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Thread: How Do I Find a Local Mentor To Help Me Solve Laser and CNC Issues?

  1. #1

    How Do I Find a Local Mentor To Help Me Solve Laser and CNC Issues?

    Hi. I have a small manufacturing company in Los Angeles. I'm in need of a mentor or advisor who can help me solve some minor but frustraing fabrication issues. I'm willing to offer compensation.

    IMPORTANT: THEY MUST BE LOCAL.

    I've tried the remote thing, folks; it doesn't work. I need someone local and hands-on, primarliy so they can show me how to repeat the process once we find a solution. It will be a bit of trial and error, but not endless.

    I own my own Epilog laser and am in the process of acquiring a small benchtop CNC router.

    It seems to me someone semi-retired or a student or teacher off for the summer would be a good fit.

    And again, this must be someone local to Los Angeles. I could come to their location if the L.A. traffic is too big of an annoyance.

    I appreciate your input. I'm pulling my hair out trying to find someone.

    Be Well,
    Scott

  2. #2
    Try to get contacts in your area from your machines' vendors, associated forums or a job posting service like indeed.com or ziprecruiter.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    Try to get contacts in your area from your machines' vendors, associated forums or a job posting service like indeed.com or ziprecruiter.
    Kevin, thanks. I'm also looking at local community colleges with CNC instructions, etc.

    The problem with machine shops is they want to charge us $500-600 just for setup on this job, which I absolutely refuse to pay. I've learned everything on my own, at a fraction of the cost, but I like the indeed and ziprecruiter idea. I'll be buying my own machine and learning over the summer.

    Thanks. Anyone else have any ideas?

    Take Care,
    Scott

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
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    1,611
    Have you found a CNC router you want to buy? Most brands have a forum with plenty of members. For example ShapeOKO has a lot of users so posting on their forum looking for someone local should get results.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    Have you found a CNC router you want to buy? Most brands have a forum with plenty of members. For example ShapeOKO has a lot of users so posting on their forum looking for someone local should get results.
    Alex, good idea, thanks. I've already found one of those forums on Facebook for one of the brands I'm looking at, and there are thousands of members in that group. I assume the others would have something similar.

    I have the money in the bank, but I tend to do a lot of research before I pull the trigger on a major purchase like this. Below are the brands I'm considering at the moment. You're welcome to comment on any of these, or suggest an additional brand. At some point I'll be posting on SCW asking for more specific recommendations from members, but I'm not there yet.

    SainSmart/Genmitsu
    Bob's CNC
    Shapeoko
    Inventables
    Avid

    This last one was mentioned by a member here a couple of months ago and is intriguing because it has a 7" Z-Axis travel, more than twice what the other ones have, which really fits one of the main processes I'll be doing with the machine.

    Anyone reading this is welcome to comment on my list. l'm also open to useful information.

    Take Care,
    Scott
    Last edited by Scott Memmer; 05-17-2021 at 1:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
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    Avid, the rest on your list are toys for a hobbyist. If you do some searching and reading on here you will find that out.
    Last edited by Bill George; 05-17-2021 at 8:26 AM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    Avid, the rest on your list are toys for a hobbyist. If you do some searching and reading on here you will find that out.
    Bill, hi, thanks for your post and response. I'm glad to hear you say that about AVID. They look fabulous.

    That being said, I have an absolute top budget number of this acquisition at $2000. I simply cannot -- and will not -- spend more than this.

    So here's the important question. I'm looking at a benchtop unit of theirs called the 2424, which is already at the very top of my budget range. In the photos on the site, this unit appears to come without the router and spindle. Does the router cost extra? If that is the case, I cannot buy this machine.

    Can you, Bill, or someone else here on SCF, please confirm this? Do Avid machines require the additional cost of a spindle, or do the kits come complete, soup to nuts? I also have a message into the company as well.

    Thanks Very Much,
    Scott
    Last edited by Scott Memmer; 05-17-2021 at 1:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,746
    Unless you order at extra cost none of the Avid machines come with routers or spindles. At your budget your looking at just hobby grade machines not production as you need.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    Unless you order at extra cost none of the Avid machines come with routers or spindles. At your budget your looking at just hobby grade machines not production as you need.
    Agreed, Bill. An Avid machine just doesn't make sense for me. I'm cutting almost 100% plastic, not metal or wood, and the machine will be used sparingly for the first few years. An Avid (or comparable) is not the right way for me to go at present. To me, the most important factor as I see it is profitability and ROI. I've spent five years of sweat equity building my company and have good reserves in the bank. I did it by being cheap and improvising whenever possible.

    Thank you for your post and opinion. If our company grows as it's projected to do, an Avid kind of machine will be in our future.

    Take Care,
    sm

  10. #10
    Scott,

    Take a look at the Onefinity CNC. They have a unique design that makes the machine much more stout than other machines in that $2,000 class. They are extremely easy to set up. Demand for these machines has grown tremendously so you will need to be patient. My order wasn't supposed to arrive until August but I got lucky and ran across one on Marketplace that was new in-the-box that I was able to acquire. I got the refund on my original order in less than an hour of inquiring.

    Onefinity company representatives monitor the forums and are responsive to anyone having issues. A company who cares about after-the-sale support, what a novel concept.
    -
    David Takes
    Expressions Engraved
    St. Joseph, MO

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by David Takes View Post
    Scott,

    Take a look at the Onefinity CNC. They have a unique design that makes the machine much more stout than other machines in that $2,000 class. They are extremely easy to set up. Demand for these machines has grown tremendously so you will need to be patient. My order wasn't supposed to arrive until August but I got lucky and ran across one on Marketplace that was new in-the-box that I was able to acquire. I got the refund on my original order in less than an hour of inquiring.

    Onefinity company representatives monitor the forums and are responsive to anyone having issues. A company who cares about after-the-sale support, what a novel concept.
    David, hi, thanks so much for this. As an academic, I tend to do a ton of research before pulling the trigger, so more grist for the mill is always appreciated. I'll take a look now and add them to my list.

    Thanks Again,
    Scott M.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Memmer View Post
    ... I have an absolute top budget number of this acquisition at $2000. I simply cannot -- and will not -- spend more than this.
    If you're trying to start a legitimate money making business, the above is your #1 biggest obstacle...

    As my signature says, I've accumulated 19 various engraving/signmaking machines over the years, all taking up space in our home (along with several blowers, air compressors, saws, sanders, drill presses, etc etc.)... No buyers remorse, ever. All but 2 machines are used regularly, and those 2 can be put in service within a day if need be. If my old man hadn't spent good money on his first engraving machine back in 1966, I'd probably still be flipping burgers at Denny's...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  13. #13

    Let's be friendly.

    Ok guys. Let's be friendly. Everyone situations are different. Not everyone needs a top notch machine to make money. It depends what you are doing. You can buy the most fantastic machine in the world, and it can sit there and make zero money. While a nice machine can help. It really is the person behind the business. Tools are just tools.

    Many people do just fine with less expensive machines. Many would have scoffed at many of us buying chinese lasers to run a business as an example, and not buying universal lasers(owned 2 in the past my self, but not anymore). While Universal is a great machine there are thing that a china machine can do pretty well and at the same speed.

    I have 1 more name to throw in the hat for an under $2000 machine with potential.

    www.sienci.com


    “Manifesting our visions into reality is just like a puzzle. First we take a good look at a picture of the end result, hold onto it, and then set out to fit together the pieces.”
    ― Daniel Chidiac
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 06-14-2021 at 7:44 AM.
    Redsail x700, 50watt & Shenhui 350, 50 watt

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    I'll say that if you have only ONE or two jobs the CNC will run, and will EASILY fit inside the limitations of the Shapeoko, or similar, then go buy one. I've got and xxl and it works well, but I use it sparingly as I just don't have time to watch it and do my laser business. One is in shop, lasers in basement. And I'm not going to run the cnc by remote. Need to be close. BUT, your budget is WAY limiting factor. $2k will only buy you the smallest least powerful cnc. And even at that, you have DC and tooling to consider plus probably a router to add into the mix. $3k for new total in is better, you MIGHT find used under your budget.
    And add in software cost, PC to run the thing, (I forget those costs)
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser Ray Fine 20watt Fiber Laser
    SFX 50 Watt Fiber Laser
    PM2000, Delta BS, Delta sander, Powermatic 50 jointer,
    Powermatic 100-12 planer, Rockwell 15-126 radial drill press
    Rockwell 46-450 lathe, and 2 Walker Turner RA1100 radial saws
    Jet JWS18, bandsaw Carbide Create CNC, RIA 22TCM 1911s and others

  15. #15
    @Scott Memmer: Arent you the man who makes very thin, high quality, guitar picks? Is that the business you are referring to?

    Forgive me if I have the wrong person. Just thought it might help these guys to know the type of work you are doing.

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