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24 minutes ago, blue32 said:

I just replied to his last email asking him if he could go to his rep and see how many sold units it would take on a pre-order basis to dial up a special production run. If he were able to put that together at a semi reasonable price-say $30 each or so? I think there would be a lot of us suckers that would happily order multiples of these. I’ll let you know what he says.

I would happily buy one for $30

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I have a brother-in-law who works in this industry.  He's involved in the framing and molding plastics. For example, his company made crossbow stocks recently for a major retailer.  I floated the question posed in this thread to him and inquired a little as to possible cost.  Without even hesitating, he said it'd be very expensive and the first order would have to be a large quantity. 

In short, there's no way you can do this without at least 1,000 of these for the first order.  That means, at let's says $15/unit production cost, you're looking at $15,000 up front just to get this started. $15/unit may sound high, but the cost just to create the new molds are significant. The cost per unit is nothing after you purchase the molds as plastic isn't that expensive in itself, but the start up cost is ridiculous. 

Just think for a minute - how long would it take to sell 1,000 of these?  Years and years no doubt.  How often does an umpire need a new throat guard?  There are only like 75 umpires in MLB, let's say 50 in MiLB, a couple hundred in NCAA, and then those of us doing HS and other level baseball.  Even if we all bought one a year, it'd take quite a while for them to start making a profit.  Unfortunately, a few dozen (or even a few hundred) isn't enough to get Mizuno interested if they truly tossed the molds like they told So.

This is a similar problem that I'm sure @Razzer is running into with manufacturing a Nike-styled mask.  He has contacts that can do it, but you have to order so many up front, it takes the game away from everybody but the big boys with deep pockets.

 

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15 hours ago, blue32 said:

Not if you 3D print it. ;)

IMO that is the only feasible option... and how much does it cost to print a heavy-duty plastic throat guard?  I honestly don't know, but am hopeful.

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3 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

IMO that is the only feasible option... and how much does it cost to print a heavy-duty plastic throat guard?  I honestly don't know, but am hopeful.

Does anyone on this site HAVE a 3D printer? Or access to one? That they might be able to answer this question.

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1 hour ago, BT_Blue said:

Does anyone on this site HAVE a 3D printer? Or access to one? That they might be able to answer this question.

In my mind, the issue is that you don't just need a 3D printer, but one that is capable of printing heavy-duty plastic.  A normal 3D printer won't be able to handle this job.

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I've never seen a 3d printer print paper.  I've only seen them print plastic.  And I have one at home that can print small pieces (about 7x7x7) using mostly the cheapest plastics (ABS and PLA).  Neither of those is suitable for a throat guard, though, unless you want one that looks cool but will break down in the sun and probably split and slice your jugular if it gets hit.

There are 3d printers that can print materials like carbon fiber-infused nylon (nylon carbonite), which is billed as being nearly as strong as steel.  The spools of material aren't too pricey (in the $80-$100) range.  The low-end printers for the material are quite a bit pricier ($5000-ish).

Let me add that my son had some 3d parts printed for his Eagle project ( about 7x2x5 plastic pieces that sit on the top of a 1 1/4 inch pipe and support lighting elements.  We had them printed by a service that we found on the internet (I think about $60 for 10 pieces).  He got other quotes (online and locally) for up to $250 to print the same parts.  He could have had the part designed for another $250 or so, but we did that ourselves.

We learned about designing and printing the part from the DoSpace in Omaha, but ended up downloading a free program to design the parts on a laptop at home.  I'm sure you could find places online (and probably locally, if you live in a city of any size) that will print your design.

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1 hour ago, BT_Blue said:

Does anyone on this site HAVE a 3D printer? Or access to one? That they might be able to answer this question.

I have access to one. As @CJK notes, I would certainly want to test it out on something-not-my-throat before putting into production. Anybody have a baseball cannon?

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47 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

I have access to one. As @CJK notes, I would certainly want to test it out on something-not-my-throat before putting into production. Anybody have a baseball cannon?

Wouldn't your standard Juggs machine work?

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1 minute ago, HCueds said:

Who would’ve thought about 3D printing it.

glad we’re all trying to get the ball rolling lol

It's been brought up in the past. But I think has been glossed over since we haven't been this close to obtaining one until now.

Keith putting his up for sale has been the best think for trying to get this idea rolling down hill in a long time! 

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7 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

It's been brought up in the past. But I think has been glossed over since we haven't been this close to obtaining one until now.

Keith putting his up for sale has been the best think for trying to get this idea rolling down hill in a long time! 

Agree, slightly shocked (but not surprised) So couldn’t find a manufacturer to create a knock off. Whoever does buy it could be a dude and look into finding a professional 3D print guy though. 

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30 minutes ago, HCueds said:

Agree, slightly shocked (but not surprised) So couldn’t find a manufacturer to create a knock off. Whoever does buy it could be a dude and look into finding a professional 3D print guy though. 

I keep holding out hope that he will!

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54 minutes ago, blue32 said:

If the USMC can build barracks using 3D technology, I'm pretty sure someone can print a lil' ole throat guard.

https://www.marines.mil/News/News-Display/Article/1611532/mcsc-teams-with-marines-to-build-worlds-first-continuous-3d-printed-concrete-ba/

 

What I'm taking from this, is that we need to enlist the US Marines to make these for us.

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