How our SLIM wallets are made
How our SLIM wallet is manufactured
Manufacturing products can be relatively easy, normally consisting of one or two processes for plastic products, all the way up to ten’s of process for electronic consumer goods or highly engineered parts. We took a lot of care designing the SLIM Wallet and the processes we use to produce them highlight this.
The SLIM wallet is designed to last, precision machined from a single block of aluminium, titanium or brass and we want to share with you how each SLIM wallet is manufactured step-by-step.
Step 1 – Raw stock cut to size
To start the process the raw material stock (aluminum, brass and titanium) is cut to size using a band saw. The billet, a rectangle block of material, is produced that resembles the SLIM wallets outer dimensions.
Step 2 – CNC machining
The billet is then set up on the 3-axis CNC milling machine and the milling program is started. The milling program is produced using CAM (computer aided manufacturing) software that takes our CAD (computer aided design) 3D model and calculates the routing path. This program is what dictates the routing path, making sure each SLIM wallet is identical, precision machining to +/-0.1mm tolerance.
Step 3 – Hand sanded to remove machine marks
Once machined, the aluminium, brass and titanium wallets are sanded by hand to remove all machining marks resulting in a smooth finish.
Step 4 – Bead blasting brass and aluminium wallets
Both the brass and aluminium SLIM wallets are bead blasted using a fine grit to give a textured finish. This is all we do to the brass SLIM wallet, the finish is now complete giving it a natural look that will patina over time (see our blog posts – How to clean your brass wallet).
Check out the Brass SLIM wallet for more product details.
Step 5 – Hard anodising the aluminium wallets
After bead blasting the aluminium SLIM wallet, it is now hard anodised matte black to improve wear and corrosion resistance. Hard anodising is an electrolytic conversion coating; it transforms aluminium on the surface of the SLIM wallet into aluminium oxide. Since the aluminium converts rather than deposits, some of the thickness of the coating ingress into the material and some of the thickness is growth out of the material.
Check out the Aluminium SLIM wallet for more product details.
Step 6 – Stone tumbling the titanium wallets.
The titanium wallet has a worn and aged look that is achieved by stone tumbling (aka. Barrel Tumbling) which is a surface improving operation in which the SLIM wallets and compounds (stones and abrasives) are placed in a barrel. The barrel is rotated at a predetermined speed for the purpose of rounding corners, descaling and improving surface finish of the SLIM wallets in bulk. It works by creating friction by tumbling parts against each other and the compounds. This process darkens the colour of the titanium and hardens the surface increasing wear resistance.
Check out the Titanium SLIM wallet for more product details.
Step 7 – Laser engraving the logo
Laser engraving is a process that works by focusing the laser beam through a lens to a pin-point where the considerable heat generated can break the material surface to engrave. Each SLIM wallet is finished by laser engraving our logo; this gives a long lasting and wear resistant marking.
Step 8 – Stitching the bands together
After the wallets have been cleaned, they are ready to have the elastic band stitched. The elastic is cut to length and is fitted to the wallet to be stitched together. Not only is the elastic band material high quality, but the quality control of the stitching process is very high.
Step 9 – SLIM wallets are packaged.
After a final quality check where each SLIM wallet is checked for surface/finish defects and stitch quality, the SLIM wallets are individually packaged. They are then shipped to the UK where our SolidDesign team process all the orders.