Slowly getting into CNC Manufacturing business

I have already sold a few things that I made with CNC. (not made to order, but made to sell to the general public).

I always try to make sure that after subtracting cost of materials, I get paid pretty well for the minutes that I spend actually making stuff. I do not count minutes spent programming, learning on my mistakes, etc. Just minutes spent to make part X.

Anyhow, this seems to be working out, not too well, but working out. What I will try to do is make a little variety of things to sell, always have one made prior to selling, and making more when the next item sells.

I do not really harbor big illusions, and it will never amount to more than pocket change, but I think that it is a very useful life skill to learn.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus10807
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You hit on the key to making a little bit of change. Don't sell your time to make somebody else's part. Sell the product somebody needs.

Karl

Reply to
Karl Townsend

Karl, yes, hopefully, I can devise manufacturing processes that use little of my personal time, per additional item made. This is what I am working on right now, find stuff that I can make without spending too much time on, and sell.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29323

Don't copycat somebody elses product, instead come up something new on your own and be the first one to take it to the market....patent if possible--because before you know it the cockroaches will be manufacturing a copy, thus flooding the market and selling it for peanuts.

Reply to
PrecisionmachinisT

Do you think that it is easy to enforce a patent against someone who copies one's design? Somehow, I do not think so.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29323

It's easy enough. What it isn't is cheap.

Reply to
John R. Carroll

Patents usually aren't worth the trouble for small-niche products. It's pretty rare that you'll attract significant copy cats unless there is some volume, or potential volume, in sales.

Many hobby-type items, especially if there is any modern technology involved, have a fairly short life span. The thing that most people fail at is getting into the market quickly enough. By the time you've tipped your hand with a modest effort at promoting it, someone else may copy the item and make a more professional marketing effort.

Reply to
Ed Huntress

Good advice, but not so easy to do. I would look at making replacement parts for say vintage cars. Something where the original manufacturer does not want the low production rate, but where there is a fair number of people that will want the part. So not parts for vintage Mercedes, instead parts for vintage Fords, maybe the original Mustangs.

Dan

Reply to
dcaster

Yes, getting embroiled in patent wars is not my idea of fun.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29323

Actually, right now I am into making novelty items and HO scale toys.

I think that plenty of people would pay for HO scale accessories made of real steel. Lots of HO scale buyers with money, and they want "the real thing" looks.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29323

There is an entire business model that revolves around making patented products with the understanding that the holder won't be able to afford to pursue a claim. Yeah, I know a couple...

Reply to
John R. Carroll

Exactly - your patent extends just as far as your payments to your patent lawyers, and there are plenty of places which do a bang-up business of simply running legitimate patent holders out of funds to defend their patents because they have deep pockets and can afford to do so. The patent system basically does nothing for "the little guy who's in the right." I don't know if it ever did, but it doesn't at present.

Reply to
Ecnerwal

My main point was that if you are copyiing someone elses designs then if there was ever any real money to be made, most of it already HAS been made, after which point in reality you are simply participating with others in a race to the bottom.

That said, being first to market gives you a HUGE advantage, because so long as you can consistantly maintain the very highest level of quality control and customer service, it will be very difficult for anyone else to penetrate your market.

Reply to
PrecisionmachinisT

On the other hand, if it's another "little guy" who's copying your patent, then oftentimes a single letter is all it takes to steer him back onto the right path.

One other thing to consider is filing for a provisional patent, which IIRC only costs $99.00 and allows you to make the claim "patent pending" even though an actual patent was never in fact granted.

Reply to
PrecisionmachinisT

I do not want to get into any sort of a patent discussion.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus29323

Read some of Don Lancaster's thoughts on patents.

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Reply to
Cross-Slide

How about brass or Aluminum ? Seems like steel is heavy and hard.

Consider rust issues.

Mart> >>

Reply to
Martin Eastburn

I made some novelty items of aluminum and those do sell.

One of the things I wanted to make is "old rusted out steam engine".

I also made a moderately elaborate steel HO scale bridge and it was cute in very many ways. I made it for my 5 year old, but I can see how it would appeal to 50 year olds too.

i

Reply to
Ignoramus29323

Reply to
John R. Carroll

Pics, please!

-- Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reply to
Larry Jaques

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