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extrusion cylinder

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  • extrusion cylinder


    I develop 3D imaging technology for the printing industry.

    I have recently started my own company and I am in the process of looking for a company that will be able to machine an extrusion cylinder for me.

    The process that I used lenticular plastic sheets that were produce by extrusion. The lenticular extrusion cylinders were produce by engraving cylindrical lines/lenticules around the drum. A diamond tool was used to cut the metal of extrusion cylinder as the cylinder was turned on a lathe. The diamond tool was indexed and stepped across the face of the drum.

    What I need for my new process is to cut individual lenses in an array. This can not be done by turning the cylinder and plunging a tool into the face. What I understand is that we need diamond turning stepped across and around the drum or alternatively across and then incrementally rotate the cylinder across, rotate across ect....

    I have found one company that could do this but they are limited in size of the cylinders that they can handle.

    So.. I am looking for advice on companies that could handle this type of project or alternate methods of engraving a lens array on an extrusion cylinder.

    \"Swing hard, in case you hit it!\"

  • #2
    How 'bout trying the EDM shops?


    • #3
      Any company with a 5 Axis milling capability will be able to handle the job - dependent on physical size of course. I would suggest that you contact and ask them if they have any clients that would be up to the job in your area. Alternately, do a search on or world wide on the Thomas Registar Global Net for contract shops. You should not have any problem.

      There are a number of mold making companies in Canada that would be able to help you and they are also listed in the Thomas Register


      • #4
        Hello Again,

        2 questions:

        What are the EDM shops?

        I have searched on thomasregister, I don't think I know what to search for. I am an imaging technology developer who has developed an imaging technology that requires specialized tooling of an extrusion cylinder. I am admiting my complete ignorance in the area of tooling. I greatly appreciate your help here.

        \"Swing hard, in case you hit it!\"


        • #5
          Electrical Discharge Machining

          from this site

          "Electrical Discharge Machining is an exceptionally diverse thermal cutting process that produces products such as tiny electronic connectors, highly accurate medical parts, automotive stamping dies, and aircraft body panels. There are two main types of EDM processes—ram and wire-cut."


          • #6
            We have look at several methods of engraving the master cylinder that will not replicate an optical surface. Laser engraving and chemical etching are used to create patterns for the printing industry and embossing patterns in all manners of surfaces from paper towels to vinyl automotive dashboards.

            I am affraid that the EDM method would not be able to yeild an optical surface.

            Diamond tooling is used to cut an optical surface in the extrusion cylinder. Previous methods have been able to simply turn the cyliinder and plunge the tool in and then step the tool across the cylinder.

            What I need is to use a diamond tool to effectivly drill or turn the pattern in the cylinders surface and step and repeat over the entire face of the cylinder producing an array of lenses. Actually the negative of the lenses that will be extruded.

            I am curious to learn more about the concept of 5 point milling.

            Please forgive my ignorance of machining methods.

            Is it possible to mount a cylinder in a machine that could rotate the cylinder at precise degrees of rotation and the step a diamond tool across the surface cutting the shape of the tool into a precise depth and then stepping a repeating across the cylinder, then rotate the cylinder repeat across, and keep this up until the entire surface has been covered with the pattern?

            Is a 5 point milling machine the correct tool for my needs.

            Thanks again, I greatly appreciate your help and guidance.
            \"Swing hard, in case you hit it!\"


            • #7
              Frozen Tundra

              Yes - look for a "mold & die" shop that has 4 or 5 axis capability - they will be able to make what you need I am certain. Do a search in the "plastics industry Mold & Die area" of expertise. Mold & Die people also do metal working dies so they will be able to take care of your needs.