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  • Metal Cutting laser request

    Discussion in 'Manufacturers of mechanical parts' started by tmer1, May 16, 2015.

    1. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      Hi,

      I am trying to build a prototype of a 3d board game I designed. To make the structural skeleton I ordered a 2mm plywood laser cuttings. No problem. To complete the project I need to order thin 0.3-0.6mm metal pieces (must attract magnets) that act as tiles where the games pieces (magnets) travel on. You can see the shape of the tiles from the jpg below. (the ladder shape)

      My problem is that almost all Metal Cutting Service providers ignore my request:mad:, I assume because I am making a very small quantity order. Can someone here with knowledge please advise me how to make a request that they will likely respect ? or a compony that will cut such a small order?
      I am from Sydney and I have been emailing laser cutting services throughout Australia. I recently started adding to my emails the point that after testing I plan on marketing the product and ordering larger quantities (which is true!). Still I get ignored...

      [​IMG][/URL] upload photo[/IMG]

      [​IMG][/URL] screencast[/IMG]
       
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    3. CPPMable

      CPPMable Well-Known Member

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      Laser cutting shouldn't be a super high volume process in most cases. You need to tell the vendors this is a prototype and then give an EAU (estimate annual usage) something that would make sense for production. I would assume that eventually you would want to produce it if the game works out. So give them your best estimate it is only an estimate it could be wrong or completely flop that is ok. If you tell them you only want one they may not pursue it since it costs them money. You realize that the parts will be likely very expensive for a single prototype (vs production) but if you are willing to pay the price there should be no reason to get it done.

      Just provide them a EAU that gets them to look at your parts. You are not legal bound to buy anything but the prototype unless you have to sign a first production order. Also look for smaller shops that have laser cut services the big companies are not going to look at you if they can only make a couple hundred they want production high volume. There has to be some smaller companies that would look at it as well with opportunity for production volume.
       
    4. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      Thanks for reply. I will emphasise that I am looking for a real production order soon afterwards.
       
    5. K.I.S.S.

      K.I.S.S. Well-Known Member

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      Hi tmer1
      You could also try this - go to your local general engineering business and ask them to source the laser cutting for you - they'll probably have a relationship with a local laser cutter. Yes, you'll pay a premium, but it shouldn't be more than 30%, and might just be the quickest way for you.
      K.I.S.S.
       
    6. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      What is a local general engineering business?

      I sent another 8 emails, and 1 replied asking me if galvanised metal is suitable for my application.
      Can some one advise me if it is appropriate? or should I only ask for the stainless steel 400's series?
       
    7. K.I.S.S.

      K.I.S.S. Well-Known Member

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      I was referring to something such as a small local machining shop that does a bit of turning, welding etc.
      You should definitely stick with 400 series SS, as there are problems with galvanizing that will affect your application. The biggest problem is that if it is cold galvanized (either Zinc blue or Zinc yellow), it will tarnish quite badly, and very quickly, when in constant contact with sweaty hands. Hot dip galvanizing can lead to an uneven surface, particularly at corners and edges, and the process isn't really suited to a good cosmetic finish.
      K.I.S.S.
       
    8. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      Thanks K.I.S.S that is important information to know about the galvanising. I will stick to requests for SS 400's series.

      I will try think about a small local machining shop to contact as well.
       
    9. K.I.S.S.

      K.I.S.S. Well-Known Member

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      You're welcome, but it appears to me as though you're having way too many problems with laser cutters - I get small prototype orders laser cut every week from different companies, and all for their minimum charge, no fuss. Some of these get turned into production runs and some don't.
      What format did you send your information to the laser cutters in? Was it a DXF, or a CAD modeller format, or hand drawn sketches?
      This will greatly vary the amount of work that the laser programmer has to do, and it may be why you're being ignored.
      Also, if you contact a large laser cutting business (which I would suggest for your small order), call them first and ask to speak to one of the people who accept work (their title will vary from company to company) and let them know that you will email them a quote request - also, what format they would prefer it to be in.
      If you don't get a response from that person, call back and ask to speak to the manager. That's why I would suggest a larger company to you, as one man band companies have greater latitude in accepting/declining/ignoring work. In a large business, the programmer is paid to do his job, and all work equals money...
      K.I.S.S.
       
    10. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      I started sending an .Ai file then changed to .Dxf after everyone requests this.

      I would think the larger companies are much more inclined to ignore me as my request is a waste of their time..
      Recently I try write a first letter to ask for materials then only after they reply I provide my .dxf and quantities.
      I am waiting on a possible response now. Hope this one goes through finally.
       
    11. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

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      Ok, iv'e fixed my request to sound more professional and I am getting more replies.

      Something I need to find out now is what grade of stainless steel is most suitable.
      The 400's series is magnetic so is the obvious choice, but in the series there are many varieties.
      If I want the pieces to be painted on top with acrylic paint, which grades are suitable and not suitable?

      Please advise!
       

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