It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Where would i go to make a plastic prototype?

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:
CX

posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 05:44 AM
link   
Hi all,

I thought i'd ask this here as there are a lot of knowledgable people who work in business and product design.

Say i make an object, a small structure so to speak, and i make it out of several pieces of wood just for the initial mock up design.

Then i want to get this product produced to sell. However i want the product to be moulded from one solid piece of plastic, where would i go to get this done?

I'm thinking of a plastics firm, one that looks at your design, makes a mould from your wood copy, then makes the plastic solid product? As i say though, i have no idea about product design or manufacturers, so i just wondered if there wa a specific place i should be approaching?

Thank you in advance for any advice on this.


CX.




posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:25 AM
link   
It gets expensive


You can make cheap, proof-of-concept designs for a few hundred squid by using 3D printing, Stereolithography (SLA) or Selected Laser Sintering (SLS).

The expensive part is getting the CAD files designed but you can use your bit of wood and have it laser scanned to produce the files.

I have had SLS' done and they turned out to be white powered pieces of crap. SLS is only good to check a design for form and function, ie aesthetics.

I had an SLA done and the end result is much more robust and you can sand it down using glass paper and spray paint it with a primer and any colour thereafter.

Once the design is good to go, then you need to get an aluminium cast made so it can be put in an injection moulding machine. The huge cost for this is getting the cast lathed by a CNC'er and can be $20k-ish. This will enable you to make tens of thousands of plastic pieces, without the tolerance being affected as the cast wears down.

Let me know if you want any further help, as i'm going through the same thing in the UK.

[edit on 19-6-2009 by PrisonerOfSociety]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:38 AM
link   
Here is a link from a local company here that can do anything you want them to.
They are just a few blocks from me so if you need any leg work done i will be happy to help.

www.canusplastics.com...

Good luck.

Oops...didn't see you were from the UK.

[edit on 19-6-2009 by DrumsRfun]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:40 AM
link   
Forgot to mention CX, but you may be able to get all this done for free through universities under the DeMinimus programme.

Where in the UK are you?



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:46 AM
link   

Originally posted by PrisonerOfSociety
It gets expensive


snip

I have had SLS' done and they turned out to be white powered pieces of crap. SLS is only good to check a design for form and function, ie aesthetics.

I had an SLA done and the end result is much more robust and you can sand it down using glass paper and spray paint it with a primer and any colour thereafter.

snip

[edit on 19-6-2009 by PrisonerOfSociety]


that's funny because I've been dealing with rapid prototyping for years and I have the opposite opinion; SLA (from a few years ago at least) tended to be brittle and unusable in a working prototype, where as SLS is much more robust and has almost the same material properties as the base resin (nylon). In fact, I operate an SLS Machine "in house" on a regular basis, so if CX were to be able to get a CAD model of his part, and it fits in my machine, I could probably sneak it into a regular build and get him his plastic prototype simply for the cost of shipping it from my location to his.

If it's a simple enough part, i.e. a "straight pull" part, a lower cost Chinese tool/molding shop could make a soft tool for as little as a couple grand, US$. In fact, I have a place we use for prototype "soft tools" (tools made out of softer, easily machineable metals as opposed to hardened steels) that I could turn you on to should you get that far, CX.

Good luck with your endeavor, it's fun getting stuff prototyped and tooled!! A little spendy for an individual, but like i said, if your part is simple and small enough, there's reasonable cost options for getting what you're after.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 06:57 AM
link   
reply to post by tjack
 


I'm pretty sure it was the SLS's that were rubbish (a horrible grainy white powder). They were done by uni's and one turned out so bad, it broke up when you touched it. I think they didn't know how to set-up their new machine properly. They even recommended i paint it with layers of glue to strengthen the structure


SLA's are made in a wax block and you get a much tougher resin that's semi-transparent, like pics on this page. I found these much, much better and i had four lots of small prototypes made for about £150, as a favour from a rapid prototyping company in Brum.

Can you u2u me some details please tjack, about pricing & CAD design rates. Thanks.


CX

posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 07:03 AM
link   
Thanks for the great advice everyone, much appreciated.


I'll have to look into it a little more....didn't realise it was that expensive lol.

CX.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 07:06 AM
link   
reply to post by CX
 


You could always just use your block of wood and get some vacuum casting done.

This is where they put a sheet of plastic over the wood and close the lid of the machine and it heats the plastic up and it takes the same form of the wood. You just need to make sure the wood is tapered so the plastic easily lifts off.

Vacuum casting is very cheap and could be done for a few squid or even for free, if you ask a local company nicely



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 07:12 AM
link   
reply to post by PrisonerOfSociety
 



Proper machine set up is definitely essential for sls parts to turn out good. I think you're right, they didn't have the machine settings figured out.

Just to reiterate the strength of properly built sls models, we routinely run fans and impellers made in our sls machine up to speeds into the thousands of rpms, with no special treatments to increase their strength.

Also, there are different SLS materials, some with glass reinforcement that will yield REALLY strong parts.




top topics



 
2

log in

join