Cost of Having Parts Machined

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Nerd Corner

New Member
Hey everyone,

I have been collecting for a few years, but I'm VERY new to building pieces myself.

I very much want a sturdy/realistic Poke'ball, but can't find one anywhere. So I decided to have one made machined, and paint it myself.

I have never ordered machined parts. Does anyone have any idea how much it would cost to have a solid, closed Poke'ball machined from aluminum?

Lets assume a 3" diameter. (it will just be on display in my collection so there is no need at all for it to open)

Thanks!
 

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Abelugo

Sr Member
You have to make or find a drawing of exactly what you want including and small parts that make it work. Maybe find a toy version you like. Take to a machinist or pattern shop or model shop. Maching a sphere out of a solid piece of aluminum will be pricey. Your best be is to find a steel or aluminum sphere and start from there.
 

laellee

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
EXPENSIVE :)

I modeled up one for the girlfriend a couple of years ago, originally one with a hidden spring to open, but I also looked into cnc milling of solid pieces. I want to say it was $500. I think a huge part of this was setup; I only had them price me out for one.
 

asalaw

Sr Member
Yeah, most of the cost of having something machined is in the setup, especially if you're talking CNC, since there's also G-code to be generated for the machine to follow. CNC is great for either precise repeatability of many units, or precise creation of forms that would not be feasible with traditional methods, neither of which describes your project.

Fore just a sphere, I'd go with Rick H's suggestion -- find one and safe yourself a small fortune and God knows how much aggravation. :)
 

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Nerd Corner

New Member
Thanks for the advice everyone! The reason I want it machined is because I have nothing resembling a machine shop that would allow me to manipulate metal. As to the hollow sphere purchase, that would be fine, but affixing a button and creating the equatorial groove are outside of my skill level.

I have a friendly competition with my brother in law regarding our respective collections. And I don't trust my ability to produce a piece of sufficient quality/Accuracy. But beginning with a solid machined piece leaves only painting. Which can be done and redone easily.

As to the rendering, I have an engineer friend that is creating a 3d model based on the dimensions I provided)
 

replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If you are making a 3d model. Make it a thin shell then 3d print it in stainless steel on shapeways. It will be expensive, but not as expensive as hiring a machine shop to do it.
 

GreenCircleCube

Active Member
I've been trying to replicate a pokeball, but functioning though, as my first professional prop making replica. I plan on doing this through modeling it out of a foam sphere then making a mold and metal casting it with aluminum, then I'm going to situate how I'm gonna put in the hardware to actually make it functional. Here are some dimensions I found online (a 2.5" diameter):

PokeBall Build Dimensions.png

And calculating out the other specific measurements through a high-res picture I found online. But I'm sure the machinists will figure that out with you :)
 

Nerd Corner

New Member
Metal because I would like for it to have some heft when held.

Here are the dimensions I came up with. I wanted it a bit bigger than you mentioned greencircle because I think 2.5" would feel small in hand.

Also I may reduce the whole design to 2.8-9" so it will fit well in a baseball display case.

Visual Components
-Sphere with and indented groove about the equator
(as opposed to 2 hemispheres with a cylinder between)
-Black button area is a flat circular face
-White Button is 2 cylinders

Dimensions
Vertical Diameter = 3”
Equatorial Groove = 1/8” Deep (2 ¾” Diameter), ¼” Wide?
Button Area Face = 1/8” Deep, 1” Diameter?
Button Cylinder 1 = 3/16” Height, 5/8” Diameter
Button Cylinder 2 = 3/16” Height, 3/8” Diameter
 

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GreenCircleCube

Active Member
Okay, but if you want some heft, some resins can do the job. This would introduce you to modeling a foam sphere to a pokeball (which isn't that hard to be quite honest because a pokeball has a reasonably simple shape) and make a mold out of it and just cast it, a very valuable skill to learn especially if you are collecting replicas/props like yourself so it will be helpful in the long run. It may sound intimidating but a pokeball is a good shape to start with. Just try not to do metal casting as to which I am doing because molten metal is scary stuff.

But if you still want to do metal for perhaps the feel, that can work to. Although I wouldn't advise a solid metal sphere but a hollow sphere. But a a hollow sphere isn't weighted that much (depending on the width of the metal) so filling it up with something like sand will work.
 

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