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Thread: CNC Mold

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    Stoked! VincenTibo's Avatar
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    Default CNC Mold

    Hey guys!

    I'm getting serious about making some good boards, so I'm moving from my TAP bag to a hydraulic press and CNC MDF molds. The thing is that CNC molds are super expensive, I just got a quote from a local board company of 450$ for male and female parts. I really want to do this, so I was wondering if any of you knew a way I could get it done for cheaper...

    Here are a few screenshots of the deck I want to make

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  3. #2
    We build your board Concrete Kahuna AM Wood Skateboard Co's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Nope.

    CNC machine time is expensive.

    Just a quick look at your renders, you'll get some pretty bad cracking.

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    Concrete Kahuna frare bear's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by AM Wood Skateboard Co View Post
    Nope.

    CNC machine time is expensive.

    Just a quick look at your renders, you'll get some pretty bad cracking.
    This guy knows his stuff.




    However, I made my own CNC to make molds for me and other people....

    I agree though, those curves are a little intense for 1/16" maple. I have two models with a similar "t-bar" in the back, but not as gnarly.

    For a simpler design, or if you just wanna try that one out, I could do it way cheaper than $450. Shipping might be hard though, where are you?
    Quote Originally Posted by nobody242424 View Post
    dont cry. boards love to be abused. its what they live for. i feel sorry for the boards who never get ridden hard. give your board a good life!:mrgreen:
    Quote Originally Posted by omahgarsh View Post
    How are you gonna take over the world if you can't handle a little cold pizza and warm beer in the morning ???
    Quote Originally Posted by TestMonkeyUnlimited View Post
    Now if I could just act like a grown-up and pay bills... Can't I just play "skateboards" all day?
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    Addicted Cruiser chubby8's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    I bought my self a desk top CNC for £480 in the UK. It's fairly slow to cut through wood but it will do it. I use a 3mm single spiral flute on it at about 800-1200mm/min. It has a effective work area of 400mm * 300mm * 55mm. So you would have to machine the shape in several parts.

    Here's a deck i cut on it a few days ago, with huge wheel wells.
    It was a Vault Dr.

    So maybe think about investing in your own machine. Though learning to do tool paths and stuff can take a while. Just a though.
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    We build your board Concrete Kahuna AM Wood Skateboard Co's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by chubby8 View Post
    I bought my self a desk top CNC for £480 in the UK. It's fairly slow to cut through wood but it will do it. I use a 3mm single spiral flute on it at about 800-1200mm/min. It has a effective work area of 400mm * 300mm * 55mm. So you would have to machine the shape in several parts.

    Here's a deck i cut on it a few days ago, with huge wheel wells.
    It was a Vault Dr.

    So maybe think about investing in your own machine. Though learning to do tool paths and stuff can take a while. Just a though.
    Is it one those desktop ones with a MDF base panel? I've seen a few different ones pop up here and there. I've though about getting one of them for hacking together some projects, but def not for anything close to production work.

    For a production CNC you'll need something at least 12x48 to cut moulds and decks without having to re position, and sturdy enough not to flex when cutting decks at full depth and a high speed.

    If the OP wants to get into skateboard manufacturing, he better start saving. Although it isn't extremely expensive to setup, it's a lot more than someone would expect who has no experience in manufacturing.


    Prototyping advanced shapes like this can get expensive fast. I usually need to cut 3 maybe 4 moulds until the blanks can be pressed reliably.

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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by AM Wood Skateboard Co View Post
    Is it one those desktop ones with a MDF base panel? I've seen a few different ones pop up here and there. I've though about getting one of them for hacking together some projects, but def not for anything close to production work.

    For a production CNC you'll need something at least 12x48 to cut moulds and decks without having to re position, and sturdy enough not to flex when cutting decks at full depth and a high speed.

    If the OP wants to get into skateboard manufacturing, he better start saving. Although it isn't extremely expensive to setup, it's a lot more than someone would expect who has no experience in manufacturing.


    Prototyping advanced shapes like this can get expensive fast. I usually need to cut 3 maybe 4 moulds until the blanks can be pressed reliably.
    This is my machine. It's all aluminium, the walls are 12mm thick plate so it's pretty sturdy. I didn't mean to use it for any kind of high quantity production though. It's to slow and small for that, but for a one of projects like I think he suggested it should work. It's more of a chance to gain a hobby and learn new skills, whilst being able to make some pretty cool stuff. Like a longboard for example.

    The wooden structure bolted to it is the jig I made to hold the deck whilst it was cut. The deck has to be cut one end at a time and flipped in between.

    It's a fun and very interesting thing to have. I've learnt alot about tool paths, cutting pieces ect.
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    Addicted Cruiser DuraBoards's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Some very good recommendations above. I have some experience in the car body panels with high complexity molds and here is what I can offer you. you have two options for molds.

    1)The direct mold method is what you are referring to. You make a 3d model of the mold and have it machined. clean it up and mount it to the press. Fast but expensive. AM wood is right. if you go that route you will need a friends discount to get the price down. Build your own cnc is what we did and loved it.

    2)The indirect method. This method uses an existing part or pattern to set the mold. The list of material you can work with is very large. Fiber glass, mix and pour resin or hard polyurethane. But what I have seen work very well is cement. its cheap, strong, available and easy to add attachments, like threaded rod or loops.

    What you have to do is make the board out of foam or any easy to work solid like balsa wood, modeling clay, or machinable wax and then copy it with cement on both sides. Take a look at this video. you will need to use sealers and release agents to prevent sticking.



    Also visit this website for ideas on manual mold making.

    Smooth-On, Inc. - Mold Making & Casting Materials Rubber, Plastic, Lifecasting, and More

    They have a YouTube channel and plenty of tutorials.

    Best Matt
    http://www.duraboards.com/#aluminum-longboard/intro
    Endless Rides

  9. #8
    We build your board Concrete Kahuna AM Wood Skateboard Co's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by chubby8 View Post
    This is my machine. It's all aluminium, the walls are 12mm thick plate so it's pretty sturdy. I didn't mean to use it for any kind of high quantity production though. It's to slow and small for that, but for a one of projects like I think he suggested it should work. It's more of a chance to gain a hobby and learn new skills, whilst being able to make some pretty cool stuff. Like a longboard for example.

    The wooden structure bolted to it is the jig I made to hold the deck whilst it was cut. The deck has to be cut one end at a time and flipped in between.

    It's a fun and very interesting thing to have. I've learnt alot about tool paths, cutting pieces ect.
    That is totally not what I had in mind!
    My friend has one of these at his shop. Not a bad bit of kit at all.

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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by AM Wood Skateboard Co View Post
    That is totally not what I had in mind!
    My friend has one of these at his shop. Not a bad bit of kit at all.
    @AM Wood Skateboard Co, take a look at these kits we have two of them and enjoy them thoroughly.

    CRP2448 2' x 4' CNC Router Kit | CNCRouterParts

    Full kit is $6300 comes with everything you need.
    http://www.duraboards.com/#aluminum-longboard/intro
    Endless Rides

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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Total cost of my setup, £480 for the complete machine including frame, spindle, steppers, control box, leads and a few engraving/ milling pieces. Plus 48 hour delivery.

    I then spent about £100 on a mach 3 licence. I got an old PC running windows xp for free as this cnc requires a parallel port and is incompatible with most laptops. I had the monitor already.

    And to finish of I bought a bunch ( say 20) of 3mm tungsten carbide and carbide steel milling pieces for about £1 each.

    Total cost comes to about £600 for this setup. All purchased from eBay.

    I model on solid works and do tool paths on HSM works. Both on a student lisence.

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    Concrete Kahuna frare bear's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by DuraBoards View Post
    @AM Wood Skateboard Co, take a look at these kits we have two of them and enjoy them thoroughly.

    CRP2448 2' x 4' CNC Router Kit | CNCRouterParts

    Full kit is $6300 comes with everything you need.
    My CNC is built using parts off their website, but I customized it to be 24"x80" cutting area and it cost me $3,500. They make good stuff, but the kits could be a lot cheaper if you do some of it yourself.

    EDIT: Just curious, what do you do with 2 CNC's when it looks like you make welded aluminum boards?
    Last edited by frare bear; 02-25-2016 at 02:13 PM. Reason: curious
    Quote Originally Posted by nobody242424 View Post
    dont cry. boards love to be abused. its what they live for. i feel sorry for the boards who never get ridden hard. give your board a good life!:mrgreen:
    Quote Originally Posted by omahgarsh View Post
    How are you gonna take over the world if you can't handle a little cold pizza and warm beer in the morning ???
    Quote Originally Posted by TestMonkeyUnlimited View Post
    Now if I could just act like a grown-up and pay bills... Can't I just play "skateboards" all day?
    liqwoodboardsports.bigcartel.com
    facebook.com/LiqwoodLongboards
    @liqwoodboards

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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by frare bear View Post
    My CNC is built using parts off their website, but I customized it to be 24"x80" cutting area and it cost me $3,500. They make good stuff, but the kits could be a lot cheaper if you do some of it yourself.
    EDIT: Just curious, what do you do with 2 CNC's when it looks like you make welded aluminum boards?
    Yea you can save a good amount by going the DIY route.
    Good question. The cnc machines cut the sheet metal, but they are mostly for another project. I'm the CEO and Project manager of a new race car project. The car is for blue collar people to race with. The design is almost finished and we have to build molds for all the body panels. With both machines running around the clock 24hrs a day. it will take about 10 months to build the molds. The longboards is a part time project we do for team building and community building.
    http://www.duraboards.com/#aluminum-longboard/intro
    Endless Rides

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    Concrete Kahuna frare bear's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by DuraBoards View Post
    Yea you can save a good amount by going the DIY route.
    Good question. The cnc machines cut the sheet metal, but they are mostly for another project. I'm the CEO and Project manager of a new race car project. The car is for blue collar people to race with. The design is almost finished and we have to build molds for all the body panels. With both machines running around the clock 24hrs a day. it will take about 10 months to build the molds. The longboards is a part time project we do for team building and community building.
    That's awesome! I haven't tried cutting metal with mine yet, don't really have the need for now. Do you have a lubricant feed for yours?

    That is a badass project! I am currently working part time in a university research lab, working with infusing composites. Let me know if there is something I can help with! Before I started getting into longboards I wanted to start a company developing aftermarket race parts. If you have experience with complex molds, maybe you already have this under control though! I'd love to hear more about the car project. My buddy is big into chump car racing
    Quote Originally Posted by nobody242424 View Post
    dont cry. boards love to be abused. its what they live for. i feel sorry for the boards who never get ridden hard. give your board a good life!:mrgreen:
    Quote Originally Posted by omahgarsh View Post
    How are you gonna take over the world if you can't handle a little cold pizza and warm beer in the morning ???
    Quote Originally Posted by TestMonkeyUnlimited View Post
    Now if I could just act like a grown-up and pay bills... Can't I just play "skateboards" all day?
    liqwoodboardsports.bigcartel.com
    facebook.com/LiqwoodLongboards
    @liqwoodboards

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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by frare bear View Post
    That's awesome! I haven't tried cutting metal with mine yet, don't really have the need for now. Do you have a lubricant feed for yours? That is a badass project! I am currently working part time in a university research lab, working with infusing composites. Let me know if there is something I can help with! Before I started getting into longboards I wanted to start a company developing aftermarket race parts. If you have experience with complex molds, maybe you already have this under control though! I'd love to hear more about the car project. My buddy is big into chump car racing
    Our conversation is not on this topic anymore so with upholding forum law I will PM you and we can tlk more about this and that.

    Best Matt
    http://www.duraboards.com/#aluminum-longboard/intro
    Endless Rides

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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    I found someone who is willing to CNC the mold for me for a decent price, so that's that. I talked with Kawika Omoto (mold designer for Madrid) about the deck, he helped me a lot with the CAD. He told me it should pres well, so I'll take my chances. It's not a completely original design either, the Omen Spawn has Y-Bar concave in the back as well. I will make the micro-drop a bit smoother, but overall the design will remain the same! If you have any other input I'd love to hear it though!

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    Stoked! VinceTibo's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Thanks for your input! I got someone who doesn't live too far from me to make the molds for a decent price, so that's good. Can I see the T-Bar concaves you have pressed? My design is not final and I don't want to get something CNCed for 300$ and not get a good result, so it would be great of you could share your experience! I talked with Kawika Omoto, who makes molds for Madrid, and he told me he thinks the deck would press fine...

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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    If you were in Australia then I would offer...

    If you take the top mould surface and thicken it in both directions, how far can it go before it fails? Did you model it in solidworks? I assume you have the mould as a larger rectangle that you intend to get cut, not that finished outlined shape?

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    Concrete Kahuna frare bear's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by VinceTibo View Post
    Thanks for your input! I got someone who doesn't live too far from me to make the molds for a decent price, so that's good. Can I see the T-Bar concaves you have pressed? My design is not final and I don't want to get something CNCed for 300$ and not get a good result, so it would be great of you could share your experience! I talked with Kawika Omoto, who makes molds for Madrid, and he told me he thinks the deck would press fine...
    Madrid has been around twice as long as I've been alive... They should know a thing or two

    EDIT: but personally I would get cracks on that mold
    Quote Originally Posted by nobody242424 View Post
    dont cry. boards love to be abused. its what they live for. i feel sorry for the boards who never get ridden hard. give your board a good life!:mrgreen:
    Quote Originally Posted by omahgarsh View Post
    How are you gonna take over the world if you can't handle a little cold pizza and warm beer in the morning ???
    Quote Originally Posted by TestMonkeyUnlimited View Post
    Now if I could just act like a grown-up and pay bills... Can't I just play "skateboards" all day?
    liqwoodboardsports.bigcartel.com
    facebook.com/LiqwoodLongboards
    @liqwoodboards

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    Addicted Cruiser bandaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    Quote Originally Posted by frare bear View Post
    Madrid has been around twice as long as I've been alive... They should know a thing or two

    EDIT: but personally I would get cracks on that mold
    In all likelihood, me too. So what are they doing that prevents cracking we are not then? Could be worth asking him how to press it without cracks when he cuts it, then report back!

  21. #20
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    Default Re: CNC Mold

    I think the trouble you are going to run into is that you have a deck design. You need a mold design, and unless you have a mold design you cannot cut a mold. Work on designing a mold. For my own sake, when I design molds, I try to not use a radius smaller than 2 inches cause I just want the molds to work and don't have the time or money to cut several different molds.
    For skaters, by skaters.

    Check out my longboard CAD files below. Included is STL files for molds, ShopBot toolpaths for the molds and deck profiles. instructions on how to make molds and pictures of the process along the way.

    Files
    https://grabcad.com/library/longboard-mold-1

    How we do our layup, press and add fiberglass:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNz-CEl3B2w

    How we machine them:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf8Oc9aaBzU


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