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If I wanted to make money with a CNC machine....what would you want to buy?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've been looking at piecing together a reasonably nice CNC machine for various purposes, and was wondering if I could offset the cost by selling some CNC'd doohickeys. What I know about machining and CAD could probably be scribed on the back of a grain of rice, but I have a fair bit of experience in jewelry making and general computer use so I figure the challenges are not insurmountable.

So, what would YOU want to buy?

EDIT: This was meant to go in the equipment forum. Would any of the mods mind moving this?
post #2 of 18
A replacement Grado HF2 cups that says "THE HEAD-FI SERIES GRADO LABS" or something similar.
post #3 of 18
Some very nice volume knobs for the DIY set. Finding cool, non-bling solid aluminum knobs usually involves digging through a tub of loose knobs at hamfests and the occasional surplus electronics store.

Then if you find a cool knob, good luck finding another that matches.

So if you came out with a line of sturdy, solid aluminum knobs, I think they would sell. I would certainly buy them from you.
post #4 of 18
i know what id offer but im not telling.

and i have more CAD and CNC experience and access
post #5 of 18
Who will be the first with enclosed aluminium cups,make a change from all the woodies.
post #6 of 18
^I know a couple sources you can go to to get aluminum cups for Grados, but neither are too reliable...

I, for one, would absolutely buy a pair of aluminum cups.
post #7 of 18
isolation spike feets. advanced machining technique: embed 2 magnets inside for levitating vibration isolation. I have access to CNC machine, but I'm just plain lazy.

don't forget to send me a free set if those make you a millionaire.
post #8 of 18
Talk to rwaudio (not red wine audio). He has his own CNC machine at home and may be able to give you some guidance
post #9 of 18
Just so you all know, 'CNC' is not a type of machine - it's a way to control machines.

'CNC Machine' generally refers to a CNC mill, but most of the suggestions offered up (knobs, feet, ear cups) would require a CNC lathe.

Anyhow, I don't think this is an economically feasible idea. In addition to the machine itself, you will need, among other things:
-High voltage, 3-phase power
-Material (lots of alloys, lots of thicknesses to choose from)
-Tooling (a good set of bits can easily cost more than the machines that you're probably looking at)
-Precision measurement equipment
-Compressor (You'll want a compressed air feed for cleaning)
-CAD/CAM software (and the knowledge of how to program a machine with a CAM file)
-A decent client base

I really don't see recuperating all of those costs by making audio widgets that are probably made by the thousand in other places like China.

That said, if a community member offered up his CNC Mill services, I'd be sending plenty of front plate, back plate and top plate designs for amplifiers.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoodySteve View Post
Anyhow, I don't think this is an economically feasible idea. In addition to the machine itself, you will need, among other things:
<.....>
I'm aware of all of these. It's quite possible to build a CNC router that works on single-phase for under $1000, and tooling isn't all that bad either. Free software is available under Linux, and I've worked a bit with CAD before.

I'm not intending to earn a living with this - more just pay for my hobbies.
post #11 of 18
If you get this together eventually, please post the pictures of the setup.
post #12 of 18
Still wanted Aluminium bowls for CD3000,willing to pay good.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoodySteve View Post
Just so you all know, 'CNC' is not a type of machine - it's a way to control machines.

'CNC Machine' generally refers to a CNC mill, but most of the suggestions offered up (knobs, feet, ear cups) would require a CNC lathe.

Anyhow, I don't think this is an economically feasible idea. In addition to the machine itself, you will need, among other things:
-High voltage, 3-phase power
-Material (lots of alloys, lots of thicknesses to choose from)
-Tooling (a good set of bits can easily cost more than the machines that you're probably looking at)
-Precision measurement equipment
-Compressor (You'll want a compressed air feed for cleaning)
-CAD/CAM software (and the knowledge of how to program a machine with a CAM file)
-A decent client base

I really don't see recuperating all of those costs by making audio widgets that are probably made by the thousand in other places like China.

That said, if a community member offered up his CNC Mill services, I'd be sending plenty of front plate, back plate and top plate designs for amplifiers.
And don't forget a saw to cut the bulk metal (most stock comes in 12 ft lengths), disk sander to debur rough edges, files and other finishing tools, cutting tool coolant, vices, clamps and other work holding fixtures, etc...

Seriously, for $1000 what kind of machine will you have? Very limited horsepower and capabilities I'm sure. You probably won't be able to drop tool paths from CAD into the machine, so you'll most likely need to learn how to manually program and punch in G code by hand. That takes a lot of knowledge and is very prone to mistakes that cause crashes (flying metal )

I'm an ex machinist and current CAD designer so believe me when I tell you that this will be much too expensive to be a hobby. It's better that you design your parts and then contract a shop to do the machining for you.

That being said, if you really have your heart set on doing this you could get nome used manual machines and do it by hand. A Bridgeport mill and a 12-15" lathe should be enough to do the size work you're interested in.

People made good looking precise parts this way for many years before computer control came around, and many shops still do for small orders.
Just my 2¢
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R View Post
That being said, if you really have your heart set on doing this you could get nome used manual machines and do it by hand. A Bridgeport mill and a 12-15" lathe should be enough to do the size work you're interested in.
haha he could always get an all in one lathe milling machine combo. I think you can find that reasonable cheap for a small one; that said it's probably a Chinese piece of crap that won't last more then a year or two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R View Post
People made good looking precise parts this way for many years before computer control came around, and many shops still do for small orders. Just my 2¢
Who needs CNC Machines, the old school away is the only way to go, manually!!!
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKisho View Post
haha he could always get an all in one lathe milling machine combo. I think you can find that reasonable cheap for a small one; that said it's probably a Chinese piece of crap that won't last more then a year or two.
Yep, those are junk!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKisho View Post
Who needs CNC Machines, the old school away is the only way to go, manually.
With the crappy economy it should be real easy to find some cheap machines from shops that have closed down.
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