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Thread: FRN & its moulds ?

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    FRN & its moulds ?

    Do you know how much these things cost ?
    Can the cost of them be brought down by making the moulds with a 3D printer if or when this technology is up to the job ?
    O.

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    No, but it's a lot. Designing a mold is much more than just making the negative of the part in question. There are all sorts of considerations like fill and warping, etc. So both the design and the build cost $.

    I think it will be more likely that advances in 3D printing technology will allow the parts to be made directly, as opposed to making the mold.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Deacon's Avatar
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    A decade or so back, Sal said the molds for an FRN folder ran in the thirty to forty thousand dollar range. I suppose the cost could have gone down since then due to changes in technology, but I think it's more likely to have gone up due to inflation, like most other things. As for 3D printing, not sure where that stands as far as making durable goods that are exposed to fairly high temperatures. I suppose it could happen some day, but I've been around long enough to know that many of the speculated uses for technology either die on the vine or are less universally useful than envisioned. OTOH, I suspect 3-D printing may soon become an option for creating prototype handles, if nobody has done so already.
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    The cost of molds is considerably different depending on where they are made. US seems to be the most expensive at this time. The quality of the mold also varies quite a bit and a good mold makes all of the difference down the road when making parts. Quality will usually depend on the person making the mold.

    We use 3d printing for handle parts but I don't think the technology is anywhere close to making a mold. Mold technology is quite sophisticated using plunge EDM machines.

    sal

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Sal, if it's not a sensitive question, what's the average service life of a good FRN mold?

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    A well made mold could go several hundred thousand pieces.

    sal

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    The cost of molds is considerably different depending on where they are made. US seems to be the most expensive at this time. The quality of the mold also varies quite a bit and a good mold makes all of the difference down the road when making parts. Quality will usually depend on the person making the mold.

    We use 3d printing for handle parts but I don't think the technology is anywhere close to making a mold. Mold technology is quite sophisticated using plunge EDM machines.

    sal
    Do you mean in the prototype stages of a design or in production? And what parts specifically? Of course if you can't disclose I will understand. It will be interesting to see what the future of 3D printing offers.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User IG-88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDE View Post
    Do you mean in the prototype stages of a design or in production? And what parts specifically? Of course if you can't disclose I will understand. It will be interesting to see what the future of 3D printing offers.
    I've held some 3D-printed Prototypes of knife handles, complete knife and beads on the Spyderco meet. The 3D printed protos are fragile, one got broken this year at the meet

    But not all 3D-printed stuff has to be fragile. Take for example the new Koenigsegg One:1, this is the first car to have a 3D-printed exhaust and even a printed turbo housing. They print in Titanium because the parts are to complex to mold or mill.

    It would be nice to see complex handleshapes in printed Titanium. The tech is fairly new and expensive but it opens new possiblities such as integral knife handles without the difficult miling

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    At least the FDM style 3D printing is useless for mold making. Nowhere near the precision necessary. 3D printers aren't as awesome as you'd think from reading news articles. But they're handy, I've had several prototypes of things printed.
    All God's critters have knives.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User SpyderEdgeForever's Avatar
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    3D printers are still in the baby mode. They haven't even gotten into their crawling stage, yet. Eventually, not only the handles but the blades themselves will be printed and will be as strong or stronger than current machined and even forged blades.

    Question for now: Can someone make a non functional prototype of a Spyderco knife using a 3d printer? I mean, it would be a model, it would not cut, it would be made from plastic, but could you make, say, an all plastic Endura?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderEdgeForever View Post
    3D printers are still in the baby mode. They haven't even gotten into their crawling stage, yet. Eventually, not only the handles but the blades themselves will be printed and will be as strong or stronger than current machined and even forged blades.
    There is a 2nd gen wave of hobby printers on the horizon due to recent patent expirations. There will be improvements. I don't know what makes you say we'll be making steel blades using a "3D printer" with superior properties to current steel techniques. Though the control over laminating different materials might be useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderEdgeForever View Post
    Question for now: Can someone make a non functional prototype of a Spyderco knife using a 3d printer? I mean, it would be a model, it would not cut, it would be made from plastic, but could you make, say, an all plastic Endura?
    The nested aspect of the liner cavity would be problematic, but you could just absorb the liners into the handles. People do make springs out of 3d printed ABS but I doubt it would work well. The blade is the tricky part in my mind: you need a machine that has a scaffolding function, or else you need to print the blade in two haves and glue them together. It's doable.

    If you want to try, 3D printers are starting to pop up here and there. There's a UPS store in my county that has one. Can't hurt to give it a shot!
    All God's critters have knives.

  13. #13
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Jeremy_A_Neel's Avatar
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    I printed a yo-yo in high school. I'm sure the technology has gotten better since then, but the ABS filament printing style makes really fragile parts. The other styles with metal sintering sound interesting though.
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