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HOT TOPIC Can We Talk Tools for the "Maker Market"?

Lex DeVille

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A new industry has emerged called the "Maker Market." It's an industry of people who make cool shit from home. Along with the industry, there's a lot of companies selling shovels in the form of scaled down industrial equipment designed for garage-sized spaces.

I was hoping we might have some "Makers" among us who could share their thoughts on the different nifty tools and machines. For instance, I'm about to buy a laser engraver, my mom has a cool little paper cutter called a Cricut, and I just came across this thing called the Carvey that carves up all kinds of neat stuff.

What else is out there? What are some cool maker machines that were formerly only available to manufacturers? What machines cost just a few hundred or thousand that used to cost 5 or 6 figures? What opportunities are there for tools or machines that haven't been scaled down yet?

Glowforge - Laser Engraver
Cricut - Cutting Machine
Carvey - Carving Machine
 

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evlttwin

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3D Printers.

I'm printing something I designed on Fusion360 as we speak.

It will be done printing in a few hours. I'll test out the prototype and if there are no issues then i have to figure out my next step.

Manufacturing is the real hurdle isn't it?

China (cheap but a headache) or US (almost prohibitively expensive).
 
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Lex DeVille

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3D Printers.

I'm printing something I designed on Fusion360 as we speak.

It will be done printing in a few hours. I'll test out the prototype and if there are no issues then i have to figure out my next step.

Manufacturing is the real hurdle isn't it?

China (cheap but a headache) or US (almost prohibitively expensive).
What kind of stuff can you make with Fusion360? Does it just print plastic?
 

evlttwin

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What kind of stuff can you make with Fusion360? Does it just print plastic?
Mine prints plastic. There are other hybrids like wood filament (plastic/wood). I printed a wooden baby Groot, which was awesome.

Here is the printer I have (Creality CR-10s):

 

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Lex DeVille

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evlttwin

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On another note, if anyone in here knows a reputable anodized aluminum extrusion manufacturer ...gimme a holler.
 

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Awesome thread, looking forward to seeing what's out there. Fascinating as heck! Should be an easy GOLD/NOTABLE thread in no time.

Any vacuum packing machines for canning food?
 

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What else is out there? What are some cool maker machines that were formerly only available to manufacturers? What machines cost just a few hundred or thousand that used to cost 5 or 6 figures? What opportunities are there for tools or machines that haven't been scaled down yet?

Glowforge - Laser Engraver
Cricut - Cutting Machine
Carvey - Carving Machine
My friend showed me this little beauty Kniterate: The Digital Knitting Machine

It's a fully programmable desktop knitting machine, you could start a nice little biz with one of these things, and scale up as things go. Or even use it to create samples, saving you having to meet a factory's minimum order quantity requirements.

It raised over $600,000 on Kickstarter and costs around $5000

 

Roli

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Here's a baby groot printing from a printer in my garage (using wood filament):

View attachment 22740
Consider my mind blown!

Let me just make sure I'm understanding what is going on in that picture...

Am I right in thinking that you are printing wood?!?!

Fricking awesome dude.
 

Roli

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Mine prints plastic. There are other hybrids like wood filament (plastic/wood). I printed a wooden baby Groot, which was awesome.

Here is the printer I have (Creality CR-10s):

How much was this?
 
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Lex DeVille

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Vaquform
Professional-grade thermoforming made compact, affordable and easy-to-use. Claims you can start manufacturing from home instead of just prototyping. It's in pre-order stage now.

Hot Foil Stamping Machine
This one comes thanks to a link @RazorCut sent me. I'm not sure on the quality, so I'd probably look for a better model. If anyone has a link to something more reliable even if it's a higher price, I'd like to see it.
 
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Lex DeVille

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My friend showed me this little beauty Kniterate: The Digital Knitting Machine

It's a fully programmable desktop knitting machine, you could start a nice little biz with one of these things, and scale up as things go. Or even use it to create samples, saving you having to meet a factory's minimum order quantity requirements.

It raised over $600,000 on Kickstarter and costs around $5000

That is truly badass. It's bigger than it looks in the picture, but still cool. Looks like it's about $7200 pre-order. Love the idea of making my own clothes.
 

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Shapeoko 3.jpg


The Shapeoko 3 is a great piece of kit. I have been a long time follower of the inventor as he is part of a 3 some podcast I listen to. They also do a Shapeoko XXL.

Carbide 3D


That is truly badass. It's bigger than it looks in the picture, but still cool. Looks like it's about $7200 pre-order. Love the idea of making my own clothes.
It didn't look that big so I thought you might only be able to use it for scarfs and willy warmers. ;):happy:
 
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Hot Foil Stamping Machine
This one comes thanks to a link @RazorCut sent me. I'm not sure on the quality, so I'd probably look for a better model. If anyone has a link to something more reliable even if it's a higher price, I'd like to see it.
I'm not sure on the quality either but its just a thermostatically controlled hot plate so really just an iron in a frame at the end of the day.
 

Roli

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That is truly badass. It's bigger than it looks in the picture, but still cool.
Yeah that's what put my friend off getting one in the end (that and the fact he's an eternal procrastinator). It won't fit on your desktop, unless you've got a big desk! However would fit nicely in a spare room or garage.

I think this could make the fee back just in the money you save yourself on your own clothes, let alone selling anything you make. :)
 
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Lex DeVille

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OPPORTUNITY

Anyone know of an affordable machine for making corrugated boxes?

Would love to control my packaging instead of paying crazy prices for U.S. or playing guessing games with China. I like this idea because it's a service most crafters and makers need.

All I've found so far were industrial size machines that need a full-size warehouse or manufacturing facility and a team of people to operate. On the sourcing websites they go for $20,000 up to $500,000 or more.

Plus it seems like you need several different machines to complete the process. This could make a good Kickstarter project if someone could figure it out. Here's what a smaller machine looks like. Not exactly small-space friendly. Definitely not wallet friendly.

 

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Lex DeVille

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Is there a freelance platform for makers?

The closest thing I found was Etsy, but you can't post a job and let makers come to you (as far as I can tell). Seems like a potential "next big thing" in freelancing. Where can I go to just post what I want and have someone pitch me on their services?

"I need a leather worker to create 50 custom leather shark laser key chains. If that's you, please send past samples and your price."

Is this a thing yet or is this an opportunity?
 
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Lex DeVille

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Awesome thread, looking forward to seeing what's out there. Fascinating as heck! Should be an easy GOLD/NOTABLE thread in no time.

Any vacuum packing machines for canning food?
There's a few out there. Looks like they're mostly manual operation. A few semi-automatic models around $800. They don't have reviews on Amazon though.

Semi-Automatic Can Sealer
 

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Is there a freelance platform for makers?

The closest thing I found was Etsy, but you can't post a job and let makers come to you (as far as I can tell). Seems like a potential "next big thing" in freelancing. Where can I go to just post what I want and have someone pitch me on their services?

"I need a leather worker to create 50 custom leather shark laser key chains. If that's you, please send past samples and your price."

Is this a thing yet or is this an opportunity?
etsy used to have something similar called 'etsy manufacturing' which was a marketplace for matching small batch manufacturers with sellers sounds like what your describing, they closed it down earlier this year. A bit different but theres also makers row.
 

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I've got the 3d printer that was mentioned in this thread. To add on about fusion360. Fusion 360 does let you 3d print things, but it also works for CNC machines where you can cut wood/metal/ any material you want.
 

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3D printer.
I actually have a small investment in a 3D printing company (FU pot).

Would love to control my packaging instead of paying crazy prices for U.S. or playing guessing games with China. I like this idea because it's a service most crafters and makers need.
Is there a freelance platform for makers?
Not only is the thread super exciting (the creative side in me is grinning!) it seems there are a ton of opportunities in the space. The old "sell shovels" concept.

Love the idea of custom boxes. I haven't been able to find good sized ones that perfectly match my needs.
 

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The coolest thing that I've seen lately on the 3-D printing front was a lab building composite parts with a Markforged printer which weaves carbon fiber into the end product. We also have a few maker type spaces at school which some people are starting to use to finish leather products and to prototyping custom commercial drone parts.
 

evlttwin

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