How is it done?

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In a mail from a laser cutting company I got a reply that I have to pay 260Sk (8EURO) for the programming of the machine.

I gave them an autocad drawing of the thingie I wanted to have cut.

I always thought that they simply put it through some autocad script that directly spits out all the required info.

How is it in reality done?

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

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Id depends on the machine. some, smarter ones, eat the .cad file, but some require more sophisticated files (kerber IIRC). probably they have the dumb one then ;)

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Just the fact to import the cad file needs some time. 8 euro is not too much. Specially if you use the dumb program that needs conversion and many job hours.

Also you must take into account the fact that any laser needs some other parameters: cutting speed, applied power, etc. that depend on the figure, focusing lens, working area (it would need to add some offsets), kind of laser (CO2, Nd:YAG/Yb:YAG, pulsed Nd:YAG), and, most of all, material to cut.

Guillem.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

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Well, I'm happy with the price of cutting a meter of 2mm steel : 0.6euro. But it ticked me off a bit that it had hidden prices.

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

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Well, I've never seen a machining outfit that didn't charge a setup fee for making a custom part. I don't consider these to be hidden prices. Machines need programming and setup!

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For the sake of easy figures, lets assume thet the shop charges EUR 24 per work hour. This would mean a setup time of 20 minutes - not unreasonable IMO.

As for the assumed EUR24, that would depend on in what country the shop is, I suppose.

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Here in the U.S., if I were to need some machining done by a job-shop, it is inherently understood that there would be a "One Time" setup fee. There after, If I needed the jpb-shop to make more of the same parts, any setup fees for that same identical part would be considerably less then the initial setup fee.

Making one or two pieces of any given part is always expensive as, the setup costs are always distributed across those one, or two parts. And, in some cases, the setup fee can be more expensive then the material and labor to make the part itself. When having large quantities of the same part made, all in the same purchase request, the setup fee is distributed across the many parts.

So, say you want me to make you a part on my table-top mill. I can import directly from Autocad, into my machine. That seems easy enough - and it is. But now you have to take into account that, I have to make a jig to hold that part. In addition, there will almost always be demention adjustments that will need to be made to the drawing during the making of the first part. So, that meams that I will actually be making a test part to verify that the part that I send you is correct.

Now, if you call me next month and want me to make you another part, there is a setup fee but, it will be much less as, I only have to mount the jig (not make it too) used to make the first part to the mill table, tram the jig square, xero the axes, call up the debugged program from the proven proto-type part and run the program - inserting the correct tools when they are called for by the program.

So, its not just a matter of slapping a part down on the table, importing the program and all is simple! There are several factors in the background that you never see, unless you've been around a machine shop - laser machine or otherwise...

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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Ugh, I never said that: Oh you evildoers! Charge me for the work you do, will you?

I'm fine with that. Only it would be nice if they informed me of it before! On their page there's only the cost of the cut itself (Skk/m), but how am I supposed to know that there's also the programming part? (yes, I would have known it, if I have been in the industry for the last 25+ years, or had something like that done already)
Maybe add a COMPLETE cost? It's one line of HTML code!

"Programming the machine 360Sk/h"
"Insersts: 1Sk each"
etc...

But if they simply run it through a program that spits out all of the data, I see no programming at all, and it would be just a lame excuse to get more money.

Maybe it's just me, but whatever is not on a brochure and will be added to the final bill, I see as a hidden price. I guess that most customers don't care, as they will have a few thousand parts and already know how it works...Just be newb friendly :-)

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

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Well, now you are a day older and a day wiser! We all learn from our ignorance on certian subjects. Trust me on that one!!!

When dealing with vendors, it is your responsibility to be sure that you have all of the facts and that you have read the fine print - visible or not.

Before entering into any agreement, you should contact the vendor and confirm that all of your questions are answered and that, the cost quoted includes the setup charge. That is, YOU must take responsibility to ensure that the quoted price is the COMPLETE delevery price - including setup and shipping & handling charges, taxex, etc...

When having a PCB made, you would do the same, wouldn't you? How would having a part machined by a job-shop be any different?

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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Why cant things be simple ? :-(

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

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daqq wrote:
Why cant things be simple ? :-(

But, if I agree to make a part for you for a certian price, and I scrap several in the setup process because your drawing didn't easily lend itself to the machining process, do you pay for the scrap and wasted labor? I think not! I would have to eat that cost. I guess life isn't fair...

But then, who ever said that life, or anything else for that matter, was gaurenteed to be simple???

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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I never find anything simple. Always have some hidden difficulties.

Now you will know that any mechanical job have some constant (and it also seems hidden to the novice, not to the ones that used to work with it) expenses like waste material, tooling, material handling, programming, setup, etc.
Some of this features are fixed for the whole lot, others are one-time only, and others are per piece or multiple (i.e. put metal sheet for every N pieces, and remove waste when finished). And this can be applied generally, from PCB to rocket engines.

As somebody said before in this forum, wisdom cames with age...

Guillem.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

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Quote:

Why cant things be simple ?

If you want "simple" then go lie down on the couch and stare into the ceiling for eight hours. That's simple...

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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JohanEkdahl wrote:
Quote:

Why cant things be simple ?

If you want "simple" then go lie down on the couch and stare into the ceiling for eight hours. That's simple...

Not a easy thing doing nothing for eight hours, you always end up doing something... 8)