Ordering parts for 622

I’m all a-tingle! Today is the day when the designs for 622 start to get realized.

I just uploaded the first files for 3D printing at Shapeways. I’ve broken the printing in orders parts – the first for the engineering parts required to make a working model, and the second will be for the details. This not only deferred $130 of spending, but may also enable me to take advantage of new technologies when I finally get around to printing! After all, the last engine took four years to complete, and that’s a lifetime in the technology business.

PPD is a more hands-on arrangement, and I emailed the artwork. I won’t find out until at least Monday if my artwork is even acceptable. For the next time I’m producing artwork for etching, I must remember a couple of things.

  • InkScape has a command on the edit menu to enable you to select all items with the same fill colour; I laboriously selected each individual tab and fold line on three of four sides before finding it.
  • I should have designed the parts to allow for etching in OnShape, rather than leaving such considerations as minimum widths to the layout stage.
  • InkScape introduces some artifacts in the final pdf render. I spent a couple of hours today reviewing each pdf for faint lines where one shape meets another shape.

2 thoughts on “Ordering parts for 622

  1. Hi Rene,

    Interested to see that you’re using PPD for your etching. Our group has been using them for quite some time and we’ve found their service excellent. Hope you get the same results.

    A couple of comments though, based on your recent post of the artwork. These days we find that it’s easier for PPD, and therefore quicker and less expensive for the customer, if the artwork is sent as a simple ‘front’ and ‘back’ view, with the metal in black and any etching in white. Therefore any detail that’s half-etched will show white on the front and black on the back, or vice-versa. Anything that’s etched all the way through will show white on both front and back. If you use your convention of black / red / blue, PPD will have to convert your drawing, hence the additional costs, and there’s potential for the detail to be misinterpreted, although I have to say that rarely happens.

    The other thing we’ve found useful is to send them a pdf of your artwork so they can check the e-mailed version against what you think you’re sending them. I draw in TurboCAD, then convert to DXF to email the artwork. They then convert the DXF to whatever software their process uses. Again, with all these conversions, there’s a risk of glitches creeping in. Having the pdf as a comparison helps you and them, and avoids the possibility of an etch having to be repeated because the artwork was wrong.

    Look forward to progress!


    1. Hi Geraint, yes I’m going with PPD partly on Mark Dance’s recommendation, but I think you mentioned them before too. I sent them finished files for front and back as you suggest. Looking forward to the output!

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