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3D Machining Beats Cast Parts
Eric Rego can replace a cast part with a stronger machined part using 3D machining. He can also make molds for casting custom polyurethane parts. While the 3D machined parts tend to be custom orders, the molds allow him to create parts that he and his father sell from their Maple Springs Farm parts business.
    “For low volume parts or tools, 3D machining from a steel billet is often a more economical alternative to casting,” explains Rego, Rego Engineering and Machine. “We can duplicate any part that comes through the door with a high degree of accuracy.”
    Rego uses careful measurements to create a CAD file. Special software transforms it into a 3D image with many thousands of lines of computer programming code. The computer code is then put to work on a milling machine with each line of code corresponding to a single cut.
    “It takes thousands of cuts every inch to form the geometry of a part,” says Rego. “Sometimes you have to extrapolate when looking at curvatures with some blending of measurements to get it just right.”
    He recently used the process to make a steering wheel complete with the nubs for fingers to catch on the backside. He has also produced a pair of Super 44 steering arms for an Oliver tractor. Originally the arms were made by casting, but Rego says the machined replacements are actually stronger.
    He uses molds to make a variety of soft and hard plastic replacements for hard to find Oliver parts, such as dash trims and decorative pieces.
    “Polyurethane is available in so many densities with varying strengths and hardness,” says Rego. “The 3D manufacturing lets us make the molds to make the parts we need.”
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Maple Springs Farm, 1828 County Road PB, Verona, Wis. 53593 (ph 608 658-2072; rrego@tds.net; www.msfparts.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #4