Originally Posted by jasonh
Wow. There must be more to it than I thought.
Yes there is...It's not the programming or the time required to re-load the program:
I'll attempt to explain the procedure.
After the part is designed, (this can take days depending upon complexity)...I import it into my programming software and generate the tool path for the CNC. This can take anywhere from 15mins to all day for a set of billet Aluminum automotive heads.
If an odd shaped part is fully machined on all sufaces; a set of soft jaws for the vise, (Aluminum), have to be cut in based on the exact location of the vise in the machine and the part geometry.
Look at your clutch actuator housing...it is an odd shape, and a good example of what is required to make a complex part.
The part was nothing more than a block of Aluminum clamped in the vise. The material was 1/4" thicker than when finished. The outside was profiled, the face was flycut, the pocket for the sprocket was created, then the part was drilled for the mounting screws and the relief hole for the pin, at the end of the progam a chamfer tool is called up in the program to deburr the part.
Change the vise jaws for a set that have been pre-machined to the shape of the part. Touch off all tools to the surface of the part so that the machine has a reference point based on depth for each tool.
Mill the face to within .015" of finished dimension. Flycut the face to finished dimension, counter bore the holes for the allen bolts, and chamfer all edges.
Fixture and clamp the part upright in a manual mill. Dial-in the 0,0 reference points.
Drill holes for the CAM
Put the parts back on the same fixture and ream the holes to a precise tolerance.
Deburr & inspection
Repeat the above for the clutch arms...less tools, fewer Ops, but basically the same procedure as this part is also fully machined.
I won't even go into what was required to make the cams...describing the set-up of a Brown & Sharpe screw machine would take hours.
It typicaly takes 2 hours to dial indicate the vise and write a program to cut the jaws to an exact X0,Y0,Z0 position. This represents a one-time temporary fixture...once the vise is removed the process has to be repeated.
I spent a week making fixtures for the clutch actuators, so that I could quickly set everything back up and make more.
I don't plan on doing this for the Spoiler parts. The demand simply isn't going to be there.