When I lent my services to a collegue who was working on a film about 12 years ago, I was introduced to the world of cnc. I remember watching this huge machining centre milling out a slab of mdf and turning it into a fantastic set of gears. I knew that it would have taken me hours to achieve the same thing with traditional power tools. I decided then that I would invest in a cnc router for my own business Oxenham Design. At that time I could turn on a computer, but even to check email seemed like a crazy set of operations. I persevered and learned every piece of relevant software I could get my hands on. I am now fortunate enough to be using Vectric's ASPIRE software, and Techno cnc routers, which has helped us to create some amazing projects, both in part, or in full. I thought that this blog would be a great place to share "behind the scenes" adventures with the software, materials and equipment we use, as well as the projects we build.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Techno cnc and diversification

One of the few things I will never regret is buying our Techno cnc. I have said before that I have owned other routers, but none of these routers were capable of delivering what we needed all the time. I used to have to turn down some work as I wasn't comfortable with the old routers ability to hold their positional accuracy. One job in particular was 3D machining a vac-form mold from 3" thick cast acrylic. This sheet was in the neighborhood $7000. With that kind of a material cost, I couldn't stomach the thought of some lost steps! That job would have been pretty good money, but at the time, the cost to replace a messed up sheet would have had some serious side effects!
Now that we have definitely moved 'up' to our Techno cnc, I no longer have that concern. It's quite a feeling to not worry about the machine not being capable. The other blessing of owning cnc is the ability to expand on you current business. Don't get me wrong, I love making props and miniatures for film and television, as well as all the other ad campaigns we get to work on. However, this industry can be very up and down. I know a few producers that only find work twice a year. But by expanding our capabilities, largely with our Techno cnc at the helm, we have diversified quite a bit since the beginning. We now carve all the dimensional sign work for 4 sign shops who focus more on vinyl and printing, and we also now have started cutting paint stencils for the city. Like handicap parking and arrows, etc. This becomes an added revenue stream for a company that would struggle on the entertainment industry alone. One of the first thing I really like seeing at the start of the day is the happy face on our Techno cnc smiling, ready to work it's butt off whenever I say the word!

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