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Bead design for mass production


#1

What is the best design method for time saving soldering in my bead?

I recently designed a pandora-type bead for auction at a private
school and am now trying to streamline production of bead as it will
be offered to students and alumni. My bead is a Sterling Silver 14
mm cube design with a 7mm opening for attaching to the pandora
bracelet. Designed with Rhino the top of cube has 3 letters which are
indented into the cube about.75mm. The letters themsleves where used
in the Rhino program to make the indentation. The models letters
popped right in the cube model prior to casting. The letters were
cast in 14k and have a height of 1.75mm…

so once popped into the indentation only 1mm of the height of the
letter is visable. I had someone else clean up the casting and do
the soldering for me since time was of the essance and they suggested
that in the future the top of the bead should be flush and that the
letters have posts on them so that holes can be drilled and the bead
assembled this way. To be since their are 3 letters the time it
would take to accurately place the letters in the correct position
and make sure they are horizontally level would take alot more time
than flowing some solder on either the letters themselves or in the
indentations on the bead…pickling and then sweat soldering them…I
don’t have a studio at this time to compare these two methods (long,
long story) but have soldered before (was student at FIT - Jewelry
Studio). The letters (AHN) are delicate with the width of the legs of
the letters no more than 1mm… Is there something I am missing in
understanding why the solderer is asking for a design change? What
would you do??? Thanks in advance


#2
To be since their are 3 letters the time it would take to
accurately place the letters in the correct position and make sure
they are horizontally level would take alot more time than flowing
some solder on either the letters themselves or in the indentations
on the bead... 

Cast the letters as one piece, instead of three. Either cast pins on
the letters or leave dimples so you know where to solder pins after
casting. Either put matching holes in your bead to begin with, or
make a jig that fits the space so you know where to drill. Use paste
solder on the back of the letters. If you just need to break the
letters apart, then cut the little bits that hold them as one piece
after soldering. I’d design it like a monogram, so the letters make
a single unit without having tabs to hold them together. Half of your
problem is having three tiny little letters that need to be straight
relative to each other. Remove that problem by making them a single
unit.


#3

Thanks. I had thought of attaching the letters, however due to their
small size their impact is greatly diminished. It looks like we are
goingt o stick with the original design (indentation - no legs) and
laser solder.