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  1. #1

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    Source for CNC work

    Hi All,
    I am looking for a source that will provide CNC work on a small run basis. I am aware of SKGrimes (and pleased with the work I have seen from them) but I'm curious if there are other options. Any ideas?
    Celac

  2. #2

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    "There are two ways to avoid most trouble in life: live below your means... and within your seams."

  3. #3
    declark's Avatar
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    What kind of quantities are you looking for and material(s) machined?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by declark View Post
    What kind of quantities are you looking for and material(s) machined?
    Hi,
    Quantities are going to be very small. Certainly less than twenty of each part. I am looking for aluminum parts to use for the structure of camera.
    Celac

  5. #5

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    Probably you have a local machine shop that can do this for you. There are also a bunch of hobbiest people who could probably do this on their home built CNC machines. Try a search for DIY cnc machine, or other things like that and I bet you might be able to find someone that could do the work for cheap.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    Probably you have a local machine shop that can do this for you. There are also a bunch of hobbiest people who could probably do this on their home built CNC machines. Try a search for DIY cnc machine, or other things like that and I bet you might be able to find someone that could do the work for cheap.
    My search so far has shown that, while there are certainly local shops that could do it, finding somebody who wants to do it is equally important. The (few) people who I have discussed this with seemed unenthusiastic about the project. It would fun to find someone who has the capability to do the work in their home shop and was interested in getting involved in my project.
    Celac

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pelerin View Post
    My search so far has shown that, while there are certainly local shops that could do it, finding somebody who wants to do it is equally important. The (few) people who I have discussed this with seemed unenthusiastic about the project. It would fun to find someone who has the capability to do the work in their home shop and was interested in getting involved in my project.
    Celac
    Surely the problem is that $250,000 CNC rigs are not common in home workshops, and those with expensive CNC rigs are not necessarily enthusiastic about nickel-and-dime jobs. Non-CNC machinists may do things for fun; few with serious CNC machinery can afford to do so.

    If price isn't an issue, try the Seitz brothers.

    Cheers,

    R.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Surely the problem is that $250,000 CNC rigs are not common in home workshops, and those with expensive CNC rigs are not necessarily enthusiastic about nickel-and-dime jobs. Non-CNC machinists may do things for fun; few with serious CNC machinery can afford to do so.

    If price isn't an issue, try the Seitz brothers.

    Cheers,

    R.
    I think you are quite correct about small job aversion. Add to that dealing with someone who is not an engineer/designer/draftsperson and making something that is outside of the normal run of what the shop does and I understand their position.

    I am aware of Seitz. I'm sure if their work is good enough for Alpa it would exceed my demands. I wonder though if they would not be averse to making tiny runs for the same reasons you advanced. Have you had any dealings with them?

    In my experience price is always a design concern. There are very few people who can blithely operate by Vanderbilt's dictum. However, it is one concern among many. In this case my main concern was to determine if there were resources available to me that I was unaware of. I suppose that if I found half a dozen vendors I would bid out my job. This did not (and still doesn't) seem a likely outcome. Perhaps I should have asked the question more broadly. CNC is not the central issue. Is anyone aware of a machinist that is happy to take on short run jobs for photographers (in addition to those already mentioned in this thread)?
    Celac

  9. #9
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I have a CNC drill/router at work which was originally intended for printed circuit boards.

    I have made a few camera parts on it for myself from 1/8" thick laminated material.

    Most of the parts for this were cut with it: http://www.geocities.com/steve.smith...et.com/cam.jpg

    Unfortunately, I can't cut aluminium with it... yet. I need to find a way to slow it down. You end up with a molten mess at the cut edges.

    I am going to try brass soon as I think I may have more success with it.

    Steve.

  10. #10

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    Der Celac,

    I've been to the Seitz factory and met the brothers. I'm sure they'll do very small runs -- Alpa isn't exactly a mass production item, and in fact, nothing they make is mass produced. Thomas and Ursula (owners of Alpa) are non-engineers, but the Seitz brothers translated quite vague ideas into gorgeous cameras. I'd certainly recommend that you contact them, but as I say, it won't be cheap.

    Cheers,

    roger

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