Looking for aluminium CNC machining service

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Bogeyman

New Member
Hello guys,

I was wondering if anyone here could suggest me a service for aluminium cnc machining not too much expensive.

I would like to make a replica of the Batman beyond batarang, I already made the 3D model but I don't know where to find a CNC machining service, can you help me? I'm living in Cambridge (UK), but I accept all the suggestions.

Thank you very much guys
 

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replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I bet it would be cheaper to 3d print it in stainless steel than hire a CNC shop. And that is coming from a guy who owns a CNC shop.
Try uploading your 3d model to shapeways and see what stainless steel cost.
 

nomuse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm also willing to bet it would be cheaper to print in stainless (shipping remains an issue) but I have access to a Tormach PCNC and am interested in any projects that justify the fees I'm paying for that! Give me the dimensions and I can ballpark it...I wouldn't give a firm quote until i'd had a chance to inspect the model.
 

Bogeyman

New Member
Thanks replicaprops, I'll try with shape ways to have an idea of the cost... but I was wondering if it would be heavier printed in that way (I didn't know you could 3D print stainless steel)... thank you for the tip :)

nomuse just out of curiosity I can send you the model in PM and then see what would be a quotation, but I think the problem could also be the shipping... by the way the batarang from batman beyond is circular/like and it stays in a circle with 20cm diameter
 

ARKM

Sr Member
Just an F.Y.I., 3D printed metal is not the same thing as regular metal. 3D printed metal won't quite look, weigh or have anywhere near the same strength as it's regular metal counterpart.
 

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replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just an F.Y.I., 3D printed metal is not the same thing as regular metal. 3D printed metal won't quite look, weigh or have anywhere near the same strength as it's regular metal counterpart.
The stainless steel from shapeways is not resin based. I have printed many stainless steel items and they are metal all the way through. I have even had to use carbide bits on my lathe to machine them. They are solid metal.
 

ARKM

Sr Member
The stainless steel from shapeways is not resin based. I have printed many stainless steel items and they are metal all the way through. I have even had to use carbide bits on my lathe to machine them. They are solid metal.
Nice but you saying that those part you have were still 3D printed? I'm thinking they were machined or cast if they're that strong. I've Googled 3D printing of metals and have found nothing concrete to suggest that they are as strong as regular metal.
 

ARKM

Sr Member
Oops. I edited my post just before you posted. I have checked their site. I still stand by my original statement.
 

replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oops. I edited my post just before you posted. I have checked their site. I still stand by my original statement.
Well, I am here to tell you they are, and I have first hand experience with their stainless steel products.
 

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ARKM

Sr Member
... and I still say they're weaker than they're regular counterparts, even if they are hard to machine and look like regular steel when cut into.

http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-if-any-between-a-machined-stainless-steel-part-and-the-same-part-3D-printed

Look, I'm not knocking 3D printed metal. I'm just stating that it is weaker, and is also probably not 100% identical in finish or weight to it's regular metal counterpart. That's all. My statements are not meant to imply that 3D printed metal will not be suitable for your or the OP's purposes. It's just an FYI, that's it.
 
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replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
... and I still say they're weaker than they're regular counterparts, even if they are hard to machine and look like regular steel when cut into.

http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-if-any-between-a-machined-stainless-steel-part-and-the-same-part-3D-printed

Look, I'm not knocking 3D printed metal. I'm just stating that it is weaker, and is also probably not 100% identical in finish or weight to it's regular metal counterpart. That's all. My statements are not meant to imply that 3D printed metal will not be suitable for your or the OP's purposes. It's just an FYI, that's it.
On that I totally agree. The disagreement was on the resin base you had previously mentioned.
 

Bogeyman

New Member
guys I have uploaded on shapeways my model and it's almost $400 for 1 piece without shipping :O ... so I think is not so far from a CNC machining job...
ARKM I was actually wondering the same... how they could manage to "print" stainless steel...considering that it has a high T melting point, it should be around 1600 °C if I remember correctly, or near that... so I don't think they use a conventional 3D printing system, or it could be a different alloy that contains something to low the melting point...
replicaprops could you make a quotation of my model if I sent you the file? to have an idea about what could be the cost with a CNC service more or less, let me know... thank you :)
 
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replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
guys I have uploaded on shapeways my model and it's almost $400 for 1 piece without shipping :O ... so I think is not so far from a CNC machining job...
@ARKM I was actually wondering the same... how they could manage to "print" stainless steel...considering that it has a high T melting point, it should be around 1600 °C if I remember correctly, or near that... so I don't think they use a conventional 3D printing system, or it could be a different alloy that contains something to low the melting point...
@replicaprops could you make a quotation of my model if I sent you the file? to have an idea about what could be the cost with a CNC service more or less, let me know... thank you :)
How wide and thick is it? post a render of what it looks like

As far as how shapeways does it, here is the video
 
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Bogeyman

New Member
thanks gregday :) I'll have a look to their website ;)


by the way mystery of the stainless steel from shapeways partially solved I think :p in their specification they say that the final composition is approximatel 60% steel and 40% bronze (reason why the melting point is lower than pure stainless steel) and it is heat resistant up to 831 °C... so the melting point I think is around there...


anyway I don't to say that is a bad or a good material, no judgement in my info, it was just for having a better understanding of the material :) and by the way there is a point still unknown... an extruder that can arrive to such a high T??? so I wonder what they have to print it :)
 

Bogeyman

New Member
how stupid I am... :facepalm ... in my mind I was stucked with the FDM printers :D ... of course you can use the powder, but still they have to make an alloy with something with a lower melting point to low also the steel mp...

Thanks replicaprops :)
 

nomuse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My experience with the Shapeways stainless is it is roughly comparable in strength to mild steel, with the important caveat that the microstructure is absolutely nothing like mild steel. I didn't have any problems with crack formation, at least. Bore up under a load that would be pushing it for aluminium of similar cross-section. However it, like all prints, has texture to it. In the case of the steel it is more like a sandstone grain, difficult to get rid of completely. The process leaves behind a sort of smootz which seems to get in the way of achieving a shiny surface without really getting down into it with the grinder and so on.

20 cm is a pretty big chunk of metal. Won't fit in the cheaper of the fixed-price postal service boxes. Cutting that profile on CNC isn't too onerous, but contouring something that size would take a lot of machine time for me. I'd still be happy to look at the model...PM me if you want.
 

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