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Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52189] Wed, 01 August 2012 09:35 UTC Go to next message
avatar axcreations  is currently offline axcreations
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Registered: January 2012
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I am a complete newbie, so forgive me if the answer is obvious.

Basically I'm looking for help in pointing me in the right direction of how to get a prototype I produced on Shapeways mass produced.

I'm looking for a similar type plastic as Shapeways "White Strong & Flexible Polished", but in quantities of 500+ (possibly 1k or more). The prototype cost about $15 to produce, but I'm hoping to get them done somewhere for less then a dollar if possible.

I'm guessing I would have to have a mold created for this. Are there companies that can create a mold, as well as manufacture bulk quantities from the same 3D modeling files I used on Shapeways to get the prototypes made? (I hired an artist to create the files for me). Or would I need to ship the Shapeway prototype to them to use to make one?

I'm guessing China or somewhere else overseas would be the cheapest route, but being I'm new to the process I'm thinking an American production company might be easier to deal with?

I'm not even sure on what terminology to use or how to explain to them exactly what I need, so any help that you guys can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help! Again, I'm really ignorant when it comes to all this. LOL Smile



Re: Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52191 is a reply to message #52189 ] Wed, 01 August 2012 12:55 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar denali3ddesign  is currently offline denali3ddesign
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It depends on the shape and properties you need in a part, but you may want to look at injection molding. There are lots of companies that will give you a quote (just use Google), but here's one that I know will give you a detailed quote: http://www.protomold.co.uk/ They'll walk you thru the process online so its pretty painless.

Here's another one in the states: http://www.vistatek.com/file_upload_rt.html

Most all companies will need a STEP, IGES or similar file - STL won't work. If your original file was made with Solidworks or other NURBS-based cad package, you can export in one of those formats to get a quote.

Be prepared for a quote ~$10K. Its not cheap to make a mold!


-Marcus
Re: Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52198 is a reply to message #52191 ] Wed, 01 August 2012 13:19 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar BillBedford  is currently offline BillBedford
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For 500 items it may be more cost effective to go for vacuum cast resin rather than injection moulding.


Bill Bedford
Re: Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52230 is a reply to message #52191 ] Thu, 02 August 2012 10:32 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar axcreations  is currently offline axcreations
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Marcus,

Thanks for the info! I knew there would be significant costs in the getting this done, but 10K for a mold is quite a bit more then I was hoping to spend. Sad

I'm sure I can look this up, but off hand do you know if Shapeways or any other print on demand place offers significant discounts for 500, 1K, 1K+, etc. pieces? It's a niche product, so I'm hoping to keep the costs down if possible...

Thanks again for your response - I appreciate it.


Re: Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52231 is a reply to message #52198 ] Thu, 02 August 2012 10:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar axcreations  is currently offline axcreations
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Bill,

Thanks for the response about vacuum cast resin - I'll definitely take a look into that route. Smile
Re: Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52234 is a reply to message #52230 ] Thu, 02 August 2012 12:05 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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axcreations wrote on Thu, 02 August 2012 10:32

.. if Shapeways offers significant discounts for 500, 1K, 1K+, etc. pieces?


At this time, 3d printing can't compete on price with large scale injection molding processes - operating the 3d printers costs significantly more per part, and there's no way to discount that.

Outside of the minimal setup fee, Shapeways model for pricing is purely a function of the volume of material consumed. This covers both the cost of the material, and the time (electricity) to operate the machine.

Yes, there are other processes (such as injection molding) that may use the same plastics, but they can't produce models such as this one http://shpws.me/3VfA without splitting the model into multiple parts, adding to the design costs of the molds and then requiring assembly time for the finished part.

At Shapeways, if an item uses $15 of material, that's the price you pay, for 1 or for 1000.


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52239 is a reply to message #52230 ] Thu, 02 August 2012 15:55 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar denali3ddesign  is currently offline denali3ddesign
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axcreations wrote on Thu, 02 August 2012 10:32

Marcus,

Thanks for the info! I knew there would be significant costs in the getting this done, but 10K for a mold is quite a bit more then I was hoping to spend. Sad

I'm sure I can look this up, but off hand do you know if Shapeways or any other print on demand place offers significant discounts for 500, 1K, 1K+, etc. pieces? It's a niche product, so I'm hoping to keep the costs down if possible...

Thanks again for your response - I appreciate it.




i.materialise offers discounts on quantity orders


-Marcus
Re: Need help with next step for mass producing an item... [message #52241 is a reply to message #52230 ] Thu, 02 August 2012 16:02 UTC Go to previous message
avatar BillBedford  is currently offline BillBedford
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A some bureaus who run Projet machines charge based on the height of the build, so if you can get 10 pieces into the build area they will charge you slightly more that the cost for 1. However I'm not sure that the overall cost will be much different to Shapeway's prices.


Bill Bedford

 
   
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