To Stamp or Not to Stamp

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To Stamp, or Not to Stamp?

How to determine when tool & die is your best option


A Few Initial Questions

If you want to produce a piece in volume, and you’re wondering whether to cast it or to invest in tooling and stamp it out, first take a look at the design itself. While stamping is suitable for many metals (including aluminum, steel, brass, copper, silver, karat golds, and platinum), that’s not always true when it comes to design.

One general rule applies: the more simple, geometric, and two-dimensional the design, the better. A basic, symmetrical shape with a simple cut in the center is ideal. Sculptural or three-dimensional pieces, as well as items with undercuts, are not suitable. In those cases, casting could be the preferred alternative.

If your design passes the first test for stamping—it has a clean, flat, symmetrical shape, no undercuts—you’re not done yet: You still must look a little further to decide if it’s the best option. Ask the following questions:

1. Does your...