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IndustryArena Forum > Community Club House > Machinist Hangout > My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer
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  1. #13
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Is 0.1-0.3mm a viable milling option?

    [These are very small bits, that will require very high spindle speeds to work effectively. They also tend to break quite easily, often when you're trying to touch off to the stock to establish your zero points. If you need them to get the detail of your parts and you need absolutely vertical walls, you've got no choice but to use them. But since you're making molds, which will require some draft anyway, I'd suggest looking into tapered cutters, which give you the same detail at the tip, but are much stronger and resistant to breakage.]

    Is a ball screw upgrade required?

    [They aren't, but they make your life easier by eliminating backlash while taking some load off the motors. If your toolpaths compensate for it when an axis changes direction, you can get away without them, but otherwise you'll find that there's a slight discrepancy between what your plans called out and what you actually achieved in your part.]

    What control motor options are there for this mill?

    [If you get the mill "CNC-ready", then you can put whatever motors you want on them. But it will be a simpler job if you use NEMA 23 motors with 1/4" shafts.]

    Could the screws themselves be upgraded to a finer pitch, or is this not necessary?

    [The normal Taig screws are 20 threads per inch, which is about as fine as you'd ever want. The ball screws are coarser (5 pitch), but still have enough resolution for the tolerances you're talking about, and go faster. It sounds like you're in the UK, so you might want to ask Les Caine about the Peatol machines he carries. ]
    Andrew Werby
    Website

  2. #14
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Thank you Andrew.

    The fine detail work is typically not deep – usually radiator grills or door gaps, that sort of thing, so only the tip of the tool will usually be used. It's not often we go deeper than 0.5mm with a feature that can be anything from 0.3-0.1mm wide so tapered cutters would be absolutely fine.

    The most critical feature of the mill is that it is accurate, so the cavity features in the two halves of the mould line up.

    Cheers, Steve

  3. #15
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Quote Originally Posted by TinyWork View Post
    Thank you Andrew.

    The fine detail work is typically not deep – usually radiator grills or door gaps, that sort of thing, so only the tip of the tool will usually be used. It's not often we go deeper than 0.5mm with a feature that can be anything from 0.3-0.1mm wide so tapered cutters would be absolutely fine.

    The most critical feature of the mill is that it is accurate, so the cavity features in the two halves of the mould line up.

    Cheers, Steve
    For a Mill you should be looking at SkyFire, or something similar, there is a waiting time, you can also specify what you need, in your machine, Ground Ballscrews are a must, AC servos, and a high speed spindle if you need it

    Note the extra High Speed Spindle all ready mounted on the SVM-1L machine in the photos

    SKYFIRE CNC
    Mactec54

  4. #16
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Thanks Mactec, I've been looking into them. Which machine would you recommend as a minimum starting point? Although I am determined to bring production in-house, I don't want to spend too much at the start – I'd prefer to build up machine quality as my experience grows. I've got to learn quite a bit over the next few months so starting relatively simple is probably the best route.

  5. #17
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Just perusing the thread,
    No mention of the part sample to mold?
    This may determine much of the need you have .
    Can you provide a sample part file?
    From what is here you may need jewelry class of machines.
    I have done a few molds.
    if you need serious molding advice,
    Been doing this too long

  6. #18
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    I'm afraid I can't provide sample models or parts for confidentiality reasons. If you could imagine that we produce highly detailed scale models which are fully assembled by hand and range from approx 1:200 scale and 1:40 scale with approx 200-300 parts per model (of the larger scales).

    We are starting to bring production in-house starting with the smaller scale models. Features on those could be as small as 0.3mm and sometimes as small as 0.1mm in some areas.

    Thanks, Steve

  7. #19

    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Based on your criteria, I think you need to move out of the hobby class machines into something a bit more industrial. Maybe something like the Haas Compact Mill would do what you want. Not sure if it has enough work envelope for a mold base, but your parts are small so maybe would be fine. You are going to learn a lot about machining H13 tool steel.

    https://www.haascnc.com/machines/ver...act-mills.html

    The other issue will be the CAM software that you will need, 4 or 5 axis. MasterCAM or the full version of Fusion 360, or maybe whatever CAM that works with SolidWorks. I'm sure there are others that would work also.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  8. #20
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    Based on your criteria, I think you need to move out of the hobby class machines into something a bit more industrial. Maybe something like the Haas Compact Mill would do what you want. Not sure if it has enough work envelope for a mold base, but your parts are small so maybe would be fine. You are going to learn a lot about machining H13 tool steel.

    https://www.haascnc.com/machines/ver...act-mills.html

    The other issue will be the CAM software that you will need, 4 or 5 axis. MasterCAM or the full version of Fusion 360, or maybe whatever CAM that works with SolidWorks. I'm sure there are others that would work also.
    The SkyFire is not really a Hobby class machine, it's a big step above the norm for a Hobby machine, it will do anything the small Haas mills will do for a lot less cost, they are using aluminum for most of there mold work, if they had to use H13 it is a breeze to machine as well nothing difficult about H13 even in it hardened state
    Mactec54

  9. #21
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    I would seek a source from https://www.d2p.com/ their listings are professional contract shops
    Just wondering are the mold making cost$ getting extreme? schedule going way out?
    I call it "Mold Shock" you want what for that ??? see it all the time now.
    One experienced shop thought that mold shock meant spraying cold water on a hot mold.
    What exact part of the process is the problem? PM if you need cheap retired pro advice.
    I have hands-on made molds for dental brackets, small curved, detailed and precise.
    Gotta see parts or models!

  10. #22
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Thank for all your input, I have quite a bit of research to do. The SkyFire looks interesting and accommodates my budget pretty well. The CM1 is the cutest and most capable machine I've seen for a while! I've also been looking at MDA Precision, Makino N and Datron Neo, but all of those are big budget machines and will be the next step after the one I'm currently contemplating.

    The reasons I'm brining production in-house are several. Chinese production costs are only moving one way and currency forever fluctuates, UK production costs are very high, lead times are way too long and most contract machine or toolmaking companies are very reluctant to accept high precision work because they are not tooled up for it. Those that are have lead times from anywhere between 8-12 weeks. The final reason is that prototyping is simply not accurate enough for our work just yet, so owning our own toolroom we can prototype and produce on the same equipment. This will save a LOT of money and even more time.

    Thanks, Steve

  11. #23
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    By the way, feel free to message me at any time. Several already have and I appreciate the advice and pointers.
    Steve

  12. #24
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    Re: My name is Steve and I'm a manufacturer

    Hi Steve, nice to meet you.
    South Bend Heavy 10L, Burke #4, Van Norman #12, South Drill Bend Press
    A home machinist site you might like: www.Hobby-Machinist.com

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