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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have these little plastic pieces for a helmet that hold the face shield on. I broke a piece once before and i replaced them but i want them to be stronger and slightly different. This is what the piece looks like:







The part is an "X" i would like it to be changed to an "H" kind of a gothic style. And then powder matte black and the "H" dark matte red. I dont want it right away, my bike is down for a while because i'm still working on it and dont need a helmet till its done and i have another i can use anyway. I just wanna see if there is someone willing to do it for me and i'm willing to pay for it to get it done.

I think the best process to do it would be to cast them, make a wax duplicate of them, fill it and then carve out the design in them. Then make a mold so you could do a lost wax cast of them. Thats my thinking but i'm no expert so if you know a better way let me know. I can even send aluminum scraps with the pieces to use for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really? I was thinking maybe 15-30 bucks. Or hell someone help me put all the info together so i can build a build a furnace or something so i can pour them myself.
 

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Is my bike ok?
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It's pretty intricate part. Even if it was done on a CNC machine to reduce the amount of "labor'' there's still a lot of labor in it. Changing tools, touching off the tool after the part if flipped,etc. Not to mention just getting the part programmed in the first place. Then, all that x2.

And that part on a manual machine? Lot's of time invested. Mass production is great. One off custom machine work is expensive.

But...a determined guy could rock on with a dremel and some files. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was thinking more old school and casting the piece. Make a plaster cast and pour it into it.

I know it would be pretty difficult to use a cnc machine to do it. Thats sorta why i suggested the lost wax method earlier ;-)
 

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lɐʇuǝɯᴉɹǝdx&#4
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We've got a guy at the Hack Factory who built up a small aluminum pouring setup. He's working his way through the David Ginger "Build Your own Metalworking ..." series, which starts off with aluminum casting to build the frames and such for machines. He had to do a fair bit of work to get to the point where he could do pours, but it was a lot less effort than I've put into some stuff, and he made his whole setup portable and nice looking, so he can do demos at festivals and such.

If you just want to do a small one off, you can do it vary cheaply with charcoal, a blower (small shop vac or leaf blower will do), and a hole in the ground.

Making a nice mold would really be the trick. Also, aluminum shrinks a fair bit when poured (I think its like 3%) so if you tried to duplicate that item by pulling a mold from it, the final cast might not work.

But yeah, anybody who can turn those out is gonna charge more than 15-30 bucks. Like, probably 10 times that much. Yer basically talking custom jewelry / belt buckle type production methods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh ok gotcha, i'm gonna have to look for that book.

Thanks for the link mike, i actually saw that quite a while back and forgot about it.

Your right Shiny, most dudes to just have machines. Not a lot of guys do smelting and such. I think it would be great to do for little one off parts. And if you get a 3D printer you could do lost PVA casting, which is basically just like lost wax but it needs to get hotter to burn it out
 

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If you're going to cast, you need to account for the fact that the finished part will contract during the cooling process. If you cast a 100% part, once it cools you'll have a part that is anywhere from 6%-8% smaller due the coefficient of shrinkage for aluminum.

Read this for some homework and insight.

I've been doing some plastics casting making Lego parts for my son. You could always cast a part in plastic using a stronger resin with some fiber fill to strengthen the part. It's a LOT easier than casting metal. Trust me on this. I've been playing with a small furnace and metal casting recently. It's not nearly as easy as it looks, and it looks like a pain in the ass.
 

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I have a centrifuge and a vacuum casting set up though I admit I haven't done any aluminum. Only gold and silver. If I was going to price it out it would be something like this.
if we could get away with a little shrinkage I would take a silicon mold. $45
Pull waxes and sprue them in a flask. Basic casting fee of $35 a flask could probably fit 4 or 5 in a flask. Plus metal costs.
sprue removal and cleanup somewhere around $20 a peice.
those are retail prices
I kinda have these steps in the trophy ring build in the winter build off section

maybe build one in solid works and have someone 3d print in bronze or something
 
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