There are two main challenges with this project: one lies in the CNC machining process and the other is that the color of the anodizing needs to match the color samples exactly.
Snaps at Two Ends are Easy to Deform during Machining
One of the parts has six relatively small snaps at one end for fitting into a cap. Such features are more prone to deformation, as the walls are thin and small. After talking to Alex, we know that the structural design could not be modified, so we have to select the right end tool, fully simulate the machining route, and choose the most suitable route during machining, with a high-precision CNC machine. In the end, we were able to produce satisfactory housing. All parts were assembled and fit very well.
In addition, as the product will be rotated repeatedly during use, we need to ensure that the rotation between different parts is smooth so that it does not affect proper functioning. Vowin provided DFM analysis prior to production, which resulted in a very good assembly.
Multiple Clamping on 3 Different Machines
The main housing requires three different machines and therefore requires three set-ups. As shown in the above picture, the main part needs to be CNC turned, and the structure in the yellow circle needs to be realized on a 3-axis milling machine, while the slots in the red circle need to be made on a 4-axis machine. This increases the machining time and cost. With the help of Vowin engineers, we optimize the machining solution as much as possible within the limited budget and reduce the production time in order to save costs.
Anodized in 5 Colors
As this product will be sold to end customers, meaning that the exterior surface of the housing is visible to the users, it is required that the parts should not have any scratches, burrs, or other damages after anodizing. In addition, Alex sent 5 color samples when he placed the order and he asked us to anodize exactly the five colors to match the samples as closely as possible. This can be very challenging for the anodizing process.
We all know that there can be color differences between different batches of anodizing. Even if it’s the same batch, if the parts go into different anodizing baths, there may be a difference in color as well. After a few attempts, we managed to match the color samples well. We also made two extra sets and used them as color samples so that we can use these samples and match the colors in future productions.