Complete Greenhorn looking for advice on where to begin
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  1. #1
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    Default Complete Greenhorn looking for advice on where to begin

    Good morning all and thank you for having me as a member on this forum. I hope this is the most appropriate location for this post.

    I have spent the last 21 years of my life in the Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs departments of medical device manufacturing companies. I've held entry level through director positions. I've recently fallen victim to the coronavirus layoffs because the company I've been employed with for the past 10 years manufactured elective surgery devices and sales dropped off 90% resulting in 44% of the staff being laid off.

    Brief history aside, I've determined that I'd like to be involved in the direct manufacture of these medical devices rather than the parasitic environment created by the executives that run these companies (no offense to any executives here, but the profiteering in some medical device companies is exceptionally bad). The problem is, I have virtually no experience in CNC machining but I do have a strong mechanical aptitude through years of farming and automobile restoration and repair.

    To summarize, I am looking for advice on where to start in this endeavor. I've currently got the shop space and time. My concern is learning to effectively operate the CNC equipment. I fully anticipate having to work my tail off to get up an running and don't have any lofty expectations other than being able to create a comfortable living for my daughter and me.

    Thank you for any and all advice!

  2. #2
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    A huge thing is going to be securing sales and a customer base. Coming from QA you should have some idea on who is a pain in the rear and who gives suppliers a fair shake, which is a big advantage. Best of luck to you!

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  4. #3
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    I can highly recommend finding a local community college program for CNC machining. A better one will usually be part of a larger "pre-engineering" degree and probably have manual machining as an intro. Usually takes one academic year for certification courses. The one I went to required to to learn to code by hand before you were allowed to use any CAD/CAM software.

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  6. #4
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    Titans of cnc academy have some very good learning material online now, aside from that a community college course is also a good recommendation. Taking a few classes on g code if available near you can only help. Learning as you go is definitely the long way if your doing it on your own.

    As long as you don't go real deep in debt to begin you should be ok, but machining is definitely a tough business starting out. If it's something you want to do though and you put in the work this is a rewarding field, sometimes making parts is like making useful art.

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  8. #5
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    I suggest you partner with an existing shop that has the proper certifications. Starting a business has a very steep learning curve. I'm not saying it's impossible but there is a lot. Also who designs these devices do you own patents.

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