limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Prototype production run: update

I took these shots on Friday but didn't get around to posting them. I've finished the CNC portion on the bodies, tailcaps, and PCB sleeves. I still have to finish the heads on the CNC and then do some manual machining and surface finishing.

Flashlight bodies hot off the CNC
I think I mentioned this before, but I'll take these bodies to the manual lathe to finish the outside diameter and do the ornamental grooving. Only the ends have been worked by the CNC machine at this point. This is mostly a progress update and there are a couple more photos after the jump.

Looking good so far! 
Here is a closer shot of the tailcaps and PCB sleeves. I shouldn't have to do any additional machining on these bits so that is nice. The tailcaps to require some hand finishing to smooth out the threads. The pitch is 28 threads per inch which is a fairly fine thread. This means they have to be extra smooth to have a "nice" feel.

The slight roughness on the top thread needs to be smoothed out. 
The image above is hugely magnified and looks worse than it is. Even though I have the required 45 degree thread chamfer and a smooth lead in, I'm still getting some burring from the thread milling process. Keep in mind this is only 1 inch in diameter in real life. A quick rub with an abrasive scotch-brite pad will knock down the rough spots.

Doing some quality inspection...quality is high :) 
So I ran 30 sets of parts (haven't finished the heads yet) and I will build out ten sets to send out to my product testers.

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