Big  Blue Saw

Customer Success Stories

Customer Projects

I made these custom dog tags for some friends' dogs. The material is red and white engravable acrylic.

Sven and Pygar are, of course, Australian Shepherds.

From the workshop of Andrew Lindsey comes this remarkable walking robot.

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My favorite features are

  • The glowing indicator light made from a uranium-glass marble flanked by six high-power UV LEDs.
  • The fact that it can flip itself over and run upside-down just as easily as right side up.

Most of the external metalwork was done by Mr. Lindsey, but he used Big Blue Saw to make the internal frame. He writes

The primary chassis of the robot is made from a single piece of waterjet-cut steel plate from Big Blue Saw. I was originally reluctant to order parts made for the robot as I wanted as much of it as possible to be hand-made, but having parts custom-cut turned out to be a very good idea. I was able to get some very complex and organic pieces of metal made with great precision, which eliminated issues with servo alignment in previous versions.

Read more about it at his blog or see photos in the Flickr photoset.

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From the blog of Canadian robot builder Roko comes this beautiful work in progress, a quadruped robot made using parts from Big Blue Saw.

Roko writes in one post "I'm still happy overall with the water-jet cutting, and would recommend it to anyone trying to make more complicated shapes or numerous parts. I wouldn’t have been able to make all of the more complicated/curvy cuts by hand as precisely and quick as the water-jet service does."

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From the reckless abandon blog comes Brian Stephens' story of an how he used Big Blue Saw to help improve his video arcade cabinet.

The mounting plates on his new Ultimarc Mag-Stik joysticks didn't match the holes on his cabinet. So back in August Brian took advantage of Free Part Day to create a new set of custom mounting plates. The plates are made from 0.125 inch 6061 aluminum. Check out reckless abandon for more details.

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.