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  1. #41
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    The tariffs have been lifted, guess no one needs to pay extra now!
    Canada, U.S. reach deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs within 2 days | CBC News

    ...this was announced about a week ago I might add

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Generic Default View Post
    Whoa damn slow down Gcoder!

    I've never been to China. Nobody at Kickstarter has ever offered to fly me out to China, I never met with anyone at Kickstarter or had any factory brunches, nobody ever offered to make the SwissMaks for me. In fact, I have never even communicated with a Kickstarter employee, I just get their automated email messages and forwards from their PM system.

    I set up shop near the port of Long Beach and used a percentage of the Kickstarter funds to lease a Doosan DNM 5700. Yes it's a VMC, it machines both sides of the boxways with a giant T slot cutter from AB tools. Check out the youtube videos and Kickstarter update photos if you don't believe that, there are photos showing finished, hard anodized parts sitting on our storage racks in the shop.


    I keep in contact with the Kickstarter backers through Kickstarter's messaging system, which is similar to this forum in functionality. The facebook page was just kind of a formality, it costs nothing but I can still communicate with people through it. The reason we don't have a website yet is because we aren't taking new orders until we know we can produce them with a short lead time at a known price. It's easy to machine these parts, what's difficult is dealing with the supply chain. The material we already purchased is now machined parts, some of it (but not all) is anodized. There is a big shipping pallet with more than 200 stepper motors on it in the shop, there are bulk bags full of smaller parts like ER collet nuts/holders, motor shaft couplers, screws, bearing nuts, ect. as well. We have the majority of the stuff to get these machines shipped, we just need more money to finish.

    Also I should mention that all of the aluminum bars we bought were SAPA/Hydro/Kaiser, I think most of them were extruded at the factory 20 miles north of our shop. Considering that the initial aluminum tariffs were only 10%, it would have been smarter for us to buy oversized Chinese metal bars at the very beginning rather than stick with American extrusions, but that is a 20/20 hindsight situation.

    OK, in all fairness not everyone uses the brokerage service. But now you have raised a different set of questions. Iv'e been through long beach but never really stayed there and after the last few minutes of research I see why. Once again let me see if I have this right. According to your kick starter


    • you have Hundreds of hours machining experience​ (Not many thousand like most machinist)
    • You set up shop in one of the most expensive places in the country
    • You bought one of the most expensive 40" VMC's money can buy to machine aluminum
    • You let the distributor put you off for 2 months.


    I have to ask, Who wrote your business plan? What kind of business does not want a phone number but rather go through a funding websites messenger to chat with the guys that just bought them a 100K CNC mill? The one thing people that buy there first CNC don't realize if you spend 20% of the purchase price on tooling. You claim to have most of the machined parts completed. Maybe some photos for proof would give the investors a better since of security. From the 72 post on your campaign there seems to be some really concerned people. Ya know,,, If someone gave me 190K to build them something my number would be available 24 hours a day.

    I really hope you succeed in this adventure you've started, Not so much for you but for all those people that sponsored you that are still waiting. It appears you made some really bad choices with your spending so all I can say is treat your investors more like customers. Give better updates, Have phone conversations, invite them to come see your progress. I can grant you, If you keep treating these guys like mushrooms you will find yourself out of business and in court. You have a paper trail guaranteeing your investors get their investment back BEFORE any large money is spent. Be careful, You already broke that promise.

    As for the website, You say you don't have one because you don't want any orders yet you still push for orders on your Kickstarter page.

    If for some reason we were unable to get our manufacturing operation running, we would issue refunds to all backers in the early part of the timeline, before any large amount of money was spent.
    Add: I just watched the vid of the Z and was absolutely painful. Your G8X cycles would get a trainee fired anywhere I have worked. That was where most of you time was spent as the R plane was somewhere in orbit with the space station as well as the sequencing looked like a bad game of Chinese checkers. I did see where you said you optimized it. Any chance of seeing that vid? I mean, You said in one of your earlier post that most of us people on here are just job shop guys. I would like to see how you professional production machine guys with several hundred hours of experience do it.

    YouTube

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  4. #43
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    What a lying sack of crap, nothing but a con man. If you have a bunch of unfinished machines and pallets of motors and tooling, etc, prove it with pictures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    Add: I just watched the vid of the Z and was absolutely painful. Your G8X cycles would get a trainee fired anywhere I have worked. That was where most of you time was spent as the R plane was somewhere in orbit with the space station as well as the sequencing looked like a bad game of Chinese checkers.
    His R-plane is fine, right down there by the work. It's his clearance plane that's an inch above that. If he "fixed" that by changing the initial Z height before the G81/G83, he would save tens of seconds(!) in rapids.

    Even if he saved hours of time, it wouldn't matter because he ran out of material/money. The machine's sitting idle now.

    This guy's predicament has absolutely nothing to do with his technical ability, and everything to do with his business decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    What a lying sack of crap, nothing but a con man. If you have a bunch of unfinished machines and pallets of motors and tooling, etc, prove it with pictures.

    To make things worse I just ran a corporation search through the SEC.gov website and he's advertising himself as a corporation yet has not registered with the SEC. I should have known a guy that's too cheap to spend $12 for a site domain wasn't going to fork out $215 corporate registration plus the $800 California corporation franchising tax.

    One pissed off investor sending an email to the SEC with a CC to kickstarter and this guys going to have a touch of trouble. I can see why this guy has gone out of his way to conceal his contact info.

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    I have given out my personal phone number to a few backers who wanted to talk, but posting personal info in public places is generally a bad idea, I get enough robo spam calls already. There were quite a few "3rd party services" contacting me from the Kickstarter. The company is registered with the California FTB, if I hadn't done the paperwork it would have been impossible to rent a shop, finance the machine, get the required insurance for both the shop and the machine, ect.

    Dualkit, I've already mentioned several times that there are pictures of all this stuff on the update pages.

    The DNM was about the same price as a Haas with similar capabilities, this is not a particularly high end expensive machine. I looked at getting a used machine instead but as everyone on this forum knows there is a lot of uncertainty that comes with buying used machines. And no, I didn't spend anywhere near 20k on tooling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    To make things worse I just ran a corporation search through the SEC.gov website and he's advertising himself as a corporation yet has not registered with the SEC. I should have known a guy that's too cheap to spend $12 for a site domain wasn't going to fork out $215 corporate registration plus the $800 California corporation franchising tax.

    One pissed off investor sending an email to the SEC with a CC to kickstarter and this guys going to have a touch of trouble. I can see why this guy has gone out of his way to conceal his contact info.


    Just because he hasnít registered with the SEC doesnít mean anything- not all small businesses have to register. And just because he hasnít made a website public, doesnít mean one isnít registered/ reserved. Compared to many kickstarters Swiss Mak has been very communicative. While I think there still needs to be a lot worked out, this is certainly an interesting project. I wish him the best of luck.

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  11. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyStark View Post
    Just because he hasn’t registered with the SEC doesn’t mean anything- not all small businesses have to register. And just because he hasn’t made a website public, doesn’t mean one isn’t registered/ reserved. Compared to many kickstarters Swiss Mak has been very communicative. While I think there still needs to be a lot worked out, this is certainly an interesting project. I wish him the best of luck.
    SEC Securities and Exchange Commission ?

    I thought you had to be publicly traded (like an IPO or something) to have to register with the SEC ?


    But never the less the SEC.gov etc. seems to recognize the "Plight" of smaller businesses … Although funny how Disney is an LLC.


    SEC.gov | SEC’s Small Business Advocate Meets Midwest Entrepreneurs

    ^^^ " In the absence of access to funding, small businesses cannot create new jobs, foster innovation, and develop into the next generation of publicly-traded companies whose growth fuels Main Street investors’ retirement accounts.”

    ^^^

    – Martha Miller, Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation


    ------------->>>>>>>>>>>> Conversely



    ^^^ A bit waffly or protracted but the bloke started a motor-bike shop over ten years ago in China (and had to "Pivot" to something else ), and now is kinda saying China's "Golden Age" is drawing to a close and Vietnam is the place to go (if that's your bag ?).

    Chinese government seems to heavily subsidize "free shipping" to anywhere on the globe … I always wondered how that $2 novelty-nick-knack from China my wife ordered really only cost $2 in spite of being shipped directly from China 7000 miles away ?


    Maybe gcoder-05 has a sense of how true what Serpentza is saying in the video RE: "Free shipping" for Chinese companies paid for by the PRC ?

    ________________________

    TBH I can't wrap my head around the "Kickstarter" thing... Seems more appropriate for a new and cool "Widget" of some kind that costs $40 or something and can be made in the tens of thousands ? Not a great method for developing machine tools of one sort or another (perhaps ?).

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    I was told that much of your shipping (USPS) concern is paid for by the US through some previous negotiation. (that needs revisited!)

    ???


    --------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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  14. #50
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    Kickstarter is a truly bad platform for technological development, and failures should be expected to be the norm. It fixes your revenue and costs before you've done the development, which is ass-backwards unless you're making something trivially easy.

    Every development project takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you anticipate to make the first one. At least. Everything from a one man band making a phone holder to an aircraft carrier.

    Kickstarter fixes the price when the project is typically at the ... speculative stage ... if I'm being polite.

    It fundamentally misunderstands the development process and sets founders and purchasers up for failure. Intentionally, I would speculate. They get their money either way.

    That said, blaming the tariffs is weak. Yes they went up a little, but you dropped half the cash on a machine, so purchased parts couldn't have been more than half the cost. 25 percent of half is only 12.5 percent. If you didn't build 12 percent profit into this thing, then you were doomed with or without a trade war. If the issue is "I don't want to work for free all year" then a startup is not realistic for you. If only the tariff costs are standing between you and shipping products, suck it up and make your buyers whole. Even if you have to sell the machine to do it. If the whole enterprise was, in hindsight, doomed from the start, tell people that, take your lumps, and move on.

    Unless it was always a "kickstarter doesn't make me promise to deliver anything, thanks for the shiny new machine suckers!" play. In which case, well, carry on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    What a lying sack of crap, nothing but a con man. If you have a bunch of unfinished machines and pallets of motors and tooling, etc, prove it with pictures.
    You think you are being a bit harsh?
    His update page on Kickstarter shows lots of finished parts on shelves and pallets, some back from hard Anodizing.
    Not sure why he doesnít post them here(itís a pain to find on Kickstarter), but itís his call.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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  18. #52
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    Tough crowd here.. Tough crowd...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    Tough crowd here.. Tough crowd...

    that is not necessarily a bad thing, pulls you back to ground level after living on a cloud a while after the successful crowd funding campaign

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volitan View Post
    Tough crowd here.. Tough crowd...

    To some degree, yes. Partially because when he first announced his project there were lots of members here telling him his pricing was too low for what he wanted to make/deliver/support. So despite getting lots of advice to re-think some of his ideas, he plunges forward and crowd funds the dream. Sadly the crowdfunding concept exploits the old adage "there's a sucker born every minute".

    Now he is blaming tariffs on materials to have driven his costs beyond his ability to deliver the product. The simple reality is that he did not have a realistic basis for what the cost to develop, manufacture, and deliver a hobby CNC machine would be.

    In the 40+ years I have been involved with manufacturing, I have dealt with quite a few "blue sky dreamers". Sometimes they have good ideas but almost never an understanding of what it will take for the dream to become reality.

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    Sorry you underbid the job, been there many times myself. If this is your only source of revenue then tell your customers you underbid the job and that it will cost $$$$ more for them to get their machines. Neither they nor you have much of a choice. Like it or not they are in for the same ride as you. If you have other sources of income to keep the lease paid and the lights on then you have more options.

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    To me it seems like the #1 problem here was the purchase/lease of a new machine. You took half of the funds of development and put that into a single piece of capital equipment. You've already put yourself at a huge disadvantage by putting such a large percentage of your funds into this machine. An existing shop with a VMC on hand wouldn't have put themselves 80-100k in the whole before any chips were made.

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    I am almost certain that I predicted this in a Reddit thread when it went on Kickstarter. The outcome is somewhere between disappointing and disgraceful. The business plan seems to be about as well formulated as the machine design was.

    Best of luck to you, GD, at least for your customers' sakes.

    This is one of the many reasons I won't buy anything on Kickstarter and won't sell anything through Kickstarter. It's really only useful as a marketing tool for consumer products with a wide audience, given the size of Kickstarter's cut and lack of anything other than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teemfan93 View Post
    An existing shop with a VMC on hand wouldn't have put themselves 80-100k in the whole before any chips were made.
    Plenty of shops over-leverage themselves counting on one job or market. Have you never seen the literal piles of Haas' for sale after oil crashed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    To some degree, yes. Partially because when he first announced his project there were lots of members here telling him his pricing was too low for what he wanted to make/deliver/support. So despite getting lots of advice to re-think some of his ideas, he plunges forward and crowd funds the dream. Sadly the crowdfunding concept exploits the old adage "there's a sucker born every minute".
    That is exactly it.

    "Hate to say I told you so, but... I told you so."

    Starting a small machine tool manufacturing business

    Unfortunately, there were a lot of distracting replies in that thread. Mostly about how aluminum will never work for a machine, but you know what performs worse than an aluminum machine? A machine that's only half built or doesn't exist.

    This thread is slightly better but also has its fair share of distracting comments, like two guys who are absolutely convinced that this whole thing was an elaborate scam concocted by a master manipulator.

    People never learn from others' mistakes. That 600-lb bridge mill guy is going to go down this exact same path. Just watch.

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    The last post in that thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Generic Default View Post
    I posted an update on the Kickstarter page a week ago. My original estimate was to have the machine on the floor by the end of July or early August. Machining the aluminum parts won't actually take that long, logistics will be the tedious part.
    Some people are too convinced they have the right answer to realize that doing hard math is critical to running a business.

    So, anyone interested in a good condition DNM400, only used on aluminum and low hours? I think I know where you can find one...

    People never learn from others' mistakes. That 600-lb bridge mill guy is going to go down this exact same path. Just watch.
    I've said as much in his threads. Too many people thinking that because a hobbyist will use their tool, a hobbyist should design it. Forget design optimization, supply chain, overhead -- 'we have a product people want'. So did Jim Jones.


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