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Old 10-10-2013, 03:01 PM   #481
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Hm.

Shows you what I know about polymers.

(Very little.)
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:32 AM   #482
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So, here's a fun game I've just invented.

One thing you see a lot of in Manhattan is people hailing cabs. This is an extremely simple procedure which entails standing at the edge of the street with one hand raised and outstretched. Commonly, said hand will be directly adjacent to, or protruding slightly into, the bike lane:





I've started high-fiving everyone whom I ride past in this pose.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:40 PM   #483
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lolol
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:48 PM   #484
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Because you're injection molding it, not spraying it with a chopper gun.

There's also forged composite which is a similar process to injection molding with a fiber reinforced plastic but using a thermoset rather than a thermoplastic and it uses a higher amount of the fabric material.

FRP composites have been around for a long time. The rear shelf panels of most cars are produced this way. Varieties and combinations of different fibers (including natural stuff like flax) and different resins/plastics can produce some very strong and light parts. They can now even combine different fiber/plastic combinations within the same part, molded in one step.

However, you still need the molds, and that's where the cost comes in, unless you have fairly high production volumes like automobiles. Molds for the size stuff I was working on typically ran from 100k on up.

I worked on molds, molding parameters (heat, pressure, time) when I worked in the auto industry. If you ever owned a mid to late 90's Subaru or GM midsize, chances are I designed the rear panels for it, or at least the process to make them.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:27 PM   #485
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Originally Posted by rleete View Post
FRP composites have been around for a long time. The rear shelf panels of most cars are produced this way. Varieties and combinations of different fibers (including natural stuff like flax) and different resins/plastics can produce some very strong and light parts. They can now even combine different fiber/plastic combinations within the same part, molded in one step.

However, you still need the molds, and that's where the cost comes in, unless you have fairly high production volumes like automobiles. Molds for the size stuff I was working on typically ran from 100k on up.

I worked on molds, molding parameters (heat, pressure, time) when I worked in the auto industry. If you ever owned a mid to late 90's Subaru or GM midsize, chances are I designed the rear panels for it, or at least the process to make them.
Just use metal.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:30 PM   #486
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete View Post
FRP composites have been around for a long time. The rear shelf panels of most cars are produced this way. Varieties and combinations of different fibers (including natural stuff like flax) and different resins/plastics can produce some very strong and light parts. They can now even combine different fiber/plastic combinations within the same part, molded in one step.

However, you still need the molds, and that's where the cost comes in, unless you have fairly high production volumes like automobiles. Molds for the size stuff I was working on typically ran from 100k on up.

I worked on molds, molding parameters (heat, pressure, time) when I worked in the auto industry. If you ever owned a mid to late 90's Subaru or GM midsize, chances are I designed the rear panels for it, or at least the process to make them.
Hmm, is that 100k for a mold made by union american labor that needs to be able to make 50k-200k pieces? Joes thinking of an sls mold designed to make about 20 pieces and I'm thinking of chines molds to make a couple thousand. Now I'm assuming the mold gets cheaper the less parts it needs to survive making.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:31 PM   #487
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Hmm, is that 100k for a mold made by union american labor that needs to be able to make 50k-200k pieces? Joes thinking of an sls mold designed to make about 20 pieces and I'm thinking of chines molds to make a couple thousand. Now I'm assuming the mold gets cheaper the less parts it needs to survive making.

I think a lot of the mold cost is in CNC time- which is fairly independent of location...

CNC machines don't get paid less in china.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:58 PM   #488
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I think a lot of the mold cost is in CNC time- which is fairly independent of location...

CNC machines don't get paid less in china.
Right, but if you can eliminate CNC from the process altogether by using SLS, then the price should go down.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:01 PM   #489
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I think a lot of the mold cost is in CNC time- which is fairly independent of location...

CNC machines don't get paid less in china.
The machine is kind of a sunk cost, paying the operator with 2 bowels of rice a day rather than $18/hr + benefits is a pretty big difference. I know our shop costs. Machine time in my building costs around 3 times as much as the same machine in china.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #490
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Right, but if you can eliminate CNC from the process altogether by using SLS, then the price should go down.
but wouldn't an SLS machine cost money to run/program (maybe less than cnc but still not free)?



This is all good discussion- but i don't think there is a magic bullet way to make a super high quality bike frame for cheap. Prices will come down slowly as they have been for the last 20 years.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:50 PM   #491
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Quote:
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paying the operator with 2 bowels of rice a day rather than $18/hr + benefits is a pretty big difference.
As someone who has had first-hand experience dealing with a company in mainland China to produce molded rubber and plastic parts, a few word of advice:

1: Good quality labor in China is not that much cheaper than in the US. The easiest way for the really cheap shops to remain really cheap is to not have any QC whatsoever. The shops that produce a product comparable to what you'd expect out of the US or Europe know exactly how much they can charge people for this level of quality.

2: Even if you have selected a reputable shop to deal with, managing production in China still takes a lot of time and energy. You can't just hand them the plans and say "call me when it's done," you really have to ride them. As a low-volume producer (eg: anyone other than Apple, Sony, etc), you are just a number on a sheet of paper unless you make it a point to actually go over there and personally supervise every last little detail.




Quote:
Originally Posted by dcamp2 View Post
but wouldn't an SLS machine cost money to run/program (maybe less than cnc but still not free)?
Well, I'm not sure how to answer that.

For small stuff, you can go to a company like Shapeways and have one-off items SLSed for extremely cheap. Their system is set up much like Zazzle or ExpressPCB- you use their software to design the part, upload it to their server, and they print it. Very little human intervention on their side.

Does a similar concept exist for making something the size of a mold for a bike frame? I have utterly no idea. If it doesn't then someone is missing a huge business opportunity.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:55 PM   #492
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Also, new idea:



$160 at Walmart with free shipping: Get the Schwinn 700c Hybrid Bike, Men's for less at Walmart.com. Save money. Live better.

I went and checked out the woman's version at K-mart this afternoon (there are no Wal-Marts here) and the quality seems un-horrible. Needs different rubber, but aside from that the parts seem ok. It actually has exactly the same shifter and derailleur as my first e-bike did, and those were just fine.

The reviews, in general, trend towards two things, both of which are good:

1: "I'm 5'9" and this bike is way too big for me," and
2: "All of the chrome parts started rusting immediately."

So at 6'2", this should be a good fit, and it sounds like it'll uglify itself in short order. Also comes with a bunch of parts which I'd otherwise have to buy separately (big, comfy seat, front and rear fenders, cargo rack) so again, that's a plus.

And, c'mon- it's $160.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:12 PM   #493
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And, c'mon- it's $160.
See post #491 above. You often get exactly what you pay for.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:41 PM   #494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
As someone who has had first-hand experience dealing with a company in mainland China to produce molded rubber and plastic parts, a few word of advice:

1: Good quality labor in China is not that much cheaper than in the US. The easiest way for the really cheap shops to remain really cheap is to not have any QC whatsoever. The shops that produce a product comparable to what you'd expect out of the US or Europe know exactly how much they can charge people for this level of quality.

2: Even if you have selected a reputable shop to deal with, managing production in China still takes a lot of time and energy. You can't just hand them the plans and say "call me when it's done," you really have to ride them. As a low-volume producer (eg: anyone other than Apple, Sony, etc), you are just a number on a sheet of paper unless you make it a point to actually go over there and personally supervise every last little detail.




Well, I'm not sure how to answer that.

For small stuff, you can go to a company like Shapeways and have one-off items SLSed for extremely cheap. Their system is set up much like Zazzle or ExpressPCB- you use their software to design the part, upload it to their server, and they print it. Very little human intervention on their side.

Does a similar concept exist for making something the size of a mold for a bike frame? I have utterly no idea. If it doesn't then someone is missing a huge business opportunity.

All this sls stuff is very interesting... damn- it sounds like a kinkos that can make bike parts.



I've experienced the China quality issues as well. I make DETAILED drawings and get back parts that look right, but are no where near the tolerances i specify... you have to go back and forth a few times before it is understood that the parts I want are not shiny metal trinkets, but actually have function and purpose.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:24 PM   #495
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See post #491 above. You often get exactly what you pay for.
Exactly- if I pay more, I'm going to wind up stuck with a bike that's worth more.

Right now, I have two bikes. One is a very nice $500 Giant, the other is a $99 Walmart special. While I can definitely tell the difference between them, the fact is that the $99 bike is good enough for my needs. And what's more important, the $99 bike gets ridden every day, while the $500 bike (which, in reality, is now worth upwards of $1.5k including the electronics) spends most of its time parked in the living room of my 11'th floor apartment.

I realize that this is probably difficult to comprehend for people who have never lived in a super-urban environment, but an expensive, high-quality bicycle is simply incompatible with my lifestyle at the moment.

So, like I said. I checked out the sister bike to the one I posted above, and I judge the quality to be adequate. A lot of reviews complain about this-and-that, but these are mostly issues related to setup and adjustment- nothing that a few hours' time and some redline grease can't fix.

I think I'm going to order this one.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dcamp2 View Post
All this sls stuff is very interesting... damn- it sounds like a kinkos that can make bike parts.
I should point out that I have *ZERO* experience with RP-style SLS. I have utterly no idea whether the resultant parts are sufficiently durable for production molding, or if tolerances can be maintained adequately, or anything else for that matter.

But it certainly *seems* like it would work.

I mean, this extremely detailed model of Princess Celestia only costs $48 to print in quantity 1 at shapeways.com, and that includes all the colors:





I don't *think* that SLS / SLA is going to soon be suitable for directly printing high-end bike frames, but it just might be ready for prime-time when it comes to toolmaking.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:36 PM   #496
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Joe Perez once entertained the idea of purchasing a fancy car just to impress the sophisticated, classy women he hoped to attract. Joe Perez is convinced a Wal-Mart bike is the best transportation choice he can currently make.

Sometimes I find it difficult to reconcile the apparently disparate aspects of Joe's personality.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:59 PM   #497
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I got proper T shirt for biking and bit better helmet from sale, but its freezing +2C or 36f for you guys so I wont be using those until next summer.

So in meanwhile... I realized while watching that I'm holding the chair quite tight.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:27 PM   #498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Also, new idea:



$160 at Walmart with free shipping: Get the Schwinn 700c Hybrid Bike, Men's for less at Walmart.com. Save money. Live better.

I went and checked out the woman's version at K-mart this afternoon (there are no Wal-Marts here) and the quality seems un-horrible. Needs different rubber, but aside from that the parts seem ok. It actually has exactly the same shifter and derailleur as my first e-bike did, and those were just fine.

The reviews, in general, trend towards two things, both of which are good:

1: "I'm 5'9" and this bike is way too big for me," and
2: "All of the chrome parts started rusting immediately."

So at 6'2", this should be a good fit, and it sounds like it'll uglify itself in short order. Also comes with a bunch of parts which I'd otherwise have to buy separately (big, comfy seat, front and rear fenders, cargo rack) so again, that's a plus.

And, c'mon- it's $160.
Do it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #499
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While those guys are somewhat braver than I am, in general, the first part of the video gives a fairly good idea of what cycling in NYC is like.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:58 AM   #500
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I got proper T shirt for biking and bit better helmet from sale, but its freezing +2C or 36f for you guys so I wont be using those until next summer.

So in meanwhile... I realized while watching that I'm holding the chair quite tight.
That was entertaining, thanks.
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