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Author: Subject: plasma laser or water jet
Simon

posted on 21/12/21 at 08:37 PM Reply With Quote
plasma laser or water jet

Folks,

Got bought out at work in September so been doing sod all since but at some point will need to find some way of making money, or get a job (prefer the former tbh). Obviously the less work needed after cutting the better. Don't think quantities (yet!!) will warrant cost of tooling for stamping.

I have an idea that will require a lot of my time to make or I can outsource the cutting work but need to know which will be cheaper/quicker. Only trying to use stainless as I'm a big fam of make/sell it once (and not have it rust away!) - mostly 1.6mm but some in 3mm. I'd also rather get UK companies involved rather than eg China.

Cheers

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femster87

posted on 21/12/21 at 10:37 PM Reply With Quote
Laser all the way. Unless accuracy dictates, waterjet would be more expensive





www.femsoncuts.co.uk

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falcor75

posted on 22/12/21 at 08:03 AM Reply With Quote
Laser definatly, alot quicker. We cut about 5 meters / minute in 3 mm steel.

Laser is usually best up to about 20-25 mm depending on how powerfull the laser is, water and plasma for thicker than 30 mm.

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nick205

posted on 22/12/21 at 08:50 AM Reply With Quote
At work we have a fair amount of sheet metalwork made for us by sub-contract companies. Generally mild steel, sometimes Ally. We require accuracy and repeatability and have found punching to be the most effective for this. Decent tooling isn't cheap mind.

We've tried laser cutting, but generally the finish isn't as clean (more raggedy edges). If we then ask the sub-contractor to clean the edges the overall part cost exceeds the punched part cost due to the hand finishing time involved.

All that aside, you're talking pretty hefty investment in the punching machines, material loading machines etc. To qualify that our main sub-contractor prefers to keep their punching machine operating as close to 24hrs / day 6 days / week (7th day being maintenance) as they can to balance the finance repayaments on it.

[Edited on 22/12/21 by nick205]

[Edited on 22/12/21 by nick205]

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nick205

posted on 22/12/21 at 09:07 AM Reply With Quote
Simon

Where abouts are you located?

Happy to put you in contact with the main sheet metal punching sub-contractor we use if you're interested. They do all types of metal, including stainless steel, tapping, threading, fixings, louvres etc. They'll work in a variety of CAD formats and do courier shipments to you as well.

U2U me if interested.

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falcor75

posted on 22/12/21 at 09:19 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
At work we have a fair amount of sheet metalwork made for us by sub-contract companies. Generally mild steel, sometimes Ally. We require accuracy and repeatability and have found punching to be the most effective for this. Decent tooling isn't cheap mind.

We've tried laser cutting, but generally the finish isn't as clean (more raggedy edges). If we then ask the sub-contractor to clean the edges the overall part cost exceeds the punched part cost due to the hand finishing time involved.

All that aside, you're talking pretty hefty investment in the punching machines, material loading machines etc. To qualify that our main sub-contractor prefers to keep their punching machine operating as close to 24hrs / day 6 days / week (7th day being maintenance) as they can to balance the finance repayaments on it.

[Edited on 22/12/21 by nick205]

[Edited on 22/12/21 by nick205]


Ragged edges with a laser? what thicknesses are we talking about? We dont see any edge defects below 10-15 mm thickness depending on the type of material. Our Trumpf lasers are good for 0,1 mm accuracy. I dont know what quality you need but it sounds a bit wierd to me.

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nick205

posted on 22/12/21 at 01:15 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by falcor75
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
At work we have a fair amount of sheet metalwork made for us by sub-contract companies. Generally mild steel, sometimes Ally. We require accuracy and repeatability and have found punching to be the most effective for this. Decent tooling isn't cheap mind.

We've tried laser cutting, but generally the finish isn't as clean (more raggedy edges). If we then ask the sub-contractor to clean the edges the overall part cost exceeds the punched part cost due to the hand finishing time involved.

All that aside, you're talking pretty hefty investment in the punching machines, material loading machines etc. To qualify that our main sub-contractor prefers to keep their punching machine operating as close to 24hrs / day 6 days / week (7th day being maintenance) as they can to balance the finance repayaments on it.

[Edited on 22/12/21 by nick205]

[Edited on 22/12/21 by nick205]


Ragged edges with a laser? what thicknesses are we talking about? We dont see any edge defects below 10-15 mm thickness depending on the type of material. Our Trumpf lasers are good for 0,1 mm accuracy. I dont know what quality you need but it sounds a bit wierd to me.




Typically 1.5 to 2.0mm material thickness (usually mild steel, sometimes Ally) with an accuracy to 0.03mm. Prototype batches of 5 pcs and the production batches of 25-250 pcs.

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falcor75

posted on 23/12/21 at 06:00 AM Reply With Quote
0.03 in thickness tolerence or contour/edge tolerance? When we do parts with 0.03 edge tolerance we usually CNC machine them. Quite common on gas turbine rotating parts.
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nick205

posted on 23/12/21 at 08:14 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by falcor75
0.03 in thickness tolerence or contour/edge tolerance? When we do parts with 0.03 edge tolerance we usually CNC machine them. Quite common on gas turbine rotating parts.



Switch placement for bespoke computer keyboards. It comes from a between centres spacing of 0.75" / 19.05mm.

Across a row / column of 30 switches we need to maintain an accuracy of 0.03mm to keep the assembly correct and avoid bent switch component legs in the PCBs. It may seem fussy, but from experience if we deviate it causes us machine downtime and QA issues + customer complaints.

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