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    Discussion in 'Manufacturers of mechanical parts' started by tmer1, Jun 28, 2015.

    1. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      [​IMG]

      Hi all,

      I am in the process of designing a board game that I invented on a 3D surface (Bevelled Cube). The structural skeleton is made from plywood and slotting into this there are thin metallic tiles. Onto the magnetic pieces move. My plan is to raise money through a Kickstarter campaign for 100-200 Sets, I am pretty optimistic about it things are going well:). However:

      One problem that has crept up is the high cost of laser cutting. I feel like the quotes I get from Metal laser cutters are too high. Bellow is diagram of the pieces I need to create A single game (48,24, 8). Most metal cutters ignored my request, I think this is because I asked for a prototype set of pieces and I did not sound professional. One MetalCutter was nice enough to cut me a Proto Set of pieces however his quote for 100 Sets sounds too expensive to me.

      So finally getting to the point: I was wondering if someone can please estimate the cost for the Base Quantity x 100. Keeping in mind I am using an extremely thin and abundent metal sheet (0.55mm) so the laser can work extremely fast, especially for the rectangle and triangle which can be cut from a Grid and Triangular tessellation's. The ladder will be slower.

      If you have dealt with laser cutting before, Please give me an educated estimate!
      or explain to me how to estimate this myself?

      ShapeDimensions (mm)Multiplier for 100 SetsArea of Material (M^2)Cost
      Ladder74 x 1624002.84
      Rectangle16 x 1748001.3
      E-Triangle17 x 88000.1
      [​IMG]
       
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    3. PWASS

      PWASS Well-Known Member

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      Hi

      Does the frame have to be non magnetic?

      It might be more cost effective to have it manufactured in one piece of steel, laser marked and folded.
       
    4. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      Please some one reply... ? ?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_cutting

      According to this page A standard industry laser can cut at 42 cm/second a steel material 0.5mm thick. I ran a simple calculation and that means that to cut 4900 copies of my rectangular tile will take only 7 minutes. Why are they quoting me in Thousands of $AUD ?!

      :(...
       
    5. Mr White

      Mr White New Member

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      Could it be that they are not just charging you for time but materials, labour and utilities. This I believe is common practice. What you should do is try start a bidding war between which ever companies you looking at to get your product made. Remember no matter how much you tell them I calculated it and it should cost x y z. They have the machines you have no leverage.
       
    6. ChrisW

      ChrisW Well-Known Member

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      Most laser cutters work on a large scale and the price suggests they don't want the work! This firm started out offering small scale precision laser cutting: http://www.microkerf.co.uk/. Finding someone who has an appropriate laser is the key, a 5kW machine will cut at high speed but may have a 6m x 3m bed with auto loading, impossible to find all the tiny parts after cutting!

      Peter's suggestion is very sound, form it in one piece and it will save you having to assemble all those individual parts, the laser profilers will be far more interested in 100 single parts.
       
    7. Ryudswift

      Ryudswift New Member

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      Hi tmer1,

      I used to work on a waterjet machine back in the day when it was still new. My guess about pricing would be to charge you per part.

      Truth is when it comes to stacking, on the waterjet: only if its a foam type rubber substance and cutting with water only. Unless we cut shim material that was 0.05mm thickness. even then, we risked messing up the material. Never stack anything else or you could cause some damage to the material and damage to the machine.

      I have seen a laser in action and my guess is that the price for stacking would be risky. Laser melts the material, almost like plasma but at a much more concentrated level. I don't suppose you could imagine what would happen to stacked sheets of metal?
      So stacking is not an option and rules that idea out at the cutters.
      So it's individual parts that's actually taking up time, cutting time to be exact and eventually TIME = MONEY on these types of machines.

      To be fair and safe, they should have told you the process, if you inquired why so much and why, they should at least explain.

      My explanation for the pricing back then was, the waterjet machine runs at a cost of, say $100 per meter of cutting of say 20mm of SS304 (stainless). but the cost would dramatically change if it were to be 20mm MS (Mildsteel). the running cutting length and density plays a factor. Not to mention there is a setup cost involved as well. As for laser cutting, the prices won't change unless they find a better process or you find a different way to manufacture it.

      I have a few questions for you on a business side:
      1. For who is this game intended? (i could get specific here, but generalizing should be fine)
      2. Who will pay for the product? (Sounds similar to the above question, but if it's for children, then i suppose their parents pay)
      3. Have you validated your idea? (as in, people actually wanting this now, wanting to pay immediately)
      4. Have you Considered alternative's to manufacturing?

      I hope I haven't discouraged you in the questions and also I think it's a great idea, but I I'm still unsure how it works.

      Hope I could answer you questions.
      I might have popped out of nowhere but my expertise is pretty wide, not just in an engineering manufacturing stand-point.
       
    8. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      Hi Ryudswift,

      I don't think the laser cutting services I contacted use water jet, they are CO_2 ? I also don't think they stack like you said. But the pieces can be arranged into a grid to have long length cuts (at least for rectangle). The material is only 0.55mm thin so the laser would work at a very fast speed. I am not sure if I will go ahead with this project now, but here are a few small answers for you:

      1. this game is intended for a chess audience
      2. I would like to make a kickstarter campaign
      3. I have played the game with my brother
      4. what sort of alternatives do you mean ?
       
    9. becb

      becb New Member

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      I suggest talking directly with the metal cutter and ask him what makes up the costs and what you could change to make it cheaper. Then listening and incorporating those ideas.

      It may be that his set up cost for his machine is a lot, maybe he has to set it up multiple times, maybe he is removing waste by hand, could be anything. Cost is almost never about machine time, it's skilled people creating the cutting files, it's scrap and handling of small parts if they usually handle big stuff, it's post processing, packaging, measuring, holding stock of a particular material, stopping good paying production jobs to do a small job, all sorts of things.

      Also what post processing are you requesting to ensure the edges are not sharp and cut people? you have very sharp edges shown. Maybe he's adding a process on to remove burrs... 0.55mm sheet is very thin to do any sort of post processing on. Maybe if you went to a thicker gauge it would be easier to handle. Are you asking for them to be "as cut" finish, or highly polished? He may be electropolishing them which would remove sharp edges, give them a nice finish but is expensive.
      What do you think is expensive... you mention thousands of AUD$. for 8000 parts... what is your budget? What material?
       

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