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Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby Mr-914 » June 28th, 2017, 7:18 am

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I get copying, but only from a "cover my ***" perspective.

1. I create an innovative design that succeeds = everyone thinks I'm a genius
2. I create a copy that succeeds = everyone thinks I'm a genius
3. I create a copy that fails = everyone excuses it because the original did succeed, so how could I have known my copy would fail
4. I create an innovative design that fails = I'm dangerously wasting company resources on vanity projects

For most managers, the downside of copying is so much better than the downside of being original that they will almost always go for the copy (ie "sure thing" in management talk). The real challenge in business is setting up an organization that accepts creativity when needed.

A great example of this is Chrysler buying AMC. AMC was a complete failure, but very creative. Lee Iaccoca later said that he bought AMC specifically for their development team in spite of their success rate. Chrysler promoted AMC's head engineer to replace their own engineering department and establish AMC's development process in Chrysler. That lead to 15 years of success and still influences Chrysler today.
Ray Jepson

"The key to success in this business is to find a boss who doesn't care." - Mike Rowe

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby yo » June 28th, 2017, 10:22 am

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bepster wrote:We looked into casting but it has serious anodization challenges.



That is what I always thought as well. It turns out it is due to the type of aluminum composition they use I believe. if they spec the right aluminum they can anodize it. I ended up doing that on a large part last year where machining was just not possible due to the size and the voids. We would have been machining away 90% of the material over a part that was rather large.... after a bit of back and forth they figured out how to cast, post machine, and anodize it.

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby bepster » June 28th, 2017, 10:41 am

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yo wrote:That is what I always thought as well. It turns out it is due to the type of aluminum composition they use I believe. if they spec the right aluminum they can anodize it. I ended up doing that on a large part last year where machining was just not possible due to the size and the voids. We would have been machining away 90% of the material over a part that was rather large.... after a bit of back and forth they figured out how to cast, post machine, and anodize it.


This is true. It's totally possible.
We visited a few suppliers who are capable and are doing this in MP.

But it seems that they only way to really ensure consistent results and decent yield is to anodize black. So in terms of CMF pretty limited.
I believe GoPro is actually die-casting and anodizing (black) on some of their products.

What color was your part, Michael?
If you don't mind me asking? ;)

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby yo » June 28th, 2017, 3:22 pm

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Of course, no problem. It was a clear anodize. It is on a huge speaker. There is a very very slight finish difference vs a second extruded, machined, and anodized part, but one is on the very top and the other is on the very bottom with 3 feet of black between them. We hide it as well by changing the surface finish. The cast part is bead blasted, the top is brushed with a machined in logo and chamfers.

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby bepster » June 29th, 2017, 3:00 am

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Thanks Michael.
It sounds like you made all the right decisions for the process in order to get a good cosmetic performance.
Rougher textures certainly help.

My project will launch in September so we can pick this topic back up then ;)

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby NURB » June 29th, 2017, 2:24 pm

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Something to remember with anodizing, in case you aren't aware. The color is determined by the chemical make-up of the liquid in the tank, the time that it spends in the tank, and the alloy+heat treatment of the aluminum.

A 60 minute clear on 6063-T6 vs 5052 will be vastly different.

Some softer alloys 2000 and 3000 series, for example, can't even come close to the same as what a 5000 or 6000 series alloy can, in terms of color. We tried dark bronze anodizing some soft alloy and the closest they could get was dark grey... Another challenge: welded aluminum. Welding adds heat, which alters the heat treatment, which alters the color. Sometimes it's a neat result, but usually it's just black or chalky white.
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Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby iab » June 29th, 2017, 3:41 pm


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Now that we are completely off-topic, what is the surface finish of a part to be anodized? Polished? Sand blast?

I'm making a one-off bike stem and I will do the prep.

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby yo » June 29th, 2017, 4:16 pm

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iab, to my knowledge, if it is a machined part, you should be able to ano any finish.

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby yo » June 29th, 2017, 4:17 pm

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NURB wrote:Something to remember with anodizing, in case you aren't aware. The color is determined by the chemical make-up of the liquid in the tank, the time that it spends in the tank, and the alloy+heat treatment of the aluminum.

A 60 minute clear on 6063-T6 vs 5052 will be vastly different.


very true, in my experience I usually have to get 5+ variations on the finish to get to match a spec... more if I'm matching between different alloys.

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby yo » June 29th, 2017, 4:18 pm

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this got WAAAY OT, but still interesting :-)

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby NURB » June 29th, 2017, 10:12 pm

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Well it was a revived 2012 post...
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Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby NURB » June 29th, 2017, 10:14 pm

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iab wrote:Now that we are completely off-topic, what is the surface finish of a part to be anodized? Polished? Sand blast?

I'm making a one-off bike stem and I will do the prep.

Part of the process is to etch the surface. However, it will show imperfections. Shot blasting might be a good fit, but you might want to run a sample first. Most everything I deal with that's anodized has a brushed finish.

Also, don't bright dip it. It won't last outside.
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Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby iab » June 30th, 2017, 7:29 am


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NURB wrote: a brushed finish.


Do you know the spec on the abrasive making it?

Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby NURB » June 30th, 2017, 8:10 pm

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iab wrote:
NURB wrote: a brushed finish.


Do you know the spec on the abrasive making it?

Neighborhood of a #4 finish in flat sheet finishing. I believe it ends with a 220 grit paper.
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Re: lenovo = embarrassing

Postby rony123 » July 1st, 2017, 7:55 pm


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Fact is that everybody has his/her own experience and taste!
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