Question: How to produce a small commodity object made of plastic?
Where can I get this manufactured and what information do I have to give the factory?
My product is designed, how do I best look for a manufacturer and keep mould costs reasonable?
Having your product design and a 3D model completed is a good start. But the next step is a big one: buying tooling and moulds definitely are expensive.
However, 3D printing is definitely the best way to get some samples made. They have exact dimensions and are inexpensive to order.
To help pay for tooling costs upfront, you could also consider crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or Startnext in Germany). This essentially presells enough of your product to cover the first-run manufacturing costs.
These days, you don’t necessarily have to manufacture in China. The cheap cost of natural gas and other factors are contributing to a resurgence of manufacturing in the USA.
Manufacturers are willing to provide samples of course – but if your design requires custom tooling, then you have to pay for that.