Here at Buzzwerk, we are a CNC model shop that specializes in areas that other model shops or CNC machine shops avoid. We welcome complex 3D geometry and unique paint or surface finishes. Other shops may be able to cut a part out, but we do so much more than that, we can finish and assemble your parts into the finished jewel that you have envisioned. But we're not limited to just subtractive machining, we also produce functional prototypes and printed prototypes on an accelerated timeframe. We exist to realize your vision.
All of our machinists come to work every day because they love to create new things and advance themselves with new challenges. No matter what job comes through the door, we are equipped to manage and conquer it. Prototypes, architectural models, functional displays, interactive exhibits, toys, electronics, aerospace components, we do it all.
We do it because we have a passion for it, and we’ve been doing it all our lives. Let us put that passion to work for you.
How can we help you today?
Call us 469.484.7449!
Some of our processes:
Our four 3 axis CNC mills affectionately named Eleanore, Betty, Vivian, and Elizabeth, and our 4 axis mill (Jessica) are the heart of our business. CNC Machining is a subtractive manufacturing process that is often used for finished manufactured parts just as much as one off prototypes. We start with a solid block of foam, wood, plastic, aluminum, steel, or any number of materials in between. Then with a stack of end mills which to the untrained eye look a bit like drill bits, we carve away all the material that is not your part, and are left with a perfect part and a pile of chips to be recycled.
At the other end of the shop is our CNC Lathe which is perfect for turning out simple, repeatable, quick parts. The lathe allows us to cut materials that might be rough on some of our other cutters.
Also a subtractive process, cutting with the lathe (turning) starts out with a solid chunk of material, but in this case instead of a block, it's typically a section of round bar which we then apply a hardened cutting tool to while the material spins at high rpm. By taking off slice after slice we can work the piece down to whatever profile we need. If there's a call for other holes or details in the part after the turning process we can take it to one of our CNC mills and finish it out with a secondary process.
Low Volume Molding
Often with a smaller business low volume casting and molding will make sense for a small run of parts or sometimes for a larger company low volume molding makes sense if they want a small batch of parts for testing or sales.
When we mold a part, the first step is to make a master which will be used to make the actual mold. This master can be CNC machined or 3D printed, but the finish is critical. Every anomaly or imperfection in the master will be copied into each and every part so here is where we spend the bulk of our time sanding and hand finishing the part to perfection.
Often the decision to mold as opposed to machine or print parts has to do with the finish required or the material that the part needs to made from. Rubber parts pose a unique problem for machining and printing but are perfect for molding, there are some printers on the market that can print rubber parts but the fidelity is still quite lacking, basically they come out fuzzy and rough. With a molded part you can actually polish the master to a mirror finish since you can make it out of any material, and once you mold it, even if it's in rubber it will have that same polished surface. Also you can play with mixes of different durometers and even materials with the same part to get your perfect balance of characteristics.
CNC Machines and 3D printers are perfect for knocking out perfect, crisp, finished parts that are infinitely repeatable and perfect. Sometimes that's not what you are after, that's where the craftsmanship of our model makers shines. Each one of us has been building things with our hands since we were little kids and have a passion for it. If you don't think that your part fits in the norms of what you might consider traditional manufacturing, let's take a look at it, I'm sure we can figure out the right way to tackle it.
CAD CAM Services
Some of our clients have design and engineering departments that send us polished, tested and ready to manufacture CAD files. But we don't need that to get started, we can take anything you've got and work with you to make it meet the expectation that you have for the finished prototype or part. Often that will be a hand drawing or even a Power Point presentation.
CAD stands for Computer Aided Drafting (or sometimes Computer Aided Design) which has become kind of an industry catchall for any 3D modeled file.
CAM is the other end and stands for Computer Aided Manufacturing. This is what we really sink our teeth into at Buzzwerk. Once we get or make your CAD file. We have to work out exactly how we are going to machine it making decisions like which cutters to use, which direction, and how fast the cutters will travel across the part. Also where to position the part most efficiently in the stock and how many sides it needs to be machined from.
3D printing is still an emerging technology and there are a few ways to do it. Here at Buzzwerk we have 2 FDM printers on site that handle any parts that we need to make when CNC machining might not work best. This is usually for smaller and more complicated parts that we might have to flip several times on the CNC mill. FDM uses an ABS plastic extruder head to lay down a continuous thread of hot plastic which adheres to whatever it touches. It uses this thread of plastic to draw a part one thin layer at a time, and by building up those layers 7 thousandths of an inch at a time you can build a whole part.
Graphics Application and creation
Depending on the size and if the model needs to be handled much we can choose from either a rubdown graphic, a vinyl graphic, or even paint. Rubdown transfers are often used for smaller models as they are essentially just the screen printed ink stuck to a screen printed adhesive surface so they have very little thickness. The primary weakness of rubdowns is the fact that they rub off as easily as they rub on, if they need to hold up to some handling we can clear coat over them, but often the schedule does not allow that. Vinyl can work well for larger models that have simpler graphics and vinyl can hold up better to some handling. However, if the color needs to be absolutely right, or you need some kind of texture or effect paint might be the only option.
Painting and Finishing
With full automotive quality paint facilities in house we can handle all kinds of wild finish requests. I like to say that we have become experts at mastering and manipulating all of the mistakes that automotive painters try to avoid. I once was sitting in a PPG paint class while the instructor was discussing all the things that can go wrong with a paint job, and it occurred to me that every day we use those “mistakes” as techniques. We’re not often trying to achieve an automotive glass smooth finish, but rather a fine or even heavy textured finish. We know exactly how to adjust the air flow or the paint consistency to get that perfect, consistent texture. Even when we do need a glass smooth finish, knowing how far we can push the paint makes it that much easier.
Vacuum forming is a powerful new tool in our shop that when combined with our CNC mills allows us to turn around high quality short run production parts in a very condensed timeframe. For many parts with a relatively consistent wall thickness vacuum forming is the ideal production means. We can easily go from a machined mold to a finished part in minutes. Using tooling board, wood, or even aluminum, we can cut out a mold with the CNC Mill and drop it right onto the vacuum chamber. At the same time we can make a trim template for the formed part and drop the part right back onto the CNC mill and trim the flash off the part. Being able to control the whole process in house has been instrumental in allowing us to address issues and fix problems right away.