Alternatives for BigBlueSaw

Hi all,

I am trying to reduce cost as much as possible for a DIY build. I tried to order plates from BigBlueSaw and they quoted ~200$ for the version 1.2 “All Plates Layout [Flat]” with 3/16 6061 aluminium - even though bill of materials show $148. Are there any other companies that you have used for plates? Was anybody able to get the plates cut for $148?

Also, is there a way to generate a custom version of the “All Plates Layout [Flat]” - removing the 2 long vertical pieces for tool bays.

Forgot to mention - I am in United States - Texas.


I have access to a water jet and I am about to cut out the parts and bend them as well. Do you have a way to bend parts or would you need that done too? I have not ordered the parts or calculated the machine time (or my time) yet to do this. I should have it for you within a few days but I feel like it’s going to be pretty close since I have to pay for machine time.

Thanks for the offer - I wish I had waited 1 more day. I got quotes from 3 different vendors - all above the BigBlueSaw quote. So finally gave in and ordered from BigBlueSaw yesterday for $166 + $15 shipping for 0.16" thickness 6061.

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Big Blue Saw is probably the best bet. The material cost alone I was quoted was $144 so I’m probably just going to order online instead of doing it myself unless I can find some scrap aluminum.

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I’m 3D printing all the plates out of PLA.

@joyce Sorry to be a party pooper, but your farmbot will fall apart, i tried 3d prints and they just snapped ,(farmbot is a much larger machine than your average 3d printer so the force on all the joints is much higher) then i tried wood which held together but wobbled so accuracy was horrid, and friction was also an issue, .2 inch aluminum, titanium, or stainless is really your only option, its the only material strong enough to hold up the bot

@jitto a word of warning, i hope you have an acetylene torch or something of the sort because bending .2 inch aluminum is impossible without preheating or a forming press, if you do it in a break it just snaps if you don’t most of the parts can be cut and welded or for the peices that go on the top of the gantry they don’t need to be welded, just cut them and they work fine

Heads up: at Big Blue Saw we’re considering a sale in April on 3/16 inch thick aluminum. We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the right designs in place, though. It seems that we’ve been sent a few different variations on the standard kit of brackets.

Production ready 2D drawings and documentation of all v1.2 parts will be available in a few weeks. The design itself has not changed in months (since we started manufacturing stuff) though we still have to clean up the CAD workspace and put the finishing touches on the docs in order to remove the “beta” tag.

@david_hickox did you use PLA? I’m planning on increasing the thickness. Also toying with printing stainless.

@Joyce oyce I used both pla and abs, and by stainless I assume you mean printing one of the filaments that contain stainless, and those are not any stronger than the plastic they are mixed with, the addition is purely aesthetic, so I would not recommend wasting your time. If you want to 3d print something and use that as a mold for a casting steel, that would work but you need a forge capable of melting steel (ask president bush i’m told he knows a little about that :slight_smile:) . The biggest problem with plastic is it is just too flexible.