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Aluminum renaissance?

March 10, 2019, 9:14 p.m.
Posts: 153
Joined: March 6, 2017

Posted by: DemonMike

Is Pole forging their material prior to machining or are they using billet plate? A couple pallet changing horizontals , and probing in a well designed forging they could pump them out pretty quick. With the right equipment and programming they could run lights out.

Yeah that was going to be my next point lol. Wouldn't be hard to pump them out. I'm pretty sure they get them as plates and get the big chunks cut out then use those for linkage pieces.

March 11, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
Posts: 2206
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

Posted by: T-mack

Posted by: DemonMike

Is Pole forging their material prior to machining or are they using billet plate? A couple pallet changing horizontals , and probing in a well designed forging they could pump them out pretty quick. With the right equipment and programming they could run lights out.

Yeah that was going to be my next point lol. Wouldn't be hard to pump them out. I'm pretty sure they get them as plates and get the big chunks cut out then use those for linkage pieces.

True , they could water jet all the rough sizes and get the maximum out of the billet. I remember back in the day LOL , there was a mechanic at Blak Dawg. He was working on a full CNC designed frame. Wonder how far he got , He ended up working in a shop not far from Black Spire in Burnaby.

March 11, 2019, 11:46 a.m.
Posts: 1063
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

I have zero knowledge in this matter as you can likely tell, just laymans 'knowledge'.

After the initial programming and loading the billets, what more is there to do than to hit run? 

Posted by: nouseforaname

Pretty sure that's not the way CNC works. Pretty sure there's lots of set up and checking before you get to hit run. And given the size of the pieces being made it's not like you can make a dozen per slab of aluminium.

March 11, 2019, 1:18 p.m.
Posts: 3464
Joined: Dec. 17, 2003

Posted by: UFO

I have zero knowledge in this matter as you can likely tell, just laymans 'knowledge'.

After the initial programming and loading the billets, what more is there to do than to hit run? 

Posted by: nouseforaname

Pretty sure that's not the way CNC works. Pretty sure there's lots of set up and checking before you get to hit run. And given the size of the pieces being made it's not like you can make a dozen per slab of aluminium.

Haha me either - I'm pretty sure there's a couple of machinists above us ^^.

FWIW - I understand a CNC machine needs calibration regularly. If you just slap in a fresh slab of alu you can't be sure the heads are still in the same place they think they are. Maybe that's not a problem if theres only enough space per plate of alu to make two frame halves. :shrugs: If it was that easy everyone would be doing it?

March 11, 2019, 6:28 p.m.
Posts: 2206
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

Posted by: nouseforaname

Posted by: UFO

I have zero knowledge in this matter as you can likely tell, just laymans 'knowledge'.

After the initial programming and loading the billets, what more is there to do than to hit run? 

Posted by: nouseforaname

Pretty sure that's not the way CNC works. Pretty sure there's lots of set up and checking before you get to hit run. And given the size of the pieces being made it's not like you can make a dozen per slab of aluminium.

Haha me either - I'm pretty sure there's a couple of machinists above us ^^.

FWIW - I understand a CNC machine needs calibration regularly. If you just slap in a fresh slab of alu you can't be sure the heads are still in the same place they think they are. Maybe that's not a problem if theres only enough space per plate of alu to make two frame halves. :shrugs: If it was that easy everyone would be doing it?

LOL 31yrs in the trade , Ty is one as well , he the youngster LOL

March 11, 2019, 10:11 p.m.
Posts: 153
Joined: March 6, 2017

Posted by: DemonMike

Posted by: nouseforaname

Posted by: UFO

I have zero knowledge in this matter as you can likely tell, just laymans 'knowledge'.

After the initial programming and loading the billets, what more is there to do than to hit run? 

Posted by: nouseforaname

Pretty sure that's not the way CNC works. Pretty sure there's lots of set up and checking before you get to hit run. And given the size of the pieces being made it's not like you can make a dozen per slab of aluminium.

Haha me either - I'm pretty sure there's a couple of machinists above us ^^.

FWIW - I understand a CNC machine needs calibration regularly. If you just slap in a fresh slab of alu you can't be sure the heads are still in the same place they think they are. Maybe that's not a problem if theres only enough space per plate of alu to make two frame halves. :shrugs: If it was that easy everyone would be doing it?

LOL 31yrs in the trade , Ty is one as well , he the youngster LOL

Ha a red seal rookie! Anyway every morning when you turn on the machine you do a 'home' function. This is the machines way of finding it's limit switches so it knows where it is, the calibration youre thinking of. Once this is done your work coordinates are always bang on, if not then you have a problem. 

Without getting too crazy into it, one would basically throw on a billet and machine it out. The location of the billet isn't critical at this point but should be pretty close. I'm sure they have a fixture of some sort. When you're done this process they flip it over and would have a fixture with dowel pins or some sort of precision method to locate the frame. Then they would machine the other side. The repeatability would be very accurate depending on the machine. 

Dustin at We Are One uses a HAAS VM3 which can hold a .0003" tolerance I believe. I'd have to look on the haas website but Its less than half a thousandth. Cnc machines are crazy good these days.

March 12, 2019, 8:47 a.m.
Posts: 2206
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

They could machine reference points on OP 1, that they would probe in on the 2nd OP. We do similar on some of our casting products.

I am waiting for digital 3d scanning right on the machine with programing that self adjusts to the core shift of the part.They already have wireless boring heads you can adjust using a phone app. We have self check tooling cycles that will swap out a out of tolerance tooling.

Be cool to see a powdered metal bike , they make connecting rods out of them and they take a ton of abuse.

March 12, 2019, 9:24 a.m.
Posts: 153
Joined: March 6, 2017

Posted by: DemonMike

They could machine reference points on OP 1, that they would probe in on the 2nd OP. We do similar on some of our casting products.

Yeah like they could use the through holes used to bolt the halves together for location pins on a fixture. Tons of different ways. %80 of cnc machining is figuring out the fixturing imo.


 Last edited by: T-mack on March 12, 2019, 9:27 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 12, 2019, 12:29 p.m.
Posts: 67
Joined: June 24, 2011

Posted by: craw

It would be cool to see a more efficient way to build a bike out of 7075 rather than Pole's way, which seems like a lot of added effort. Does 7075 need to be heat treated after this new process? Can someone with some related knowledge comment on that - just because 7075 can be welded can this process realistically be used for making bikes?

From what I remember, and can look up on google, essentially what happens when you weld metal together, because of the intense heat and therefore expansion and following contraction of the material, there's more tension in the material close to the weld. And if I remember correctly the crystal structure changes as a result of the high temperature (edit: not sure about this). Essentially you warm the metal to relax the structure and make it less susceptible to breakage.

So I guess the answer is: no, but you lose a fair amount of the materials strength and resiliency near the weld area. But also yes, because you don't want your frame to crack.

As far as strength is concerned, 7075 is (on paper) close to steel, but still off by (done in my head) about 20%, depending on the alloy. So depending on how thin you would have to make the tubing, the benefits could be negligible in the end.

But I'm just spitballing... I'm no material science guy (and my teacher was terrible).


 Last edited by: spotter on March 14, 2019, 8:46 a.m., edited 3 times in total.

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