Big  Blue Saw


Starting April 18, 2022, quoting and ordering will begin moving from Big Blue Saw to the Xometry website. You'll continue to be able to get fast service and instant quotes, in addition addition to a whole host of new materials and manufacturing processes!

Image of Aluminum CC BY 3.0

Look around you and you'll probably find a dozen things made from aluminum. Its weight, strength, thermal and electric properties all make aluminum the most widely used metal in the world, next to iron. You'll find it as a primary component in everything from spacecraft to drink containers.

But in the 1800s, aluminum was a precious metal. Despite aluminum being the 3rd most common element on earth, aluminum was hard to extract from ore. This made it so valuable that emperors and nations used it to display wealth and technological savvy. Emperor Napoleon III of France served honored dinner guests with dinnerware made from aluminum. In 1884, the Washington Monument was capped with a 6 pound aluminum pyramid, the largest single piece in the world at the time.

At this time, world production was only 3.6 metric tons, far short of the 2,800 metric tons of silver produced in that same year.

In the momentous year 1886 all of that started to change. Charles Martin Hall in the USA and Paul Louis Toussaint Héroult of France each independently came up with a method for extracting aluminum from ore using electricity. The Hall-Héroult Method dramatically decreased costs and production soared. 

By 1900, 8,000 tons of aluminum were being produced per year. Prices had fallen to around 25 cents per pound. Aluminum was no longer a material reserved for kings and monuments, but a practical metal for everyday use. A staggering 58 million tons were produced worldwide in 2016.

From Monday, July 17, through Wednesday, July 19, Big Blue Saw is doing its part to reduce prices on custom aluminum parts. When you order parts waterjet cut from aluminum 6061 in 1/4 inch thickness (that's 0.25" or 6.35 mm) through our online quoting and ordering system, you'll automatically receive a quantity discount. Here are a couple examples:

This 21x21 inch robot baseplate normally goes for $172.20 when waterjet cut from 0.25 inch thick aluminum 6061. During the sale, you can quantity 10 price even when ordering as little as 1 piece. That brings the price down to $125.20, or 27% off.


For smaller parts, the deal is even better. This gearbox plate at 4.7x4.4 inches would be $92.10 when ordering 1 normally waterjet cut from aluminum 6061 in 0.25 inch thickness. But during the sale, you can get it for $12.60, the same price as if you had ordered 10. That's 86% off the regular price.

Upload your design to our online ordering system, save on custom parts, and live like royalty!


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