Big Blue Saw Blog

General Updates

Into the 3rd Dimension




At Big Blue Saw, all of our parts are made using waterjet cutting or laser cuttingThose kinds of parts don't limit your designs to just 2 dimensions. Over the years, we've worked with our customers to find the best techniques to assemble and modify waterjet and laser cut parts to create 3 dimensional finished products. Here are a few things to use on your next project.

Bending/Braking

Bending or "braking" your part is an obvious way to get an extra dimension, but beware: doing it accurately is not as easy as you might think. Adding a relief slot along the bend line can make things go much more smoothly.
More about bending your parts.

Tab and Slot/T-Nut

Tab and Slot construction is often combined with the T-nut technique because it uses common hardware and is quite strong.
Creating a corner brace with T-nut construction.
More about tab and slot/T-nut construction.

Stacking

Stacking allows you to create boss features,  pockets, and bevels. Since the cut edge does not directly touch any flat parts, there's no need to worry about taper compensation on thicker pieces.
Simulating a bevel using stacking.
More about stacking.

Nutstrip

Originally developed for fighting robots, nutstrip is off the shelf hardware that makes it easy to join 2 plates at 90 degrees.
Read about how I use nutstrip.

Long Bolts and Tensioned Plate

You can use fully threaded bolts to space flat plates at a distance from each other. Read about the long bolt technique on our website. A variation on this is tensioned plate construction, which adds a custom part between the two flat plates. One of our customers used this technique to create load holding fixtures.

Welding

If you've got access to welding equipment and the skill to use it, you can join flat metal parts at any angle. BattleBots champion Bite Force had a welded chassis made of parts from Big Blue Saw.

Custom Clamps

You can clamp larger parts like poles together using waterjet cut custom clamps.

Curvier Parts

Read about how I was able to create the wavy shaped part shown above using only waterjet cut parts with off the shelf hardware.

MAKERS! Get Custom Aluminum at Discount Prices June 19-21

Image CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Experience the National Week of Making with steep discounts on custom waterjet cut aluminum from Big Blue Saw. During this week which celebrates innovation and ingenuity, we're making it easier than ever to turn your creative designs into real metal parts.

From Monday, June 19 through Wednesday, June 21, Big Blue Saw will be having a sale on aluminum 6061 waterjet cut from 1/8 inch (that's 0.125" or 3.2 mm) thickness. All orders placed through our online quoting system will automatically receive a quantity discount.

If you're looking for inspiration, find a National Week of Making event near you.

Let's take a look at how much you might save with a few examples.

This 21x21 inch robot baseplate is usually $114.40 in quantity 1. During the sale, it is only $56.05, a savings of 51%.

The nameplate you see above is typically $92.10 in quantity 1. During the sale,  you can pick it up for only $10.60, for a savings of $81.50.

This gearbox side plate shown above normally costs $92.10 in quantity 1. During the sale, you'll receive the quantity 10 price: just $9.93 for one piece. That's 89% off!

All the parts above and many more are featured on our examples page.

Looking Forward

Big Blue Saw is having a sale Monday, June 19, through Wednesday, June 21. Save as much as 89% off on custom parts from aluminum 6061 in 1/8" thickness.
 
If you want to be reminded and get early notice of our next sale, sign up for our mailing list.
 
Get your CAD or PNG/GIF files ready and order with our online quoting and ordering system.
 

Martini Mover (Patent Pending) from Jeff Kinney

Summer is almost upon us, and it's time for a cooling beverage. But can you get it to your table without spilling a drop, or worse, dropping the glass? Have you ever had to move a set of martini glasses across a crowded bar? Or watched as a server attempted to navigate a restaurant with a bunch of margaritas without spilling any?

Jeff Kinney has a solution, developed with help from Big Blue Saw. You may remember Jeff as the winner of our Spring Design Contest. He's back with a new (PATENT PENDING) invention: a martini glass carrier. The Martini Mover is a solution to keep top heavy drinks safe.

Jeff developed both a 3-glass and a 6-glass design, as seen below.

 

To get to the current design, Jeff had Big Blue Saw make a few variations in acrylic, polycarbonate, and stainless steel before arriving at the current version.

 

 

 

 

The carrier also includes LEDs for a cool nighttime glow.

 

 

Not only can it move martinis with ease, it works great for wine and margarita glasses as well.

 

 

 

Balisong Folding Comb

According to Wikipedia, "A butterfly knife, also known as a fan knife and in the Philippines as the balisong, is a folding pocket knife. Its distinction is two handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. It is sometimes called a Batangas knife, after the Tagalog province of Batangas in the Philippines, where it is traditionally made."

Our customer Benjamin Kranking took the idea of the balisong to a new place: personal grooming. In particular, he used the balisong design to create a comb with help from Big Blue Saw. He told us "I liked the idea of owning a balisong comb, but most of the ones on the market were either cheaply made, or didn't close very well."

 

Benjamin chose  440C stainless steel in 1/8" thickness as the ideal material for the "blade". It's a corrosion resistant, hardenable material commonly used in knife blades.  We were able to source and waterjet cut this material as a custom order.

 

The folding hardware and handle was from a pre-existing kit from USAknifemaker.com.

 

Are you ready to create a new twist on an old design? Let us know!

 

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Big Blue Saw
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Waterjet and Laser Cut Custom Parts.
Address for correspondence only:
3522 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE #145
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: (678) WAY-SAW4 (678) 929-7294