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General Updates

Announcing: Big Blue Saw's pre-Thanksgiving sale

From November 20 to November 25, 2008 Big Blue Saw will be having a pre-Thanksgiving sale. Customers will receive quantity discounts on parts made from select materials.

  • Aluminum 5052 alloy, 0.08" thickness
  • Aluminum 6061 alloy, 0.125 inch (⅛") thickness
  • Cold roll 1018 carbon steel, 0.125 inch (⅛") thickness

Any order of less than 10 parts will automatically be eligible for a quantity discount.

Many of you are visiting our website for the first time due to the buzz around the web about this sale. This is an excellent opportunity to try our services -- you can order just one small part, and save on the setup charges.

Mark you calendar: the next sale will be from November 20 to November 25, 2008. Details to follow soon.

Update: more details here.

We have added aluminum alloy 5052 as a new standard option when ordering waterjet cut parts. This alloy is more suited to braking (bending) and other forming techniques than the 6061 alloy of aluminum, while still maintaining high strength.
Our last sale on aluminum was a great success. What would you like to see on sale next? E-mail your ideas to sales@bigbluesaw.com or post them here.
Shane Colton of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology e-mailed us to tell the tale of the fantastic electric go-kart that he and a group of students built with help from Big Blue Saw. It's electrically powered and features a massive steel flywheel for regenerative braking custom made by Big Blue Saw.

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I spent a while wondering how to machine a piece of steel that big and have it balanced. Waterjet makes the most sense because it cuts the center and the OD from the same reference. Anyway, we've got some really nice, clean data now from the regenerative braking circuit. (Imagine spinning those disks up to 3,000rpm and then pushing all that energy into a capacitor.) [...]

I and the group of high school students I work with appreciate the Big Blue Saw service. We've used it now for two summer projects (last year was a DIY segway scooter, which I think has been replicated a few times actually). We have six OMAX machines on campus, and I've used three of them, but it's still easier and cheaper (and often faster) from your site for many things, especially when you factor in material cost. More importantly, in terms of showing students that you can make pretty much anything without necessarily having to be an MIT engineer, it's a great tool.

Thanks for the kind words, Shane.

Shane further notes:

Flywheels this size are pretty dangerous. I wasn't that worried at 3,000rpm. But I wouldn't want somebody to go making a 10,000rpm version and have it fail. A containment is probably a good idea.

In other words, don't try this unless you know what you're doing.