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02-24-2012, 08:21 AM #1
Trying to manufacture my first piece.
My father owns a large machine shop with any kind of manufacturing machine you can imagine. They do basically everything in the automotive and boating manufacturing industry.
I'm looking to make about 100 of a product for someone, but my father is far too busy to help answer any of these questions, so maybe you guys can.
This is what I'm trying to make: They're called plugs, and they're a type of earring.
I've seen them in wood, stone, plastic, and metal. I'm trying to figure out what I would do to automate the manufacture of these (or near automated). For example, I wouldn't want to hand carve 100 of these out of wood, so how would I get a machine to do it? Would I make a 3D model and put it in a cnc machine and have it CNC the wood, or would there be a better way to do it?
My father told me to make a plastic one, Id need to make an injection mold in Solidworks or a similar program, and then he could do the rest. Only problem with that is that I dont want a parting line. I have my friends plastic plugs right now, and its like it was all cut from one piece of plastic, there isnt any parting line or anything. It's totally smooth.
I have no idea how these are manufactured, especially the stone or metal ones. I assume its with a CNC machine, but maybe you guys can guide me along.
Also, I want to do all of this myself except using the machines in my dads shop. I dont want to outsource the molding or anything. I want to do this with only me, and whatever machines I need, I probably have access too.
Thanks for reading this far!! Hopefully that all made sense, I'm pretty new to this!
( I should state that I'm fully aware you cannot wear just any type of material in your ear. I'm also aware of copyright and anything else im doing related)
Last edited by philll; 02-24-2012 at 11:28 AM.
02-24-2012, 08:38 AM #2
take a college machine shop class. you'll learn about manufacturaing methods. get some exposure to that and maybe broaden your interests.
your question is to vague to answer. there are to many possibilities.
A lot of people think those plugs are really stupid. I am one of them. But, you can make a lot of money on stupid crap. That is not so stupid now, is it?
a CNC lathe could spit those out from plastic bar stock in vast quantity with zero tooling investment and easy design modification. then you would look to do perhaps some sort of engraving on the face. The wood octopi you show are laser engraved.
molding them would be a much higher initial cost. I doubt your prepared to handle the types of quantities that process is appropriate for. And the time to learn how to do all that is not what you want either.
02-24-2012, 09:00 AM #3
Parts for body mutilation. How charming...
Do the people who wear this crap ever wonder why they can't get a decent job?
02-24-2012, 09:06 AM #4
02-24-2012, 09:07 AM #5
philll, please edit your location in profile, as per instructions when you register "USA" is not good enough. We need state or at least general area, such as Northeast, USA...otherwise you will be in risk of ban.
02-24-2012, 09:15 AM #6
Make them out of depleted uranium. That way the ear will hang down around your knees.
Nothing says "ownership of my body" like ears around your knees.
02-24-2012, 09:38 AM #7
I wonder why to ear plug people don't put plugs in their tacheas. That RESL "ownership."
02-24-2012, 09:57 AM #8
Oh boy here we go.
Philll: Although I can't really give you much advise on how to make the plugs I can say Good luck. It's nice to see someone with some initiative. God knows you could have just sat on the couch and expected a handout like the rest of the country.
As for the remarks of others:
You know, I'm sure they do wonder why they can't get a decent job. It's probably because some ignorant b hole shop owner wouldn't give them a fair shake because they were different. It's funny that the same owner will go and complain that there isn't any good help or qualified machinist out there.
2/3 of my graduating CNC / CAM class were "those guys" with this "crap" in their ears. Someone clearly looked past that & they are all now very accomplished machinist & cnc operators. One of them is the lead man at one of the largest shops in the area and he's only 25. It really is amazing how "those guys" can get a decent job.
02-24-2012, 10:19 AM #9
Is there a senior shop guy you could get to help you?
If you are friends with someone ask them.
If you are not friends then ask soemone if you could hire them for a couple hours after work or on Saturday. Be generous.
If they won't take money then a couple six packs of really good beer of a gift cerificate to Cabela's, a Harley store or similar might be a good idea.
Maybe you could trade cleanup time for instruction time.
Approach this very humbly and make sure that you are doing this as you and not as the big boss's kid.
As for the other comments: Can someone please explain to me what appearance has to do with performance. My nephew, the Iraqi infantry vet and electronics technician, is into earrings and extreme hair. He is a nice, polite, hadworking man who is good to his mother. In 50 years I have worked with an awful lot of different kinds of folks. They seem to run about the same percentage of good to bad as anyone else. I have even worked with two separate sets of identical twins where one was a really good worker and the other one not so much.
As far as kids doings stupid things, I have been in a few discussion around a campfire where most of the stories started "Now, you kids don't do this, but when I was a kid...".
David Utidjian liked this post
02-24-2012, 10:45 AM #10
The plugs can be easily made on a small manual lathe. My 13 yo daughter is making some for her brother in the next few weeks. Waiting for me to build a ball turner first. For now she is learning the lathe basics, and safety. They are a beginner project.
02-24-2012, 10:49 AM #11
The wooden ones appear to be done with a laser - that requires a special machine. A company in Colorado makes them.
02-24-2012, 10:56 AM #12
A friend of mine has things nearly that size in his ears, tattoos on his head, neck, arms, legs, and probably more, and basically looks like he fell face-first into a fishing tackle box.
He works as a parts department manger for a motorcycle shop. He may or may not ever get beyond that, but it's his choice to have done that with his body. It's just too bad that a wife and young kid may have to share in any limitations he's imposed upon himself.
I'd make and sell products like that in a heartbeat if I had enough of the creativity and liability insurance do so. There's a market for it, so there's money to be made. Dive right in!
02-24-2012, 10:57 AM #13
Lol, i can see this is going to be a BASH fest. They sell those on ebay for pennies and head shops get big bucks for them....Please dont ask how to make bongs next.
02-24-2012, 11:01 AM #14
Bongs? but I don't have a glass lathe....yet.
02-24-2012, 11:02 AM #15
THANKS FOR THE HELP SO FAR!
See, it isn't that my father wont help, its that he CANT. He's too busy flying to other countries and whatever else his business requires. I know I have full access to his machines though.
I had no idea the wood one was made with a laser. Now, do you think the entire wooden plug was lasered, or just the octopus and the rest was done with a lathe or a cnc?
So let me see if I can get this straight. The best way to make them that i've gathered so far is.
Metal - CNC
Stone - ?
Plastic - Lathe, injection mold also works
Wood - CNC? laser etched designs are possible.
Can you machine the design into the wood? Or do you guys atleast know the name of this laser machine? I can see if we have one
02-24-2012, 11:21 AM #16
Ok, that grossed me out. I guess I should be glad they don't wear those things on their dongs.
It's spelled "piece". ("I" before "E", except when pronounced as an "A" as in "freight" or in "weigh".)
Just a hunch here, but my sense is you would be advised to stay well away from machine tools for your own safety.
02-24-2012, 11:25 AM #17
a crappy mood..
I dont wear these in my ears. I like keeping a professional look about myself. I think they can look good on other people if they do it right, but they just aren't for me. I've always enjoyed design, and I figured I'd start trying to make them. As for jscpm. If I can go to the local drag strip and race a 600 horsepower camaro on the weekends, then I'm pretty sure I can handle a button-pressing machine.
As for everyone else, you guys have been really helpful!
redlee liked this post
02-24-2012, 11:31 AM #18
02-24-2012, 11:38 AM #19
Then there is choosing to be different in an "in-your-face" sort of way.
Not a one of them is ignorant of the fact that the types they choose to emulate are on the fringes and doing so advertises their alliances, good or otherwise. It's a statement, one that is guarenteed to stir a reaction of one sort or another, that why they do it. "Hey world, this is me, damned proud of it and you gotta' like it or I'll pout, "unfair"!"
They choose to tweak, as do I. Doing it right now.
The truly pathetic ones try to justify it by espousing a need to be different. Different? Bullshit! It's being the "same" to join a particular but iffy club, they are the ultimate joiners, monkey see/monkey do.
As an employer of construction workers over the years, just like them, I made choices. Mild statements sometimes overlooked, construction being different than sales or banking.
Sometimes it wasn't easy, some guys can hide inadequacy of judgement for a while and others walk up with the story dangling from or stained into their visage. So I thoroughly understand that people can have a preference and so excerise that preference, regardless of what anyone else thinks. I always did, that was my statement.
02-24-2012, 11:50 AM #20
any lathe can spit out slugs of appropriate shape. from metal, wood, or plastic.
the laser engraving would be done to the slug via something like this
epilog laser - Google Search
buying a laser would be an excelent idea for an artistic person with money. just look at all the cool stuff you can do. build your business around truly custom laser engraved "stuff" like the stupid ear plugs.
go watch google videos of manufacturing processes untill your sick of it to get an idea the vastness that is CNC.