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what to charge for making parts?

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  • what to charge for making parts?

    I have offered to make some parts for a guys RC car. 5 parts in total.

    2 of the parts are fiberglass that have about 20 holes (precise location)

    3 parts are aluminum replacement parts for plastic pieces that broke.

    Here is a link to the 2 alum pieces that I am in the process of making. It took me about 2 hours to do the cad drawings (for all 3)

    The larger piece in the video is about half done and has taken me 2 1/2 hrs so far to make out of 6061.

    So what is a shop chargeout rate to make parts like this? so that I can get somewhat of an idea of what my time is worth (not going to charge as much)

    thanks for any insight in advance.

  • #2
    if those are common parts that bust all the time ..and they are on a multi million seller........i would take the opportunity launch them on ebay mods that fix the known problems ..

    i bet for one set like you show ..that it would probably cost more than his car ..

    get lots out on ebay....ration them .. ..and the right price, then, only then, will it pay you back .

    all the best.markj


    • #3
      You can't charge him more than he is willing to pay. Better talk to him.
      "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"


      • #4
        Ya'll should have agreed on a price before you started on them. I think your going to be doing them for near nothing because he won't pay for what it really takes to make them.

        How much should you charge? You should charge what ever he is willing to pay. You'll get no more than that.
        It's only ink and paper


        • #5
          It would be $65 an hour in my shop, and that wouldn't be a cheap part if I did the 3d modeling, then print making, and finally made the part. When I told the hobbyist what it would probably cost, their eyes would most likely get kind of big, and they would most likely leave shortly thereafter, really no loss on my part. The few that can afford it and are willing to pay will be happy with the end product. If I was in the hobby and knew enough about it and saw a money maker for production, then the prototype price might be negotiable, but as a job shop owner, I have quite a few inventors/hobby guys come thru promising the world and all the production orders when their part/widget hits it big, I usually suggest they buy their own machine tools and make it themselves.

          Anyways that may or may not help you decide how much to charge. What is your level of machining, I see you figured out 3D modeling with solidworks, but how are your machining skills? You cant charge someone $65/hour for machining, and then give them a part that looks like it was finished with a bastard file and a chisel.

          Stuff like this is good for trades, maybe the guy you are making them for has some skills you dont. I did some work for a cabinet maker years ago, I'm pretty sure we both worked for less than our normal rates when you added up the time, he did some cabinet work for me that I had no idea how to do, and I made some parts for him that he had no idea how to do. win win


          • #6
            thanks for the replies. The parts come out very well. I will post a pic of it later tonight.

            I know I will not make money on the parts.. it is just a hobby, but I do like to put a honest value to something I put my time into.

            If nothing else a guess as to what parts like this would cost in a shop. Then the guy will know that I am giving him a deal of a lifetime...

            Oh and the large part is 2" long and about 3/4" wide, the two parts in the one drawing are smaller at about 1" long and under 1/2" thick/wide.

            At a shop rate of $65/hr how many hours does it take for a pro to make? for me it takes quite a bit longer as I dont have all the toys the pro shops have.

            Thanks again.


            • #7
              Those look like moderately complicated parts that will need multiple setups to machine. Do you have the option of simplifying the design before making them?

              Small parts, for me, often mean increased fixturing problems as there's just not much to grab on to without obstructing the cutting tool.

              You've already seen how time-consuming just the reverse engineering part of the project can be and you've not cut any metal yet.

              My guess is unless it was a friend and I was really interested in helping him out with the project, I'd tell the customer that I couldn't afford to do it for him at a price he would be willing to pay.

              But then I've gotten stuck into doing a "couple hour" paying project that took all weekend to complete, so I've gotten a lot more cautious about letting my enthusiasm overcome my self-preservation instincts.

              I recently had a friend enquire about making a small aluminum part for a friend of his. It was about the size of a domino and was for holding some sort of small chip used in a PC game. It had lots of different angles and he wanted a chain loop that had sharp inside corners. I donated 30-40 minutes into a simple model that simplified it a lot to make it quicker/easier to machine, just to show the two of them why I wasn't going to consider doing the original part for the guy, and even with the simplified part I figured that making it would end up being a losing proposition so I declined to guess at a price (I can't call it a quote because a quote seems like it ought to be more than a WAG. )



              • #8
                zerodegreec, it would be hard for anyone but you to put a price on making the parts. If I were doing it for the hell of it and wasn't thinking of making money I would charge him $25 per hour. If I intended to make money doing it then I would charge $60 per hour. I would charge for every hour on the job, that's time making the drawings and making the parts. If he is a very good friend I wouldn't charge him anything.

                If you made the complicated part in 5 hours as you implied in the first post you did well for a one off part.

                Everyone has a different idea of what their time is worth and the more you do this for a living the higher your labor rate will be.

                Only you can put a value on your time.
                Last edited by Carld; 12-29-2010, 03:30 PM.
                It's only ink and paper