Moving the business forward

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


Can’t Wait!!

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Some other ideas:

  • 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. :wink:

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 dig out a previous post about it:

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 would like to see more promotion of amazing things people have built with a machine that costs <$500 ?

Maybe ask if people have or can make videos of their projects to post on Instagram, Twitter, website blog, etc.


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.


I like the idea of a test that fits together, so it checks tolerances as well as just the shape.


Idea here…
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:


A hole and stepped pin…see what fits, that could be super fun.

Can we just do each piece identical, so you could just keep making them from different materials and fit them all together when you have enough? I think you can do that…


We are pretty close to this now, finding a new board has been a serious challenge. I am 100% open to GRBL at this point, might even prefer it. We have most of the wires, it would be nice to have some fancy connectors though. 5 driver board, GRBL, that is mass produced, wifi.

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That’d work. I said 1/4 ply because its kinda cheap. The parts could also be nested

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One board I keep looking at since long before you posted that you had one is the SKR Octopus Pro 1.1. Similar pricing to the old SKR Pro 1.2

I have the octopus here, with wifi. They sell a few versions but actually are only going to produce the one I have here for a while. That board will be headless and save a bunch of money. I will be actually working on the firmware over the next few days.

A GRBL board would be cool too, or getting GRBL on the octo.


Use GRBL on the little 3018 Pro I have. At this point I have gotten so used to Marlin, eh, either way

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For the boards, for me it is best if I could actually settle on just one. Right now I buy $15-$20k BTT and Rambo’s. If I consolidated that to a $30-$40k order to one vendor the price drops a bit more per board. Having two is good but does increase the price. I could get a open source board manufactured and save some money but then The extensive testing would probably offset that savings. I do not have the skills to make my own…I am fairly certain.

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The rambo uses GRBL or Marlin extremely interchangeable. Pretty sweet but they are still deep in the supply chain issues. They did tease a new board a while back but no news about that in a while.


I think which board is less important than defining that there is a “stock” supported board (whatever brand) with stock config settings that can be restored when something gets broken… Some of us will stray from the path but at least you can build detailed directions for the stock choice and not have to support a bunch of misconfigured one-off boards we salvaged from an old 3d printer.


This may be slightly off topic but is there a repository of open source cnc projects somewhere? I was searching around and found this:

It would be great to have a collection of projects that people could start making immediately. Right now cnc projects are like the old school days of software development where you had to code everything from scratch.

It would be great to have a collection of cnc projects posted on github and maybe provide the designs in open source formats such as openscad or freecad.