Since I can’t use the plastic enclosures (see my previous post), I have to use the aluminum ones. Unfortunately, raw cut aluminum doesn’t really look too pretty on it’s own. Especially when you can clearly see the cut marks from the CNC machine! The solution is to get the parts anodized. Anodizing is basically a way of making a thicker layer of oxide on the outside of the metal. Since it is so porous, you can dye it before you seal it, which is what gives a lot of products their color. Best of all, it’s fairly cheap.
My previous machinist was offering me aluminum enclosures at $15.00 a piece, but since he does not do his own anodizing, the additional cost would have been $8 per piece ($8 top and $8 bottom) — a total of $16.00 per unit! Now, paying $15.00 to get a piece machined is a decent price, but paying an additional $16.00 for electrically plating them seems silly. I had another offer for $18 per unit and $20 per unit with anodizing, so logically, I’m going to give this guy a shot now.
I expected to pay approximately $20.00 for each enclosure so I can’t really complain about the small price difference! I just contacted him regarding the samples today so we’ll see how long it takes before a production piece is made.
I also checked today and I have 40 page views! I was used to 1 – 5 per day, but 40! I’m shocked.
That’s all for today’s long post. As soon as I hear, I’ll post about it. I haven’t heard anything from SparkFun yet, but I’m hoping they got my message!