I might start selling anodized aluminium

So, I live in an industrial area, and was thinking about anodizing aluminum for the vex community. There are two main ways I came up with to do this.
1: anodize around 200 pieces of full length C-Chan and angle at a time, this would be cheapest and how I want this to happen
2: have you send in a dissembled robot and I anodize the parts I can, the problem with this is that it costs the same to anodize 200 parts as it does to anodize 15 parts. This would make it considerably more expensive and less conceivable.
3: tell me another way to do it
Here’s a poll: https://strawpoll.com/c96f472

That would be awesome, I would be entirely willing to spend a reasonable amount to buy some anodized parts. Anything in yellow? :slight_smile:

I think your best bet is to buy a bunch of aluminum (as you say, 200) and anodize a whole batch to sell. I think you need to be careful not to exceed demand, but I believe there is a lot of demand, especially if you sell at Worlds. You could talk to Sam from 60X to get an idea, since he sold anodized aluminum.

Well… If you sell full-length C-Channels and you cut them, don’t you get a part showing that isn’t colored? How about having the option for both?
By the way thank you! The 60s ran out of stock and probably won’t be selling them anytime soon so thank you!

THIS IS GREAT!!! Just one Suggestion: you should send the metal in batches of 50, 100, or 200. Also it would be great if you sent either a bundle of every different variation of aluminum vex has to offer or sent each variation independently.

I looked up the process to anodize aluminum, and I have to say it’s not something I would feel comfortable doing (especially not in my house, plus it calls for 70 degree temperatures, so I’d have to get my house (or worse, my garage) at least 10 degrees cooler). I wish you luck!

Yes I totally agree, the part that shows when you cut it is very ugly, having the option for both is much better imo.

I don’t like the idea of having a section uncolored when you cut the full lengths. I find the edges of anodized aluminum to be the sexiest. Honestly, since you’re sourcing the anodized aluminum outside you should sell the anodized full parts and have your own separate system at your home for anodizing parts from disassembled robots.

My mom doesn’t want big vats of sulfuric acid in the house

UPDATE:
Here’s a test piece
20170615_134240.jpg

The anodized part looks great.
However, if you’re going to sell them cut, how are you going to do that?
Hacksaw? Dremel? How are you going to make sure it’s a clean cut 100% of the time?

It’s only 50% sulfuric acid, right? :slight_smile:

We explored the idea and had a nice setup for anodizing. It was a lengthy 12 step process that ended up taking too much time away from building the robots. The aluminum that VEX sells is already anodized and sealed. Did you break the seal first with an etching process? I wasn’t thrilled with a heated tub of sodium hydroxide followed by the sulfuric acid mixture, so we decided to drop the process in favor of our health and safety. Sam and I were never happy with having those chemicals and vapors in his garage and trying to build robots at the same time. We both feel that it had a huge impact on our season since we had to spend so much of the summer getting the anodizing line together. In all honestly he and I never truly wanted to do it and I invested a lot of time and money into the operation. It was a fun learning experience, but we have figured out that it would have just been cheaper to put it in the hands of professionals. Please take all the necessary safety precautions if you choose to do this. Your voltage regulator should be top notch and you need a solid safety plan in place. Small scale works great, but when you start trying to do large batches and need to build a rack to hold multiple pieces it will get tedious. In the end I spent many hours on the phone with professionals from New York, Dallas and even New Zealand getting tips. As far as the Disco NT 60 and 360 teams, we will be happy to just build and have fun again and put last season behind us. We of course wish you all the best of luck and hope it goes well for you. Be safe.

I’m getting it done industrially

Very good. We will certainly be interested since we were planning on having it professionally done here, but I of course would rather support someone in VEX. Gold, red, and black are our choice. Pink came out great as well. The time consumption was our issue along with Texas heat. Cooling was so hard to do. We will certainly be watching your progress.

that blue looks great!