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Thread: Question about a single-piece manufacturing process [images provided]

  1. #1
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    Question Question about a single-piece manufacturing process [images provided]

    Hello everyone, I'm a Mechanical Engineering student and currently working on a design project and need to come up with a recommendation about a manufacturing process or processes, that can achieve the design on the picture as one-piece. I have narrowed a few processes after long hours of research, Extrusion is an option, but I can't seem to find a way for producing the internal geometry of the shell (the tip on the open end). With impact extrusion, a die at the desired angle and an impact tool with the internal shape would be an option, but I will have both ends open. Need to have the bottom end closed, that and the chunk at the tip are my main problems. The material is Aluminum.
    Here's a pic of the design with its cross-section:



    Any input will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by phaze721; 01-23-2012 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Picture looked very small.

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    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
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    As a student you need to do the leg work to figure this out. Reason being... as you look into different methods of manufacture... you will become more familiar with each method. You are gaining exposure to the wonderful world of manufacturing!!

    Let me see if I can give you some food for thought?

    There are more things to consider other than just "how do I make this?" Like the saying goes... There's always more than one way to skin a cat. The real trick is figuring out how to make it profitably...!

    You need to always consider things like quantities... If there's only a one piece requirement then you might just bang one out by machining it from a piece of bar? Or you might utilize current equipment in house despite not being the ultimate choice for equipment if there are only a few pieces. If there are jillions of them then equipment costs and durability of that equipment needs to be considered, as well as duration of any contract for these parts.
    Consider part tolerances... Might require high precision or possibly it's an anchor and can be made with eyes closed.
    Consider cost of material used to produce via different methods. Or what will portion of finished part cost is material producing one way vs. another?
    Consider tooling costs... Carbide dies vs. cutters etc.
    Consider cycle times... 1 and hr. vs. 1 every ten seconds?
    Consider competition... Somebody else out there is either already making this part or will be quoting it as well.
    Consider complimentary equipment or other ancillary cost that might be involved with your options. Different methods of manufacture will entail different materials to produce... like cut off or polishing or lubricants etc.

    In the wonderful world of academia many of these things can be ignored. It's all just play money and available by the truckloads... But in the real world... these sorts of things are what makes the difference between getting an order or not... and making a buck or not.

    So anywho...
    Do your google searches and use words like "forge" ... "forming" ... "turning" ... "spinning" ... "stamping" etc. and all sorts of potential methods will crop up.

    Good luck and enjoy the ride!!
    Bob

    Oh... And Welcome to the Forum...!

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    Welcome and +1 for Bob's comments. Also in those searches consider the words "Vacuum," "rotational casting" and and especially "bottles!"

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    Thank you for your replies. Believe me that I have researched my problem, going to a forum was my last option. Sorry for not stating the material which is Aluminum. It is intended for mass production. I cannot look for bottle manufacturing processes because I have not found a way to blow molding metals. I encountered a Yale University achievement of doing this process but the material that they used was designed by them with other mechanical properties.

    I have looked into Spinning too, but the open end of the design is the little tip, how would you remove the item afterwards? Mandrels needed to be made from a material that could shatter in order to get the shell out and would not be feasible for mass production. Turning, a lot of waste material will be generated, please guide me in this question: How will you achieve the interior geometry by Turning with the part closed on one end and the other end that's open is only 1 inch? That is my problem.

    I would appreciate any input regarding on how to achieve the internal geometry since the part is closed on one end. I know how to get into the single piece hollow shape with the desired angle, the problem is the inside geometry at the tip. Investment casting was considered too, but I found out they use one piece molds, and I would need two molds for this one. Plus that method has a long lead time.

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by phaze721; 01-19-2012 at 12:10 PM. Reason: More info

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    Vacuum deposition? Rotational casting would work with a split mold. Deep drawing as in soda cans?

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    This method, impact extrusion, would give me what I desire with the internal geometry and conic shape... BUT, both ends will be open. I need the end that's marked by a red arrow in the following pic to be closed. Any ideas?
    Picture of the process:

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    There are aluminum beer bottles out there in the world. Figure out how they made them... Just gotta watch you don't empty too many while examining them.

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    Phaze721,
    RWOLFEJR is spot on with his first reply.

    COST
    QUANTITY
    QUALITY
    DELIVERY
    These are the "four facets of Manufacturing". You get to pick ONLY three.
    Being a Manufacturing Engineer, I can tell you there are MANY ways to "skin a cat". What you need to do as a Design Engineer (aka, Cartoonist) is take into consideration the needs of your customer. The way a part is manufactured is (mostly) determined by the Engineering specifications communicated on the print. The most influential being the tolerances on features.
    For example; if you put a +/- .01" on the Outer Diameter, the process would be defined as something inherant to non-repeatability or with less control. (cheap purchased bar stock) If, on the other hand you have a +/-.0002", it would require a finishing operation like grinding (meaning, longer delivery and more cost).
    The second most influential decision would be the quantity. This establishes the production method and amount of capital investment required to facilitate the volumes and/or cycle times needed.

    I hope I didn't confuse you further. Do you have an idea on the size and tolerances required for this part? How many do you need?

    p.s. I forgot about the header - is this for a "SINGLE PIECE"? As in ONE? ... or Three? (One to use, One to loose and One to break)
    Last edited by MMMMM; 01-23-2012 at 09:03 AM.

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    One more to add ... Have you looked at Screw Machines? Or, multiple spindle turning centers?
    If you're looking at parts/minute cycle times, about how many of these would you need in ... let's say a day?
    I would be pointed towards using a bar-fed lathe with a sub-spindle for medium volumes. Duplicated cells for higher volumes or a screw machine.
    What is the purpose of this part?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMMMM View Post
    p.s. I forgot about the header - is this for a "SINGLE PIECE"? As in ONE? ... or Three? (One to use, One to loose and One to break)
    Single piece production method, for example like scuba tanks. Not allowed to have the part made in two pieces and then weld it together. This is the pic of the part, I don't know why the first one that I posted looks so small:

    Tolerances are +/- 0.005 in., surface roughness is not important at this point. Like I said before, I know how to get to the point of the external shape with the required dimensions and conic shape, where I am having problems is at the tip, where there is an extra material inside the part. How can I achieve this with only the open end having a diameter of 1 inch and the bottom end of the part is closed? I am currently stuck with this. If the part was to be made without the restriction of it being a single piece production method, I wouldn't have a problem. It is intended for mass production. The other process that I found can make the internal geometry but leaves the bottom end open. I appreciate your comments guys, any other input is welcomed.

    Quote Originally Posted by RWOLFEJR View Post
    There are aluminum beer bottles out there in the world. Figure out how they made them... Just gotta watch you don't empty too many while examining them.
    Haha, good one! But I have looked into that too, especially how SIGG bottles are made, but the cross-sectional area is uniform on those bottles. Does not help me with the internal geometry of the part in question.
    Last edited by phaze721; 01-23-2012 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Adding Rwolfejr's qoute.

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    Ahh, this is MUCH better now.
    A progressive Die with a secondary operation (cutoff) would probably do the trick however, the press, dies and blank prep would push this over the "obsene" if you're not making thousands of these a day.
    I do have a question about the hollow-point and blended radius' on the end, are these to the same tolerance?

    I'd still use a bar-fed lathe. Cut the "fat" end, grab it with the other spindle and finish the hollow-point end. On a standard twin spindle lathe, you could probably spit these out under a minute a piece. With a good machine, some decent tooling and a good process you'd probably get that down to around 20 seconds/each while maintaining your tolerances within +/-.0015".

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMMMM View Post
    I do have a question about the hollow-point and blended radius' on the end, are these to the same tolerance?
    Thanks a lot for your reply, I appreciate it. Yes, they have the same tolerance. Production units would be of 1,000 , 5,000 , 10,000 , 15,000. Do you think it would be feasible?

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    How about a 3d printer using the laser sintering process....you just grow them

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    ^Thanks, will look into that process too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Android View Post
    How about a 3d printer using the laser sintering process....you just grow them
    I found this for that process, apparently Aluminum can't be used:
    ''Aluminum is flammable if there is enough oxygen. Putting it in dust form and pointing a laser at it is just asking for a fire, assuming you could ever get the laser hot enough for the aluminum to fuse before it distributes the heat."
    I will continue to research it though, seems like a great process too. Hope that Aluminum 6061 T6 can be used!
    Last edited by phaze721; 01-23-2012 at 08:09 PM.

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    [QUOTE=phaze721;1960]I found this for that process, apparently Aluminum can't be used:
    ''Aluminum is flammable if there is enough oxygen. Putting it in dust form and pointing a laser at it is just asking for a fire, assuming you could ever get the laser hot enough for the aluminum to fuse before it distributes the heat."
    I will continue to research it though, seems like a great process too. Hope that Aluminum 6061 T6 can be used![/QUOTE


    .....think that is what the argon does, displace the oxygen when you weld it.
    I expect they use a granular metal rather than dust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phaze721 View Post
    Thanks a lot for your reply, I appreciate it. Yes, they have the same tolerance. Production units would be of 1,000 , 5,000 , 10,000 , 15,000. Do you think it would be feasible?
    Are these in amounts per day?

    Here, figure it this way.
    24hr/day = 1440 mins. Multiply this by 80% utilization @ 80% efficiency gives you around 920 REAL minutes per machine per day to use.
    If you can get your cycle time to a minute, this would be your daily yield. @920 pieces per day per machine.

    This is feasible. Granted, there's room for process improvements to get your cycle times down thus, your piece cost as well. With consideration to improving the utilization, I'd suggest an automated cell. This improves both numbers.
    The one thing I'd add, to sustain production volumes on any machine running 24/7 ... should only be based on a 6 day week. You'll need that extra day for maintenance and other unforeseen delays.

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    Do you guys know of a machine or process that can fold over the rim of a metal cup in order to form the nose thickness of my design?
    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phaze721 View Post
    Do you guys know of a machine or process that can fold over the rim of a metal cup in order to form the nose thickness of my design?
    Thanks!
    Deep drawing ---- http://www.engineersedge.com/manufac...l_stamping.htm

    For a video ---see

    http://www.engineeringmotion.com/vid...-manufacturing

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