Anodising aluminium, the process of electrolytic build up of the metal’s the oxide layer in the presence of dyes to create coloured effects, is such a well-established process that we probably all have anodised items within sight. It’s usually an industrial mass-production process that creates a uniform result, but there’s an anodising machine from a Dutch design studio which promises to place anodised aluminium in a new light. Studio Loop Loop’s Magic Colour Machine enacts a small-scale automated anodising process driven by a microcontroller, and is capable of effects suck as gradated colours.
Unfortunately their website is long on marketing and short on technical details, but the basic function of a line of chemical baths with a pulley to lower and lift the item being anodised shouldn’t be too difficult for any Hackaday reader to understand. There’s a short video clip posted on Instagram which also gives some idea. It’s a powerful idea that should lead to some eye-catching work for their studio, but its interest here lies in the techniques it might inspire others to try. We look forward to an open-source version of a gradated anodiser. Meanwhile if anodising takes your fancy, it’s a subject we’ve visited before.