laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

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laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:30 am

hi everybody

can somebody recommend a cheap (most likely chinese) laser cutting company that does small quantities off from .step or .dxf files, and ships to switzerland?

i've done severeal projects with a company here in switzerland. but for the small QTY i need it's a little expensive..
small QTY is 10-30 pcs. in my case.
material: stainless steel 0.5mm

thx!!

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by MikeDB » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:45 am

Does it really need to be steel ? Lots of Chinese companies offering this for aluminium.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:53 am

MikeDB wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:45 am
Does it really need to be steel ? Lots of Chinese companies offering this for aluminium.
Yap.
A 0.5mm for a frontpanel may not be strong enough in aluminium.
Its for my 1hp module test.. its 0.5mm cause its gonna be bent by hand to hold the PCB as well.

I think in steel its ok, i made a case from 0.5mm steel and that turned out sturdier than expected.
2159D48D-2846-458E-BDE2-8FB3DE4B8B1C.jpeg
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by MikeDB » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:22 am

Yes in steel that looks VERY strong. Standable on even !

In a previous job, we used Chinese laser cut steel and it was a third of the cost of European sourced even with shipping. But they were a volume supplier. But I'm sure as with PCBs now most Chinese places will equal or exceed the quality of Western suppliers.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:32 am

Except in the direction which matters most. Axial to patching.
Extend the top surface right angle as far toward the rails as possible. They extend .315" into the panel, so .400" or 10mm is about right. You've got .020 x .200 times two -one at top and one at bottom- to resist the patching action. Which is going to bend it like Beckham!
Good for football, NOT good for a module.

Edit: You've also unnecessarily weakened it further by using mtg slots instead of holes. The little bit of extra metal you've cut away by doing so makes the bending even more likely. The rail is a fulcrum for the panel 'lever', and its edge is .200 or 5mm from the slot center, vertically speaking. The .235" 5,4mm head of an M3 screw is going to overhang anyways -in the best 'centered' case. Even 2HP modules nearly all use holes not slots for these very reasons.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:39 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:32 am
Which is going to bend it like Beckham!
Good for football, NOT good for a module.

Edit: You've also unnecessarily weakened it further by using mtg slots instead of holes. The little bit of extra metal you've cut away by doing so makes the bending even more likely. The rail is a fulcrum for the panel 'lever', and its edge is .200 or 5mm from the slot center, vertically speaking. The .235" 5,4mm head of an M3 screw is going to overhang anyways -in the best 'centered' case. Even 2HP modules nearly all use holes not slots for these very reasons.
Bend like beckham :)

Its holes not slots. There is no room for slots.

Yes the screws will overhang the panel. But i‘d not expect people to mount three of this side by side.. like some do with 2HP modules.

This was a first sketch. I’d place the connectors more towards the middle of the module. This will increase the force while patching, but in the other hand give more stability towards top and bottom of the tiny thing.

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:44 am

the PCB and jacks all give it strength. I have done something sketchy in 4HP but it worked after some refinements. far away from the panel, the metal should be bonded to the PCB. that should make it pretty solid. the only part that flexes is the mounting tabs.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:48 am

@seismic
Thanks for the correction re holes. I tend not to blow up photos to preserve limited data. please excuse my old eyes seeing ovals.

The right angle panel stiffening flange should be 5.06" minus 0.800" That will ensure the stiffest panel possible -within reasonable allowance for case rail spacing tolerance. This is not dependent on connector location.
Last edited by KSS on Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:53 am

@EYG
But again that added strength only occurs wherethe PCB is and a SHORT distance vertically either side of it.

The bent flange is the primary 'tool' available here to deal with flex. We're talking .020 steel. Compared with the .078 aluminum Euro users regularly deal with for comparision. And I guess I have to allow that 1.5mm Alm *has* become a bastard child Euro panel thickness due to MPC. Much as that reality sucks.

Edit: Looking again the PCB and jacks do not add anything appreciable here unless there is adhesive or hidden screws involved. The PCB and non-panel-attached jacks are 'caged' inside the bends of the metal. This makes the as-full-height-as-possible stiffening flange even more important.
Last edited by KSS on Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:55 am

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:44 am
the PCB and jacks all give it strength. I have done something sketchy in 4HP but it worked after some refinements. far away from the panel, the metal should be bonded to the PCB. that should make it pretty solid. the only part that flexes is the mounting tabs.
That would also have been my guess.. the tabs will bend most.
It’ll have bends like the mounting frames of a LCD module, they stick through the PCB and are then bent to hold it there.

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:04 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:48 am
@seismic
Thanks for the correction re holes. I tend not to blow up photos to preserve limited data. please excuse my old eyes seeing ovals.

The right angle panel stiffening flange should be 5.06" minus 0.800" That will ensure the stiffest panel possible -within reasonable allowance for case rail spacing tolerance. This is not dependent on connector location.
Totally no worries! Input is input!!
I’ll max that lenght out as much as possible -> i have 108mm PCB length and thus the length of the bend will be like 4mm less.
While overthinking and redesigning things i added a bend over the full length of the backside, that should give at least the “free hanging” area the much wanted “no beckham” strength :) hopefully

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:10 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:53 am
.

Edit: Looking again the PCB and jacks do not add anything appreciable here unless there is adhesive or hidden screws involved. The PCB and non-panel-attached jacks are 'caged' inside the bends of the metal. This makes the as-full-height-as-possible stiffening flange even more important.
The pcb will(should) give strength, cause of the bends that will be snapped and secured into it.
But i think the jacks will make it only worse, i need to completely cut away the front where they stick out. I’m still thinking about how i can fix the resting “tongues” in between them.. so far also little bends that help to hold em in place. I’ll post a pic when i get to my kicad..

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by bawbag » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:15 am

If this is for a eurorack application, I'd add that some people wouldn't be keen on this on the grounds that the 0.5mm panel thickness would look odd alongside the usual 2mm/1.6mm panel thickness.

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:23 am

bawbag wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:15 am
If this is for a eurorack application, I'd add that some people wouldn't be keen on this on the grounds that the 0.5mm panel thickness would look odd alongside the usual 2mm/1.6mm panel thickness.
where would we get when always caring about looks?
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:27 am

here's a look at a possible backside with the long extra bend there.
and on the bottom you can see the tiny bends sticking out.
ps: don't mind the holes in the bend regions. they are not final, and are missing or overlapping or...
Screenshot 2020-09-12 at 13.24.38.png
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:28 am

seismic wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:04 am
i have 108mm PCB length and thus the length of the bend will be like 4mm less.
Your end tab to hold the vertical position of the PCB should *not* drive the stiffening flange dimension. If the PCB locating-fixing tabe needs to have two vertical cuts to allow its bending at less than full flange, that's an easily punched or lasered element in the flat layout. The stiffening flange should be 108 <-PLUS, not 108-minus.

I made a mistake in my earlier math. It's *not* 128,5mm minus 20,32. it's 128,5 minus 16,15 mm. 112,35 is the MAX distance between typical lipped case rails. The flange should be in the range of 110-112mm. 110 is probably the sweet spot where strength and fitting most all Euro cases intersect.
While overthinking and redesigning things i added a bend over the full length of the backside, that should give at least the “free hanging” area the much wanted “no beckham” strength :) hopefully
I'm not following this. There is a bent flange on the rear too? -underside of photo already shared? But if so, it should be full height too. I wouldn't think it necessary at all.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:31 am

bawbag wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:15 am
If this is for a eurorack application, I'd add that some people wouldn't be keen on this on the grounds that the 0.5mm panel thickness would look odd alongside the usual 2mm/1.6mm panel thickness.
Would be quite easy to provide 1,5mm spacers in any number of materials. I'd go with some plastic adhesively attached at the rear of the mounting tabs.
Can be punched or laser cut and completely resolves any level height issue.

.200 wide x .350 high rectangle with hole in one end, .118 from end.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:48 am

Re new backside photo. Over-constrained and less effectve than end flange *over* end of PCB. Which also means it's closer to one rail. In fact, I'd advise making SURE that flange is close to either the top or bottom rail. But if you want the PCB centered, then its end positioning flanges can be U-shaped cutouts and pushed in and down. This makes the pcb location independent of stiffening flange which is a good choice IMO.

I'll say it once more. The key to this being successful mechanically is having the stiffening flange as long as possible.

Especially now that I understand your jacks have "tongues between them. FWIW, You can 'fix' those from bending inward in use by placing an object on your PCB. A little metal TH pin-blade -ideally, two- per tongue. But it could be something like an otherwise unnecessary capacitor situated to present its flat face as a backstop. Since it exists for mechanical and not electrical reasons, I'd not use something essential to the circuit. But something otherwise redundant like extra decoupling caps would be fine.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:54 am

I can see you*do* need one tab though the PCB at the end flange. Two is still over-constraining. But the one is needed to set the PCB position relative to the front panel.

Of course this is inter-related with the curves in the tongues around the jacks. Those will also locate the PCB relative to the panel. So I'm back to my earlier suggestion!

At the jack end -bottom?- of the module.

At the top you might-will need an arrangement like this. Since that memory slot? will need this style treatment. So the flange will be less than ideal at the top, the jacks will be close to the bottom rail -where the flange wILL be as ideal as possible, and you have plenty of free panel space for .. whatever! Cool graphic, branding, personal user stickers, etc.

But I think you'd be foolish to ignore the mechanical here and put the jacks in the middle.
Last edited by KSS on Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:55 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:28 am
I made a mistake in my earlier math. It's *not* 128,5mm minus 20,32. it's 128,5 minus 16,15 mm. 112,35 is the MAX distance between typical lipped case rails. The flange should be in the range of 110-112mm. 110 is probably the sweet spot where strength and fitting most all Euro cases intersect.

I'm not following this. There is a bent flange on the rear too? -underside of photo already shared? But if so, it should be full height too. I wouldn't think it necessary at all.
i stick with 108mm PCB length for all my modules. this proofed to fit in every case.
KSS wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:28 am
I'm not following this. There is a bent flange on the rear too? -underside of photo already shared? But if so, it should be full height too. I wouldn't think it necessary at all.
yes - pic was just above the quoted entry - thats a type C usb hub. not the 1HP cvpal as in the other pic.. i started another thread a while ago to gather some ideas for possible 1hp modules. it's a funny read b.t.w.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=236249

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:58 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:48 am
Re new backside photo. Over-constrained and less effectve than end flange *over* end of PCB. Which also means it's closer to one rail. In fact, I'd advise making SURE that flange is close to either the top or bottom rail. But if you want the PCB centered, then its end positioning flanges can be U-shaped cutouts and pushed in and down. This makes the pcb location independent of stiffening flange which is a good choice IMO.

I'll say it once more. The key to this being successful mechanically is having the stiffening flange as long as possible.
now i get it - took me a while - sry. you mean just smaller bends, and instead leave a bigger overall length for the big "stiffening bend".
so that then would be also 108mm, cause longer would maybe not fit all cases.
makes sense.

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by KSS » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:07 am

108 is pretty generous. I'd say -strongly- overly so. There have been many discussions on this subject over the years and when 4.450" is the Doepfer derived best case, dropping back to 4.24" <-- your 108, is leaving a lot 'on the table'. What worked in 2HP or more is not what I'd suggest using here. You're entering new territory with 1HP.

FWIW, I was editing-adding to prior posts while you were typing this reply. So there may be new info above.
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by MikeDB » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:24 am

bawbag wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:15 am
If this is for a eurorack application, I'd add that some people wouldn't be keen on this on the grounds that the 0.5mm panel thickness would look odd alongside the usual 2mm/1.6mm panel thickness.
1.6 mm steel ? Hope this isn't for a portable rig :-)
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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by seismic » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:03 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:07 am
108 is pretty generous. I'd say -strongly- overly so. There have been many discussions on this subject over the years and when 4.450" is the Doepfer derived best case, dropping back to 4.24" <-- your 108, is leaving a lot 'on the table'. What worked in 2HP or more is not what I'd suggest using here. You're entering new territory with 1HP.

FWIW, I was editing-adding to prior posts while you were typing this reply. So there may be new info above.
I read some of the discussions about max height. 110 seems to be a good consens most people agreed.
I’ll follow your advice and max things out to the 110mm, that is a big step for a conservative swiss like i am :oops:
That doesn’t sound like much. But its 10% reduction on each side!

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Re: laser cutting service - cheap 0.5mm steel

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:29 am

you can go down to 1mm thick PCB and up to 1mm steel galvanized. that should sort you out. you can solder to galvanized I think. anyone?
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