Interest in CNC parts?



#13

Over the past few months I finally it the bullet and founded a business with an old friend. Among our first orders of business was designing and building a 2'x3'x6" (x,y,z) 3-axis CNC router. At the moment we're taking a lot of random business to keep the machine running more of the time. The machine itself has precision of 0.0005" and total runout of 0.0002", so machining just about anything to within ±0.001" is no problem. We primarily work with wood, plastic, and soft metals such as aluminum. One thought in particular that came to mind (for me) is replacement voyager faceplates from brushed aluminum. Soon a drag diamond engraving bit will be arriving that will be sufficient for engraving hard metals as well. I haven't explored all of the logistics but am considering making a really nice overlay for a WP34 featuring paint filled engraved labels, which could be very nice.

Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone around here know in case there's anything they've wanted but couldn't easily afford to have fabricated by CNC. If you have drawings in CAD (preferably SolidWorks) already, great. However, for the time being I'm not charging anyone if my time is needed to render a part. Batch orders would be fantastic as I have enough on my plate to worry about marketing beyond my core business... Which is actually manufacturing guitars, since I've been consulting all of the major US manufacturers for a bit more than a decade.

If you're interested or have an idea, feel free to send me an e-mail and we can discuss feasibility and cost. Prices will be very reasonable, and for many simple parts minimum orders will not be required. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment from this community, so it's more of a chance to show my appreciation than to get rich.

-Hugh


#14

Quote:
... One thought in particular that came to mind (for me) is replacement voyager faceplates from brushed aluminum. Soon a drag diamond engraving bit will be arriving that will be sufficient for engraving hard metals as well. I haven't explored all of the logistics but am considering making a really nice overlay for a WP34 featuring paint filled engraved labels, which could be very nice.


Great ideas! I'm very interested in both.

A couple of other ideas (apologies if these aren't appropriate for your machine):

- Battery hatch latches for the classic series (Delrin, maybe?)

- New case for the WP34 incorporating cut-outs to accommodate IR printing LED and USB connectors (plastic or aluminum)

- Replacement for the HP41 zebra connector (maybe too complicated)

Bob

#15

I would be interested in anything you do for the WP34S.

I was just thinking a WP34S case/pocket protector would be nice.

Do you do lathe work also?


#16

The most extreme idea for something like the WP34s would be removing the original silk screening from the keys followed by engraving and back-filling to make permanent labels. With all the labor involved I'm already afraid to think of the likely price point. We're just starting to toy around with vacuum forming at the shop, and I do have one possible and much easier idea in mind... I might do the crazy aforementioned process for myself and anyone who really wants theirs to look like it came from a factory. The though of pocket cases had not yet crossed my mind and I'm not sure if its something I would want to try or not. I have thought of making some really fancy display/carry cases. One idea along those lines is heavily geared towards the collector market: a case/shadow box with an engraved acrylic front panel listing perhaps the model and its serial along with original production dates. The interior would have foam cut out to hold the calculator along with manuals and possibly accessories and then covered with velvet. The outside could be covered with leather or a vinyl substitute such as "tolex" commonly seen on guitar cases. Kind of how I imagine the box for the 15c-le should have been done.

Lathe capabilities are not yet up and running. A mount needs to be built for the lathe and it will require its own home switches to align with the router gantry. It's actually easier than it probably sounds.


#17

I've always liked the Wooden case for the Tamaya NC-2. The box looks great, protects the calculator and really shows it off. Maybe something milled from plastic in the same vein? I'm also sure there would be a market for clamshell battery hatches if they are a possibility.

#18

I've successfully removed the printing from the keys of a 20b. Lots of patience and a dremel with fine sanding disc worked best. It was hard not to damage the look of the keys. Of course with computer control, it would be a lot easier to get a nice finish.

- Pauli

#19

The 34S is crying out for an etched overlay and replacement (etched) keys. CNC routing isn't ideal for the latter I suspect.


- Pauli


#20

I'm definitely inclined to take on the overlay first using engraving and there's nothing difficult about getting sufficiently small mill bits. I love the idea of seeing a polished looking overlay that will last for a very long time. To those of you who operate businesses that distribute parts of use with WP-34s: I have no intention to distribute these on my own and would much rather work out a distribution deal so we can crank out a batch every now and then but otherwise focus on other aspects of our own business.

The keys may not be as bad as you think. While it could be a little awkward, some basic fixtures should solve the problem and match the faceplate. I think it will look awesome.

Does anyone have technical drawings of the 20b that are good enough to be trusted for project? If not, I'll spend a few hours bonding with SolidWorks sometime soon.


#21

Hi,

Will it be possible to use a Sketch-Up model file to build a piece?

Cheers from Caribbean.

Diego.


#22

Not directly. I believe the professional edition of SketchUp has export functions, but from your rendering it looks like re-doing it in SolidWorks might be a 20 minute job for me. Send me an e-mail to let me know what you need and we can go from there.

Out of curiosity, is that a 41 expansion module housing? I hadn't even thought of doing that. With a large order I bet we sell those for as much as $10 each.

Same goes for replacement battery covers, but I need to at least borrow one to get all of the dimensions before a batch can be produced.

Edited: 11 Oct 2012, 1:00 p.m.

#23

Hugh can you use dxf files? I can provide them in full 3D if needed.


#24

Yeah, DXF is fine. I do most of my work in SolidWorks, which tends to import DXFs without incident.


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