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Custom parts and pieces

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A friend and I are considering building a large 3d printer and offering custom printing of models for about 10 cents an ounce out of high quality abs plasitc, this post is just to see if there is enough demad around here for custom printed faceplates, fans, brakets, casings or anything else we can print to justify the venture.
post #2 of 11
I'm sure there'd be some demand, but more specific examples of the kind of custom pieces you could make would be helpful. What could your service offer over existing services like custom laser cut acrylic brackets and grills or CNC aluminum grills and case feet?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
We are hoping to offer the 3d possibilities (and then some) of cnc aluminium at a much lower cost.
post #4 of 11
Yeah of course there will be demand, but all your business will work from word of mouth. You need to understand that, and you need to understand that to make WOM businesses work you need the best customer service, a good range, and good price.
Other factors involve quick delivery, and quick turnaround of reported problems, customer complaints etc. Otherwise your word of mouth business can turn into a word of fail business very quickly.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttk2 View Post
We are hoping to offer the 3d possibilities (and then some) of cnc aluminium at a much lower cost.
cnc router or cnc laser?
Cnc simply means "computer numerical control (CNC)" it can cover many many things, printing, drawing cutting. etc.
Edited by gcampton - 4/23/11 at 4:55am
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
By "possibilities of cnc aluminium" i was talking about the creation of complex 3d models out out of a block of aluminium, we propose to use plastic and a 3d printer to get the same results (A complex, user specified 3d model) at a lower cost, of course printing 2d objects is also possible with a 3d printer but the 3d objects made from customer submitted models are what we are going for.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttk2 View Post
By "possibilities of cnc aluminium" i was talking about the creation of complex 3d models out out of a block of aluminium, we propose to use plastic and a 3d printer to get the same results (A complex, user specified 3d model) at a lower cost, of course printing 2d objects is also possible with a 3d printer but the 3d objects made from customer submitted models are what we are going for.
Either your terminology is terribly lacking or I'm missing something here.
Last time I checked CnC Routers were not referred to as "printers" but w/e...

Good luck with it.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Probably the former, i do not know much about cnc milling except it can be used to shave down a block of metal into a specific shape or model, and that 3d printing is essentially doing to reverse by adding material to form a model of shape. Either way you end up with a real world object matching your computer model 3d printing is just cheaper.
post #9 of 11
There are a huge number of factors you will have to take into consideration.
Probably the most important is what CAM software you plan to use and what formats of CAD models it will open. MasterCAM is one of the most used programs in industry and will open models from most any professional CAD package (CATIA, Creo formerly Pro-E, Solidworks, Inventor, etc); but most people on here use Sketchup and I'm not sure if MasterCAM will import SU files, since most CAD packages can import files from other programs but typically not SU.
Other factors are what materials you'll be able to work with, the precision, and surface finish.


BTW, CNC operations for part manufacture typically fall into 2 categories, rapid prototyping and CNC machining (milling or turning).
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RAD GT
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K MSI P67A-GD65 eVga GeForce GTX 480 Hydro Copper G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1066 4x4Gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x 500Gb SATA | 750Gb SATA | 1Tb SATA LG SATA DVD-RW DangerDen Water Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
MonitorMonitorPower
AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS SilverStone Strider ST850 
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post #10 of 11
Sketchup does have a plugin which can convert .skp files to cad format. So that's not a major problem. Not that I have looked into it, but that may also require the purchase of sketchup. Pretty cheap anyway... about $170. Considering most CAD software you will need is in the range of $4000-6000 if you looking to do some serious work. If your just doing it as a hobbyist then you can always go the Linux route. Which everything is free... however then you will still need to convert skp and cad files for customers somehow.
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