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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Statstastic View Post
    Hey MrJazz, did you get the mini mould test sample file I sent you, the one with just the 3 figures on? What would you want from me to machine that beauty?
    Hi S,

    Yes got it and thats relatively easy just will be time consuming due to requireing some very small cutters using tiny stepover amounts.!! The tiny cutters also increase the chance of tool snappage to scarey levels. .

    The multi figure plate is the real challenge to cut and keep detail and will take a massive amount of time and again due to tool breakage potential not something I'd like to do for the laugh.?? . . Can you imagine being 18hours into 20hour job then the toolsnaps and wrecks the mould. . Arghhhhhh don't come near and the air would turn blue in London even thou I'm in yorkshire.!!

  2. #22
    3D printing being a wide field ;-) If its very high detail would have though SLS or DMLS would offer the resolution possibly requiring intermediate steps to make a working mould, sure can get SLS baked to short run injection mould level.

    Milling into wax or foam and then investment casting from there.

    Spark erosion into hard steel for longer run moulds.

    No way of getting round that it is a lot of hours on very expensive machines, once you have the moulds, small as they are ,raw material is going to be pence per shot.

    Is this one of these artistic ambitions meeting the cold light of day moments though.

    "If you only knew what it was for you'd bite my hand off at the chance to become a partner!"

    Hay tomorrow, always tomorrow....

    If its a sure fire winner, producing moulds goes from expensive to scary expensive , producing parts is cheap, someone will bite your hand off to put the money up to have the moulds die sunk, which would then give you a realistic budget to work from.

  3. #23
    Musht, thanks for the info, I agree with everything you've said. Unfortunately the problem isn't the process, but the file format.

    I've got a mould housing and IM company ready to go, the only thing I don't have are the inserts. There are loads of engraving companies from Hounslow to Hong Kong who can engrave the long as they are in IGES/solid format. I've also found investment casting companies who are happy to do a quote, all I have to do is....send them an IGES file :-) Same goes for spark erosion, etc. You can convert mesh files (stl, obj, etc) to solid in a number of packages, but only if they are less than 20,000 faces. Unfortuntely mine are bigger than this limit and I can't find anything that will do it - would love to be told otherwise!
    I'm intrigued by your suggestion to bake an sls. Is that something you can do with SLA as well? I'd need the resolution of SLA as SLS is too grainy for me.

    As you say, there is the option of a multi stage approach involving SLA then casting them, but that may be out of my reach. I thought it would be worth exploring the possibility that someone with their own set up might be set up for stls, so here I am ;-)

  4. #24
    Hey Jazz,
    I completely respect what your saying about the risks involved and I wouldn't want to be responsible for you uttering profanities. In terms of snappage I've got 3 x 0.3mm ball nose cutters and 2 x 1mm end mills going spare which I bought when I thought I could do it myself. Let me know if you'd like any.

  5. Hi S,

    what do you consider reasonable cutting times? As I would have to do it in sections per piece. Unfortunately my spindle is only a Kress 1050 FME and it does not like running for over 10 hours at a time. Time wise I sent you in an e-mail and 30+ hrs of cutting can get rather hair raising if things even get a chance to go wrong. I know that I would turn the air blue in Glasgow if something like that happened and I live in Edinburgh. While the moulds look very doable they need so very specialized cutting ability. I am looking for the firm I mentioned in e-mail and hope to find them so you can get the file ported to IGES.


  6. #26
    You might like to take a look at this program for converting STL to IGES


  7. #27
    Hi Mr Marino,
    Thanks for taking the time to look at the numbers, that's a lot of hours! I'm happy to have a relatively large stepover - and accept the loss of finish - if it makes the machining time doable. Jonathan - who is also looking at the file - has very kindly offered to do a small test piece based on a 0.1mm stepover to see what it looks like. I can't wait to see it!
    The French company sounds promising, do let me know if you find their details. In the meantime I'll have a look at the weekend at the program Phil suggests (thank you Phil!) and will post any news...

    take stl files., will produce metal prints which should be suitable for your processing.

    I think you can upload an stl file for an online quote.

    I'm late to this and read the thread but may have missed the point. If so apologies!

  9. #29
    The program I use suggested under 10 hours cutting time, but I tend to treat it's estimates with a pinch of salt. Most programs do not ask for an acceleration value when calculating the machining time, so either they ignore acceleration or use a typical value. For detailed 3D work like this the acceleration will make a huge difference to the feedrate, in addition to chances of the tool breaking.

    I'll probably try various stepovers and see what it looks like. I'm not too bothered about the cutting time as it's not like I have to stand and watch it, but if it fits in a day that would be nice.

    (2000th post, yikes!)
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  10. #30
    Happy 2000 Jonathan
    The more I know, I know, I know the less. (John Owen)

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