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Sale June 10-11 Codes go15 go30

This Thursday and Friday, June 10 and 11, save up to 30% off custom parts at Big Blue Saw with FREE SHIPPING. Use our online ordering system to place your order. Use code GO15 when checking out for 15% off of orders of any size!

And for orders above $299, you can save even more and get FREE SHIPPING. When you check out, use coupon code GO30 for 30% off of orders of $299 or more, and choose "Waterjet Free Shipping Special" to get free shipping to anywhere on waterjet cut parts in the USA for orders up to 149 pounds.

Free shipping applies only to online orders of waterjet cutting only, not laser or low-taper waterjet.

Upload your designs and get an instant quote now! Hurry, these savings won't last.

Custom Parts with FreeCAD and STEP Files

We've had tutorials on our website on how to use FreeCAD to create DXF files to create custom parts on our website. DXF files are supported by nearly every CAD software package. Recently, though, we began supporting STEP files for instant quotes as well. STEP files are supported by almost all CAD packages just like DXF files, but have the ability to store 3D part information as well. In this tutorial, we'll take a quick look at how to get an instant quote on a part designed in FreeCAD using STEP files.

To start off with, here's a 3D model of a custom gear created in FreeCAD. 

FreeCAD Screeshot 1

To turn this into a STEP file, click the solid body in the model tree for the 3D item you're trying to export. The rendered object will be highlighed.

FreeCAD Screeshot 2

Next, from the File menu, pick Export...

FreeCAD Screeshot 3

Pick STEP from the Save as Type dropdown list. Choose a file name and location where you want to save the file and click the Save button.

freeCadStep03b

Now the STEP file is ready to be uploaded to the Big Blue Saw website for instant online ordering. On the Big Blue Saw homepage, click the Get A Quote button.

FreeCAD Screeshot 4

On the quoting page, click the Browse button and select the STEP file you created with FreeCAD.

freeCadStep05

Click the Upload button to send your file to the Big Blue Saw website.

FreeCAD Screeshot 6

Since the file we created is a 3D file, the website will ask you which angle best represents the 2D profile that can be made into a real part using waterjet or laser cutting. From this page, we'll use the "Top" view by clicking on it.

FreeCAD Screeshot 7

Next, you'll need to choose your material and thickness.

FreeCAD Screeshot 8

Finally, you will be able to see an quote on the design. From here, pick Add to Cart to check out and get your custom part delivered.

FreeCAD Screeshot 9

Here's a video showing the whole process:

Still having trouble? Contact us!

Fusion360Step Title

In the past, we've shown how to use Fusion 360 with Big Blue Saw to turn your designs into real parts. Since then, Autodesk has changed the features offered with different versions of Fusion 360 and Big Blue Saw has added new features to make it even easier to order custom parts. Let's take a step-by-step look at a simple way to use Big Blue Saw with every version of Fusion 360.

For the impatient: save your design as a STEP file and upload it to the online quoting system. The rest of you can read on...

Here's a typical design for a bracket designed in Fusion 360.

Fusion360Step 01

We'll need to export this design as a 3D STEP file. From the file menu, pick Export...

Fusion360Step 03

On the Export dialog which appears, choose STEP Files as the file type.

Fusion360Step 04 1

Be sure to choose a memorable name for the file, remember what directory you saved it to, and click Export.

Fusion360Step 05

Now we've created a STEP file which we can use with Big Blue Saw's online quoting system. Go to the Big Blue Saw homepage and click Get A Quote.

Fusion360Step 06

Pick the STEP file you created in Fusion 360 and click Upload.

Fusion360Step 08

 

The Big Blue Saw website will crunch the design and try to process the design from along each of the primary axes. In this case, the "Front" and "Rear" views are the only ones which are useful for the part to be made by waterjet or laser cutting. We'll click the Rear view to get to the next step.

Fusion360Step 09

Next  we need to choose a material and thickness. In this case, Aluminum 5052 in 0.125 inch thickness. 

Fusion360Step 10

Finally, we can see our the quote for our part. From this screen, you can choose finishing and cutting options, add the part to the shopping cart and check out.

Fusion360Step 11

Need special materials or have other requests for your order? Our customer advocates are standing by to help you. Just email us at info@bigbluesaw.com, call 678-929-7294 (678-WAY-SAW4), or  contact us through the website!

Waterjet Front quarter L2 OndemandMfgArticle

To see how Big Blue Saw's on-demand model compares to old-school manufacturing, Chris Fox interviewed Simon Arthur, Big Blue Saw's founder and president. Read the article on engineering.com.

Out specialty is turning designs into custom parts. Many folks ask us where to get plain metal rectangles without any cutting, bending, welding, etc. If you don't need holes or a complicated profile cut from metal, we recommend just getting plain sheet, bar, or plate metal. The easiest way to order that is through our preferred partner Online Metals. And if you need extra precision or parts with a custom profile, try our online quoting system for all kinds of metal and plastic parts.