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Earning A Living?

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by GrayUK, May 30, 2014.

  1. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Is anyone out there making a living from the products of a CNC? (Discounting industrial Plasmas, CNCs and the like.) Just like the ones we have, and hope, to make on this Site. I am due to retire at the end of the year, and my cunning plan is to have one of these up and running, and to produce "something" to bring in a few pennies to supplement the pension. I wouldn't be dependent on it, but hope it might help out there.
    I am well aware that any business is dependent on the product, and it's promotion, if you keep it a secret, it will stay a secret.
    I think I can produce a quality product with one of these machines, (like Mark, Robert and Chris,who have found a Niche,) and I know how to get it out there in the market place.
    So, if any successful, or unsuccessful people would like to comment I would be really pleased to hear from.

    Many Thanks

    Gray
     
  2. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi Gray,

    If making a product with an UK/EU 'point of sale' I would advise against 'toys' (or anything which has 'play value' as it is classified as a 'toy'). The UK/EU regulations that have to be complied with and approvals which have to be obtained are verging on being 'prohibitive' (so much for governments promises to reduce 'red tape' for small businesses :mad: ).

    If 'working from home' you will also need local council approval (change of use) / H&SE inspection approvals etc. as well as business insurance. From my experience the local authorities are very pleasant to deal with, offer much free advice / suggestions and are extremely helpful towards new 'start-up' businesses.

    Hope this helps.

    Tweakie.

    (n.b. Sorry to keep following you around the forum - it's a 'time zone' thing :) )
     
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  3. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    If you didn't........no one else would! :( It's good to know you're not talking to yourself. :zipit:
    And it's not like your a plonker. :ROFL: So that's a blessing for me.
    I was thinking more in the line of carving kids pictures in Wood and as Lithophanes, to sell to the Grandma's.
    They are a reliable and wealthy market. :thumbsup:
    Maybe a little specialist Aluminium milling for the Vintage MG and VW geeks. :thumbsup:
    That all sounds a bit mercenary doesn't it, but hey: Know Your Market! :banghead:
    Anyway, that sort of thing.

    Cheers

    Gray

    (P.S. I have no problem if you want to read this and comment on it.) :)

    Still, anyone else can reply if they want.
     
  4. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    I'll jump in here with you guys :)
    Early congrats to you on your retirement Gray :thumbsup: My two cents... is you are on target with the niche' markets for the carvings etc. I believe that there are lots of great ideas just waiting to be made and sold using OpenBuild types machine to produce them. I have a couple 'simple' ideas that I always though would make for a great suppliant income or more depending on how far your willing to take them. For instance how about custom carved mdf molds to be used on a vacuum forming machine to create decorative ceiling trays for restoration work on some of these older homes.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Or how about renting a mall kiosk and setting up a little mill to carve lithophanes like you mentioned. You could snap a pic and the customers could go shopping when they come back their custom back lit lithophanes is sitting there drawing attention along with the automation of the mill. (mesmerizes people including myself :ROFL:) There are a lot of free programs out there that can convert images to height maps like this. (Tweakie knows of a few ;) )
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You could even set up a small wooden/plastic name keychain cutting machine that, with the right font could be a simple way to get noticed.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    There are lots more creative ways to use machines to make products people would want to buy. Just look at the cnc embroidery machine by sausagePaws that one is just waiting to be used, heck you even make custom embroidered key-chains!
    I am sure others will jump in and share a few of their own as well. Hope this helps out, ff nothing else it helps to get the creative juices flowing :)
    Mark
     
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  5. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Great ideas Gray - selling to the Grandma's I like. :thumbsup:
    and...
    Great ideas Mark - I especially like those square section wooden keyfobs. :thumbsup:

    Tweakie.
     
  6. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    I wonder how much a Saga Ad would be?? :rolleyes:

    That would just about set me up for life.:thumbsup:

    Gray
     
  7. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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  8. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Tweakie, do you know of any specific height programs? Not having used the Vectric Aspire stuff yet, I'm not sure what I can do with it yet. Are there any other easy and reliable prog's out there?

    Gray
     
  9. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi Gray,


    There are just so many individual programs to choose from, each with it’s own merits, it is probably just a matter for individual choice (whatever suits us best).


    Just a couple of the programs I have used for lithophanes…


    PicEngravePro http://www.picengrave.com free to use watermarked demo version (to get to grips with it’s capabilities) and excellent forum support if you have any problems.


    Mach1Filter http://hobbymaro.puhasoft.hu/Tweakie/Mach1Filter.exe free and easy to use has a lot of different capabilities but little or no support.

    Perhaps try them and see if they suit your requirement.


    Tweakie.
     
  10. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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  11. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Thanks Mark. I've downloaded it. I'll see what it's like later.

    Cheers
    Gray
     
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  12. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
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    No problem, hope it works out :thumbsup:
    Mark
     

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