How are jigsaw puzzles mass produced

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On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 08:34:02 +0100, Mike Barnes

Well, it certainly looks like it in http://www.puzzlemachine.com /. Didn't you look at the link?

That was my first thought, but on looking at an actual puzzle, you see each parallel cut is different, as is each perpendicular one.
phil
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Mon, 29 Sep 2003 16:31:14

Mind you, we're currently assuming that both axes are cut in one stamp. This might not be the case for a production line process.
A simple puzzle where corners of each piece meet (ie no joins in the middle of a straight side of another piece) could be manufactured on a conveyor, passing under two rollers - one for cutting the "vertical" joins and one for cutting the "horizontal" joins.
Having said that, I do think that they are most likely to be stamped out. For the reason that joins do often occur in the middle of the sides of other pieces.
Another possible scenario might be a modular press, set up something similar to a printing press. i.e. you have thousands of cutters that correspond to only one side of one piece, and they are mounted on a base plate in a particular configuration for a stamping run.
I've fired off an email to Hasbro's media contact people asking if they've any information or if they can point me towards manufacturers of press machinery. Will see if anything comes back... (Hasbro own Waddingtons now, it seems).
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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wrote:

I've a memory of opening some puzzles for the first time as a child, and noticing that quite often there would be a clump or block of pieces still intact as they would have been before cutting, this alone tells you they were stamped, and very likely in both directions at once, as I never found any strips, just blocks.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Gnube wrote:

wear in the bed. They might take two cutter heads to stamp the same area over the same bed. Inconclusive. :-)

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wrote:

Interestingly mischievous, but I don't think I'm going to buy it on that proposition alone! Doesn't feel like it hangs with the memories quite right, can't put a finger on why either! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Not just an assumption as at least in the case of the link you gave shows us.

True, but no one has so far answered my question about the dies are made. In your new scheme the blade has to be not only crinkled to cut the lugs but also wrapped around a roller. The machine shown in your link seems the easiest and cheapest way to mass produc card puzzles. Trouble is, no-one here seems to know how to make the dies.

You mean stamped out in two perpendicular passes? The 1000 piece puzzle we are working on at home has no such "T" joins. All 4 corners of each piece join in cross-road "X" cuts. These could have ben made by the 2-rollers you mention, or by a 2-D die consisting of crossed over blades... as in your link in fact.
For those that don't remeber what puzzle pieces are like, they are very neatly cut with no gaps indicating a thick saw blade, no burns indicating lasers. They are however, crushed down at the edges where a blade has obviously been pressed into the card.

Eek... that sounds harder that the 100 piece puzzle to assmble.
BTW, before anyone complains, it's not really the 1000 pieces claimed on the box, it's 1008 (28x36).

I bet they buy them in from china as bags of pieces, plus a master photo for their badged box.
phil
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Hi Phil Addison In you wrote:

Here's a laser based system... http://freespace.virgin.net/john.cridland/qahome.html
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Interesting. I didn't intend to imply that lasers could not do the job. Of they could, but I didn't (and still don't) think it a viable mass production technique. Although your link shows a puzzle being cut by laser knife, I suspect that that is being done as a demonstration of what the laser tool can do, rather than a shot of a production process.
phil
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On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 20:00:54 GMT, "Phil Addison"

I'm not sure.
For some time, on and off, I've been building two model boats manufactured by a Danish company, Billing Boats, www.billingboats.com, the Wasa and the Calypso.
These have some components made from thin ply (about jigsaw thickness) and these are cut by laser- the information sheet says so and you can see the odd burn mark.
I suppose that their volume is not enormous - maybe hundreds per batch rather than thousands - but I guess that laser cutting is fast enough for this. Mind you, the sale price is a lot higher than a jigsaw, but I imagine that here they are trying to recover their design and tooling costs for the main design and small components.
.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
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Looks as if it will keep you busy for some time to come, too :-)

I wouldn't be surprised if they only cut them when ordered, stacking up a few extra layers to put into stock. NC tools are well suited to JIT techniques, but not low cost mass production.

There is a difference with jigsaw puzzles. Once you have the die you can cut not only 1000's of "Windsor Castle", but you can use the same die for many other puzzles. All you have to do is stick a different picture on the card before pressing it it through the cutting machine.
phil
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Andy Hall wrote:

There is very little tooling cost on CNC controlled laser machine. You can do a design in e.g. autocad, run it through a software convertor, and that goes straight to the cutter stepper motors, which is a series of commands like 'move .03mm right and 0.05 mm up please'
It takes a day or so of wasted wood to get a batch going allegedly, then a few minutes per sheet. You can often cut several sheets at once.
Its ideal for short runs - in the hundreds.
If its thousands, die cutting is indicated.

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That's why I find it difficult to control stepper motors for my projects - I am forgetting to say "Please" to them (g)
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Abdullah Eyles wrote:

If you are seriously interested in stepper motors and how to control them, have a look here.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadidb920
All you ever wanted to know about building your own CNC controlled milling machine.
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wrote:

Great minds etc.
Just recently I've been toying with the idea of having a CNC controlled router, or even just a rotozip, so that I can fabricate smallish designs from the PC.
Looks like you've just answered my query! Thanks for that!
PoP
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Phil Addison wrote:

hats right. Lasers migfht take ten minutes to cut a puzzle - maybe more.
A die will do it in under a secnd propbably.

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Phil Addison wrote:

Two passes under tow different dies.

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AArgh... hasn't anyone realised the question has moved on? It is now as stated above: "What 'puzzles' me now is how is the crossed over cutter die made".
See my post above for comments on the two dies approach.
phil
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On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 00:48:43 GMT, "Phil Addison"

If you are doubting that lasers can be used to accurately cut plywood, then you are in for a rethink at some point.
However that may not be what you meant, but I am not certain either way.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Gnube wrote:

Indeed. e.g. http://www.flying-pig.co.uk/Pages/work2-2-02-2.htm

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wrote:

Quite, and thanks!
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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