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#1 Diatech

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

Hello;

 

I know from watching this project mature that the case has gone through a couple of changes. I know that the plastic used is also twice the thickness of a normal USB drive.

 

However, I am not able to see why aluminum was not used. The isostick IS very cool. Why not make it look very cool? 

 

Personally, I hate anything that feels plastic-y. I will pay more and go out of my way to buy flash drives with a nice metal/aluminum finish. Its just kick ass, and the quality of construction just feels so much more solid and durable.

 

Just my $0.02. You have an awesome product, why not make it look and feel like it?

 

Diatech



#2 elegantinvention

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

I will pay more and go out of my way to buy flash drives with a nice metal/aluminum finish.

I tend to prefer metal as well, but plastic was chosen to keep cost low to reach a wider audience.

Also, the plastic enclosure can be pressed or snapped together which saves time and cost in assembly, whereas metal (to the best of my knowledge) would typically require screwing together. That's a lot more human time being used, which is where the real assembly cost comes in. Machine time is cheap.

Ultimately it comes down to the fact that, as far as I can tell from my own research and experiences, most people would rather pay less for a still very durable plastic device.

 

That said, I can always look into offering a metal [limited?] edition. I will find out what sort of costs I would be looking at; my understanding is the prototyping cost / setup fees are about 10x lower than tooling for injection molding, but the per-part cost is about 10x higher.

Please understand this may never come to fruition, and if it does it will be no sooner than 2nd quarter of this year and cost considerably more than a standard plastic-enclosed isostick.



#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

Besides the (advised by me) caution :ph34r: when talking of costs of the case and it's relevance on a little gadget that sells for around a hundred bucks :dubbio:, there is still the option I proposed (modestly) quite a lot of time ago.
http://reboot.pro/to...gable/?p=142894
http://reboot.pro/to...e-3#entry142807

Making an external (metal) enclosure (including a telescopic/swiveling cap for the USB connector) to apply to the ISOstick and sold "separately" as an accessory.
This would not affect the cost of the "base device", not manufacturing cost as it will be care and responsibility of the final user to apply it to the device, just like now a handy cover is a "external", very often "third party manufactured and commercialized", optional accessory.

:cheers:
Wonko
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#4 MedEvil

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

@elegantinvention
I would make the metal casings pre-order itmes and just order production once sufficient orders have arrived.

The nice part though, once the case is designed and the code for the 3D-milling-machine is created, switching between aluminium, stainless steel, titanium or gold ;) is done in a minute or so.

:cheers:

#5 elegantinvention

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:27 PM

@ MedEvil

Good call @ pre-orders.

 

I hadn't even thought about the fact that materials can easily be switched. Awesome  :idea:



#6 pscEx

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:25 PM

When I get an ISOstick as result of the PE3 size competition, I would like to have Titanium! It fits to the material of my glasses!

 

Peter :yahoo:



#7 DarkPhoeniX

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Interesting This iso stick

Didn't transcend make something like this?

(without the sd-card reader and read-only swish)

But the read-only swish alone makes me want it!!! :1st:

But the price makes me cant have it :mega_shok:



#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

The nice part though, once the case is designed and the code for the 3D-milling-machine is created, switching between aluminium, stainless steel, titanium or gold ;) is done in a minute or so.
Well, this is assuming that a 3D-milling-machine is suitable for the job at hand :dubbio:.

I would check first thing hydroforming as a (possibly much cheaper ;))manufacturing process:
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Hydroforming

:cheers:
Wonko

#9 MedEvil

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

@Wonko
How to you plan on fitting the casing halfs together? Welding? :dubbio:

In my experience, 3d milling is the cheapest for small orders.

For really complex or complicated structures (unlike a casing) rapid protottyping solutions, like sintering, are great. Though way more expensive than 3d milling.

:cheers:

#10 DarkPhoeniX

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:31 AM

I use to make programs on PLC's to engrave side wall plates for Dunlop and Firestone for a small engineering company called A&D engeneering

Milling is wasteful and difficult process,especially on small items,Look into cut and bend (Metal punching)here is a link to a small company that can do stuff like this:http://www.kjsaleslasercutting.co.za

Although i think thy work on bigger sized materials,but you can ask them what is the best (cheap and easy) way is to make a metal case for small electronics



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

NO halves.
I had in mind something that can be done through deep-drawing (the technical name for "metal punching" Darkphoenix cited):
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Deep_drawing
Whenever you are working with THIN pieces you normally never use "material subtraction machines" (like lathes/mills and the like) but rather form the tin into shape (this is particularly true for "softer materials like copper, brass and aluminium but also applies to steel).
How do you think a Zippo lighter is made? By removing material from a block?
Hydroforming is used nowadays to get more comples shapes then those that you can make through deep-drawing as you have far less issues with lubrication and extraction of the piece form the die (and you don't need a punch).
Typically you approximate the shape with deep-forming, then "inflate it" to the final shape through Hydroforming.

TO give you an idea of the kind of basic shape (suitable to the Isostick case) that I had in (my perverted ;)) mind (and that can be easily made through "plain" deep-forming, have a look at these (example):
http://www.antiquesn...20646099345.jpg

:cheers:
Wonko

#12 MedEvil

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

Ahh, i see. Yes if you are going for a casing like that, simple forming techniques would be better.
Even easier would be, doing it the Laxar Lightning way.
Which has a rubber casing with thin stainless steel shells attached. Purely for looks.

http://realitypod.co...lightning21.jpg


I just had the impression, we were talking here about a premium case, something that would up the value of the iso-stick, not something that would bring it down.

:cheers:

#13 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

Well, another very economical technique for more elaborated/worked small metal parts is using zama (which is a zinc-aluminum alloy) that can be used by fusion in rather economical machines (centrifugal) and virtyally "no cost" die casts that are made in silicon rubber.
And that can (through electro plating or similar processes) be given virtually *any* kind of finish.
NOT :ph34r: the kind of object that I personally like, but just to give you an example:
http://www.alfasrl.net/index_en.html

:cheers:
Wonko

#14 Zoso

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:52 AM

the isostick is on my wants list.

I have been through several "normal" usb keys. I keep them on my key chain and this seems to be an abusive environment somehow.

I had to switch to plastic encased housings because I think the metal was getting too much static build up, Im not certain what it was but I had to keep replacing the keys because they would stop functioning.

I prefer the most rugged designs but if you truely want to keep it on a real key chain I think it needs to be totaly incased in a non conductive material.

a solid metal case with a good non-conductive covering would be best. I havnt been able to find that but I have been modding my own cases to get something tough enough.

the best design Ive found so far is a Kingston DT109 case, its all plastic but it doesnt need an end cap. it could be snapped into if hit the wrong way while inserted but it has held up better than all others Ive killed somehow.

originally it was 8gb but I found the guts was exactly the same as some others I had so I put my Patriot 64gb into the DT109 housing.


anyway, Im just pointing out that an all metal case may not be the best idea here unless it is completely covered/insulated inside and out.

#15 MedEvil

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

Wow! Didn't knew physics was no longer mandatory in school. :frusty:

I had to switch to plastic encased housings because I think the metal was getting too much static build up, Im not certain what it was but I had to keep replacing the keys because they would stop functioning.
A static electric charge is created whenever two surfaces come into contact and separate, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical current (and is therefore an electrical insulator).
http://en.wikipedia....tic_electricity
Is metal of any kind an insulator? :dubbio:

anyway, Im just pointing out that an all metal case may not be the best idea here unless it is completely covered/insulated inside and out.
There is a little thing called a "Faraday Cage" you might want to have a look at.
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Faraday_cage

The only way a static discharge can kill your USB Stick is, if it hits directly the pins of the connector, which should be impossible on any stick.

:cheers:

#16 Diatech

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:39 AM

Well. This has sparked quite the discussion. I hope that at very least this may have given Eric some ideas on improving/reducing production costs.

 

-Diatech



#17 lepri13

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

Would definately love to see this accesory for my lovely ISOstick


Edited by lepri13, 04 February 2013 - 08:43 PM.





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