Designing and Machining Mechanicals

Discussion in 'Unregulated (Mechanical) Mods' started by Vapor Fiend, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    I didn't know where else to post this but I figured this section would be appropriate.

    I'm a machinist and an avid vaper, so naturally the desire to design and mill/turn my own mechanical was an inevitability. I wanted to get a thread going as a place for any other machinists out there that are currently in the R&D stages on designing their own mechs to just discuss non-propietary things.

    The shop I work at is under a non-disclosure/competitive contract with a vendor, and we're making their tube mods right now. (Can't tell you what vendor or mod it is :( ). BUT, I've learned a few things as I've been the one setting up the machines to run these mods. And this has helped me a lot in the research of designing my own mod.

    I won't disclose the idea I have for my design because honestly, it's pretty bad ass and I hope to mass-produce it and sell it for a good price in the future. Once I get a prototype and some legal stuff out of the way I'll post pictures/videos of it in action.

    SO anyways, any other machinists out there? Designers? Anybody in the business of making mechanicals?
     
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  2. Andrew M

    Andrew M

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    This is something i have always thought about doing, it would be cool if you could mass patina a bunch of your own designed mods that crazy blue and green color, the vape community would love that.

    Hmmmm maybe i should have kept quiet.....
     
  3. g.thomas1

    g.thomas1

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    I'm an artist who works as a technical illustrator, I've considered making my own mod as well.
    You sir have a foot ahead of us all by having access to a machine shop that actually makes mods, my local vape shop is working on their own mod they have their own mechanist and I'm working on some designs with them, but I still want to make my own, I've done some patinas and now I'm working with acid etching in metal I'm also carving my first box mod for a DNA 30 chipset. I'm playing with some tubes and working on a simple yet elegant firing button that's inexpensive to make I've found that on most the clones and inexpensive mod I've played with the firing buttons are ok but they feel cheap but on a high end mods the buttons are like butter, there's got to be a middle ground for the lower price ranged mods. I'm looking forward to following your growth on this thread and can't wait to see your mod we need a really kick ass rig out in the wild, i'll be that guy camped out side your door on the first day you sell it.
     
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  4. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    Haha well I'd appreciate that but I'd most likely be distributing it through friends who have shops. I probably wouldn't do online sales unless it were a personal contact type situation. Like I post a picture of the mod, or a video of it, then leave my info and whoever wants one can email me and we'd do a paypal deal or something. I think that way it'd be a little harder for china to get ahold of it and clone it. Not that I would care if they did really but you know how it is.

    The stage I'm at right now is basically working out little kinks with the firing idea that I have. A friend at work is going to be drawing up some solid models (3D models in solidworks) and drafting some prints for me, so that we can create programs for the lathes and mills to start cutting material. Most likely going to do a 304 stainless prototype and see how it looks. Then move on to copper/brass versions. I want to keep it simple with this, but I have an idea that, if it fuckin' works, will make this mod stand out. And hopefully, people will like it, because I've always wanted to see it on a mod. Obviously I can't say what it is because some other person with the time and resources could have a ptype out by tonight. I have to sneak in time to draw designs and dimensions during work hours so it's tough.

    I can say this though, I was kicking around the idea of a square mod, or well rectangular. That already exists so it's not that new of an idea. I just really like the idea of your mod not rolling away when you put it down. And even designing a square atomizer for it. Might be odd, but sometimes odd works.
     
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  5. Tripster

    Tripster Gold Contributor

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    I have a concept for mechs but yeah...no capital and knowledge of workin with metals.
     
  6. BigNasty

    BigNasty Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years ECF Refugee

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    Same here.

    I think where most mechs fall short is the contacts on the batteries.
     
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  7. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    If and after I make mine, and it works, I was thinking about setting up a situation where people could submit conceptual ideas to me for me and my coworkers to draft out and draw solid models to. I wouldn't know how to go about that legally as far as copyrighting or intellectual idea ownership yada yada... but if I get to a point where I can take concept to print to part at my shop, I could do it for other peoples' ideas. That's something I'd love to see really. 100% custom mods for people.
     
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  8. Tripster

    Tripster Gold Contributor

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    I posted this in the wrong thread so...here...we...go...

    I wish I had the Capital and the knowledge to create my very own line of Mods that would only cost $20 each and this would include all the mods ranging from 14500/18350/18500/18650/26500/26650 and these mods would be created out of Stainless Steel with Silver Plated Copper Contacts among with high quality threading and etc. I would take upwards of 2 years to manufacture enough mods that would meet supply and demand for the first year while we continue to manufacture the mods.

    This is my vision for the vaping community...these mods would have no logos/name and merely be Serial Numbered merely for batch/quality control/warranty claim.

    Anyone wanna assist me with this, you wouldn't be making a huge profit but the profit you will be achieving is aiding those within the vaping community. Pretty much the profits would go directly for supply and demand and we would get a small amount of profit (think of it as spare money for gas or whatever...nothin major).
     
  9. Tripster

    Tripster Gold Contributor

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    My idea is pretty much insanely affordable priced mod while preserving high quality craftsmanship and materials.
     
  10. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    I'd love to see that as well but the problem with that is the costs don't even up. Material costs, labor and time would well exceed what you'd be making back in profit from selling them for $20/pop. For instance, the mods we're working on at my shop are $180 a piece. Just for the mod. With the money they're throwing at us to:

    Draw up a solid model
    Draft prints
    Create tool paths in [place any cad/cam program name here]
    Buy material (stainless is expensive)
    Cut the material
    Setup the machines to run the parts
    Run the parts
    Debur the parts
    Plate/Chemfilm/Treat the parts
    Assemble the parts
    Ship the parts
    Add about 2 weeks time costs for general fuckery and office work.

    ~They're probably only ending up making $20 profit from each mod sold.

    That shit adds up, and it costs a lot to mass produce these things. That's why doing one offs makes no one money, and mass produced authentic mods end up costing $500 a piece.

    Believe me, your idea would be great but you'd basically need to have free labor and extremely cheap materials to achieve that. That's why China can sell the clones for so cheap. Because over there, there's no labor laws in the labor camps they have prisoners slaving away in. They basically work for food, and that's only if they do a good job!
     
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  11. Tripster

    Tripster Gold Contributor

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    Understandable, it's just people forget that you can get steel from junkyards and is it high quality like new steel...no but it's still quality and it's not like mods are weapons where the steel must be brand new steel. My take on "High Quality" is obviously a lot different to others. I just ordered a Kukri that is handmade out of Surplus Indian truck steel (suspension leaf spring) and the blade only cost me US$ 134.99 when others use extremely higher quality steel that makes the blades cost upwards of $400+ even though the steel they use is just as strong if not stronger then what the others use.

    Why can't I take Surplus Steel (doesn't need to be leaf springs of course but who knows) and create extremely affordable mods, yes the cost of the machines and etc but that is where the initial capital comes in (that capital would cover all of those concerns), plus I wouldn't have many employees to cut back costs and I wouldn't be making these by hand...cnc machine or whatever is needed to be used and some automated line machinery. This will be extremely expensive to start and hell, raise the price to even $60 each. There are people out there who make stuff for dirt cheap and still are able to keep afloat.

    I just don't want my idea of a mod costing more then $100 period is all.
     
  12. CaFF

    CaFF Platinum Contributor

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  13. Tripster

    Tripster Gold Contributor

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    If need be I could just get the Chinese to do this for me, pour more fuel to the fire...American Craftsmanship is something I hold dear to myself but damn it...if Kamis in Nepal can create Seriously High Quality, Gurkha Battle Ready,and Farmer Ready Kurki's out of Surplus Leaf Springs for the fraction of the cost of other blades...why can't I do that with ecigs. Do you really need Tier 1 Steel to simply make a metal tube functional? Regular joes around the world create High Quality blades outta junk metal and these are meant to be abused and used vs ecigs where you just hold them in awe.

    This is all I'm tryin to get at here.

    Here is a link to the Quality part of this company: KHHI Quality
     
  14. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    Well you could go to junkyards or scrap yards and get steel but they don't sell that scrap stuff much cheaper than buying the material new from foundry. Plus, you'd be losing out on precise stock size if you were to order cut pieces. So you'd need to cut your own stock, if you were lucky enough to find the exact diameter or square size dimension of stock you needed for whatever project you were starting. You could always get a bunch of scrap and have it melted down to create new stock, but then you're spending more money than just ordering the stock new in the first place.

    You could just go with cheaper materials. 7075 aluminum is great. Lightweight and durable. But the point is that the amount of stock you'll need verses actual made parts is going to run up the price you'll end up selling the mods at. It wouldn't make sense to spend $1000 on stock, then another $1000 on time (whether you're paying a shop to do it or missing pay hours to do it yourself) to only make $500 for selling a few mods at $20 a piece. At some point, cost verses cost to make has to meet up, and you obviously need to make some profit.

    I had this same conversation with a designer/vendor a while back and he explained to me that his desire to make affordable mechanicals was quickly overshadowed by how much it actually took to create one. It's a lot more complex than just turning, boring out and threading a tube. Especially if you're going to include legal, sale, distribution, etc..

    I will try to get some numbers together tomorrow from my shop's owner as far as cost for materials and labor and get back to you to help put it into a little bit more perspective, but my idea price would be $80-100. But that's going to mean it's me losing out on my pay to work for free at my shop machining the damn thing. Luckily, I get to grab some stock material to work with so I'm not losing money there. But I make pretty decent money for what I do and since I'll be missing out on that, I'm eating it and basically making someone a mech for free minus whatever cost I decide to sell it at. That's why I had the idea of a "made to order" mod. You want one? I charge you labor and material basically, with maybe a little bit profit for myself. HOPEFULLY that should average out to around $80-100.

    Mind you, my shop charges roughly $75 for an hours worth of work, regardless of the work performed, so I'd say that's a pretty good deal. $75/hour isn't what I get paid, but let's just round it down to $20/hour and call it even. I think a flat fee for programming and labor, plus materials and profit can add up to be a lot more than $100 really. It all depends on the complexity of the mod really. It can take several hours/days for one part sometimes.


    As for turning it on a manual lathe, that would take forever and a day unless you were a machinist lathe guy with 30+ years experience.
     
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  15. MrScaryZ

    MrScaryZ VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    I think tube mods are a dime a dozen if this is not some crazy totally innovative idea you may get a few sales... Made to order is a great idea though many shops have this concept IMHO.. Good luck
     
  16. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    Not extremely new or innovative but definitely enough to set it aside from your everyday run of the mill tube mod. Now that I think of it, I think a "made to order" mechanical would actually end up costing more. Idk.. I think for now, I'm just going to try to get a prototype working and see how well the setups and cycles go running each part. If they can be ran smoothly and quickly, saved correctly with notes and have short run-times and minimal deburring, it can become a repeat job. That will bring the cost down. Because I too am a fan of American made products, but I don't want to rape my fellow vapers, you know?
     
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  17. Tripster

    Tripster Gold Contributor

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    I'm not gettin into mod making for riches, I am merely wanting to get a very minor amount of pocket money while offering mods at low prices to the community. I was even thinking about the concept of steampunk but slightly different were the mod may look raw but is still completely functional at the fraction of the price of others. I don't mind vaping on a mod that looks raw and not polished or whatever cause in the end you are buyin it for functionality vs looks (some folks buy based off names/logos/looks/etc other then functionality). Think of these mods as crude 2009ish brass pipe mods that may look ugly to some but to others all that matters in the end is does it work and is the voltage drop low enough that it doesn't hinder their vaping sessions.

    I am not trying to innovate a metal tube whatsoever here, I just want a product that the masses can enjoy and rely on. People still buy plastic box mods so why wouldn't they buy a crude/raw steel 14500 mod that has very low voltage drop for let's say $40-$60. I am not wanting to make thousands of dollars, I am on RSDI aka disability so I am limited to how much I can make each month from a job so the other income provided from sales would go to the upkeep of everything else while I only pocket...let's say $500 a month or whatever/however the system works.
     
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  18. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    You should re-create the roughstack or screwdriver. Hell, you could make mods out of flashlight bodies! If you're going for that retro steampunk idea, the sky's the limit really. You'd end up basically only needing to charge people for labor, I think is the general idea you're getting at here. These would be works of art I believe. So prices may vary?
     
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  19. MrScaryZ

    MrScaryZ VU Donator Platinum Contributor Member For 3 Years

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    Yeah man I would say make a cool design I think we are all tired of the same ole thing I think that is one reason the Stingray X sold so well and still does is it has a bit of spunk to it I bet you could make something even cooler if everyone here in the USA thought like you are we would not have to worry about the Chinese invasion... :) I know I have some mechanical engineer friends that are always coming up with great ideas but they would cost so much to produce people would never buy them :)
     
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  20. Surgikill

    Surgikill Bronze Contributor

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    If you can make the mod simple you can sell it cheap. Use a cnc lathe and you can pump out tubes and end caps
     
  21. Tripster

    Tripster Gold Contributor

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    You got it, I'd basically be charging for labor, I apologize for bein so cryptic and clusteruck'ish.
     
  22. Vapor Fiend

    Vapor Fiend

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    Yeah it's tough to find a middle ground between how much it costs to make and how much money you want to make.

    That's exactly what we're doing with the mods we're making for this one vendor. Pumpin the tubes and caps out on the lathes and then they have a few second op things to be done on the mills. (Engraving, 4th axis stuff). Since we started about a month ago we've made roughly 2500 of them. Wish I could tell you what they were. I personally am not a fan of these mods. I think they're too big and bulky. We're also going to be starting on the 26650 sized ones soon.

    Oh and let me tell you, fuckin' deburring them is a NIGHTMARE.
     
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  23. Surgikill

    Surgikill Bronze Contributor

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    He doesn't want to do engraving. Serial numbers can be put on with a laser right? Can you de burr them in a tumbler? I think the biggest thing is finding a design that's simple to machine and looks clean. I'll do some brain storming to try and figure something out.
     
  24. Surgikill

    Surgikill Bronze Contributor

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    Have you figured anything out yet?
     
  25. Mrscottyknows

    Mrscottyknows New Member

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    What software do most of you guys use to wrap up a design? I'm completely brand new to this and i have been considering actually machine my own mechanical mod. The only problem is i gotta learn to use some software first. I already have links to manufacture the product, just coming up with the design is the hard part for me.
     
  26. prodigey

    prodigey New Member

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    Im a cnc machinist with access to a ton of shit
     

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