Exploring a group buy strategy for laser-cut panels and parts
Over the last few months I've been trying to chalk out a strategy for getting chassis, panels and enclosure parts fabricated in small quantities - (and when I say small I mean 1+!) with high precision and low tolerances. Not had a lot of success with vendors in the US (who are willing to do small quantities but at a price that would leave me on the street) and in India where I live (where if they reply to an email asking about anything under 50 pieces they're probably just sharing a good joke with you).
Having, however tried it once with a local guy in Bangalore who cut and bent some internal panels for my Schroff enclosure on his German Trumpf machines with jaw-dropping precision, and having understood that laser cutting is a dramatically simple operation if you provide the shop with a "ready-to-print" CAD drawing with the parts laid out on it, I am now exploring the obvious idea of a group buy. Where the group items could all be DIFFERENT - and that is what makes it exciting. Even if there are a couple of dozen flat panels that need to be cut, possibly all of different shapes and sizes, I think this could be very worthwhile indeed, from a quality and cost perspective.
If any DIYaudio members want to explore this idea, please let me know. Based on the response I can explore the idea further and try to operationalize it.
Cheers - Ram