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Getting custom steel parts made

Discussion in 'Robotics & Mechatronics' started by colin mac, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. colin mac

    colin mac New Member

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    Can anyone recommend a site they might have used to get custom metal parts made inexpensively, from a draft.

    I need a part made that is just really a flat metal plate connecting to a metal tube. Basically something rests on the plate and the tube fits into a slightly wider tube I have to adjust up and down and tightened with a twisty knob.
     
  2. squishy36

    squishy36 New Member

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    I'd recommend you take out the word "inexpensively" from your post. :) Here are two ideas:

    Make up a decent drawing of the part(s) you want made. Take the drawing to a few local machine shops or sheet metal shops and ask for a quote. In the US, the typical shop rates are in the $60-$100 per hour range, so the cost can give you an idea of how long it will take. Don't be surprised if it costs 2 to 5 times more than you think it should.

    You can also advertise locally for a shop hobbyist to build it for you. You may be able to get it substantially cheaper. However, you can also run the risk of getting stiffed, not getting what you want, or other problems.

    There are also places on-line that do such work, but I wouldn't expect them to be substantially cheaper than your local shops.
     
  3. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    You didn't even mention the size. I thought of telescoping tubing and a clamp silver soldered to a flat plate. that can come in model sizes on up to say Umbrella's for picnic tables.

    The online shops have you create a drawing in their proprietary software and a quote will be prepared based on that. The drawing is turned into a CNC program and bingo, out comes your part. It works to a point.

    I can also envision precision shafting, a bore with an 0.001" over ream and a thumbscrew made from a cap screw and a plastic knob. Boring the hole is the hard part.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Triode

    Triode Member

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    I make a lot of machines and robots for a university laboratory, and I agree with the others, the cheapest custom parts get isn't cheap. First look for something very close that requires little or no modification, a sight like mcmaster.com is a good place to look. If you can't find that go to a machine shop and give them very good clear plans, be sure not to add any features that will add work time but not value. You would be surprised how often people put some complicated round or fillet on something that could just be left square.

    For example for what you are trying to do I would look for parts that can do what you want pre-made, knowing the proper names to find parts is key. Maybe you could just get a shaft support like this one (probably not the size you need and you just need one) and drill holes in a plate and mount it on there.
     
  6. tony good

    tony good New Member

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    Hey there,
    I am new to this site but we may be able to help you out, we have a small steel sales/fab shop, just let me know what you are looking for and we will come up with a game plan
    Thanks
    Tony G
     
  7. Ian Rogers

    Ian Rogers Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I should imagine that the OP has had this sorted by now.... It was a year ago!!!
     
  8. Mosaic

    Mosaic Well-Known Member

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    yup..
     

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