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Big Blue Saw Blog General Updates

Custom Steel Multitool with Bottle Opener, Wrenches, and More


I wanted a steel multitool to show off to customers and potentially use as a giveaway. I found this clever design by seanmichaelragan on Thingiverse. The original design "incorporates 21 distinct wrenches for metric and SAE nuts, 3 flat screwdrivers, a serrated cutting edge, a can opener, a wire breaker, a centerfinding tool, and a lanyard loop hole." The design, available on the download page, included a DXF version, which made it much easier to work with for waterjet cutting.

I did have to clean up a few typical problems with the file: unclosed contours, overlapping lines, and the like. If you're familiar with Big Blue Saw, you probably already know what the final DXF should look like and how to clean up a problematic DXF for waterjet cutting.

After a little scrubbing in QCad, the design was ready for waterjet cutting.

There were a couple issues with this design, however. One was that the smallest wrench holes were too small to be useful after cut on the waterjet due to the waterjet's kerf of 0.04 inches (1 mm). The other was that there needed to be a place to put the Big Blue Saw logo. So, with some reluctance, I eliminated a few of the features.

The final piece, cut from 1/4 inch thick 1018 cold rolled steel, came out great, and has a nice spot for a Big Blue Saw sticker.

Using carbon steel instead of stainless gives it a sort of steampunk look. I can imagine Captain Nemo using one of these to repair the Nautilus.

If you have a multitool design you'd like us to waterjet cut, read our FAQ on CAD files, then upload your design to get an immediate quote and order online.

Using to Make Gears with Big Blue Saw

I recently came across via a Hacker News post. It's a nifty tool for showing animated gear trains and producing SVG gear outlines. I found it can work with Big Blue Saw to make custom gears out of aluminum, steel, plastic, or other materials. Before reading this, you might want to review our article on waterjet cutting gears to get an idea of what to expect when waterjet cutting gears.


In addition to allowing you to change the pitch diameter, number of teeth, and pressure angle of each gear, the website will send you a gear outline if you click the "Download SVG" button.

Here's what the SVG looks like when opened in Inkscape. Most of this stuff isn't used when making the gear, so you'll need to delete all of the unnecessary text, the pitch diameter outline, and the filled area so that you're just left with the outline of the gear.

img-polaroid img-rounded

Once you have the plain outline of the gear, you can use Big Blue Saw's DXF Export for Inkscape or pstoedit to generate a DXF file.

The vector outlines produced by are fairly clean, so once everything but the gear outline is deleted, the resulting DXF file works well with Big Blue Saw's online quoting system.


If you need advanced features like rack-and-pinion or internal gears, there's another tool which I discovered. Dr. Rainer Hessmer's Involute Spur Gear Builder offers many more options.

What's your favorite tool for creating gears? Let us know in the comments.

Big Gallery of Signs and Stencils



Numbers with a simulated bevel





Miscellaneous Signs

gavin-chan kaufman-name


Inkscape Logo

aluminum-1-finished Aluminum2-finished
ss-1-finished ss-2-finished


Turn a Logo Into a Custom Metal Sign




For Guy Fawkes Day, a Laser Cut V for Vendetta Mask

Dog Tags



Custom dog tags


Salon Sign


See a quote on this sign

Four Different Ways to Turn a Logo Into a Sign

Gym Sign negative space separate2 Gym Sign negative space stenciled
Gym Sign positive space joined2 Gym Sign positive space separate2

Turning a Logo Into a Sign


Updates to Our Online Quoting System

Based on our recent surveys from our customers, we've added a few new helpful features to our online quoting and ordering system so that it's easier than ever to get custom parts made.

First up, you'll notice that we've rearranged the links on the upload page and added a link to the complete list of materials available online.


Next, the material selection page has 2 useful new features: the ability to see an extra large image of your design in order to verify that it's being interpreted correctly by our system AND a handy resize button for use if you need to re-scale the design.

On the quote page, we've given you an easy way to change the material so that it's easier to get quotes on multiple materials and thicknesses for the same design.



If you're logged in, we also made it easier to get to your order status and stored files. Note the link on the right hand side of most pages on the website.



This leads to an account status screen where you can get to your order history and saved files.

Do you like the new improvements? Any suggestions for other ways we can make things better for you? Let us know in the comments or e-mail .

Realistic Mini Cannon Made with Parts from Big Blue Saw

From mini cannon tech Alex comes this wonderful 1/10 scale cannon. Modeled after 1841 6pdr field gun, this may be one of the most realistic minitature versions ever made.

Many of the parts of this masterwork of miniature munitions were waterjet cut by Big Blue Saw. You'll notice that the carriage and fittings are wood and steel. We made many of the steel parts. Oh, did I mention that it can actually fire? Check it out:

If you've decided that this would be a great Christmas present for you or someone you love, head over to the official website to order. But hurry, these are hand made one at a time.


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