View Full Version : RFQ: Prototype keyboard case - CNC and laser

26-05-2013, 08:03 PM
Hello! I'm a 15 year old student from North Wales and I'm looking to have a prototype made of an aluminium case I designed. I have got quotes for production from various companies in the UK. The price is very affordable when 5 or more units are made but I simply cannot afford the 1000+ I have been quoted for prototypes. I am hoping someone would be able to help me out with getting one made or someone could suggest a place where I could get it made. Please know that I'm not looking for some free service. I just can't afford 1000.

The case is aimed at enthusiasts like myself and so it must be high quality otherwise I will not be able to get anyone interested in actually purchasing it.

The case is made from four pieces. I'll post pictures in this thread and on PM request I can give Solidworks files that can be viewed with measurements with the free software Solidworks Viewer.

Base piece : To be machined from aluminium, will be anodised after. I have no preference of what grade just something reasonably priced. Pictures can be seen here : http://i.imgur.com/rXFvLHf.jpg and http://i.imgur.com/BavKWHN.png

Plate : To be machined from brass. This is to add weight and is a feature that enthusiasts love. It may seem like a pointless extra cost but understand that I wouldn't have added it if it were pointless. Picture can be seen here : http://i.imgur.com/HNMYrKk.jpg

Top : To be machined from aluminium, will be anodised after. Pictures can be seen here : http://i.imgur.com/3s8uyRK.jpg and http://i.imgur.com/pHj78iR.jpg

Mechanical switch plate : To be laser cut from 1.5mm thick aluminium. The cuts must be very clean otherwise it will not function properly. Because of this it needs to be cut by a high end machine. I know of someone who had a similar plate cut by a 2500w machine and it turned out awfully and couldn't function. Picture can be seen here : http://i.imgur.com/BJHbOFa.jpg

Thank you for your time and thank you for looking!

26-05-2013, 09:18 PM
I could make that, but a few small changes will be required for anyone to make it for a reasonable price. You need to change all the sharp corners to rounded corners - something like 3-5mm would be fine. Similarly, adjacent to where you've put the USB connector there are some edges on the angled surface that can't easily be machined. If those could be rounded off then that feature becomes trivial.

The brass plate and top are easy, again so long as the corner radii aren't too small. It might be possible to mill the switch plate to start with, which for a one off should be cheaper than laser cutting.

Is that 1000 for five sets, or for one? What thickness of aluminium is required for the base?