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  #1  
Old Fri 23 September 2011, 11:37
Curtish
Just call me: Curtis
 
Rockford, IL
United States of America
Is the MechMate suitable for manufacturing these?

I currently cut these music manipulatives out with a band saw and scroll saw. I would like to manufacture them by the thousands. Would the MechMate be suitable for this purpose? I would love to build one if it is what I needed.

If it is not inappropriate to ask, would anyone be able to quote me a price for having them cut out? I actually have 15 music shapes I would need. Maybe a price on 100 sets of 15 shapes for a total of 1500 pieces?

Also, would anyone have any suggestions as to what type of material would be best suited for handling by small children without them breaking? I currently make them out of 1/4" oak plywood, and sometimes, if the kids are too rough on them, they do break.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Fri 23 September 2011, 12:15
danilom
Just call me: Danilo #64
 
Novi Sad
Serbia
1/4" (6.35mm) is child's play for a Mechmate,
you can cut hundreds from a single 4x8 sheet using CAM software with nesting and in the matter of couple of hours.

I make toys from plywood too, but use only 10mm (3/8") and 15mm because its more durable and simply unbreakable in small shapes.
Baltic birch plywood BB/CP (not waterproof) is what I use and it comes in 1525 x 1525 mm boards here in Europe.
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  #3  
Old Fri 23 September 2011, 12:45
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
I am sure you will get some PM from folks willing to cut these for you in those amounts.
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  #4  
Old Fri 23 September 2011, 13:29
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Cape Town (Western Cape)
South Africa
Send a message via Skype™ to Alan_c
How about using styrene, fairly durable and not brittle like ply on that small cross section, not sure if its available in 1/4" though?
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  #5  
Old Fri 23 September 2011, 13:36
danilom
Just call me: Danilo #64
 
Novi Sad
Serbia
If making something out of plastic in such large quantities I don't think cutting is good as casting. Wood is a natural material and much more adequate for child toys or small presents.
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  #6  
Old Fri 23 September 2011, 23:00
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
100 sets 0f 15 different shapes is just the right quantity to manufacture with any CNC router, but too small for a custom die/mould for other manufacturing processes such as punching & injection moulding.
*PS how can anything not break under children's creative destruction?

Last edited by KenC; Fri 23 September 2011 at 23:03..
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  #7  
Old Sat 24 September 2011, 07:26
Curtish
Just call me: Curtis
 
Rockford, IL
United States of America
Follow up questions:

I'm assuming that inside corners would necessarily be rounded. What would be the diameter of a typical bit for this type of work?

Is it possible to have the top edges slightly rounded? That would save a lot of sanding! I guess what I'm wondering is if you can get a straight bit combined with a round-over portion on top.
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  #8  
Old Sat 24 September 2011, 07:48
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Curtis,
All is very possible with either a single or multiple tool change.
- diameter would be most likely 1/4" or 3/16
- round the edge you can either do it post cutting with a round over bit on a static table or have 3d cutting profile to cut the part.
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  #9  
Old Sat 24 September 2011, 09:38
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Curtis, I don't think there is any doubt that a MechMate is suitable for this job.
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  #10  
Old Sat 24 September 2011, 10:06
Curtish
Just call me: Curtis
 
Rockford, IL
United States of America
Hey, Gerald, thanks for the reply! I just don't know much about manufacturing. I am just trying to figure out what would be the most cost effective method of producing these in large quantities.

I'm great with computers and enjoy woodworking. I think a CNC machine like the MechMate would be right up my alley, assuming I could find the money to build one and a large enough space to house one.
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  #11  
Old Sat 24 September 2011, 10:42
lumberjack_jeff
Just call me: Jeff #31
 
Montesano, WA
United States of America
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtish View Post
I'm assuming that inside corners would necessarily be rounded. What would be the diameter of a typical bit for this type of work?
We use 1/4" bits almost all the time.

Quote:
Is it possible to have the top edges slightly rounded? That would save a lot of sanding! I guess what I'm wondering is if you can get a straight bit combined with a round-over portion on top.
It can be done as a second operation on the MechMate, but there are a couple of challenges to that approach; the radius must be small because the material is thin and the roundover bit can't be allowed to cut through the tabs holding the part to the sheet.

A 1/8" radius bit like this should work.

In our shop we generally roundover parts with a stationary router table.

If a major concern is strength, a 1/4" groove could be cut into the backside of the part and epoxy poured in.
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