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Old 03-22-2014, 06:44 AM
wrangler5 wrangler5 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Missouri
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Still here despite working full time for a CPA firm during tax season. This means I normally can't ship the same day an order comes in (which I have done in the past, if the order arrives early ehough in the day) but so far I've always been able to get things out the next business day.

Allow me to ask a production question for any of you who may be engineering types or otherwise have experience molding small parts with metal inserts. If you have suggestions, please do NOT respond on this forum, but send an email to [email protected].

I have been looking for a more "industrial" method of making these adapters than the one-at-a-time pouring method I have been using from the start. I would also like to make 'em in a way that insures each adapter is identical to the last, so that I would not have to check the fit on each one against the proper gun.

I have explored 3-D printing, but am told by several providers that it's not feasible to "print" the copper clips into a product. I also gather that to get the surface smoothness of my existing product would take a relatively high end printer, and so would be VERY expensive per part. (I get the sense that, in general, 3-D printing is best used as a prototyping tool, not an ongoing production process, although I've seen rumors/reports that GE supposedly 3-D prints jet engine turbine blades. Must be one helluva printer.)

I have also explored injection molding, but the local molding shop I visited kept a sample adapter for a couple of months and came back with a "we can't figure out how we'd do it" email. I sent a follow up email asking a couple of detailed questions, and proposed a solution to what I thought might be one problem, but haven't had a reply. This may just mean they're not interested in a small-lot job that would be more trouble than they want to bother with. But if it does indeed mean there isn't a feasible way to make a mold that will incorporate the copper clips into a part with the shape of my adapter, I'd like to know it so I can stop thinking about it. I think the molded-in design I use is one of the advantages my adapters have over those with staked-on clips, and I would want to retain that in any alternative production process.

So - if any of you with knowledge or experience in the molding business have any thoughts along these lines that you'd be willing to share, I'd appreciate hearing from you. Again, NOT on this segment of the forum - there aren't supposed to be any general discussions carried on here - but by email to [email protected]

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Last edited by wrangler5; 03-22-2014 at 07:15 AM.
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