Those videos get updated anytime I add one to the playlist. Newest to the first in line.
Those videos get updated anytime I add one to the playlist. Newest to the first in line.
If they are linked to your personal YouTube account, just make everyone watch every video once a month, like and subscribe, and monetize it.
That’s pretty slick. I don’t know how many people would ise it to justify the cost.
Ha when my channel was monetized I think I made a grand total off it $11 in three years. Now I do not meet the requirements.
I am most worried that it takes so long to load. I can make it look a bit better but that lag is pretty bad.
My first channel- about marine aquariums- got $0.78 in 2 years… and this was prior to the lower sub limit they ‘recently’ introduced.
I’m hoping to do a bit better with the new channel, lol
Thoughts on keeping this topic broad and high level’sh, and creating separate topics to do focused deep dive on specific areas you want to push forward on? e.g Moving the business forward > WebSite > Video improvements
I just downloaded CNC plans from Tools Today for a work bench for $19.95. I need to build four of the benches for me. My son in-law wants two. Point is, if you had plans tuned for v1 machines I’d buy them from you, plus whatever bits & bobs I’d need for the job. I find when I’m in the 3D print world everyone expects all the designs and files for free. When I’m in the woodworking world no one expects plans and designs for free. Could be another revenue stream.
So crazy right? You would not believe what some people get made at these days. I could put up a cad file for a table, but I could never charge for it. I will have to put some thought into that. I always just screw my MPCNC to a table, the LR is a bit different. Maybe it is time to do a more complete table.
I’ve always been a maker I just didn’t know it had a name and I finally bought an Ender 3 two years ago and built a Voron 2.4 five months ago, the later being an amazing experience I’m desperate to repeat.
I’ve wanted a CNC machine for many years, but the high cost always put me off. Around the time of the Voron build I discovered the MPCNC, and knew it would only be a matter of time before I built one. After spending a month researching I ordered the kit from Ryan yesterday!
Firstly, amazing job Ryan, huge thank-you to what you are doing here.
Some thoughts from my experience so far;
Suggestions from the Voron experience;
Maybe a showcase upload area where only serial holders can upload what they’ve created with their machine? With a up upvote and leader board of the serials with the most upvotes? Once a month you award crew points for the most votes that month?
May have been mentioned already, but a repository for users to upload their designs for beginners to download. Maybe linking with the showcase?
Barriers for Average Joe
I’ve told many friends I have a 3D printer they are interested but I know they wouldn’t have a chance with designing their own parts, and so I don’t recommend they get one.
So maybe building/encouraging a good video landing zone of “what to do next video” library could broaden the clients once they understand, or at least filter out those who shouldn’t. Again, I know this has been somewhat mentioned.
Keep pushing @vicious1!
I suspect my thoughts on this topic will not be the most popular in this group, but please understand that they are offered, not as complaints, but solely as the thoughts from one who has been participating for several years in this community, not without some frustration.
I have now built 4 MPCNC machines: Burly, Primo, LR2 and LR3.
That said, I’ve actually been wondering whether it’s time to “bite the bullet” and just purchase a moderately priced commercial machine ($2-5K) and move on from the limitations that seem to be part of this approach.
I guess there are two main reasons for this: the difficulty of getting sufficient machine accuracy and the software (especially CAM) needed to do the projects I want to do.
My LR2 was never usable, so it evolved into the LR3, which is clearly better, but still leaves ridges on the spoilboard. I had wanted to use the LR3 for slab flattening for moderate size table tops, but it’s not yet capable.
My Burly was able to do some decent work, but the looseness in the gantry meant there was always error. It’s now converted to a laser cutter/engraver and for relatively small items (< 8" x 8") it does ok although I’m having some problem with belt wobble or something.
The Primo remains promising, although gantry slop is again a problem. I’m wondering if I just need to completely reprint all those parts as well as the trucks.
The consistent issue, for me, at least, is the need to tighten things “just enough but not too much”.
But, once one has to contemplate starting over, or mostly starting over, the “build or buy” question is back on the table.
I contrast this experience with my experience with the Prusa MK3S kit assembly. As others have said, the manual is very good and helpful, but, equally important is the fact that it’s just hard to screw it up if you are reasonably careful. The calibration procedures are well thought out and, with the exception of the bed height adjustment for specific filaments, seem to just work. Prior to the Prusa, I had about a year with a different, less robust printer, which definitely helped, but IMO, the success of the Prusa is that it is so stable. Even though it’s nominally open source, it’s completely functional when you get it assembled—you don’t HAVE to change anything.
The other area that is a roadblock for folks is the CAD/CAM issue, as several others have mentioned. In my own case, I’ve used (non-professional) CAD software for over 20 years because of my woodworking hobby, so that was a non-issue.
However, the CAM was a different story. When I looked into commercially available packages back in my Burly days, I found that many didn’t have the ability to deal with Marlin in their post processor. So, I wound up defaulting to EstlCAM. Once it’s set up, it actually works fine for standard 2D cutting and engraving since the Marlin issue is included. For relief carving, it was a much bigger challenge to figure out, but even that became manageable. But, I’m sure that it remains a barrier for many.
So, with all the above rambling as background, here are some thoughts to consider going forward:
The other option would be the BYO that would be like the current versions-- fully customizable in every way, understanding that “self-sourcing” is likely.
As part of this, a complete tutorial for setting up and using EstlCAM might be useful as an interim solution. It could include a few simple projects that implement cutting, engraving and even relief carving. This would get people over the hump to get started.
Consider GRBL, if the capabilities are adequate (an issue about which I know nothing!) I use a GRBL board for the laser and it seems much more transparent than Marlin. Compare the user interaction with “Lasergrbl” compared to trying to flash the Marlin firmware using PlatformIO. Again, I have no idea of the state of the art, but, my grbl board for the laser includes wifi and a (rudimentary) phone app to control the setup. It can also operate from an SD card, although I’ve not tried that.
If there is any conceivable way to do so, address the “slop” issue during assembly. For me, that has been one of the most frustrating things with these units. Repeated attempts at assembly is just not fun.
There are probably other ideas that could help move the product forward, but this is already far too long. But, here’s an idea from left field…
There are a number of folks who seem to make it part of their YouTube business to review and test CNC and laser products. The quality of their work is somewhat variable, but, if you could get one of them to let you put a completely assembled machine in their shop and have them run it through its paces, you might be surprised at the results. Many of these folks have hundreds of thousands of followers, so, if their impression was positive, the results would be amazing, I expect.
I would suggest that the choice should be an LR3, that is completely ready to go, and would allow them to load a project and run it, possibly after some speed and accuracy testing. Of course, the issue of assembly would have to be explained because I doubt any of these guys would take that on. But, if the demo/test was successful, a follow up on the assembly process could feed into it.
Obviously, the risk would be a poor review result (as resulted from Tom S.) but success would likely be rewarded.
Apology for the length of this ramble. Would be better done as brainstorming with pizza and beer…
Just jumping on the bandwagon here to add my 2 cents
I’ve always felt the biggest differentiators of V1Engineering are:
Complete customizability within the bounds of a well-designed template
Opportunity for future extensibility
Simple parts sourcing
Clear / non-intimidating assembly instructions
Helpful + active community
I realize that none of those are directly related to “stuff that you can sell to increase your bottom line”. But maybe you can lean into those in certain ways, ie:
An ecosystem of add-ons that can be sourced simply from you or DIYd at greater time/effort/expense. I’m thinking things like the PWM board for controlling spindle speeds or the touch plate. Things like 4th rotary axis add on, or joystick for manual control. Like the equivalent of if you controlled the whole ecosystem of 3rd party add ons around the Ender 3 like BLTouch, 32 bit boards, silent fans etc etc
Keeping current designs free but offering “premium” build instructions for a fee
Build kits, of course
Hopefully there’s something for you in there. Can’t wait to see the future of V1 Engineering!
It’s hard to compare V1 to something like xcarve, or shaper. They just work a lot different. But compared to most community focused products, it is a huge success story. Sometimes easy to forget. There are a lot of little shops where someone tried to make what Ryan has, and Ryan is one of the few that worked.
Al ver la comparativa de All3dp pienso que eligen máquinas muy diferentes, máquinas de PLA y de aluminio, no me parece acertado.
Ustedes por suerte pueden mejorar mucho gastando poco, por ejemplo añadiendo kits de piezas críticas como mejoras en aluminio a todos los modelos, iluminación, aire, láser, etc. De esta manera podemos comprar el modelo básico y mejorar sin prisas.
Si necesitan ideas por ejemplo para la LR2 me gustaría:
También me gustaría que las mejoras que salgan del foro, aparezcan más tarde en la tienda, seguro es tan simple como pedir permiso al creador principal de la mejora.
En mi caso, la compra de su máquina fue porque tenían un foro vivo, su web contiene valiosa información y en dos días ya estaba usando la máquina. Por desgracia, esperé 3 meses porque a nivel de correo, ¡Canarias es el fin del mundo!.
Sería fantástico ver videos de cómo hacer muchas cosas, de como trabajar ciertos materiales, de como medir con la sonda, de como mejorar la máquina con los kits que ustedes ofrecen. No creo que su necesidad sea gastar dinero en publicidad, gracias a las rápidas mejoras sus máquinas son muy profesionales y se defienden muy bien.
Veo que la LR3 funciona bastante bien y tiene un precio adecuado, felicidades.
Perdón por contestar en español, no domino mucho el inglés.
JD me and you think alike. Thank you for that, it was getting a little bleak for me.
At this point it has been all said, we all know it is difficult to please everyone.
Here is my summary, maybe we can move this in a slightly different focused direction.
Kits - I am 100% behind a more complete kit, but not for a complete kit. The reason these machines can be so inexpensive is large heavy parts do not need to be shipped. Adding routers with specific cords for each country and warrantying them is not possible at this scale (garage). I can make recommendations more clear. Adding a giant piece of wood for the base, custom sized. large rolls of cable chain are not possible but small bundles of wire loom are. These only work because I fit them in a small box. As soon as I have to tack on huge shipping costs it falls apart faster.
On the same note Rails need to be custom cut for each person, packaged weighed and a custom rate applied. Doing that at checkout is not feasible at this scale. Finding a partner company to offer this service is a possibility but only in the US. Can’t do this for every country in the world. So I think having a machine that runs on conduit sized for all three conduits worldwide is the best solution.
My opinion on this is if you can get it at your local hardware store cheaply (nuts and bolts in the chain stores are stupid expensive) there is absolutely no way I should even consider selling and shipping it.
I absolutely need to pack in all the connectors and switches needed for each board, when you buy a board. I do need a wire solution. Anything else, I considered getting wire labels to throw in. Everyone is not like me with scrap box lying around to easily make a 2" wire jumper out of.
If I had an actual storefront, brick and mortar, I would 100% carry these things.
Site - needs a revamp it is in the works. Turns out a refresh is pretty easy but taking all new pictures and videos, is the hard part. This will include a focus on the video page. Lets do any site suggestions in that thread.
Software / firmware - Boards are still having supply chain issues. We will be getting a new standard board at some point soon. I have been working on this for months. The rambos take a very long time to get and the SKR lineup is about to change. Nothing is stable do to microchip shortages. This is the issue for getting a more complete bundle. I can not get the part that fit a board if I am not sure what board we will get.
For the end user beside special laser cases, Marlin and GRBL are functionally Identical. The Reason we use Marlin is the option for LCD’s. Now that we might be going headless GRBL is an option but you will notice nearly every cnc company makes their own GRBL boards, not cost-effective for us.
CAM - Nothing is perfect. Esltcam is still currently the best option by far and the easiest to support. Kiri:Moto looks like it could be a very beginner-friendly option as it is all kinda click and go and might be a option we spend more time with. I will look into it more. Fusion has crippled free CAM, and the other paid options are very expensive and sort of single use focused. If you just makes signs something in the vcarve suit might be worth your money. The other fee cam programs are not intuitive and you really need to know what is SUPPOSED to be happening to use it. (Think photoshop, draw, paint, gimp, one size will never fit all.)
Instructions - They need help and it has always been a chore for me. I am not sure how to fix this other than try to pay to have someone help me. It is a much larger job than you could imagine (every step takes multiple pictures. If I make an assembly video what happens when I edit a part (LR3 YZ plate is an example of this). If there was ever a place to hire someone, this would be it, but video people are very expensive. I asked a neighbor about his video rates and he kinda laughed and didn’t answer. So best case is pay someone to help with the written instructions, and make them easily printable. I am not going to provide printed instructions, they would be expensive and take up a lot of room in the already full boxes.
The part that is most interesting to me is adding the “so you are new to cnc” and some featured projects. Doing a few build nights so I can understand beginners perspective and make sure all the needed info is there.
Exposure - That leaves “promoting”. I am pretty against giving machines away. That just makes them more expensive for users that do want to buy one. That and the few I have given away have not resulted in anything positive. I did offer one for free to a, at the time, a small youtuber. I did not ask for a video or any on air time just some feedback of the build process and the machine’s capabilities. I liked the way that person approached projects. I don’t remember the exact details but I believe I was also asked for monetary compensation. I would much rather spend the time and resources on actual users. And appropriately enough these days most Honest review youtubers buy their own things so their kit does not get cherry picked.
So leaderboards for speed tests with hopefully a small prize. That will be the most fun for me.
Try to feature some outstanding projects on the homepage and social media. This could give you exposure if you are running business of any sort. Or just get some dork/cool points with your partner or friends.
I am going to make some small clips of new speed tests and see if I can learn to speed up the video process in any way.
Thank you all for your opinions.
I am very happy with the caliber of people this project attracts and in no way want that to suffer just to bring in more people. I feel if we do this right our collective talents will shine through the flashy websites and high price tags to prove we are a great option. The amount of people around here that get published or are contributing to lots of other projects is just nuts. We do have something special here, I love being a part of it, I just don’t usually feel like I should be the captain of this ship.
If this is anything like the trajectory of 3D printers, I am in for a wild ride. When the thousands of different printers started to spring up I assumed most would die out, and we would just get a couple major brands. That has not happened so far. lots of Printer companies have come and gone, but two new ones replace each one that disappears. Looks like CNC has started this big bang phase now.
Dave, lets sort out the issues you are having. You have had many of the machines now and I would really like to figure out why you are having these issues. Issues I do not believe to be common. A new thread and feel free to “@vicious1” to get my eyes on it. Adjustments will always be needed on every CNC, I promise that, but they should be infrequently, and tram should not be an that can’t be fixed with some small shims worst case.
Pedro, Thank you for that. I agree. I am very happy with how things are and some small tweaks everywhere will bring this up a notch or two. Spending time and money on things other than advertising, I also think it is the right move.
Started with a Metal Maslow myself, had its uses. Sold it on to a guy that loves it
This discussion appears to have largely run it’s course but I’m going to throw in my 2 cents anyway.
For me, the V1 offerings: Design, Shop, Forum, etc. have been perfect, but I would not say that is likely the case for most of the people that have seen my machines. Many have been impressed and intrigued but are obviously timid of the apparent complexity/effort to go at one themselves.
All of the options and ability to customize each design is a huge part of what I love about them, but getting started and weeding through the instructions riddled with generalities / options, forums and competing recommendations is a bit much for most and I haven’t recommended giving it a shot to anyone I know - even considering that my circle of friends are generally capable people that would have no problem if they plowed through it (with a little occasional help). However, they are also people that have kids and enough other commitments & interests that I would expect a build to take at least 3-6 months for most. The constant start/stop/start/refigure out what you were doing is a real hurdle and knowing that is going to be the reality of the experience is a barrier to even beginning.
A complete kit would have tremendous appeal: Pre-cut tubing, appropriate length terminated wire harness, pre-flashed controller, parts, hardware, pen & pen holder, a printed (or printable) manual specific to the kit contents and an SD card with a couple sample files and bare minimum software (CAM and machine control) plus some sample material (paper for the pen that has some alignment marks). It could be built and operational in a couple of evenings or a weekend.
My brother is a perfect example. A few years ago my kids were getting into drones. He was interested for himself and his kids but said he needed something that anyone could fly without (too much) fear of crashing and loosing everything. I sent him a DJI mavic with an ad that said “hamster proof” and showed a hamster at the controls it. It was perfect.
Later, when he asked about a “hamster proof” CNC machine I couldn’t come up with one and would certainly not put the MPCNC in that category. Maybe a fully assembled 3018 or something like that could fit his interest, but I also think I would be willing to point him to or ship him a full MPCNC kit as described above.
I know shipping tubing is a concern - for a good reason and perhaps a sans-tubing version could be an option, but consider the dozens of forum topics on tubing - size, wall thickness, how to cut, source, material options, etc: a pre-cut precision (precise enough) standard set of “good enough” EMT tubes at the recommended length has value well beyond the shipping cost even at public rates. The printed parts would obviously be sized to match so no worrying about “C” or “F” or …
With increased volume you might get a better negotiated rate - at least domestically, I’m not sure of the details but my company ships enough that we have a fairly significant discount on heavy items.
Even if not, don’t worry about it - you have been catering to people with the lowest possible cost machines available and have been super price sensitive. You can continue to do that while offering a kit that costs what it costs for those where time is more valuable than money. You just need to be clear that the kit cost and DIY cost are significantly different and be transparent as to why.
Accessory packs like a laser, spindle, drag knife, needle cutter, rotary actuator, joystick, hold-down system, etc as option complete kits make sense. They should be everything you need. Tool, mount, hardware, wiring, instructions, etc. If it takes more than a click or two to add things to a cart and you are not sure you have everything, people (myself included) are reluctant to hit the purchase button and once you navigate away, the odds of coming back only decrease with time. For the penny pinchers, the designs / BOMs are available already, so the lowest cost option doesn’t change.
To be clear; I’m not suggesting diminishing support for those that want to customize, experiment, push limits or otherwise be creative, but having a easy entry baseline that “works out of the box” would likely result in a significant number of sales. Showing where you can go with different tools and project show cases would likely get a lot more people to stick their toe in the V1 water.
As far as machine run-off competitions or such, machine run time means little to nothing to me personally. It is a hobby with one-off projects not production runs. If it takes 15 minutes to machine something instead of 45, it may sound 3x faster, but in reality that 30min is in the noise level of the overall project planning, designing, and finishing workflow timeline. Plus head-to-head comparisons are going to be inherently biased - they will be done by different people or with different material or with setting more appropriate for one machine over another. For me the more compelling selling point would be a good set of sample gcode files for a specific (“standard”) machine configuration that shows the broad range of capability and accuracy the machine provides. To this end, if you buy the “spindle accessory” it comes with the Dewalt router, tool mount & hardware, 3 specific starter carving bits, and 2 pieces of wood project boards plus 3 project files (that use the included bits and boards) and instructions. Project files and instructions could be QR codes that take you directly to an online source - but no trying to navigate through the whole website.
Just food for thought on how to reach an even broader customer pool and/or increase profit margins in a currently under-tapped space that has a different value proposition (ease and convenience over $ or fully individualized).
I loved the old lowrider and I love the LR3 even more. I use this thing round the clock for everything from boatbuilding, furniture to curved stretchers for artwork.
At one point I considered getting a fancier cnc but then realized how much I like taking risks with the LR3 and not having to worry about replacing crazy expensive parts or some costly/pain in the ass service plan.
I can run dangerously weird material through and feel pretty chill about the consequences.
It’s just damn ideal for prototyping. I think troubleshooting a design would not be helped much by cutting it faster. By the time I am finishing sanding and prepping one piece of wood/ply the second is ready.
The truth is that learning CAD stuff takes a while. That’s the biggest investment. Figuring out the machine build whether it be custom or turnkey is irrelevant from my perspective.
I would love to see the LR 3at some expo like a design or architecture fair. For a small business starting off it could work well for presentations, scaled models, prototyping…again.
I also think it could be marketed to college and grad students stuck in the dumb bureaucracy and backlog of a 60k machine. There’s plenty of unregulated interstitial space in educational institutions - waiting for Lowrider creep…common rooms, basements, frats, the abandoned parking lot next door…
I understand the desire to grow the business. Perhaps a foundation or non-profit is worth looking at? This had great consequences for Blender.
Like Blender, maybe more so - there’s a lot of good karma here on the forum and it’s productive. It’s going somewhere; where that might be I dunno but it feels genuine, creative and inspired.
This is all to stay @vicious1 - you’ve done an amazing job. Whatever adjustments are made…keep them small!
Pre-terminated cabling seems like it might be low-hanging fruit if you can standardize on a few recommended harness lengths. I would suggest aiming all new builds at dual endstop/self-squaring capability to remove stocking complexity, then using a 6-conductor cable as the basis for the harnesses since you’ll mostly want an end stop almost everywhere you’ve got a motor, and it’s easier to leave a connector unused than to guide folks to getting different ends where they need to be during installation. Installing the stops can still be optional in the build instructions, but I think it will be simpler to include the capability as default in the harnesses to tracking multiple combinations of wiring.
“Full sheet” lowrider seems like a natural choice. Make the harnesses long enough to handle whatever the default metric and US sheet goods sizes are with some extra, maybe call the US version 9’ long and 5’ wide to have some wiggle room if ends need to be re-made at some later date, and just have the builder coil any extra length and secure it in a safe location (spelled out in the revised instructions) if they’re building a smaller machine.
For the Primo things are less cut-and-dried, with inter-acting constraints. I’d try identifying some “sweet spots” and coordinating with the size calculator (if that’s feasible). Have a “maximum recommended footprint for cutting aluminum” and a larger “maximum recommended footprint for wood/plastics.” Then you need to decide whether to stock 2 full harnesses and let the buyer choose, to ship the smaller harness by default and offer a set of extensions, or (if the price differential between the big and small one was small enough) just sell the longer one.
You can have online instructions for folks that want to adapt the stock harnesses for running 2 motors off one driver, but I wouldn’t stock adapters in the shop.
This is the part I think I am stuck on. I have been at this for more than 7 years. Every time I make a new gcode it is always a test. Building the machine is something I barely remember. No machine, perfect out of the box, or not will crash and need fixing or adjusting, and we all need CAM. We can use any CAM package available to any machine. We are not locked in like some are. I even watched a video last night and the guy kept saying how maintenance free screw driven axis were…they absolutely are not. Then need to be maintained and once backlash gets worse you need to calibrate it digitally to compensate.
Work has to be put in and I have never considered assembly to be the work but I am learning most think that is a huge part of it. St least in terms of converting a new lurker to a user. I am learning to see from another perspective. I can make assembly easier, never put too much thought other than mechanically, now I need to put some effort into making it all together easier.
Our audience has been morphing from a hardcore DIY crowd to a more average consumer based. I’m learning.