Custom broaches for laser cut knockout die? Weird custom tooling alert - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Ok, I could be waaaaaaaaay off base here...

    But isn't this kinda the forte of a CNC Turret Punch Press like this one: YouTube

    ?

    I've no experience with them, but I feel like .190" Aluminum shouldn't be an issue for an industrial one, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    Ok, I could be waaaaaaaaay off base here...

    But isn't this kinda the forte of a CNC Turret Punch Press like this one: YouTube

    ?

    I've no experience with them, but I feel like .190" Aluminum shouldn't be an issue for an industrial one, no?
    Yes and no. Punching would be no problem for that material, but you either make punches for the shape of your holes, you nibble them away with a small round punch or you make the shape using more than one tool or the same tool indexed differently.

    The shitty part is when you slit the part out. Odd angles will never slit just perfect. You have to index the punches to that exact angle when you set them up and it rarely works perfect. Also, slitting leaves a lot of witness marks on the part edge. Cleans off real easy with a belt sander, but that's hand work I'd want to avoid. Punched edges have a draft to them in thicker material as well. that probably isn't a good thing for a product like this that really just needs to look good above all else.

    I can run all the turret punch parts I want for free and I have a CO2 laser that would cut those. If that was my product I would do it on a mill. I would shear sheets into blanks and try to make it a one op and 100% done part in a CNC mill.

    Handling and hand finishing shit like that adds huge expense.

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  5. #23
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    Forgive me if this has already been suggested, I did not read every response.

    As I see it you need to cut the slugs loose AND trim those nubs. I would combine those two operations with a single operation. I would locate the bridges in radius-ed corners if possible. Then make a SIMPLE stamping die set by drilling two flat plates with simple, round holes for pins at those locations. The pins would have a radius to match the desired, corner radius and would be aligned to that radius. The two plates could be drilled in alignment, at the same time. The holes in the upper plate would be blind and reamed to one or two thousandths larger than the pins, so the pins could be held in place with LocTite. Worn pins could be replaced by heating the LocTite to remove them.

    The lower plate would be reamed a few thousandths larger for the needed clearance with the pins. It would, of course, provide for the alignment of the part. This simple stamping die set can be shop made to hold down the cost.

    One go in the press of your choice should cut all the slugs loose and leave a nice radius in those corners. The use of pins instead of a full form punch should keep the pressure needed to a minimum. If a further reduction is needed, you can stagger the length of the pins so that only a fraction of them are cutting the aluminum at one time. You can arrange them in groups of three or four to balance the load about the center line of the press.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic View Post
    HI guys,

    OK, here's another weird one.
    We make hand saws. Fancy hand saws. The spines look like trusses. They're laser cut in 6061-T6, .190 thick, so there's lots of little slugs to knock out of the holes. They're single-tabbed, so they stay in the blank during cutting. If we cut them clear, one or two of them will only partially drop, then tilt and stick up proud of the sheet. Then the laser will home onto those spikes like we were aiming for them, and knock its lens out of alignment. (at best) So they're tabbed, and going to stay that way.

    The problem is that we're blowing a lot of handwork time (A) knocking the tabs out, and (B) cleaning up the little pip that's left over from the tab on the inside of all the windows. (There are 15-18 windows per saw, and we punch out many hundred of these things every month. So *lots* of windows to clean up.)

    So my problems are two: knockout and pip cleanup.
    The obvious answer for knocking out the slugs is just to make a sort of pannini-press sort of die, with a bunch of steel dowel pins to punch the slugs out through a custom cut steel baseplate that matches the shapes of the windows, plus 0.020".
    Other than the PITA factor of making it, not such a big deal, except perhaps figuring out which press to run it in. I have a bunch of kick presses, so that may be the way. Use ball bearing guide shafts, and let the jig align on itself, with the press just supplying power.

    The kinky part comes when I had a thought to combine the knockout die with some sort of a cleanup function for all the pips.
    The pips are always in the same place. So my idea was to do something like a broach to file or shave off the pip as the die was closing to knock out the slugs. The thing I'm picturing is like a gear or pulley keyway broach but shorter. All it really needs to do is shave off that little teeny pip, 0.200" tall. So it doesn't need to be much. In a perfect world, it'd be round, with a flat spot for the broach face, and a stock item for somebody, doing something else, so i could just order a bunch of them off the shelf somewhere. I'd like a pointed tip so I could aim them into a drill jig bushing for support on the bottom side.

    Have any of you out there seen small short broaches like this? Who uses them? For what?
    I have a die filer, but I really don't want to do them that way if I can avoid it. Waaaaaay too much repetitive work for me to ask any of my guys to go nuts doing it that way if I can help it.
    Anybody got a better idea?

    As a final wrinkle, we do spend a fair bit of time cleaning up the inside of the windows with dremels, to smooth out the cut marks. (Because the customers require it.) So I'm also pondering what it'd take to just make up a die that had broaches that'd fully broach all the windows by a few thou, just to clean up the cut walls. I'm assuming for something like that, I'd be wanting to talk to a broach house?

    Anybody ever done anything like this? Any ideas or suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Brian

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    HI guys,

    Thanks for all the replies. They've given me some very useful info, especially about the possible die life.

    I think what I'm going to do from here is first send out RFQ's to see how bad it'll be to get them water-jetted instead of lasered. Waterjet has a better edge finish than laser, so let's see about the pricing.

    The problem is finding a *sane* waterjet house in the south Bay. Lee (Oldster) and I had a joke about the waterjet houses we used early on: there must be something in the garnet. They're all nuts. And they all were. But we're playing a different game, in a whole different league now. Maybe we can find some bigger players that aren't quite as crazy.

    Failing that, I did (sorta) find a place to stash a small gantry router, so I'll probably either just flat out mill them from sheet on the big VMC, or do a vacuum held-down full edge profile of lasered parts on a gantry router.
    The problem is that there are a couple of hard 90 inside corners that you can't see from the pictures of the finished saws that are part of the actual working of the saw, so they need to be there. Milling those on a VMC is going to present challenges to doing it fast enough to be worth the trouble.
    (They interact with the clamp parts, of which I have many thousands already, so re-designing isn't going to happen.)

    Again, thanks for all the replies. They were very useful.

    Regards,
    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic View Post
    The problem is that there are a couple of hard 90 inside corners that you can't see from the pictures of the finished saws that are part of the actual working of the saw, so they need to be there. Milling those on a VMC is going to present challenges to doing it fast enough to be worth the trouble.
    (They interact with the clamp parts, of which I have many thousands already, so re-designing isn't going to happen.)

    You can do all kinds of wild shit with a CNC mill. One of those things includes broaching and even punching. Depending on the machine you are using you could probably get away with taking a pretty big chunk of .190" 6061 out in a single whack with a punch mounted in a toolholder and a die built into the fixture below.

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    Consider not only the smaller gantries (Haas GR, or Milltronics BR - maybe others) and of course heavier duty "routers", but also just a large VMC.

    There's a whole class of VMC in what I'll call 50x25 and up (60x30 is common too) - which matter here because they could process 1/4 sheets of standard 4x8 material (or 1/6th sheets of 4x12) - which you cut down with a handheld plasma and a straight edge guide, or some similar easy thing.

    I couldn't *quite* fit a Milltronics bridge into a pre-constrained space, but it looks like a VF5 will fit - and my space is odd shaped. For something you want to do a key part of production, both of these classes of machines (small gantry/router and largish VMC) are fittable.

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    Ok. I've no experience with cutting lasers... So maybe this is stupid...

    But I feel like we may be overlooking an obvious solution...

    If the issue is that the slugs fall in weird ways on top of the knife edges of the support platform below...

    Can you make a spoilerboard fixture that the blanks can be fixtured to, with pockets cutout in the areas that will have slugs dropped, and simply raise the height of the laser head to compensate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeachMePlease View Post
    Ok. I've no experience with cutting lasers... So maybe this is stupid...

    But I feel like we may be overlooking an obvious solution...

    If the issue is that the slugs fall in weird ways on top of the knife edges of the support platform below...

    Can you make a spoilerboard fixture that the blanks can be fixtured to, with pockets cutout in the areas that will have slugs dropped, and simply raise the height of the laser head to compensate?
    You certainly can, but it reads like it isn't his laser. If the laser shop has to change out the work supports to cut this guys parts they are going to charge a lot for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    You certainly can, but it reads like it isn't his laser. If the laser shop has to change out the work supports to cut this guys parts they are going to charge a lot for it.

    I mean, if he made them a simple fixutre with a pin to swing for location, and a square edge to sweep for orientation, it would only add 5 minutes to the setup time, assuming they have a competent guy, and not a button masher. That five minutes per run would cost him a lot less than custom tooling and a second operation.

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    A rubber bladder press will pop these out .two plates a rubber sheet and some air pressure. In regards to the pips. How about a slight change in geometry so that they cant rotate in the hole? Then you can make a complete cut. You have enough thickness to make that work.

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    HI guys,

    No, unfortunately it's not my laser. It's one of those giant Mitsubishi 'load one/cut one' style machines. So it's loading sheet 2 out on the infeed table while it's cutting sheet 1. When it gets done with 1, it drops the entire table about a foot down, scoots it out of the cab under the table holding sheet 2, which raises, and then scoots in. Rinse, repeat, automagically. Picture a 5 foot x 12 foot pallet changer on a monster HMC. So there's really not any way to put a spoil board under the sheets without gimmicking both feed beds, and the entire machine. That I don't own. The odds of this occurring are....slim.
    Nice idea though. I'm still exploring several options about how to proceed. I'll let you know what we finally end up doing.
    Thanks for all the comments, they've been very useful.
    Brian.

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    This is a video I was looking for. Just a better and safer way of programming.
    YouTube

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