• Welcome to engineeringclicks.com
  • Small metal tiles, what manufacturing process is ideal

    Discussion in 'Manufacturing processes' started by tmer1, Mar 25, 2015.

    1. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

      Joined:
      Mar 2015
      Posts:
      22
      Likes Received:
      0
      Hi,

      I am constructing a small shape like a cube (~100mm^3) with bevelled edges.
      The shape must be covered in metal tiles like diagram.
      To produce shape (A) cuttings from sheet metal is obvious solution.
      What manufacturing process is most logical for shapes (B) and (C) ?

      [​IMG]
       
    2.  
    3. kevin136

      kevin136 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 2011
      Posts:
      90
      Likes Received:
      0
      Hi,
      Usually we decide a manufacturing process according to the application, shape, assembly and cost. Just from the pictures, I think there are many ways to make this cube. Would you please explain what does it use for?
       
    4. kevin136

      kevin136 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 2011
      Posts:
      90
      Likes Received:
      0
      and how many pcs are you going to manufacturing? quantity is another factor need to consider.
       
    5. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

      Joined:
      Mar 2015
      Posts:
      22
      Likes Received:
      0
      The Cube is a 3D board game, with metallic tiles, and small magnets for pieces that move on the surface tiles.
      The cube itself will be constructed from wooden slices 2mm thick. Laser Cuttings.

      The Tiles should be made of steel for its iron content.
      I only want to make one prototype because I must test the game to see if it is any fun and decide upon the rules.
      From what I gather it is really expensive to get the tiles made...
      I am not even sure what machining process should be used ? or 3D printing service ?

      For tile (A) I need 24 pieces
      for (B) I need 48
      and (C) 8

      Please advise me what is the cheapest method to create these tile ?
      I know that for tile (A) the logical and cheapest option would be to get cuttings of pressed Steel sheets, cost is about 150-200$USD
      (quite expensive I find..)
       
      Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
    6. kevin136

      kevin136 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 2011
      Posts:
      90
      Likes Received:
      0
      It's reasonable to make a plastic prototype you by silicone mold according to your not much budget. Or foam parts, which you can show and consider your concept.
      If using metal material, considering by machining. But it would be a little bit expensive.
       
    7. Erich

      Erich Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Feb 2012
      Posts:
      223
      Likes Received:
      2
      When designing in CAD I always make my parts at the nominal size. That means I figure out the desired clearances and model the parts with that clearance.

      For prototypes of your steel tiles I would find a company that has a water jet cutting machine.
      They can take a stack of steel sheets and cut out a bunch of parts in a short period of time.

      This is not the method to make the game in high volume but it will allow you to do your development.
       
    8. kevin136

      kevin136 Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Oct 2011
      Posts:
      90
      Likes Received:
      0
      Using stainless steel is expensive, so must be kind of steel.Rust protection is another thing you have to consider. Coating such as pTFE is tough.
       
    9. tmer1

      tmer1 Member

      Joined:
      Mar 2015
      Posts:
      22
      Likes Received:
      0
      Is there a place where I can buy prefabricated steel pieces (rectangles and squares) that are custom made or quite small ?
       
    10. maniacal_engineer

      maniacal_engineer Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      Jul 2009
      Posts:
      137
      Likes Received:
      0
      Most cities have a metal supply place or a scrap metal place. or a sheet metal shop could let you have some scraps.

      Looking at your tiles, the thing that is going to make these cost more is the beveling - if you can have straight cut edges then it gets much much easier to source, and also much cheaper. I agree with Erich that water jet is a good option for the prototype.

      I think that with the really strong magnets available now you will be surprised at how thin the steel can be and still give a good grip. Thinner pieces lessens the need for the beveled edges.
      Also, you might be able to come up with a clever way that the edge and vertex (triangular) pieces could be left attached to the strips so that they can just be bent.

      Unless there is some burning need to have the outside be smooth with no joints this could save you a lot of money. Each side could be a one piece plate with say four holes it it. the inner cube would be plastic, with pins that poke up through the holes in the plate and are heat staked to retain the plate.
       
    11. bin95

      bin95 Member

      Joined:
      Oct 2014
      Posts:
      10
      Likes Received:
      0
      I do not believe you would go through the process unless your market research showed it will be a popular game. Therefore you are looking at mass production. For cost effective quantity and quality, I would recommend parts B and C be cast iron and then plated. In the design of this process, you can develope your casting mixture based on the desired balance between magnetic appeal :) and weight. Plating decision would be the same. So for example, if magnet pieces have enough magnetic force, you use a partial iron casting miz to be lighter. If casting mixture provided plenty of magnetic properties for application, plating could be very thin, if not even plastic or paint. But the latter two casting cover materials may wear too quickly as it is a game. So cost allow, chrome plating. Machining of product for mass production in large consumer based would not be cost effective. The volume and production speed required would be too high.

      To lower product cost even further plastic molding with metallic plating would be it. but because you require a magnet to stick to it, I doubt that would work for your particular need. In your particular situation, "application" concerns have a high priority. Magnetic life, surface wear, large scale production, etc.
       

    Share This Page