New Venture Progress!

Updated 5 days ago in General Stuff
48 on March 16, 2021

Rather excited about this one.

Got the electricians in today, and they ran power to the back of my shop. The primary objective was to get my kiln set up.

Tada! Kiln has power, and a brief test run got it up to 1200+ degrees in no time.

Yesss……

 
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0 on March 17, 2021

Awesome buddy! So is this your business or your basement?

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0 on March 17, 2021

All this is in the back of the current office space. We have a sort-of garage in the back I’m using.

This office space (in real estate terms, you’d call it “flex space”) is pretty cheap, so my current plan is to assume I’m carrying that cost through the end of 2022. The overhead is so low, if I can sell 10 units per month, it will break even. So another way of saying things is that I am going to spend the next year and a half testing the market to see if these will sell. If I’m not moving 10 per month by the end of 2022, I’ll pull the plug.

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0 on March 17, 2021

Very good. Good luck!

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0 on March 17, 2021

You’re kilning it, dude!

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0 on March 17, 2021

We may have to introduce pun rules…

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1 on March 19, 2021

This is the tool to cast the metal Harley emblems? I thought you were already making those … or were those others just models made on a 3D printer out of some other material (resin?) that you will use to make a mold? As you see, I know all about casting.

Anyway will be interested in the steps it takes to make your product.

There are a couple of monster Harley dealerships within 25 miles of me. So if it helps, send me a couple and I’ll try to sell them for you as a favor. Or come on down and we’ll go to some clubs or something.

on March 19, 2021

Correction. It’s his “blast furnace in his garage” project. Sounds edgier. And hipper.

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0 on March 19, 2021
This is the tool to cast the metal Harley emblems?From robjh22

It’s part of it.

What you’ve seen so far are digital renderings and the occasional 3D print.

The process, end to end, looks like this:

  1. Create a mechanical model of the blank part using Fusion360 CAD software.
  2. Create the design (the decorative part) using ZBrush 3D modeling software.
  3. Import the mechanical part model into ZBrush, and “fuse” it (digitally, that is) with the decorative design.
  4. Send that combined 3D model to the 3D printer to make a full size positive version of the part.
  5. Use the previously described process to make an RTV silicone “negative” mold from the 3D print.
  6. Use the negative mold to create a positive copy of the part out of wax.
  7. Attach wax sprues to the wax copy to create eventual pathways for the metal to flow.
  8. Embed the wax stuff (wax model + sprues) into “investment” (which is essentially a special high temperature plaster, mixed to pancake batter consistency) inside of a flask. Let the investment dry to a solid.
  9. Melt the wax out of the flask using low (household oven type) heat, leaving behind a negative copy of the part in the investment.
  10. Cure the flask+dewaxed investment in the above pictured kiln for approximately 24 hours, according to a special heating schedule.
  11. After the curing cycle is complete, melt a supply of metal in the “blast furnace” (technically a “foundry”).
  12. Pull the cured flask from the kiln (still at “casting temperature”…about 1000 F) and place it on a vacuum table. Activate the vacuum, so as to draw air from the mold.
  13. Pour the molten metal into the flask, filling the space left behind by the melted out wax from step 9.
  14. Let cool, bust out the investment, cut the (now metal) sprues from the parts, clean up, polish, etc. 

And just that easy, you have the most beautiful motorcycle part in the world!

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0 on March 19, 2021

I could do that in my sleep.

In other words, in my dreams, LOL!

Good luck with it.

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0 on March 31, 2021

Got started building the digital controller for the kiln.

Should have had the electricians install the box for me, but it hadn’t arrived at that point.

Got the box installed.

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0 on March 31, 2021

Next step is to wire up the internals. Pretty simple: A thermocouple in the kiln will feed a digital programmer, which will control a solid state relay that switches the power. All that is made easy by the fact that the controller will accept 220v power.

The magic is all inside the controller. The process I’m using requires a scheduled cure cycle. Stuff like “increase to 500 degrees over four hours, then hold for an hour, then increase to 800 degrees over two hours, then hold for two hours”, etc. The controller makes all that automatic.

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