That is good feedback. I do try to lower or at least not raise things if at all possible. I do my best to get good value and quality but keep the margins the same. The hard part is judging my time. Some things I do put too much work into for the price. I am paying close attention lately to my time.
The current economic situation surely has something to do with the flatline, but I am not one to sit and wait. I want to know I am doing everything in my power to keep this ship moving in the right direction.
There are a lot of folks who are starting small side businesses with those low end over seas cnc’s (yet far more expensive than mpcnc) that haven’t even heard of mpcnc and would be impressed. Some comparison videos to those cnc’s would be nice. How do you get both machines in the hands of an influencer?
For the maker market, maybe post stls/info on more maker sites, YT craft influencer videos, things like that. It’s worked so far but maybe there’s more width available there?
I commend you for being proactive, and it is hard to read the market properly with the current economic situation.
Add a couple of ”easy” projects (like a no screw/glue shop chair. Steps for CAD to CAM to sittning in it)
Keypoint of this machine (LR) is the budget needed. I didnt buy anything from the shop because it became to expensive with shipping from US. I bought my parts from amazon in europe mostly because cutting costs.
I know he pain you are speaking of. I have a small business and make spinning wheels (for fiber into yarn, old time), and woodworking items for the re-enactment community. I have been doing this for 12 years full time, and for many years before part-time.
I too, have had the “lost in the crowd” issue, especially during, and just before, the recent pandemic. As a maker of budget, new user, spinning wheels with a lot of free bonus add-ons already included, I am on the low end of the cost to buy, much like you. To that I spend a considerable amount of time doing customer service, both by phone and email. Supply chain issues, and a heart attack in June 2022 have slowed my production, but that customer contact has kept those on the “wait” list happy and satisfied enough. My community of owners answer, and solve, just as many problems as I do. Much like here.
My MPCNCs aren’t a hobby, they are working business machines that I push to the limit, running mostly in the 60-120in/min range, on hardwoods, way above spec. They are also way above recommended sizes, #1 being 17inx24in cut area, and #2 being 17inx48in. I also run a rotary 4th axis. I built them intentionally for that. Most issues I have you could say are self-inflicted, but pushing the “boundary” is what I have always done with machinery/computers/abilities since I got into the adult world…40+ years ago. You have seen the videos of my cnc’s running in posts.
Pushing the limits is good IMO. Might I suggest a competition much like the Benchy Speed Boat in 3d printing. Using a standardized model would level the field, and create conformity in results.
Just my 5 cents, since inflation.
What I did was use thick wall 0.120", DOM 1" tubing at $7.00 a foot with a local supplier. Higher wall count prints on the stressed parts, 3 or more.
I get under 2 thousandths defection at high step down feed rates, over-sized build by the docs, and run 45-120 IN/minute, depending on material and step-down. Sometimes I even go up from there 120-150%, but I am overachieving by nature…
Awwwww shoot. Such a different business, same issues it seems. You know my concerns to the “T”!
Yeah I have to get rid of my logo or others will not use it. Also trying to think of something semi usable in the end, looks like it will end up being a coaster most likely. Some sort of wall art or puzzle piece might be cool though.
I actually, literally, just upgraded my 4 year old phone so I can take better video for my YouTube channel. It’s (going to be) a woodworking channel, but did plan to showcase various ‘unorthodox’ tools considering most of the other in the space use Shapeoko or similar CNCs
I’m building up a portfolio of projects and was hoping to do a shop tour etc over the next month or so. Need to clean up first though
A coin, one sided, with a flat bit would be ok. Something a little bigger, like an Eisenhower dollar coin sized. I am sure my kids would keep a coin in their spot where they keep special trinkets, like benchies.
a box and lid. This has the added challenge of having to close. When I first saw a bency, the appeal wasnyto make it as fast as possible, it was a cute model with overhangs, and challenging transitions like the hull, and detailed sections like the letters on the back. So having a box and lid that has to close adds some checks for squareness and tolerances.
The benchy checks a lot of boxes. It is easy to do, but hard to do properly. It is something you could give to a kid at a makerfaire and they would appreciate it (maybe not as much as the calicat). It isn’t that wasteful and I have never needed to put calipers on it to see if it was right. That is going to be hard to match with a cnc. It is hard to match on a 3DP, and it was only found because dozens of people were trying.
I’m not sure what advice I have on the larger question. I am still hoping to have some good insight soon.
A quick comment about speed runs: try to shy away from heavily modified rigs. What you want to showcase is what the Average Joe™ can slap together in their garage, not what Garry Gearhead™ can tinker with and enhance using their specialized experience and existing machinist tools. Granted, it’s fun to have some of the latter videos, to show what’s possible, but focus should be on the former, to show what’s expected. Hell, I might be inspired to “finish” my build (or rebuild it as a Primo), to get some video of a low effort/low skill build.
One of the strengths of the design is also a marketing weakness. Try to focus on marketing the showroom stock build, and leave the tricked-out models for the rally days and galleries.
I don’t think there are many heavily modified versions. Mostly just larger ones that I assume will give slightly lower numbers. Jamie has the double-decker, and the new three rail LR. But as long as it is stated I would still like to see the numbers, but you are right probably not for the video playlist.
I know you’re not comfortable with video but maybe taking a marketing or social network student intern/trainee could help you.
Rich video contents can make difference in growing community and transform it to money, publish some of making project on a plublic official youtube channel and make some private( tuning, milling basic, common troubleshooting …) to be propose in a payed zone.
I was talking to my neighbor last night and this thread came up. He’s a member of the local woodworkers guild (bunch of grey beards) He’s scared to death of the electronics aspects of the build.
How about offering an electronics package that includes a control box, with external jacks for the steppers and power supply. Also include the steppers with matching jacks and maybe some extension cables. Everything comes pre-configured for a vanilla build that you define.
Use a fluid nc board like Barts 6 pack controller and you have built in wifi connectivity and a friendly ui out of the box PLUS you can load alternate configs via a YAML config file instead of having to flash a board which would lower your support needs AND reduce the # of boards you need to stock.
This would give a branded product that would knock a lot of the complexity and confusion from the build.
How about a 1/4 plywood box on one sheet using dog-bones, tabs, or similar must fit joinery to assemble. Do two files using 1/8 and 1/4 milling bits, add maybe a light shallow engrave using bit for file.
It would take long enough to be a good bench mark. It would test tolerances, as the tabs/dog-bones have to fit. like this 3x3 inch box maybe: