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  #41  
Old 10-31-2017, 9:20 AM
cientiros cientiros is offline
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I guess once I figure out exactly what equipment I'll be running, I can then make the determination in weighing pros and cons of all options...RCP, VFD, or hardwire.

So I'm back to one of my initial tooling question.
What's an adequate 4 or 5 axis CNC to do the mold job?

The research continues...
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  #42  
Old 10-31-2017, 10:53 AM
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You don’t need 4th or 5th axis to do what you are looking at. And you sure as hell don’t want to see the sticker price.
If I was to buy a machine, New would be a Mazak, or a Hurco, Used I’d find the same just mentioned or add an okuma or kitamura to the mix. Mori siki if I could find one and within budget.

4th axis would help but not necessary to get the mold making job done.
Now if you were going to swap tooling and use the same machine to inlet then yeah 4th axis is needed and you would need a rotary table. Set the stock up in a fixture and get top and bottom done in one setup.
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Last edited by kcstott; 11-02-2017 at 4:22 AM..
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  #43  
Old 10-31-2017, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
You donít need 4th or 5th axis to do what you are looking at. And you sure as hell donít want to see the sticker price.
If I was to buy a machine, New would be a Mazak, or a Hurco, Used Iíd find the same just mentioned or add an okuma or kitamura to the mix. Miri siki if I could find one and within budget.

4th axis would help but not necessary to get the mold making job done.
Now if you were going to swap tooling and use the same machine to inlet then yeah 4th axis is needed and you would need a rotary table. Set the stock up in a fixture and get top and bottom done in one setup.
I'm a little confused. What type of CNC would you recommend then?
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  #44  
Old 10-31-2017, 11:25 AM
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and 43 posts later we're back to where kcscott said he didn't want to go...

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  #45  
Old 10-31-2017, 11:27 AM
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and 43 posts later we're back to where kcscott said he didn't want to go...

You really shouldn't be counting posts... just let it ride.. =)
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  #46  
Old 10-31-2017, 12:14 PM
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Honestly what kind of budget are you looking at? You're probably looking for a machine with 30" of x travel. A brand new machine is going to be $80-100k minimum once you add tooling, vises, etc.

Like kc said, your kind of in over your head right now, in that you don't have the knowledge to even get this project off the ground. And rather than researching as much as possible you're asking others to do the research for you.

You need a 3 axis vertical machining center with approximately 25" to 30" of x travel. The y and z axis are likely to be in the envelope you need for your molds.

The molds you posted pictures of don't require anything more than 3 axis. Like kc said adding a 4th axis rotary/trunion will be helpful for inletting the stocks but not much else that I can see. But adding the 4th axis adds significant cost and complexity to this endeavor. A 4th would save you time in the fixturing process but probably not worth the initial cost in the beginning.

Here's a link to a company we've dealt with for used machinery. It'll give you a rough idea as to what out there.
http://rockfishmachinery.com/
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  #47  
Old 10-31-2017, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CHAD PEZZLE View Post
Honestly what kind of budget are you looking at? You're probably looking for a machine with 30" of x travel. A brand new machine is going to be $80-100k minimum once you add tooling, vises, etc.

Like kc said, your kind of in over your head right now, in that you don't have the knowledge to even get this project off the ground. And rather than researching as much as possible you're asking others to do the research for you.

You need a 3 axis vertical machining center with approximately 25" to 30" of x travel. The y and z axis are likely to be in the envelope you need for your molds.

The molds you posted pictures of don't require anything more than 3 axis. Like kc said adding a 4th axis rotary/trunion will be helpful for inletting the stocks but not much else that I can see. But adding the 4th axis adds significant cost and complexity to this endeavor. A 4th would save you time in the fixturing process but probably not worth the initial cost in the beginning.

Here's a link to a company we've dealt with for used machinery. It'll give you a rough idea as to what out there.
http://rockfishmachinery.com/
Chad,
Let's say cost wasn't so much of an issue. For the sake of dreaming, let's just say I want to identify the maximum capability needed to execute such task. What would that look like? Used machine, tooling etc?

Understand, like most men on a mission, I will not settle for no until I know "I can't". Right now, I'm not seeing the "I can't" scenario.

So, I appreciate the 3 axis vertical machining. This is the first time I hear of a 3 axis being able to accomplish this mission. If in fact, which machine(s) do you recommend?
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  #48  
Old 10-31-2017, 12:50 PM
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Nope.
As long as you have a three phase motor, three phase power, and the motor is wired for the voltage being supplied. There is three phase Delta or three phase Wye wiring coming off the pole. But your motor donít care as long as all three legs are used and the motor is wired for the proper voltage. Wye systems are typically used for 120/208 systems and Delta is typically 480/277 systems.
kcstott,
I understand. But I have ran into a few guys who had RPC's and wished they had hard wired their "barn" building for 3 phase... Hence why I'm exploring the option.

I'm talking to the SCE guy right now via email. I'll post his responses for folks reference..
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  #49  
Old 10-31-2017, 1:22 PM
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Just looking at your first pictures you posted, what part of that mold makes you think a 4th axis is required?

A fourth axis would allow you more easily cut features that are undercut, and I doubt those molds require any undercut features. And depending on your fixturing it could allow you to machine multiple faces of the part in one setup. A 4th axis could make programming and fixturing more efficient for a competent machinist, but could be a lot of headache and expensive crashes for a beginner. I just don't see it necessary. New machines can be purchased so they are pre-wired for a 4th axis and it can be added later.

Honestly I would look at newer, but used, three axis machine that could be wired for a 4th axis. Built by a manufacturer that is still around and has good customer support. All of the brands kc mentioned are very good.

One he didn't mention that might be worth a look is Haas. Although many people say they aren't a solid machine I've run a few and haven't had any problems. Their controls are easy to learn and they are built in Oxnard, Ca so getting replacement parts is pretty easy. For strictly machining alum. and maybe a little mild steel a Haas VF2 or VF3 would work well. Trying to machine harder materials or hold very tight tolerances is where the other machines begin to shine. Haas machines just aren't built as rigid as some of the others.

Your going to need a CAD software for design, some of the more popular ones include: Solidworks, Pro E, Inventor, and Catia. There are others but you need to research what fits your needs and budget.

Your also going to need a CAM software, this is what you use to convert your 3D designs into G and M code to get your machine to cut your design. There are so many options it's hard to list. Again you need to set a budget and figure it out. Prices vary from $Free to $20,000+ depending on options. Mastercam, Solidcam, Fusion, Bobcad, and Camworks are a few I can think of.

Those are likely to be the most expensive parts of this whole process and where you need to decide what your budget is and what you need the equipment to do. Although tooling can and will be a large part of it you don't need to buy the farm right off the bat.

Tool holders, cutters, vises, bandsaw?, measuring equipment, coolant, and fixturing components are just another part of the puzzle.
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  #50  
Old 10-31-2017, 2:28 PM
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unless you are going to be running that cnc non stop and having it make money for you it would be cheaper to contract it out. Then you just pay the cost of the mold and you do not carry the overhead of the machine.
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  #51  
Old 10-31-2017, 3:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cientiros View Post
let's just say I want to identify the maximum capability needed to execute such task. What would that look like? Used machine, tooling etc?
This machine with a rotary table and a system to hold the stocks and rotate them 180 on the axis of the barrel channel would do everything you could need to do in your operation:

http://www.centracorp.com/machinin/5034.htm

That's 40" of X travel and a 48" long table.
Just long enough for your molds and inletting of filled stock shells.
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  #52  
Old 10-31-2017, 5:56 PM
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OP, go download a copy of fusion 360 and draw up the stock that youre wanting to make. Its a free software (reasonable. I'm partial to catia/solidworks but can make just about anything sans surface modeling work on fusion/inventor) and has a reasonable CAM package in it (its certainly no mastercam or big name package but itll do the 3 axis paths youll likely need. Plus theres tons of tutorials out there). Once you have a model then youll be able to figure out the stock size/workholding youll want which will tell you the size of machine youll need. Mind you, up until now you wont have spent any money other than your time.

Definitely look at haas machines if you go down that road. I've cut tons of aluminum and steel molds for composite parts on haas machines without issue.
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  #53  
Old 11-01-2017, 1:21 PM
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Why mill molds? To start,Why not 3d print from your cad file- take product and make fiberglass mold and make stocks from that?
Lets see...vacuum pump, table, fiberglass supplies (bag,tape,etc)
Customizable to each customer...
Look- I know I am simplifying...
Or- look to job shop to mill the molds- cheaper than the investment in machinery.
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  #54  
Old 11-01-2017, 2:12 PM
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Why mill molds? To start,Why not 3d print from your cad file- take product and make fiberglass mold and make stocks from that?
Lets see...vacuum pump, table, fiberglass supplies (bag,tape,etc)
Customizable to each customer...
Look- I know I am simplifying...
Or- look to job shop to mill the molds- cheaper than the investment in machinery.
Even if you job out the mold work, you still have to inlet each stock.
A CNC milling machine is about the best tool for that.
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  #55  
Old 11-01-2017, 4:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DroneHater View Post
Why mill molds? To start,Why not 3d print from your cad file- take product and make fiberglass mold and make stocks from that?
Lets see...vacuum pump, table, fiberglass supplies (bag,tape,etc)
Customizable to each customer...
Look- I know I am simplifying...
Or- look to job shop to mill the molds- cheaper than the investment in machinery.
I think when i priced out an outsourced mold, I was quoted around 8-10K for the mold. If I wanted to have the freedom to tweak things here and there for a particular stock design, that could get expensive fairly quick. I'm not seeing the long term advantage compared to investing in a CNC and it's capabilities aside from just mold making.
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  #56  
Old 11-01-2017, 4:45 PM
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Back to the 3 phase to home issue in Ventura County. Here's what the SCE advised me with. Pretty close to what some of you mentioned earlier on pricing.

"I can say that if you purchase a tract home in City limits the cost for Edison to bring in 3 phase will be over 10-15k, especially if it’s in an underground neighborhood. I would actually have to collect an engineering fee of $5,000 prior to starting the design. The $5,000 will go towards the total cost but because of the amount of time it will take to plan the design, we are required to take that up front."

"There is no instance where you’re not “allowed” to have three phase but you do have to qualify for it depending on voltage.

For 120/208 you need to have a minimum of 15KW
For 277/480 you need to have a minimum of 25KW load.

Also, what I quoted is only an estimate, cost could be much more. The transformer is sized based on your load. This means before I start the design process I need full electrical load calculations. I would also need a full surveyed site plan with all of our structures surveyed back to the point where we could draw three phase from. Once I have these documents I can start the design process. Timeframe for this would be around 6 months."

Hopefully this helps out anyone crazy enough to want to do the same thing I'm trying to get at..
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  #57  
Old 11-01-2017, 8:56 PM
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Crazy, yes, that's it, crazy.
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  #58  
Old 11-02-2017, 4:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DroneHater View Post
Why mill molds? To start,Why not 3d print from your cad file- take product and make fiberglass mold and make stocks from that?
Lets see...vacuum pump, table, fiberglass supplies (bag,tape,etc)
Customizable to each customer...
Look- I know I am simplifying...
Or- look to job shop to mill the molds- cheaper than the investment in machinery.
3D print a mold?? 3D printing is all the rage right now I get it but the fusion technology is not there yet. and well that would be the last thing I'd want to use.
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That guy is a hack. He worked on one of my ak's and now the damn thing only shoots .50 cal bullets.
The above statement i consider a term of endearment
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  #59  
Old 11-02-2017, 4:43 AM
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I'm a little confused. What type of CNC would you recommend then?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
You donít need 4th or 5th axis to do what you are looking at. And you sure as hell donít want to see the sticker price.
If I was to buy a machine, New would be a Mazak, or a Hurco, Used Iíd find the same just mentioned or add an okuma or kitamura to the mix. Mori siki if I could find one and within budget.

4th axis would help but not necessary to get the mold making job done.
Now if you were going to swap tooling and use the same machine to inlet then yeah 4th axis is needed and you would need a rotary table. Set the stock up in a fixture and get top and bottom done in one setup.

I thought i was pretty clear. Go do some research on the models i listed above. look at VMC's only 40x60 machine would be nice. then look at 4th axis and how that works. Then come back an pose a more educated question. Not trying to insult you but it seems like I'm saying Ford F350 Powerstroke crew cab and all you hear is truck. The machine Randal posted is a good one if the machine is in good working condition, I'd also hire a machinery inspector for any high dollar used machinery purchases.

I see a question on tooling. No thanks. Not touching that one, you need to be in the solid model of your stock to look at tooling needs. But I will recommend a brand of endmill, Duramill are the chit. 5,7 flute cutters, Oh yeah surface finish for days..

And Again we are at the point i had no intention on going agin you are looking for a TurnKey set up. Nope I'm Not the guy. I can tell you what machines will do what but thats it. you are going to have to figure out what machine you want, then figure out how fixture your parts, cut them and make molds.
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Dick.

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Originally Posted by tujungatoes View Post
That guy is a hack. He worked on one of my ak's and now the damn thing only shoots .50 cal bullets.
The above statement i consider a term of endearment
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  #60  
Old 11-02-2017, 8:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
I thought i was pretty clear. Go do some research on the models i listed above. look at VMC's only 40x60 machine would be nice. then look at 4th axis and how that works. Then come back an pose a more educated question. Not trying to insult you but it seems like I'm saying Ford F350 Powerstroke crew cab and all you hear is truck. The machine Randal posted is a good one if the machine is in good working condition, I'd also hire a machinery inspector for any high dollar used machinery purchases.



I see a question on tooling. No thanks. Not touching that one, you need to be in the solid model of your stock to look at tooling needs. But I will recommend a brand of endmill, Duramill are the chit. 5,7 flute cutters, Oh yeah surface finish for days..



And Again we are at the point i had no intention on going agin you are looking for a TurnKey set up. Nope I'm Not the guy. I can tell you what machines will do what but thats it. you are going to have to figure out what machine you want, then figure out how fixture your parts, cut them and make molds.

Kcstott, I appreciate all you have contributed.

So far I have not been discouraged one bit and I'm pretty excited to put this together.

I've had some pretty damn good conversations with folks, not just from CalGuns, but from other forums dealing with composites, CNC machining and shooting.

I have more than enough information to start a solid supply list. From 3 phase power supply, 4 axis CNC benefits, and prepreg setup with CNC cutting to maximize product.

Couldn't ask for anything more.
Thanks fellas.
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  #61  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:59 PM
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3D print a mold?? 3D printing is all the rage right now I get it but the fusion technology is not there yet. and well that would be the last thing I'd want to use.
I think he meant to 3D print the plug and then build a reverse mold from fiberglass and wood.
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  #62  
Old 11-02-2017, 1:07 PM
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The machine Randal posted is a good one if the machine is in good working condition, I'd also hire a machinery inspector for any high dollar used machinery purchases.
3000 spindle hours on a machine thatís 16-17 years old?
Thatís like 200hr per year.
The leadscrew backlashes were all under a thousandth too...
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Most work performed while-you-wait, evening and weekend appointments available.
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  #63  
Old 11-02-2017, 2:03 PM
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3000 spindle hours on a machine thatís 16-17 years old?
Thatís like 200hr per year.
The leadscrew backlashes were all under a thousandth too...
Fadal, didn't they go out of business? Now they are back in business?

I'd be weary of buying one.
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Old 11-02-2017, 5:37 PM
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3000 spindle hours on a machine thatís 16-17 years old?
Thatís like 200hr per year.
The leadscrew backlashes were all under a thousandth too...
Not in the market so i didn't bother to read the specs
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That guy is a hack. He worked on one of my ak's and now the damn thing only shoots .50 cal bullets.
The above statement i consider a term of endearment
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  #65  
Old 11-02-2017, 6:01 PM
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prepreg setup with CNC cutting to maximize product.
So we're up to two CNC machines now?
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  #66  
Old 11-02-2017, 7:26 PM
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So we're up to two CNC machines now?
It's nice to dream.
A cnc cutter for the prepreg is probably a lot cheaper than a mill.
It's really just a fancy vinyl sign cutter.
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  #67  
Old 11-03-2017, 4:46 AM
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So we're up to two CNC machines now?
If he wants to make money and not be changing set ups all the time, he's either going to need to invest in a manufacturing cell, or a pallet changer or both.

Set up time is lost revenue pure and simple, you're working but not making parts. faster you can swap a machine over to make new parts the better. A whole other machine could be that answer. A pallet might be as well. just depends on production volume.
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Old 11-04-2017, 1:53 PM
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If he wants to make money and not be changing set ups all the time, he's either going to need to invest in a manufacturing cell, or a pallet changer or both.
I'm curious as to why he would be changing setups all the time? From how I read the OP it seems like he would be using a vertical for two things: Making the molds and doing the finish work on the stocks after they come out of the mold. I'm assuming hes only going to have a couple stock designs, max. Obviously, the molds are going to be made before he starts laminating stocks. So, I don't quite understand why he would be going back and forth switching setups? Theres no way hes going to be cutting prepreg on the same machine hes making the molds/doing finish work on, hence my comment for a second machine (one of those sweet cf trimming routers).

Even if he's going to be switching setups all the time; I cant fathom a situation where a single guy making high end, presumably low volume, rifle stocks is going to be seeing enough orders to justify the cost of a cell or a pallet changer over doing a subplate setup with something like a zero point or ball lock system.

I imagine I'm missing a key piece to the puzzle.
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Old 11-04-2017, 2:41 PM
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I'm curious as to why he would be changing setups all the time? From how I read the OP it seems like he would be using a vertical for two things: Making the molds and doing the finish work on the stocks after they come out of the mold. I'm assuming hes only going to have a couple stock designs, max. Obviously, the molds are going to be made before he starts laminating stocks. So, I don't quite understand why he would be going back and forth switching setups? Theres no way hes going to be cutting prepreg on the same machine hes making the molds/doing finish work on, hence my comment for a second machine (one of those sweet cf trimming routers).

Even if he's going to be switching setups all the time; I cant fathom a situation where a single guy making high end, presumably low volume, rifle stocks is going to be seeing enough orders to justify the cost of a cell or a pallet changer over doing a subplate setup with something like a zero point or ball lock system.

I imagine I'm missing a key piece to the puzzle.
This is all in the works and by no means is it finalized or perfect. Just got back in from the Marine Corps ball... In the a.m., I'll draw a layout with what machines are where. This will give you a better understanding of the production cycle and layout.
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Old 11-04-2017, 2:56 PM
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I'm curious as to why he would be changing setups all the time? From how I read the OP it seems like he would be using a vertical for two things: Making the molds and doing the finish work on the stocks after they come out of the mold. I'm assuming hes only going to have a couple stock designs, max. Obviously, the molds are going to be made before he starts laminating stocks. So, I don't quite understand why he would be going back and forth switching setups? Theres no way hes going to be cutting prepreg on the same machine hes making the molds/doing finish work on, hence my comment for a second machine (one of those sweet cf trimming routers).

Even if he's going to be switching setups all the time; I cant fathom a situation where a single guy making high end, presumably low volume, rifle stocks is going to be seeing enough orders to justify the cost of a cell or a pallet changer over doing a subplate setup with something like a zero point or ball lock system.

I imagine I'm missing a key piece to the puzzle.

Thatís the problem, youíre thinking low volume. Iím thinking he need to be making and finishing five stocks a day to make any damn money.
Multiple fixtures on multiple pallets allows multiple stocks to be made.
Set up and stage parts, Three four at a time, increase production. Reduce cost.
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Dick.

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That guy is a hack. He worked on one of my ak's and now the damn thing only shoots .50 cal bullets.
The above statement i consider a term of endearment
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Old 11-04-2017, 5:08 PM
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That’s the problem, you’re thinking low volume. I’m thinking he need to be making and finishing five stocks a day to make any damn money.
Multiple fixtures on multiple pallets allows multiple stocks to be made.
Set up and stage parts, Three four at a time, increase production. Reduce cost.
I totally get the set up of parts offline aspect and agree thats the key to reducing cost. I don't know that I agree that pallets are the solution to that, in this scenario. I'm making the assumption that hes going to be using a 4th axis to get to the top and bottom of the stock in one op. If that's the case, running a pallet changer is going to be a nightmare. You'd have to buy a second (or third or x for x number of pallets) rotary table and deal with changing the air/control lines every time you swap the pallet. I'd think the far far far easier way would be to set up a quick disconnect system from the face of the rotary table (would need a hard fixture to the actual face. Could do something custom or you could probably make one of the dovetail fixtures work) and from whatever tail stock he decides to use. Unfinished stocks can still be prepped offline and its a matter of seconds between disconnecting the part in the machine and adding the new part in. If you want to be extra precise about your mounting, you get a machine with a probe and incorporate a probing cycle to the start to account for any variance in mounting angle.

Theres the cost of a pallet changer and a few grand in rotary tables replaced with a grand, tops, in workholding that gets you basically the same result by spending no money.

I cant see a reason why the OP would need a cell or even a pallet changer to finish 5 stocks in a day. The cycle time to finish trim a fresh from the mold stock shouldnt even be touching an hour....I'd be astonished if it even topped 20 minutes per stock. Obviously, that's just for the trimming. I'd imagine the real time is going into the carbon layup and waiting for it to cure.
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Old 11-05-2017, 9:29 AM
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To make molds like that you will need about a 40" x and 20" of Y on your table travels. For doing 3D stuff like molds, you will need a CNC mill with a decent amount of memory or you will have to DNC it off a computer. Your machine will also need a fast processor to handle the amount of data or your mill will start choking up and shaking. So basically if you want to buy a used mill, it will have to be newer like no more than 10 years old so figure $25-$30K for a used mill, at least $100K for a new one, plus tooling. Mastercam X6 is great CAD/CAM software but I think that runs about $25K or so. Then you still need to design the stock. I am thinking to get started, it might be a lot more practical to have it contract manufactured, and then if things go well, invest the $150K so you can make your product in house
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:15 AM
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I totally get the set up of parts offline aspect and agree thats the key to reducing cost. I don't know that I agree that pallets are the solution to that, in this scenario. I'm making the assumption that hes going to be using a 4th axis to get to the top and bottom of the stock in one op. If that's the case, running a pallet changer is going to be a nightmare. You'd have to buy a second (or third or x for x number of pallets) rotary table and deal with changing the air/control lines every time you swap the pallet. I'd think the far far far easier way would be to set up a quick disconnect system from the face of the rotary table (would need a hard fixture to the actual face. Could do something custom or you could probably make one of the dovetail fixtures work) and from whatever tail stock he decides to use. Unfinished stocks can still be prepped offline and its a matter of seconds between disconnecting the part in the machine and adding the new part in. If you want to be extra precise about your mounting, you get a machine with a probe and incorporate a probing cycle to the start to account for any variance in mounting angle.

Theres the cost of a pallet changer and a few grand in rotary tables replaced with a grand, tops, in workholding that gets you basically the same result by spending no money.

I cant see a reason why the OP would need a cell or even a pallet changer to finish 5 stocks in a day. The cycle time to finish trim a fresh from the mold stock shouldnt even be touching an hour....I'd be astonished if it even topped 20 minutes per stock. Obviously, that's just for the trimming. I'd imagine the real time is going into the carbon layup and waiting for it to cure.
Many ways to have one 4th axis drive multiple fixtures on multiple pallets. Now we're discussing how the OP should do this, A situation I didn't want to get involved with. But lets suffice tho say there is more than one way to do the job and do it well. What I'm talking about is very expensive on the front end but very efficient on the back end.

My comment on a manufacturing cell is to run the setup with minimal interaction. Over kill as hell but you go big or go home. Manufacturing is cut throat industry and you have to make parts, Good parts, And make them fast and cheep. or you can build a reputation for 10-20 years slowly plugging away just to break even. I agree he's going to spend more time waiting on parts to cure then any thing else. And that is where I'd have multiple molds curing over night to be finished the next day and out the door they go.
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That guy is a hack. He worked on one of my ak's and now the damn thing only shoots .50 cal bullets.
The above statement i consider a term of endearment
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