I have direct experience in the domain you're trying to expand into.
I have a laser welder I've owned for well over a decade, and it has seen enough work over the years that I have formed an opinion about its business viability.
I have a page on my Implant Mechanix website dedicated to it, and has been my primary way to advertise it, along with word of mouth.
I am also a full service prototype and limited production shop.
- The odd customer has come to me because of the laser welder and stayed for the other things I provide.
- The odd customer has come to me for other services (mostly wire EDM), and stayed for that and the occasional laser welding need that they found out about incidentally...usually because of a fuckup or because of an un-engineered need that was most conveniently dealt with using the laser.
- I have a grand total of one customer that comes only for laser welding...they're a great customer and I make good money doing their work, but I could never feed my family off it. (it amounts to around 5 grand a year).
However, I do not promote the capability other than with the website and by word of mouth which obviously I cannot control.
I was a moldmaker in a previous life, so I originally positioned myself for mold repair and had great expectations.
In the beginning, I did quite a bit of mold welding...I had five regular customers (local mold shops) that sent me work pretty reliably.
One by one, the toolroom managers I knew in all those facilities retired, and I haven't welded a mold in years.
China molds were a great source of work until they got good at moldmaking.
So were old fart companies, with old fart toolrooms, and old fart managers, crusted over with old fart methods.
They've all driven themselves into oblivion with their old fartitude, and the China shops have gotten MUCH better at building not just workable molds, but good quality molds.
But mold welding is still the principal place to build a business of the kind you appear to be describing because molders still crunch molds and when they do they need a fix...NOW!.
Medical welding is unreachable for almost anyone for two big and inter-related reasons:
Medical device builders do their welding in-house
Medical devices need to be certified, usually to ISO 13485.
13485 is a hugely onerous standard to certify to...it takes massively deep pockets to get there and to stay there...way more coin than you'll ever acquire with a welding business that's starting out in a garage.
So the big medical device houses all have the capability in-house...it's just easier for them to control it that way, and they can roll in the ISO 13485 for the welding together with the certification they need for all their other processes.
So although there's work out there, it's been sporadic for me, despite being in a good position to exploit my familiarity with the needs and with the local players in the most accessible sub-domain (mold repair).
Do consider these things if you contemplate spending lots to set up.
I bought my laser welder because I couldn't resist the lure of the cool new toy.
I was able to eventually justify it.
It was a poor business decision with a lousy ROI...I'm guessing at least 5 years.
I didn't care...I WANTED that toy.
It didn't kill me financially.
There was no pot of gold.
That's about the best I can say...BTW, I still love my toy, and I don't regret buying it and I do play with it.
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