Moni, who I now consider a friend, came to me by a mutual friend. Moni had a need for a shape cutter. It looked like a small cookie cutter though she never told me what it was to cut. She had a couple problems; first her sample cutter was a little too large for her needs. Second, Moni wanted to cut 100 pieces at a time, not one! This is exactly the type of challenging I love. A prototype device, all food grade stainless and not a slam dunk.
The first thing I had to do was to find a tube material that would form into the desired shape and size.
Next, I had to design and fabricate several swaging tools to form the tube into the shape. After all 100 pieces were parted off, sharpened and de-burred, I went into the forming of this shape.
This was a several step process. First I squeezed each tube section into a slight triangle.
Then I pressed an armature into the cutter to shape the three outer lobes. A lathe chuck then formed the final shape. The last step for the shape cutters was to press the sedge armature out of the shape. Repeat 99 times.
After all the shapes are made I used a water jet cutting machine to cut out 100 tight fitting shapes in a 1/8″ stainless plate. I also cut handles and stiffeners for the device. Each cutter has to fit perfectly in the corresponding hole so when fit, a simple fuse weld around the top will be all that’s needed.
This also keeps the heat input low and leaves a smooth cleanable surface. Even with this low temp TIG process, the plate warped like a potato chip. With the use of the handles and stiffeners, I was able to maintain the arc shape desired for the cutting action we wanted.
Some finish polishing, final straightening and the cutter is ready. This project is a perfect example of what TRUEFORM DESIGN is all about. A person with a dream of a tool that doesn’t exist, and a company that creates that dream into reality. What’s your dream? What do you need to make your life or business better?