Making the aluminum frame of the Aerobee Rig required some new tools and skills. I haven't done much metal work, and don't have any real metal shop tools, so after I had made a few prototypes it was obvious that making multiple copies of the rig would be difficult. I wanted this rig to be as simple and inexpensive as possible to make it available to more people.
I requested a quote for manufacturing 20 of the final design of the aluminum frame parts from 10 companies that do waterjet cutting or laser cutting. It quickly became obvious that the only way to keep cost down was to make them myself (cheap labor wins again). So I bought a drill press and started making parts.
Cutting the three slots in the lower frame part was the biggest challenge. I have a router but had never used it on metal. I had to make an elaborate jig and learn which router bit worked on aluminum, but now I can cut those slots quickly.
The video below documents the entire manufacturing process. I am able to offer a kit to build an Aerobee Rig for $35.00. I wanted it to be less than that, but the design grew to include some extra functionality. This week there is a sale at the KAPtery and the Aerobee Rig is only $28.00 (free shipping), about where I hoped it would be. All of the other rig kits (Redstone, Titan 2, Saturn V, Juno), suspension kits, and all kite line are also at least 20% off this week.