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Remember CNC machining the prize? Answered


Wonder if anyone can help. 
I remember sometime in the last 3 years there was a competition where one of the prizes was a cash voucher for a machining service. Like Shapeways but for CNC machining. 

Just wondered if anyone remembers what the service was called?

I have been asked to re create a spinning wheel and thought it would be cool to use there services for a part which would be very difficult for me to make otherwise. 

Any help would be ace. :) 


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world of woodcraft
world of woodcraft

Reply 3 years ago

Top stuff. The instructales community is possably the most helpfull in the whole of the internet.


3 years ago

Can't answer that one but might be able to help anyway ;)

If I have metal parts that I can't do without a proper CNC then I ask around :)
Check your Yellow pages or industrial estate of choice for engeneering or tool making companies.
They should have the capability to perform any CNC task you might need.
To keep costs and hassles down prepare yourself:
Send them an Email or better still visit them in person and if they would be able and willing to do a single part for you.
Ask what type of software they use and in what format it would best to provide the file for the job.
In most cases Autocad can be used but some companies are using quite specific software - it is best to provide the files in a format they can use directly!
Up to here it should be free of cost for you.
Depending on how complex the job is the quoted price can literally explode.
This means it might be good for some jobs to only have the basic machining done and to do the rest yourself, like drilling holes, tappin threads and so on.
So again communication is everything, try to make it simple and don't waste the time of the person you speak to by being unprepared for their questions.
Ask what materials are available for you job, often small things can be done with otherwise useless off cuts and you might be able to get the material dirt cheap.
Soft materials like aluminium are often cheaper to produce, while hardened tool steel can be costly - don't go overboard here...
Last but not least is negotiating a good price.
For this I usually start by letting them know that I have some time so they can do the job when they are least busy.
If possible I also ask not to finnish the job in terms of de-burring, polishing and so on.

One of the best deals I had years ago was with a company that just took on several new apprentices.
The boss actually agreed that I only had provide well documented files and pay for the material.
The few things I needed done were used as training for the new guys.
Had to expain what I need, how I need it done, what tolerances and what files correspond to the different jobs.
Mind you the boss was watching and did not tell the poor kids that I am not a highly valued customer.
I have seen an apprentice that nervous ROFL