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DIY Manufacturing / A Factory on your kitchen table

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This is a beginner level DIY toy manufacturing instructable to follow up my more complex Ice Scream Man Instructable

This is a project from my archives but i think it really shows good, simple process to make a significant amount of  a thing.
I was contracted to make a 500 piece batch of small plastic toys. The design was a simple extrusion of an existing company logo.
I ran through the possible processes to do it, the volume needed was too high to use just a 3-d printing solution and too small to justify the cost of traditional manufacturing.
 
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Step 1: Basic geometry

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I started by creating a 3-d file of the logo in solidworks and then printed some parts for size and scaling reference.

Once we had the scale decided i used a high res 3-d printer to print a test mold which was a simple negative cavity made from the original 3-d file. I used this just to prove the process and make sure the geometry of the part wouldn't cause any casting problems and to check that the final cast part would be durable enough.

Step 2: Making the master

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I used a small desktop Roland mdx-20 mill to cut a wax positive to cast a mold from. the file for this was just an assembly of multiple original parts laid out on a uniform ground plane. When the cut job was finished i moved the positive over to a small manual mill to clean up some edges.

You can use any method you are comfortable with to get to this point; cut, carve, print, sculpt, spit, whatever the important thing to remember for this project is it was going to be a simple 1 sided mold. All of my geometry needed to rise from a single ground plane.
Basically i wanted to make slightly complex ice-cubes.

i know a way of making cool plastic, if you take a shootload of packing peanuts and put them in acetone, they melt and the plastic stays at the top! you can pick it up (with gloves of course, acetone is terrible for your skin) and mould it into awesome shapes.
Wow!... really?
what kind of plastic? hard one? soft one? ... Acetone pure?... how much time to dry? how much shrink after?

Tks for sharing the idea...
theknight002 years ago
THAT IS SO COOL!
YOU SHOULD MAKE LIKE ARMY'S AND SELL THEM IN PACKS
TO MAKE SOME $$$$$ :D
AWESOME JOB!
your right! thanks for the idea.
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