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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking > MetalWork Discussion > I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2024
    Posts
    5

    I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    Hi All,

    I am new here and glad to be here

    I have some questions about my patent that was just filed and now starting to get into the Production Phase and cost estimates.

    I have been shopping around local machine shops but can't seem to get a straight answer since most of them just do Government Contract Jobs and treat me like a nonfactor. Most of them tell me to go online to places like Protolabs, Xometry, etc...

    To keep it simple, My main question is about what materials to use and the finishing for cost-efficient production for my product which is a Modular Counterweight system weighing between 20-25lbs total. Now it will be used outdoors so Corrosion/rust is an issue. I have 3 components that need to be machined.


    So from what I learned from the CNC machine shops I visited, I was recommended to use 1018 steel with finishing to stop corrosion or Stainless Steel without any finishing just smooth. One of the shops told me that 1018 Steel with finishing would cost around the same price as Stainless Steel. Is that true? and if not how much cheaper would 1018 with corrosion-resistant coating be than Stainless Steel?

    Also, I can send files over for better accuracy through Private Messaging.

    Thanks in advance,

    - Rosco

  2. #2

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    i highly doubt stainless would be cheaper than getting 1018 machined and coated .
    One factor to consider is machining costs . Steels wear tools and some faster than others . Your the guy who will absorb the costs and will be quoted accordingly . You'll find steels like 12L14 will have somewhat similar properties to 1018 but the parts can be machined faster with less tool wear

    sand cast would be worth looking into if your doing a lot of parts and the measurements are non critical . thats all going to be dependent on the design

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    6521

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    Hello Rosco - Keep looking for a shop or shops to do your job, the right one will be out there. Stainless can be the same price as a machined, then powder coated part. This is due to the extra cost of handling, cost of getting it to and from the painter (if painted off site) etc. Also investigate zinc plating, this can be cheaper then painting. You need to find a shop that does painting in house, or does regular runs to a painter or a plater.

    If you can publish images of the parts here it would be helpful. If you intend doing many parts then casting would be worth looking at. All depends on what appearance, finish and function requirements need to be met. Do you have a proper manufacturing level drawing and model? This is really helpful. If you are turning up at machinists with hand sketches this is a barrier for your project as most shops won't have the time to figure out what really needs to be done. . Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2024
    Posts
    5

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    Thanks, Both of you

    @metalmayhem - As far as Sand Blasting, would it be as strong as using a CNC Mill and Turning and what about the density and available metals?

    @Peteeng I will start calling more shops around my area and even a bit further. And as far as the pictures, I can send them VIA Message or email. I just don't want any Prior Art up on the web yet at least for a month or so from the filing date. I can see how the one person said it would be the same now since he would have to ship it and outsource it to be coated. As far as the pictures, I have the proto type. I designed them with a 3D program called Mattercontrol. But they are .stl files, I tried converting them to .step file but had issues. I do a lot of 3D printing.
    Last edited by Rosco76; 06-10-2024 at 12:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    6521

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    Hi Rosco - For manufacturing info they should be proper geometry not stl. What CAD do you use? Re sand casting - can be cast iron same density as steel, will need painting. Peter

  6. #6

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosco76 View Post
    Thanks, Both of you

    @metalmayhem - As far as Sand Blasting, would it be as strong as using a CNC Mill and Turning and what about the density and available metals?

    .
    sand blast is different from sand cast
    a wide variety of metals are cast , strengths will vary on the materials used . If you want stronger and cleaner parts then drop forge would be a better option over cast
    Without seeing or knowing the function of each part it's pretty much impossible to pinpoint exactly what you need . Thats why I mentioned a couple starting points to consider . Shops aren't cheap and whatever you can do to make it easier for them saves you money in the long run

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2024
    Posts
    5

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    The CAD Program I am using is MatterControl and I am learning FreeCAD. As far as the files. I am more of a Graphics infact I spent over 20 years as a Graphic Designer, then switched to 3D Printing a few years ago. Eventually, I will move into CNC machineing

    I can send you guys the files in a message, even the .stl file so you can see it in 3d. I may be able to send you the .step files as well. I made in TinkerCad. I converted them in FreeCad but for some reason, the MatterControl file which is a .MCX extension has errors when converting the Mesh into a solid. But the bad thing about Tinker cad, Round objects have sides to them, For example, a circle in TinkerCad has 64 sides so it looks blocky.

  8. #8

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    screen caps would probably be sufficient . It's probably not a good idea to freely post your patented design on forums

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    6521

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    Hi Rosco - I think mattercontrol is a mesh based modeller. Its difficult to convert an stl to proper geometry, usually easier to remodel and redraw.... Plus it does not do drawings. So you need to find a local draughtsman or engineer to redesign the part in a geometry based CAD and do correct manufacturing drawings. Or find a CAD system that does these things and do it yourself. Then machinists can understand what you are trying to do and quote correctly. Or get on a drawing board and do a paper drawing... It needs tolerances, thread specs everything needed to make the part as you need... Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2024
    Posts
    5

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    Yeah, I'm going to have someone draft it up based on my stl version.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2024
    Posts
    5

    Re: I need Help with what type of Metal to machine for outdoor use.

    I don't think the links worked in the messages, but try this link for the files .STL plus Jpegs.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...usp=drive_link

    Thanks Again,
    Rosco
    Last edited by Rosco76; 06-10-2024 at 04:57 PM.

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