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  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by pressbrake1 View Post
    Needs a coolant system and an ATC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose View Post
    Within 10 years the electronics to do it will be indistinguishable from free.
    I think in 10 years, the electronics will be subscription based

    I just don't think you can call that thing a "machine tool". No legitimate ways and screws.... I've seen Igus's plastic bearings. They claim nowhere in the applications for them to be metalworking. For good reason.

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    The turret and milling column boxways are 10x10 solid plates. This machine doesn't actually use Igus bearings, but the concept of low wear, low friction polymer running against hard anodized aluminum is the same. This machine just uses larger contact areas to get a stiffer bearing surface. As for the screws, well just go back a few pages and take a look at the Gifs I posted here. It clearly shows that the linear motion of the machine is smooth below working tolerances and that the repeatability is as small as you can measure with a dial indicator.

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    This product is going to either turn into a train-wreck, or "Generic Default" is going to get one hell of an education and will look back on this thread in 5 years and wish he could slap himself across the face and shout "LISTEN TO SOME OF THESE PEOPLE!!!!".

    Some things spring to mind...

    -> The way to make money in business is never to try to sell something for a low price. It's to try to sell something for the most you can possibly get for it. This product is most definitely violating that prime rule of business.

    -> The OP has not even begun to think through his costs. Not only the costs of running a business, leasing commercial space, and the associated costs of owning a CNC machine, but as mentioned the cost of supporting these things. That is the cost that will sink him. Both in shipping replacement parts, the time cost spent on the phone with customers (who will call and email him with every little problem, regardless of whether it is his problem or not and will blame him and his product/business when things don't work). If customer support isn't handled right, his company gets a bad reputation and goes out of business.

    Right now, the OP is looking at $180k and thinking it's a huge pile of money and they have made it. It's going to be one very expensive education! Buckle in Of course, nobody listens to advice. He didn't come here to listen to anyone's advice because he already knows what he's going to do and he thinks he knows more about this than any of us. That's OK - those of us who started our businesses probably didn't listen to advice either and we survived only because we didn't fuck up badly enough to go out of business. Hopefully this guy doesn't fuck up badly enough to go under before he realizes the depth of his mistakes - but we'll see.

    But in case he is listening...

    -Don't buy a new machine. Horrendously terrible idea.
    -Building it yourself isn't the worst idea, I mean, you're committed to that path now I suppose. But come up with a support add-on package that you sell. Have a customer support forum for support among peers. Come up with a price list for replacement parts and a warranty period, otherwise you'll get absolutely killed on support and warranty work.
    -Make SURE YOU TEST EVERYTHING BEYOND THE BOUNDS OF REASON because people WILL break everything in ways you could not possibly imagine.

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  6. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT Mike View Post
    -> The way to make money in business is never to try to sell something for a low price. It's to try to sell something for the most you can possibly get for it. This product is most definitely violating that prime rule of business.
    The way to make money in a business is to maximize profit. Sure you can jack up your prices as high as you possibly can, but it's often more profitable to undercut other options and make up for the tight margin in volume.

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  8. #146
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    I'd suggest adding some substantial way covers on every surface to prevent chips from getting underneath your wear surfaces. I agree with others saying that buying a new machine isn't the best idea. You're gonna spend substantial money just on the various fluids your machine will need. Save every penny you can by getting a used machine so you can invest those saved funds into the thousands upon thousands of dollars you'll need for tooling. $180K seems like a lot but it isn't when you're talking about starting from scratch in the manufacturing realm. I know you mentioned investors but that is a whole other bag of worms best avoided if any way possible.

    It's gonna be hard to read these comments but these people are pros, have been around the block and you should consider (most) of their comments an attempt to steer you in the right direction.

    I'm in Denver and would be happy to discuss ideas if you need a set of fresh eyes. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Generic Default View Post
    The turret and milling column boxways are 10x10 solid plates. This machine doesn't actually use Igus bearings, but the concept of low wear, low friction polymer running against hard anodized aluminum is the same. This machine just uses larger contact areas to get a stiffer bearing surface. As for the screws, well just go back a few pages and take a look at the Gifs I posted here. It clearly shows that the linear motion of the machine is smooth below working tolerances and that the repeatability is as small as you can measure with a dial indicator.
    More plastic bearing won't make them something they are not. No load motion and positioning is pretty meaningless for a metal working machine. Put a fish scale on the tool tip, pull 50 pounds sideways and show me what deflection you get at the tool point. And go both directions to capture the slop in the plastic ways, etc. I'm not going to argue about the details, but I think it's a toy not a machine tool. Good luck. You definitely found a market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Generic Default View Post
    Apparently very few of the people posting on this thread actually read the Kickstarter page
    we're busy. Its a like private equity, they never read the 70 page business plan, its just to show you want it. You have to convince them in the elevator pitch or you're sunk. Anyway, as I said, best of luck, its good to see someone trying in this area whether or any of us think you are on the right track or not.

    I have a couple of questions though:

    What is your business experience/education?

    what is your engineering, design and machining experience/education

    why did you post it? You're not really asking any questions that I recall seeing and you are arguing with the feedback and reactions. If you don't have a question, and are convinced you're right, have at it and give use a wave as you go by in the 911 turbo

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    As a suggestion im still building up tooling and mostly bought higher quality Chinese stuff for tool holders and whatnot. Most used tooling I’ve gotten is awful and way worn out (read high runout) and it usually cost the same as the Chinese stuff I get. If you wanted you could be tooled up and ready to go for 20k said and done. Buy yourself a 15k fadal and spend 5k on holders and tooling. I bought my machine for 4K and already had some tooling and have put about another 4K in tooling and machine repair. Even from as low as I am I don’t think you should take a huge loan out on a brand new machine although it will be faster. Hell I see brother drill and tap centers pretty cheap too. You could grab a large slow fadal for the big parts and get a brother for all the smaller bits and bobs. If you look for a deal you’ll be set for little more than the down payment on those large machines and you could actually own some machines.

    If you want to know about the lower priced tooling feel free to pm me. Note a lot of pm member will say don’t buy it but I just cant afford better stuff and I don’t think you can either. I’m getting .0002” max of runout at the collet bearing surface and max .0004” on a ground pin in the collet most are around .0003”.

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    I noticed you offer super precision bearings for greater accuracy, a bit pointless given the screws ways etc.

    Your tool is so nearly there and youre obviously no dummy.
    Linear rails will make it quicker and easier to make cutting hand finishing to the minimum. I believe if you did costings on manufacturing time you would be evens.
    Linear bearings have allowed mass production of cnc machines by just machining and no true machine tool builder skill s. The rise of HAAS is a perfect example of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strostkovy View Post
    The way to make money in a business is to maximize profit. Sure you can jack up your prices as high as you possibly can, but it's often more profitable to undercut other options and make up for the tight margin in volume.
    No, no it's not. This is HORRIBLE advice! Especially for someone starting out.

    When you are starting out, you don't have the knowledge and experience to make your product. You haven't finessed your manufacturing process. You will make mistakes that will cost money. You will be inefficient - that will cost money. You haven't discovered the better ways to do things - that will cost money. You don't have a brand yet, so you have to spend money on advertising and gaining customers. You don't have relationships with vendors who will give you terms, so that costs you more money. You don't have better pricing based on historical order volumes, so your materials and parts cost you more money. Everything costs you more money than an established business in the marketplace.

    Thinking "I'll undercut them on price and make it up on volume!" is a sure fire way to go out of business. All you will end up doing is working twice as hard for half the money. When you are starting out, you need MORE money, not less. It is NEVER more profitable to undercut someone else. It's less profitable. You don't make up profit on volume, you might make up total profit on volume when you are a big company and get economies of scale, but that's the worst possible advice anyone can give to a new guy starting out.

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    You have to figure out what the market will bear. That is not easy to do when you may the only one in the world making what you are making.

    I glossed over it earlier, but just like SRT Mike says, in the beginning you really have no clue what your actual costs are. You have to think about what people will pay and work backwards.

    The same unfaltering optimism that will bring a product like the OP's to market will also gloss over all the expensive manufacturing details.

    I did read the kickstarter page and watch the video and there's no more info there than you put in this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pressbrake1 View Post
    I noticed you offer super precision bearings for greater accuracy, a bit pointless given the screws ways etc.

    Your tool is so nearly there and youre obviously no dummy.
    Linear rails will make it quicker and easier to make cutting hand finishing to the minimum. I believe if you did costings on manufacturing time you would be evens.
    Linear bearings have allowed mass production of cnc machines by just machining and no true machine tool builder skill s. The rise of HAAS is a perfect example of this.
    This times 1000.

    I’ve been following this thread with great interest. Trust me dude, as somebody who built a DIY style 5th axis in the past, you’re wasting your time with aluminum guide garbage. My first attempt was Aluminum, because it was dictated by our know-nothing professor. Biggest waste of time in the world.

    Chinese or even American castings aren’t that expensive, and getting a pattern made doesn’t require a craftsman anymore. Cheaper than you buying a new VMC you can’t really afford that’s for sure. And linear guide aren’t exactly expensive anymore either. Iron is probably even cheaper than the epoxy granite approach.

    You mentioned dura bar, the stuff is fine but you’ll never approach the cost of aluminum with it, with castings you can get a dollar a pound and net shape. It’s not rocket science.

    I hope you succeed, I really do: a low cost and cool machine to get more young people into machining would be amazing. But if you don’t heed the advice of this thread and ditch the aluminum you’ll be competing against the 3020 $600 4 or 5-axis dollar routers on eBay forever. For your price range, it’s needs iron. And i think I’d uou do a cost accounting with linear rails you’ll see it actually makes sense.

  18. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adams View Post
    This times 1000.

    I’ve been following this thread with great interest and amusement. Trust me dude, as somebody who built a DIY style 5th axis in the past, you’re wasting your time with aluminum guide garbage. My first attempt was Aluminum, because it was dictated by our know-nothing professor. Biggest waste of time in the world.

    Chinese or even American castings aren’t that expensive, and getting a pattern made doesn’t require a craftsman anymore. Cheaper than you buying a new VMC you can’t really afford that’s for sure. And linear guide aren’t exactly expensive anymore either. Iron is probably even cheaper than the epoxy granite approach.

    You mentioned dura bar, the stuff is fine but you’ll never approach the cost of aluminum with it, with castings you can get a dollar a pound and net shape. It’s not rocket science.

    I hope you succeed, I really do: a low cost and cool machine to get more young people into machining would be amazing. But if you don’t heed the advice of this thread and ditch the aluminum you’ll be competing against the 3020 $600 4 or 5-axis dollar routers on eBay forever. For your price range, it’s needs iron. And i think I’d uou do a cost accounting with linear rails you’ll see it actually makes sense.
    Please explain how making the patterns and cores doesn't require a highly skilled craftsman and where you can get very low volume iron castings made for $1 per pound.

    Good patternmakers are very difficult to find and regardless of cutting edge 3d printing and cad there's no substitute for the knowledge a good patternmaker has.

    You can make OK castings from shit patterns, but you're paying the foundry's rate. BY THE MINUTE. Good patterns cut time and lower costs and make a better finished product.

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    Alibaba, or a well designed / simple casting with no cores and machine the pattern out of wood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Please explain how making the patterns and cores doesn't require a highly skilled craftsman and where you can get very low volume iron castings made for $1 per pound.
    Dunno if its a dollar or a multiple, but "highly skilled" does not require the level of the goods of G'Dad's day where a simple apple-peeler or a corn mill to feed poultry was all filagree and decor that hid its functionality as to delivering low scrap rates, high strength and durability at least cost for Iron and shipping charges. Also not competing with a precision-mold chain-saw housing, motor bike engine, nor ZF transmission housing.

    Adams' point applies. Just keep the castings SIMPLE and you still have a major gain that is within realistic reach.

    Sheldon-Vernon had nice lines on small goods. Castings were not at all as simple as they looked. This project might not be as elegant, but "nicer lines" can await Rev 3 or something.. if ever it gets that far.

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    This thread reminds of a conversation about 25 years ago. I was setting up a manufacturing operation for my product. We had reached break even and put out about 200 machines so far but break even just means you are not losing money on every unit you sell, it doesn't mean you have money to fund growth. I am from the east coast and the new plant was on the West at a larger company. They were selling a machine from another small company and one night I was looking it over and trying to figure out how the guy could possibly be profitable at price he was getting.

    So I called him and asked him to explain how he was doing it. As the conversation neared the end he suddenly says "Crap, I'm losing nearly $1100 per machine!" I said "Well I estimated about $1000 but you know better." I told him he needed to double his price. He said he might not be able to sell any at that price. I reminded him that every one he didn't sell saved him $1100! I also told him I saw his machine in action at a customers place and heard the owner raving about all the labor saved. So I figured he really wouldn't lose any sales, and he didn't.

    He did go out of business though. After seeing that something can be done it is often fairly easy to see how it might be done better. Without copying or violating any patents I built a simpler, faster, cheaper, more versatile machine to do the same job. He'd have been okay, except the largest machinery company in the business approached us with a deal we couldn't turn down. They wanted to license our design and pay us royalties. We decided they would bury us too if we didn't go along. They sold so many that they actually as asked us to build 15 for them. The other guy lost his market.

    This could happen here too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Please explain how making the patterns and cores doesn't require a highly skilled craftsman and where you can get very low volume iron castings made for $1 per pound.

    Good patternmakers are very difficult to find and regardless of cutting edge 3d printing and cad there's no substitute for the knowledge a good patternmaker has.

    You can make OK castings from shit patterns, but you're paying the foundry's rate. BY THE MINUTE. Good patterns cut time and lower costs and make a better finished product.
    Simple small patterns are easy such is this machine, ive made low volumn ones out of modelling board on a cnc router. A pal made one for a 4 cylinder water cooled engine, it took nearly a year and he vowed never again!
    I agree a true pattern maker interpretating a drawing into a 3d model especially in wood is a true art which makes machining look easy. Pattern makers apprenticeship was a couple of years longer than the norm.


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