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Old Sat 28 October 2006, 12:50
Just call me:
Laser cutting in various countries . . . .


With more drawings to come, is it safe to have the car plans laser cut, or should we wait?

And if we cut the metric car plans, will they still fit the inch plans for the rest of the mech?

I'd hate to pay to have the parts cut out and find that the design has not been finalized.
Old Sat 28 October 2006, 13:42
Just call me:
Vadeem, the laser drawings you have already downloaded are exactly the same ones I used for the first MechMate - I have high confidence in them. But, I live in a metric country and I have no experience of how the subtle difference material sizes will affect you. Eg. we have 100x50 rectangular tube, you have 4"x2" - so your tubes are 1.6% bigger than ours. I don't think it is a problem, but I won't know until someone has actually tried it.

In the next couple of hours I will post a lot of drawings. You are going to see small changes to the laser cuts already, but they are really small (removed surplus holes, added some that can easily be drilled). If you really study and check the drawings, you should be able to get your own confidence without just taking my word for it.
Old Sat 18 November 2006, 05:38
Just call me:
CNC laser cutting machines are almost non existant in this country. I contacted several machine shops who have CNC milling machines. They have quoted around US $ 600 for all components which have to be CNC cut. The steel to be supplied by me. How does this pricing compare with the pricing other guys in this forum have got from their CNC laser shops.
Old Sat 18 November 2006, 06:10
Just call me:
We have a problem....... I thought CNC laser would be fairly common.

A complete set of parts would cost me under $100 to cut (and bend) over here. Prices in Europe & Singapore should be much the same. Is it viable for you to import a set (you should be familiar with import costs)?

Snag is, those parts are designed to be laser (or waterjet) cut, based on the economy of it. If I had known you would be using an expensive process, the design would have been different to make it more economical.

However, you must also see the good news in the fact that your country has no CNC laser cutting - it is not going to have CNC routing either, and you will be the first!
Old Wed 03 October 2007, 11:23
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
Now that Donald Neisler has sold his last set of lasered and bent components, and having said that I will issue new revisions to the drawings of these parts within days weeks, it is good time to reflect on some points . . . . .

- The MechMate's strength, aesthetics, ease of build, and all round appeal rests very heavily on laser cut & bent steel plate. (It is only correct that a machine which is going to precision cut wooden boards be built from precision cut steel "boards")

- It came as a huge surprise to me that only one supplier was found in America. Donald thought he was doing everyone a favor and in the end felt it wasn't a worthwhile business. He had problems with his supplier giving him wrong thicknesses, his bending company making mistakes, and complaints from the end-clients.

- While Donald was battling to get kits out the door, I made as few changes to the drawings as possible, so that he wouldn't sit with obsolete stock. Now that we are going to have a lull with no suppliers identified, I feel it is a good time to make all the changes that I had moved to the back-burner before. Nothing too radical - the machine won't cut any better or faster!

- The existing drawings and kits are still good. Those drawings can still be used for (at minimum) identifying suppliers and getting budgetary costings. The kits can still be used to build fine machines (like everyone else's so far)

- What do I plan to change?
- Add some brackets for the cable chains (E-chains)
- Give folk options on motor plates - better suited to either the direct drive, or the geared motor.
- Make some parts non-symmetrical so that the distinctions between left-hand and right-hand are completely fixed. (Hugo will have his cable chains on the right side in future)
- Add an optional pair of rollers to the spider plate for retracting the z-slide a further 60mm higher.
- Consider adding an optional JR skate set of parts
- Consider that folk might want to go for 2 optional styles of rails:
-30mm [1.25"] tall JR skated rails
-24mm [1"] tall rails with screwed on "V-Cap" rails making an overall height of 30mm [1.25"]
which means new shaped motor plates and gantry ends to cater for the taller rail, but which gives folk an option on the style of rail
Actually a lot bigger task than I originally envisioned and one of the reasons for days becoming weeks.
- I believe the laser-cutting and bending should be done at the same company, and that this supplier must be supplied with cutting drawings (.dxf's) and bending drawings and instructions.

- Shipping steel is expensive - I believe each person must seek to find a supplier within 100 miles and not 1000 miles. I am convinced that many such suppliers exist (probably because we have so many in each main center in this African country), but they have to be sought out.

- I feel obliged to draft an e-mail (with attachments) that everyone could use when approaching potential laser-cut-bend suppliers found in their yellow pages. This mail must address metric versus inch, alternative thicknesses, bending quality, etc. Also a factor which changed the days to weeks.

This whole exercise is something that I must not rush. Don't take the excuse that you are waiting for me - you can do a lot while I am busy. The electronics and "kitchen table" simulator project are not affected. The static table will not be affected. The shopping for motors, gears, racks, springs will not be be affected. (I gave an early warning on the V-roller quantity, which might save you shipping another pair).

So, if you want to ask me when the new drawings will be out, accompany your request with photos of your MechMate table and your kitchen table . . .
Old Wed 03 October 2007, 20:44
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
I am the happy soon-to-be owner of the last set of parts from Donald. Albeit, a great opportunity to purchase the parts quickly, I had found a number of sources here in Central Florida that we're very willing to waterjet the parts. That said, it would be possible, and more economical from a waterjet service to have all the "bolt hole or round hole areas" just drill pointed from the machine. Since all the services here charge per linear waterjet inch. I could save approximately 15% on the WJ cost. All the phone quotes I received we're in the 400-500 range plus metal, plus bending. Not a great price, but affordable considering your fabricating one of the best looking and performing CNC routers in use today. I am a previous multicam, warthog and shopbot owner/operator and can't wait to put the Mechmate in service. From all the praise and simplicity of the machine...I am certain it will outperform the previous machines hand down. Small price for perfection.

On another note...I am working with Florida Knife in Sarasota on grinding the rails at this time. I will forward pricing when I have it ready. The owner of this company was actually excited to "grind something a little different" for a change!

Best regards,
Old Thu 04 October 2007, 00:57
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
Just to make it clear . . . .

When I do publish a new set of drawings - there may be errors. The drawings that exist now are tested and proven. A machine built to the new drawings will not look much different to the current version. We are talking maybe 6mm [0.25"] here or there. Some holes will be laser-cut, but they could also be drilled into the current design.

I was torn between keeping quiet and eventually making some changes and then confusing everyone with new part numbers and non-interchangeable parts . . . . or just confusing everyone now and putting pressure on myself to get the job done!
Old Tue 13 May 2008, 21:34
Marc Shlaes
Just call me: Marc
Cleveland, OH
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to Marc Shlaes
I have been to India 4 times and Bangalore twice. The country is FANTASTIC. The service orientation of the entire country makes it one of my favorite places on this planet.

Old Tue 13 May 2008, 22:01
Marc Shlaes
Just call me: Marc
Cleveland, OH
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to Marc Shlaes
I just read about the bombs in Jaipur. I am saddened and very sorry. I know this problem is not new but when innocent people die simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I get very angry.

I know this isn't the place for this but I just hate watching the world destroy itself.

Good Night.
Old Wed 14 May 2008, 11:30
Just call me: Irfan #33
Hi Marc, when you are in Bangalore next - give me a call! Jaipur is very near to where Sharma is. Hope Sharma is ok there.
Old Wed 14 May 2008, 13:48
Marc Shlaes
Just call me: Marc
Cleveland, OH
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to Marc Shlaes
Hopefully I will have the need to come back. If so, I will surely give you a call. We will have some Dosas together. (One of my favorites)
Old Thu 02 October 2008, 06:55
Just call me: call me Scotty
Is there anyone in Canada that is cutting & bending the plates and has a set ready to ship?
Old Thu 02 October 2008, 07:02
Just call me: Heath
Cornwall, Ontario
Scotty check your pms.

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