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    Default how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    Hello everyone.
    This is my first post, I have never touched milling machine yet.
    To make long story short: I want produce plastic parts for device I invented.
    3D printer it`s not an option due to quality and printing time issues.
    I need to have aluminium molds for plastic injection. Ordering price is above my financial capibilities.


    I have to estimate if I can hadle with it by my own.
    The budget I have(2-3 thousent euro) on cnc milling machine may not be much for most of you who work on solid machines but my goal is to make those injection molds from aluminium using cheap milling cnc or ploter in textbook way or quick&dirty or any other way. Please keep in mind that this milling machine will be used only to mill 10 or 12 molds + for my learning purposes so I dont mind if
    milling process it self may be slow.


    So about the molds:
    Mold dimensions is 20x20x8 - for single-cavity mould,mold must keep high precission as later on plastic eleemnts from mold must fit tightly
    together very much like in way of lego bricks, also modl shape have sharp streight edges insite and outsite


    Example of complexity of element from mold in positive:
    https://ibb.co/mea4jF


    My questions are:


    1 - Is this possible that knowing 3d software and having codding experience (no Gcode) but on the other hand having 0 experince with milling and cnc
    I would be able to mill in aluminium such injection mold after 2 or 3 moths of learning (taking it to the bare minimum)?
    If not, how much time is require statisticly to learn from scratch for such skills?


    2 - Is it duable to mill such small mold in aluminum with cheap cnc milling/ploter up to 3.000euro/$ like one of those:


    ChinaCNCzone 3040Z-DQ 4-axis CNC Router Engraver (230 W) | eBay
    or
    Frezarka CNC – ploter - luib.pl


    or any in this price range?
    If not, what is the minimum cost of such cnc milling machine?

    I would be appreciated for any clue as I don't want to realize over 6 months than I need next need 6 months for learning and stronger machine anyway.

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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kredka View Post
    Hello everyone


    So about the molds:
    Mold dimensions is 20x20x8 - for single-cavity mould,mold must keep high precission as later on plastic eleemnts from mold must fit tightly
    together very much like in way of lego bricks, also modl shape have sharp streight edges insite and outsite

    [Are those mm or cm? If it's mm; that's a smaller mold than usual. Do you already have a plastic injection machine? Even a very basic machine like that will cost about as much as you've got budgeted. ]

    Example of complexity of element from mold in positive:
    https://ibb.co/mea4jF

    [That's considerably larger than the part you proposed in mm. The complexity isn't a problem per se, but all those features need a little draft to release from the mold easily. You'll probably also want to furnish it with release pins, to push the part out of the mold. Also, if that image represents the positive part, you can't expect outside corners that sharp, since the mold has to be cut with round tools.]


    My questions are:


    1 - Is this possible that knowing 3d software and having codding experience (no Gcode) but on the other hand having 0 experince with milling and cnc
    I would be able to mill in aluminium such injection mold after 2 or 3 moths of learning (taking it to the bare minimum)?
    If not, how much time is require statisticly to learn from scratch for such skills?

    [I haven't gathered statistics on this, but 2 or 3 months isn't a lot of time to master injection mold production, which is one of the most highly skilled aspects of CNC machining, especially if you've never milled anything before. You might be able to make some kind of mold , but one that works well is another issue. Here's a "white paper" with some good information on the subject: https://www.protolabs.com/resources/...ntal-elements/


    2 - Is it duable to mill such small mold in aluminum with cheap cnc milling/ploter up to 3.000euro/$ like one of those:


    ChinaCNCzone 3040Z-DQ 4-axis CNC Router Engraver (230 W) | eBay
    or
    Frezarka CNC – ploter - luib.pl

    or any in this price range?
    If not, what is the minimum cost of such cnc milling machine?

    [Not really - that's a machine designed for cutting wood or plastics. For milling aluminum effectively, you really need a mill, not a router. If your molds are small, you could probably find a machine that will work for a few thousand euros.]




    I would be appreciated for any clue as I don't want to realize over 6 months than I need next need 6 months for learning and stronger machine anyway.
    [Okay, I'll tell you now - you need at least six months and a stronger machine.]

    Andrew Werby
    Website


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    Gold Member Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    I agree with what Andrew said above. Do not confuse CNC routers with CNC milling machines, they are not the same.

    Cavity mold making is an artform. Normally requires years of experience to get it right. It is possible to make sharp corner molds on a milling machine, but not all in one piece. Then the pieces have to be fit into a mold base to work, and the fit must be absolutely correct.



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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    Hi all,

    I mostly agree with you. 6 months is a good timeframe to get solid basics. These machines you showed us should be just enough to mill aluminium. If you take it easy you should be all right. Just be patient I've been where you are about 6 months ago. I've partially DIY my router/milling machine and it cost me around 2000 euro. There is lots to learn and plenty end mills to break and hopefully not too much material to destroy.

    You can see my machine in action here:





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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    so if i understand this, you think you can master in 6 months what some take a lifetime to master......mold making?
    sorry man, i just cannot see it. you cannot program g codes, but you want to program a mold. lol
    that is funny.



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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    Quote Originally Posted by skywalker4 View Post
    so if i understand this, you think you can master in 6 months what some take a lifetime to master......mold making?
    sorry man, i just cannot see it. you cannot program g codes, but you want to program a mold. lol
    that is funny.
    Not to master, just to get basics for straightforward molds. And that will be a great challenge.



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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    You're two weeks into it now - do you feel you're much closer? Show us your results in another 5.5 months and we can discuss them. Here's some information to mull over in the meantime: https://www.protolabs.com/resources/white-papers/ https://www.creativemechanisms.com/b...l_mold_tooling

    Andrew Werby
    Website


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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    It doesn't matter what field you look into, there are always plenty of negative grumpies waiting to tell you why it can't be done instead of offering the help you asked for... there would be no entrepreneurs if the world listened to these people!

    No matter what anyone on a forum says, it is possible because others have done it. As for the learning curve, that will always depend on the individual. There are plenty of free resources and online tutorials these days so anyone can learn anything (within reason). Don't let anyone put you off.

    Thankfully, making a simple aluminum mold is not an artform anymore. That's the whole point of CNC machines and the various software platforms designed to deskill these processes.

    I personally witnessed a two part aluminum mold being made on a homemade CNC router recently. I was researching a similar topic to make aluminum molds for my carbon fiber parts and I wanted to make sure it could be done on a desktop CNC machine before investing. The simple answer is that it can but be aware that there is a fairly annoying polishing process to complete after to achieve a grade A finish in the mold cavity and to remove tool marks.

    The finishing work is no issue if you are setting up a large production process. It's a bit much for casting a handful of parts imo.

    Aluminum is no issue for a high speed CNC router spindle. In fact, a number of businesses are investing in high speed capabilities to increase the speed and quality of their aluminum parts. As a practical matter, 6061 aluminum is easier to machine than 7075 which is harder. I can cut 6061 on my manual router with ease.

    You have other options for casting plastic. For short runs or even medium runs, you can use silicone molds. These save a lot of time and money. It will be easier / less work to achieve a high quality surface finish.

    For rigid molds, my preferred material is still carbon fiber. It's stronger and more rigid than aluminum and retains dimensional stability well.

    whatever process you use, there will be a learning curve but if you are starting a business where this will be a regular need then it's worth it. Most of the businesses that make metal tooling still charge a fortune and are prohibitive for a small start-up. I did read about one company that specializes in making low cost aluminum injection molds for people like you. Their prices started at less than $2000 and they do all the molding for you. You just receive finished parts. It's worth a look...



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    Default Re: how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?

    Have a look around these websites for some ideas. You don't necessarily have to make injection molds. You can make your molds out of wax and use low temperature casting resins.

    As for those small machine cutting aluminum it can be done. It will just take a long time. If you have the cash to buy one of those desk top machines go for it. You won't regret it. And if you goof up your injection mold who cares. Aluminum is cheap. Just make another one until you get it right. Here is a link for design elements to consider for your part. https://www.protolabs.com/resources/design-aids/

    https://www.freemansupply.com/
    http://www.smoothon.com/



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how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?
how much knowlede and cost for aluminium mold ?