and testing.

Tool Design and Build

We have decades of experience consulting and assisting during the tool design and build phase of sheet metal fabrication, stamping, and plastic injection molding. When designing tools for production, working with highly experienced tool and die engineers early in the design stages is critical. High-quality tools and dies are essential to guarantee that you get excellent parts when you go into production. Once your sheet metal dies are in production, our team properly maintains and repairs them to ensure optimal performance and life expectancy.

Sheet Metal Stamping Tools

Complex tooling for metal stamping is accomplished through the use of metal dies that are designed to stamp, bend, and form sheet metal. Cadrex has an in-house tool design and build team with over 200 years of combined experience working closely with our customers. Our engineers will help you choose the right tooling option for your program and collaborate with your team to ensure every stamp and bend is perfectly placed to form your parts as desired.Learn about different types of dies in A Starter Guide to Sheet Metal Fabrication.

Sheet Metal Fabrication Tools

For bending and punching, Cadrex has an entire library of standard dies that produce simple bends based on straight-forward geometry for our fleet of turrets and press brakes. When products call for a more creative approach—like 3D shapes—a custom die must be developed, and we have the resources and expertise to assist in that process.

Plastic Injection Molding Tools

Plastic injection molding tools are used to inject molten plastic into a mold cavity, where it is then cooled and ejected as a plastic part. Depending on your needs, we can help design single-cavity, multi-cavity, and family tools. We can also incorporate actions into your tool depending on the complexity of your injection molded part to ensure you get the look and function needed. Our plastics operation utilizes domestic and international suppliers for the actual tool build which is closely monitored by our in-house engineers. We stay in constant communication with our suppliers to keep your tools on schedule and monitor quality. Maintenance and repairs are taken care of by our in-house tool room. Learn about types of molds and side actions in A Starter Guide to Injection Molding.

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