Recommendation? looking to start a balisong project and need some way to make accurate prototypes

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Salticidae2, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Salticidae2

    Salticidae2

    7
    Sep 16, 2020
    hi looking to start prototyping a balisong concept and have no clue on where to start
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    • I want to start making some prototypes of balisongs should I CNC mill them out of material that will give me an accurate weight and feel of what it should be like?

    • I plan on making this a final product would a CNC machine be cheaper in the long run than using other resources?

    • if I should CNC mill the prototype and final product what would be a decent automated mill under 35000$?

    • If I use the CNC machine to make the prototype and create the final product would it cheaper in the long run?

    • If I 3d print the prototype than use the CNC machine to create the final product would that be more cost-effective or time-effective or both?

    • also not sure if anyone will know this but can I mill a rough shape of a live blade from and then use a file, sander, etc to make sharp and more blade-like a billet or would I need to hand do that? I know I can make a trainer blade aka a dull milled out slab of metal?

    • and how do anodize aluminum and titanium?
    some specifics on what the final product should be made of if this helps any

    • 7075 or 7068 aluminum handles I might move onto titanium once I get more experience and stuff?

    • bushing or bearings?

    • 440c heat-treated blade?
    thanks in advance
     
  2. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    What is your current skill set?
     
    john april likes this.
  3. Salticidae2

    Salticidae2

    7
    Sep 16, 2020
    literal nothing related to machining or cad
    i know how balisong works
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  4. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Do you know how to use a belt grinder?
     
  5. Salticidae2

    Salticidae2

    7
    Sep 16, 2020
    yes
     
  6. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Probably best to make one by hand and once you have all the kinks work out have it drawn up on CAD.

    Then you can shop around to have it made.
     
  7. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    Learn g code.

    There are sweet mills that can be had for under 20k.

    If you prototype on a cnc then you will have worked out 99 percent of bugs that would keep you from your final product.

    If you have zero experience with cnc and mills I wish you luck. Its not easy. The equipment needs to be treated with respect as you can lose limbs if not careful

    Good luck
     
  8. Salticidae2

    Salticidae2

    7
    Sep 16, 2020
    thanks for your help :)
    how big of a mill do you think will work do you think this is fine https://pocketnc.com/collections/all-products/products/pocket-nc-v2-50?variant=11701775040559
     
  9. kbright

    kbright

    62
    Jun 27, 2004
    So....are you going to manufacture balisongs?
    Maybe you need more than one $35,000 CNC mills, just so you have a spare.
     
  10. tinfoil hat timmy

    tinfoil hat timmy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    Tormach mills are fantastic for the money.
     
  11. Salticidae2

    Salticidae2

    7
    Sep 16, 2020
    not on a huge scale more like a small thing
     
  12. Salticidae2

    Salticidae2

    7
    Sep 16, 2020
    thanks for all the help
     
  13. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    That machine is way to small.

    To mill stainless steel blades you will need a much bigger CNC machine and probably run 20k+ with tooling
     
    tinfoil hat timmy likes this.
  14. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    Start by learning fusion 360 it's free for a year

    Draw up your design, work out all the dimensions and clearances that way.

    Then try to work with someone like balibalistic to help you make your first one.
     
  15. Salticidae2

    Salticidae2

    7
    Sep 16, 2020
    thanks
     
  16. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    I would double check with that as I was just notified by autodesk that thy are limiting the free version in October. Thy are cutting back what the free version will export.

    As for cnc machining. I am a machinest by trade and have spent a lot of years programming and running cnc machines. General rule of thumb is plan on spending as much on tooling as you spent on the mill. I started as programming g code by hand which is super helpful when running a mill. When your mill wants to shoot off into left field you will know why and you can change it on the spot. But if you don’t have any experience with knife making, machining, cnc and cad drawing your in for a VERY steep learning curve. Not saying it can’t be done but if I invested 50k into a setup I would want to be making money ASAP. Honestly you would be better off having a machine shop make your prototype parts at first. Sure it will cost you a good bit of money but not as much as the first time you push go on a cnc mill and it slams into the vise or table.
     
    Pinoy Knife likes this.
  17. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009

    I didn't' reccomend him to spend fifty thousand bucks on a mill.

    I suggested that he go draw something.

    Learning that, once he has good drawings, the next step is as you suggested, get some help, get someone else to make it.
     
  18. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    sorry if it came across that way. I was just quoting you to say that fusion 360 was changing there free options. Sorry if it sounded like I was saying you wanted him to. It a cnc mill lol.
     
    12345678910 likes this.

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