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Old 12-07-2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default Parts Fab Contractor?

If I want to have some parts fabbed, does anyone know of a low price place that does small production runs?

I've got a custom designed bumper part I'm working on. In some sort of flexible plastic or maybe kevlar. Looking for a production run of 50 or less, at around $5-$8 per part maybe. Just starting to explore the idea.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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If I want to have some parts fabbed, does anyone know of a low price place that does small production runs?

I've got a custom designed bumper part I'm working on. In some sort of flexible plastic or maybe kevlar. Looking for a production run of 50 or less, at around $5-$8 per part maybe. Just starting to explore the idea.
You will have to be friends with the owner of a machine shop to get a run that small made at that price. Most machine shops charge ~$135 per hour for small run work.

If you have production drawings with in CAD or Solid works you will charged an hour to set up cutter/laser/water jet paths. If you have a hand drawing they will have to draw the part in their CAD CAM system before they can do anything and that will be another hour.

Add 1-3 hours for setup (if fixtures are complex and need to be designed and made) plus the cost for any material needed for fixtures to hold your part while its being cut/machined.

Add the cost of your raw material of choice

If its a simple 2D part add about an hour of machine time for 8 parts.

You would be looking at ~$750 to $1000 to prototype 8 parts.

If you were confident the product was viable you get 100 pcs made for ~$10ea

1000 pcs would end up costing $2 to $3 each depending on your raw material.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:25 PM   #3
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You could buy a $1200 3D printer and fab your own parts. Not sure how strong it would be, but hey, if they break, soon you would be able to just grind up the plastic and reuse it. Cool, huh?
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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Do some google searching, there are places where you can upload your file and businesses will bid on the job.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:36 PM   #5
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Do some google searching, there are places where you can upload your file and businesses will bid on the job.
Not for anywhere near $5-$8 per piece. That's barely material costs in most cases.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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Hmmm, what about molding or injection molding? any tips on prototyping that way maybe?
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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Hmmm, what about molding or injection molding? any tips on prototyping that way maybe?
Injection molding would never happen for anything that small. Injection molds run anywhere from $15K - $30K if they're made in China, more if made here.

Why not invest in a small milling machine like a Sherline and make them yourself?

http://www.sherline.com/
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #8
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3 hours to set up a cnc is retarded.
We can do any 2.5d millwork in minutes direct from solidworks and alpha cam lol. But that would be a typical
Machine shop rate. Paying all overhead and still making a little cash.

If
You can design the component to be cut in 2.5d and the machinist doesnt have to touch it after putting the stock in, could be cheap to make a single peice then copy it using smooth on products.
Maybe not as technical as xrays plastics but smoothon makes pretty much any casting resin you could want to use.
The task series would be my choice for impact absorbing parts.

Of course. I dont know your technical ability. So it could be more or less hard. Of course. All this stuff we take for geanted before had to be made somehow before cncs and injection molding in china came around.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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Injection molding would never happen for anything that small. Injection molds run anywhere from $15K - $30K if they're made in China, more if made here.

Why not invest in a small milling machine like a Sherline and make them yourself?

http://www.sherline.com/
Appreciate the tip!
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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3 hours to set up a cnc is retarded.
We can do any 2.5d millwork in minutes direct from solidworks and alpha cam lol. But that would be a typical
Machine shop rate. Paying all overhead and still making a little cash.

If
You can design the component to be cut in 2.5d and the machinist doesnt have to touch it after putting the stock in, could be cheap to make a single peice then copy it using smooth on products.
Maybe not as technical as xrays plastics but smoothon makes pretty much any casting resin you could want to use.
The task series would be my choice for impact absorbing parts.

Of course. I dont know your technical ability. So it could be more or less hard. Of course. All this stuff we take for geanted before had to be made somehow before cncs and injection molding in china came around.
Ok one more noob question. If I can make it out of a pair of strictly 2d parts and assemble it myself, how much easier / cheaper does that make it?
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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Not for anywhere near $5-$8 per piece. That's barely material costs in most cases.
Not really. Depending on size, most places would just use scrap.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:25 PM   #12
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Try emachineshop.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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Try emachineshop.
I have fiddled around with that software a bit. Super easy to use even if you have zero technical drawing experience.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #14
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I tell everyone -- one piece or 100... Costs at least 1k.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
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I been meaning to see this place, sounds like you be able to fabricate your parts. On the website is the location of all the shops, maybe one near you.

http://www.techshop.ws/
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