Aluminum Machining

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
30,957
Reaction score
8,310
Location
Glennville, GA
Anyone know where I can get an aluminum product prototyped? I have it 3d printed and it works, but I want one made from aluminum.

It is a bracket for the back of a 1515 rail that will allow you to slide one in a Unistrut.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
8,513
Reaction score
2,917
Anyone know where I can get an aluminum product prototyped? I have it 3d printed and it works, but I want one made from aluminum.

It is a bracket for the back of a 1515 rail that will allow you to slide one in a Unistrut.
I have occasional, limited, low-priority, low-volume access to a small 5-axis PocketCNC.
 

mjennings

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
1,957
Reaction score
243
I Haven't used them but eMachineShop.com might be a good solution if @dhbarr or someone else here can't help out. I have no idea what rates are, but at my first job we worked with a few local shops that were just 1 or 2 guys, there might be some in your area.
 

Funkworks

Low Earth Orbit, obstructing Earth's view of Venus
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
4,186
Reaction score
4,507
I think every city with more than 500,000 pop should have a few machine shops. I’d look for one locally.
 

tsmith1315

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
2,663
Reaction score
2,676
Location
Doerun, GA
I think every city with more than 500,000 pop should have a few machine shops. I’d look for one locally.

Our county seat is only 15k and we have a few machine shops.

Anyone know where I can get an aluminum product prototyped

If you have a tech school/college nearby, start there. Talk to one of the teachers. If they can't do it, they'll know a former student with a shop that can.
Otherwise, make some calls and support your local businesses.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
11,711
Reaction score
3,550
Location
Pasco, WA
Anyone know where I can get an aluminum product prototyped? I have it 3d printed and it works, but I want one made from aluminum.

It is a bracket for the back of a 1515 rail that will allow you to slide one in a Unistrut.
Thats how we have our 1010 and 1515 rails set up for the Away Cell. The away cell is a steel Coker style pad with a 10' Unistrut as a receiver rail, I made shoes from aluminum barstock and steel pins that adapt the rails to the Unistrut, and a single hitch pin that goes all the way through the shoe and the Unistrut to secure the rails. No tools needed to change out the 1010 or 1515. I wished I had access to a machinist for my projects, but our adapters were made with a metal cutting saw, drill press, and taps and dies for threading.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
8,513
Reaction score
2,917
Thats how we have our 1010 and 1515 rails set up for the Away Cell. The away cell is a steel Coker style pad with a 10' Unistrut as a receiver rail, I made shoes from aluminum barstock and steel pins that adapt the rails to the Unistrut, and a single hitch pin that goes all the way through the shoe and the Unistrut to secure the rails. No tools needed to change out the 1010 or 1515. I wished I had access to a machinist for my projects, but our adapters were made with a metal cutting saw, drill press, and taps and dies for threading.
Sounds like comparing notes, designs, and/or pictures could be pretty useful.
 

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
30,957
Reaction score
8,310
Location
Glennville, GA
Thats how we have our 1010 and 1515 rails set up for the Away Cell. The away cell is a steel Coker style pad with a 10' Unistrut as a receiver rail, I made shoes from aluminum barstock and steel pins that adapt the rails to the Unistrut, and a single hitch pin that goes all the way through the shoe and the Unistrut to secure the rails. No tools needed to change out the 1010 or 1515. I wished I had access to a machinist for my projects, but our adapters were made with a metal cutting saw, drill press, and taps and dies for threading.
Can you post a photo?
 

dvdsnyd

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
370
Reaction score
168
Location
MN
Try SendCutSend, or Xometry.
Xometry will give you an instant quote as long as the parts aren't crazy on tolerances or have weird geometry.
Dave
 

tfish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
3,051
Reaction score
1,404
O recently attached uni strut to 1515.

And 1515 to 1010 together with some simple bolt sets and some drilled holes

I think you could do similar with attaching 1515 to unistrut.


And scroll down to other posts.

Tony
 

Burner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
326
Reaction score
27
I’ve used sendcutsend several times, they are great. If you need more complex parts there are several machinists on websites like fiverr.com

I had someone overseas do incredible work complete with an inspection report for almost close to material cost. I have access to cnc machines but sometimes it’s not worth my time, I’d rather just hire someone if the project doesn’t sound fun.
 

tfish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
3,051
Reaction score
1,404
Sort if like this..this might not be the right unistrut "thing". Just a couple I had. I've seen them at homedepot.
A 1/4" hole is drilled to access the Allen head..with the 3/16 Allen wrench. The red rubber thing act as stops...to keep the bolts lined up with the holes
Tony
 

Attachments

  • 20221001_192806.jpg
    20221001_192806.jpg
    965.5 KB · Views: 0
  • 20221001_192749.jpg
    20221001_192749.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 0
  • 20221001_191826.jpg
    20221001_191826.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0
  • 20221001_191556.jpg
    20221001_191556.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 0
  • 20221001_191335.jpg
    20221001_191335.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0
  • 20221001_191034.jpg
    20221001_191034.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
30,957
Reaction score
8,310
Location
Glennville, GA
Sort if like this..this might not be the right unistrut "thing". Just a couple I had. I've seen them at homedepot.
A 1/4" hole is drilled to access the Allen head..with the 3/16 Allen wrench. The red rubber thing act as stops...to keep the bolts lined up with the holes
Tony
That is similar. The ones I have slide in more.
 

caveduck

semi old rocketeer
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
1,766
Reaction score
473
Maybe see if you can find somebody with a Markforged that will print them in metal for you. Or they can be made easily with even a low end manual bench mill and a drill press. A Shapeko would work fine too.
 

Peartree

Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Administrator
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
6,625
Reaction score
2,346
Location
Alliance, Ohio
Assuming that you have some kind of CAD drawing, I like the option of Googling local machine shops, sending them your drawing with an RFQ (request for quotation). At least that way you could compare several shops with the online shops referenced earlier. I really like a) shopping local whenever possible and b) building face to face relationships. The second is useful when you especially need work done because you aren't just a number on a computer screen any more.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
11,711
Reaction score
3,550
Location
Pasco, WA
Chuck, here is the STL for my rail adapter.

The components are the top plate made of .25"x1.5" aluminum flat/bar stock, the thicker vertical bar is made from .75"x1.5" aluminum flat/bar stock both pieces are 2.5" long.

The sides are marked A-D

A) is the top where the 1515 would sit, the two countersunk holes are for #10 machine screws, the center hole is the one for the 5/16-18 bolt/machine screw that goes up to the washer that slides inside the 1515 rail (on the D side it is counterbored enough to get whatever length fastener you want). The flanges under side A sit on top the Unitstrut.

B) is the side, dowel E is a .25 steel peg that goes all the way through and the length can be adjusted to fit inside the Unistruts vertical outer sides dowel E has a set screw from side D (forgot to put the set screw in the STL) that locks it in position. The large hole (in this case .375") is for a 1/4" pin that goes through the Unitstrut and the Adapter shoe to lock the rail into the unitstrut, only one of these holes is needed in the shoes (my pin for our Padzilla is a 1/4-20 bolt of the appropriate length with a hole drilled through the end for a spring clip aka hair pin) removing the bolt/pin allows the whole 1515 to slide out of the Unistrut.

C) nothing fancy about side C, the shadow line/cut just below the wide portion is just there to represent the fact that's where the two aluminum pieces meet.

The tools used for this project were:

A Makita 10" Power Miter saw with 10" carbide tooth blade (a finish blade iirc)
Drill Press
#10-24 Taper tap
#10-24 Bottoming tap
#6 or #8 set screw for steel dowel
Tap wrenche or wrenches to match taps
Drill bits to match all taps
Drill bit to counter bore the 5/16-18 socket head cap screw head diameter (Counter bore done AFTER the 5/16" through hole is drilled).

IIRC I attached the top plate to the vertical piece prior to cutting it into individual adapter shoes since the long bar is easier to handle than a bunch of 2.5" long adapter shoes, then cut them apart after all holes were drilled and tapped and the top plate and vertical bar were screwed together. Dowels were cut inserted and set screwed in place as a last step. The shoes should have a small amount of movement in the Unistrut since if they fit too perfectly....well lets say rails get dirty....

The reason the 3/8" hole is larger diameter than the 1/4" retaining pin is that it makes it easier to change especially if the adapter shoes is ever so slightly twisted out of line with the rail for whatever reason. Pulling the 1/4 Pin is all that required to change rails, super easy and very quick, pull pin, slide out one rail, slide in a different rail, replace pin, done, no tools, and all in less than 30 seconds. The whole pad is actually designed to require no tools to operate. If we wanted to put a 25' Unistrut on the pad with tie downs that would require tools as it would have to replace the current 10' Unistrut rail and the pads rail arm would need to be extended ( Padzilla is a Coker style pad made of .083 wall 3x3" Steel tubing.

I made 5 shoes for the 1515 rail which is 12' long (a 4' and a 8') the Unistrut on our pad is 10' since its being used as a receiver rail for the 1515 and 1010. I also made 4 shoes for the clubs 12' 1010 rail the only differnce for those shoes is that the 5/16-18 socket head cap screw hole is a smaller size to fit the proper fasteners for attaching the 1010 rail.

Edits....all parts that are not aluminum are stainless steel.

Hope this helps.
 

Attachments

  • 1515 Rail Adapter for Unistrut.STL
    180.1 KB · Views: 0
  • 1515 Rail Adapter for Unistrut Bottom.jpg
    1515 Rail Adapter for Unistrut Bottom.jpg
    30.9 KB · Views: 0
  • 1515 Rail Adapter for Unistrut End View.jpg
    1515 Rail Adapter for Unistrut End View.jpg
    13.9 KB · Views: 0
  • 1515 Rail Adapter for Unistrut Top Oblique.jpg
    1515 Rail Adapter for Unistrut Top Oblique.jpg
    19.7 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:

jderimig

Sponsor
TRF Sponsor
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
4,623
Reaction score
2,394
Anyone know where I can get an aluminum product prototyped? I have it 3d printed and it works, but I want one made from aluminum.

It is a bracket for the back of a 1515 rail that will allow you to slide one in a Unistrut.
Can you post a picture or CAD screen shot of the part?
 

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
30,957
Reaction score
8,310
Location
Glennville, GA
Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 6.37.44 PM.png

This is the guide. It mounts to a 1515 and will slide down a Unistrut. I could probably do it on a router. Is it over engineering the solution, definitely.
 

KC3KNM

Probably Wrong
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2018
Messages
771
Reaction score
913
Location
South Burlington, VT
View attachment 540476

This is the guide. It mounts to a 1515 and will slide down a Unistrut. I could probably do it on a router. Is it over engineering the solution, definitely.
I’d remove the chamfers around the edges before requesting any quotes unless they’re necessary.

When we’ve got parts like these at work, if they’ve got fairly loose tolerances, we grab a piece of c-channel off McMaster and machine that to the model. If you can find a piece with close enough dimensions a local shop would probably kick out as many that would fit on it for pretty cheap.
 

cwbullet

Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Administrator
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
30,957
Reaction score
8,310
Location
Glennville, GA
I’d remove the chamfers around the edges before requesting any quotes unless they’re necessary.

When we’ve got parts like these at work, if they’ve got fairly loose tolerances, we grab a piece of c-channel off McMaster and machine that to the model. If you can find a piece with close enough dimensions a local shop would probably kick out as many that would fit on it for pretty cheap.

I will remove the chamfer. My son put that on there.
 

jsdemar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
3,120
Reaction score
1,390
View attachment 540476

This is the guide. It mounts to a 1515 and will slide down a Unistrut. I could probably do it on a router. Is it over engineering the solution, definitely.
Fairly easy to make on my cnc mini mill. As mentioned above, start with a standard channel extrusion. Send me a dimensioned drawing and I’ll see what I can come up with.
 
Top