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Browsing articles in "Business"

Used CNC Machine Prices Skyrocket Despite Economy

Oct 19, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

Came across an interesting article on Practical Machinist talking about how hight the prices on CNC machines have gotten. It’s interesting to puzzle it out. The posters seem to feel that shops are busy right now, and there is a real shortage of new machines available, so the used ones are fetching a premium right…

We Are Devoted to Fanatically Loyal Customers

Sep 21, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Software  //  No Comments

Our About page says we’re devoted to “Fanatically Loyal Customers.” It’s true. Here’s an email I just received, and the author said I was welcome to quote (thanks T!):
Hi Bob,
I have given your program a real test and interestingly I had problems with getting the cutter to perform as per the program. Traced…

The Spirit of America: Innovation and the Little Guy Making Things

Sep 11, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

For this anniversary of 9/11, I wanted to publish some articles that celebrate America, the Little Guy, and Making Things. As I’ve said before, I believe America was built by the Little Guy, not by Big Business. Nothing against Big Business, but more focus on the Little Guy is what will take us out of…

Kevin Potter: The Last Stake Maker

Sep 11, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, Business, Cool  //  No Comments

Over on Practical Machinist, there are many great stories about folks making things. It’s probably the largest online community dedicated to manufacturing, and there is something there for everyone. I just saw the video that Kevin and his nephew put together that shows what Potter USA does, and it’s wonderful:

Small Company Making Things: Tools…

Why It’s the Little Guy that Creates the Jobs

Sep 11, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

Here’s a fun video that illustrates the simple logic behind why it’s Small Businesses that create the jobs:

Small Business and Entrepreneurs create the jobs……

Two and a Half Men: Manufacturing at Straightline Components

Sep 11, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, Business, Cool, Techniques  //  2 Comments

There’s a great pair of articles on Straightline’s manufacturing over on MMSOnline. The first talks about the company’s highly automated CNC manufacturing in general. Straightline makes Mountain Bike components, and was started by a family working together.
Here is a typical part, a stem:

While Straightline is a Canadian company based in Vancouver, rather than…

Alibre Acquired by 3D Systems: Is the Maker Movement Going Mainstream and Big Bucks?

Jul 19, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   3D Printing, Blog, Business, Cool  //  No Comments

This is a fascinating development (hat tip to Dezignworks blog for putting me on to it). 3D Systems is a 3D printing company (think everything from personal Reprap-style extruders on up to commercial industrial strength solutions) that went public relatively recently. They’re showing nearly $180 million a year in revenue and a market cap of…

CNCCookbook Receives Better Business Bureau Accreditation

Jul 16, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

I’m proud to announce that CNCCookbook is now a BBB accredited company. BBB is all about protecting consumers, and insuring integrity and trust. They put it best themselves. Here are their words:
BBB sees trust as a function of two primary factors – integrity and performance. Integrity includes respect, ethics and intent. Performance speaks to…

Remember Stuxnet? Technology Being Imported to the US is Being Laced With Hidden Hacker Tools

Jul 11, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

I’m not a huge fan of outsourcing manufacturing overseas, but now there is another reason to be concerned.

Remember Stuxnet? That was where the “good guys” (us presumably, though we won’t admit it outright) performed a little cyber-sabotage of the gear used to create Iran’s uranium-enrichment centrifuges for their nuclear program. Basically Siemens PLC’s controlling…

RAMTIC: Fast Super-Precision Manufacturing on Cheap Machines

Jun 6, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, Business, Cool, Techniques  //  9 Comments

A friend and I were discussing the problems of a lack of temperature compensation when 3D profiling. He was talking about how he’d run a group of 4 parts and the first one might have a big 0.003 or 0.004″ step in it at after a toolchange because the machine wasn’t warmed up properly. I…

Give Yourself a STOP-Doing List

Jun 1, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

If you’re organized at all, you make and use ToDo lists. I’ll bet most machinists and engineers are pretty organized in this respect. I know I’m an inveterate list maker, and have it down to a fine art. While I’ve tried using a lot of different software for the task, I have found Excel to…

The Emeco 1006: Made in America with Quality and Style

Apr 6, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, Business, Cool  //  No Comments

Manufacturing an iconic “best” of its kind that is both art and function right here in America. How do you go wrong with a story like that? The Emeco 1006 (ten-oh-six) was originally designed for the Navy, where it saw service on ships and submarines. Lately, its timeless style (the seat was said to be…

The Short List for Online Marketers at Small Businesses

Jan 5, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

My other blog is about entrepreneurship in the technology startup world (not to mention Cloud Technology, Mobile Computing, and Social Networks) and I’m a serial entrepreneur who has done 5 companies so far with a sixth (right here, baby!) underway. As such, I follow a lot of small business and entrepreneurship resources–I subscribe to nearly…

America: Built by the Little Guys, Not the Big Ones

Dec 22, 2010   //   by   //   Blog, Business  //  3 Comments

I correspond with quite a lot with friends in the Manufacturing world, as one of my big interests aside from software is building things.  Come to think of it, that’s really my interest in software too!
For a long time there has been a great hue and cry about the demise of Manufacturing in the…

The Future of Robots in Manufacturing

Dec 14, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  No Comments

I just watched a couple of fascinating videos on where robots are going and how that relates to manufacturing. They’re by Artificial Intelligence expert Rodney Brooks, who was also the man behind the iRobot robot vacuum cleaners. The nearly hour long series from Maker Faire 2009 can be seen here, but the interesting segment showing…



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