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A Magic Mushroom [message #42323] Fri, 20 January 2012 13:57 UTC Go to next message
avatar lab02  is currently offline lab02
Messages: 7
Registered: October 2011
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This is my first post here, so hi everyone.

This is a personal project I've been working on for the past few months, and it is currently at a point where it is almost finished. It is a mushroom shaped container.
index.php?t=getfile&id=13629&private=0
This is a truly magical mushroom in the sense that it does close and locks automagically Smile It is printed in black and white detail and its fully functional. You must see the videos to appreciate the way it locks at: http://www.lab02.org/magic-mushroom-video-tests/

The cost of printing this is very high, so i have considered having it injection molded in ABS or PMMA, and it was designed with this in mind.
I would appreciate any feedback regarding the project. Also any suggestions about a company or factory that could mold this at a reasonable cost in small quantities, about 1000 pieces max. Cost is very important as i am personally paying for everything...

Dinos


Dinos
Re: A Magic Mushroom [message #42351 is a reply to message #42323 ] Fri, 20 January 2012 18:46 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar JamesSaunders  is currently offline JamesSaunders
Messages: 49
Registered: July 2008
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Injection molding typically only pays off when running large quantities (larger than 1000 units) because the cost of the molds is quite high. Unfortunately, a quantity of about 1000 units is kind of in no-man's land between the benefits of rapid prototyping (high unit cost but no tooling) and a good fit for injection molding (low unit cost but high initial investment in tooling).

My question is, why do you need 1000 made? The best part about printed parts is that they are made on-demand; you can print them as you sell them. Perhaps you need to keep a small stock (20 parts?) on the shelf to keep the lead times down, and then just replace your stock as sales are made.

Or are you shooting for 1000 just to bring down the unit cost? In that case, my guess is that you won't find a price break at that quantity for molded parts.
Re: A Magic Mushroom [message #42368 is a reply to message #42351 ] Fri, 20 January 2012 21:16 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar lab02  is currently offline lab02
Messages: 7
Registered: October 2011
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One of the reasons that i'm going for a 1000 is to bring to cost down.
The other is that i think this item is a bad candidate for 3D printing. Besides the printed parts, it requires 13 small magnets, an o-ring to make the seal watertight and some other smaller parts. It also needs assembling, but that is quite easy as the various bits lock together. Also the cost of printing it is very high even if i use WSF, which is not smooth enough for the locking mechanism and so it has to polished.

Based on a few quotes i got so far, i estimate the cost of injection molding vs 3D printing to be 1/10 at quantities greater than1000. As the quantity goes up, so do the savings but i think 1000 is pushing it even if it sells ok.

This is my first attempt at designing something to be produced via injection molding. I know the basics, but i have virtually no experience in this industry and this is why i'm asking for help and feedback here. I assume a lot of people using shapeways are industrial designers or work in a similar position and so they could point me to the right direction.


Dinos
Re: A Magic Mushroom [message #42374 is a reply to message #42368 ] Fri, 20 January 2012 21:49 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar JamesSaunders  is currently offline JamesSaunders
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I forgot to mention that you have a very cool looking locking mechanism, judging by the videos. Good luck!

It is hard to tell, but are there undercuts in your parts that would make injection molding difficult? I don't know of any good resources for small run IM, but maybe you can take a look at http://www.firstcut.com. They are fast and high quality (at least for the metal parts I've gotten from them in the past), and best of all, they do offer a price break for quantities. You could probably get the bulk of your parts machined in lots of 100 at a reasonable discount, and there is a wider selection of materials than Shapeways. And of course, no investment in the molds. The only problem I forsee is the rather large cavity in the "trunk" of the mushroom, you are machining away a lot of material. Worth a look though.

[Updated on: Fri, 20 January 2012 21:50 UTC]

Re: A Magic Mushroom [message #42418 is a reply to message #42374 ] Sat, 21 January 2012 10:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar lab02  is currently offline lab02
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Registered: October 2011
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Thanks.
Their http://www.protomold.com site looks more interesting than firstcut as they can perform injection molding. I'l upload a couple of parts and see how it goes.


Dinos
Re: A Magic Mushroom [message #42432 is a reply to message #42418 ] Sat, 21 January 2012 15:05 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar electrobloom  is currently offline electrobloom
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Registered: April 2009
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Hi,
Looks really cool, just a suggestion but have you considered Rotational Moulding as an alternative to injection moulding? I believe the tooling costs are less and the process is more accessible, you could build your own rotational moulder and use the 3D printing process to make the moulds. there are some high temperature resistant ceramic filled resins that could do the job. Bit of an experiment but could be fun!
Best of luck with it. Smile
Mark.


The Digital Gardener. Balancing technology and nature. Planting digital flowers. Manufactured by 3D printing. Customized by you.
Re: A Magic Mushroom [message #42440 is a reply to message #42432 ] Sat, 21 January 2012 16:02 UTC Go to previous message
avatar lab02  is currently offline lab02
Messages: 7
Registered: October 2011
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Junior Member
I've never heard of Rotational Moulding before, but it looks very interesting. The shape of the mushroom could be a good fit for the process. I'll definitely check it out and see where it leads me.


Dinos

 
   
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