As I mentioned in the previous post, the finish on the aluminium parts is an important detail. Over the last few days I’ve been speaking to people about suitable finishes, looking at examples and of course trying some out. Before I started I thought perhaps sandblasting the aluminium would be the way to go but after speaking to a few people I was warned that sandblasting might ruin the neat edges on my metal. So I decided to test some others.
I knew that I wanted some sort of matt finish as it was iconic of the cameras my device was taking inspiration from. And personally I’m not very fond of a chrome finish on most metals.
There was something quite appealing about the extrusion lines on the metal as it was however it was too shiny and there were lots of scratches on it so leaving that way was certainly not an option.
I took a sample piece down to the work shop and too a belt hand sander to it with a low grit. This effect was too patchy and ruined the edges so there was no need to progress through higher grits. I then gave it a quick go with a disc hand sander. This was much less patchy but I didn’t like the curved lines that it left. This method will probably be appropriate prior to the final finish, for removing scrapes and marks.
My next test was sandblasting. I was looking forward to this because I’d never sandblasted before and I had a good feeling about how it would turn out.
This is almost exactly the finish I had in mind. Smooth to the touch and it goes very well with the rest of the appearance of the model. The test piece above is straight out the sandblaster but the final parts will be wiped down.