I was recently involved in a consulting job and was asked the following question…
The tooling vendor is charging extra for the mold prints and CAD drawings. Should we purchase these?
You should always obtain prints and CAD files from your tooling vendor… even if you plan on using this vendor for molding your parts, tooling repairs, design modifications, and regular maintenance. Basically, anything can happen, the vendor can go out of business, management could change their practices, ownership can change, or leaking roof could wipe out the data and leave you with a mess.
Just as you have a backup of your computer’s critical data… you must obtain prints and files of your molds to serve as a backup of your mold.
The best approach is to ensure that costs associated with prints and digital files are included in the original quotation. Always spell these specifics out in detail so that there is no confusion.