While I have found a great machine shop to produce what's needed, with a far better CNC Machine than would fit in my workshop I am still keen to get my hands on a smaller machine for prototype & one off designs, additional 3D printing machines, cutters, & routing machines.
After years of making things inside a computer, without having to worry about the build in the real world, I feel I have been missing out. Perhaps it's the advent of 3D Printing that sparked the desire to build, or a natural progression, though I can't help feeling that while I think this is the forefront of the Technology Revolution, it may also be just a little too late.
While I feel I pursued a linear path, it is also one that has found itself right back at the beginning, full Circle, as if the last 30 years never happened. When I left school in the 80's, there was nothing I liked more than to produce technical drawings, engineering, manual lathes & milling machines where also used, but back then I don't remember the focus was for us to be the designer, just one of the cogs in a bigger machine. Sure we made a few things but no where near enough, and little of any immediate use.
So why now?
Well there where a number of reasons, but mainly a logical progression, time will tell if logic & economics should really have been my guide. The idea of buying a machine to produce the support equipment I need rather than buying the equipment seemed to be the best way to go for me. Though I'm finding this route may actually end up costing far more than the support equipment and take longer to achieve, and take up more of my time. Though I also feel it will have many other benefits too!
Service Industry or Product Manufacture, Consumer or Producer?
1. Skills & Training of others
2. Equipment Purchase or CNC Machine
3. XYZ Linear Movement & Programed Movement
4 Repeating Patterns
There are many things I would like to design & build but time & resources dictate starting with something small. I'm still waiting for the design Inspiration for something with less part's than a bike or camera stabilizer, perhaps it will come to me while working on this project.
Most of the Camera Stabilizer & additional support equipment has been built, now it's a case of refining the ideas, as new insight & changing circumstances dictate, perhaps I should take Philip Blooms advice and concentrate on making a living from photography & video?
Though to me most of my photography is not constructed, it's opportunistic, being at the right place at the right time. Design is a little different in that nothing happens without a lot of thought.
Time will tell if I go down the route of CNC's and producing everything myself or outsourcing & offshoring the production. For small runs making everything seems the only way to go.
Ideally £10k should get a decent CNC, though I've seen some decent machines going for a lot less, but I know I will quickly find out what else will be needed, more tools & materials, not to mention the time thats still needs to be invested.
There are a number of reasons I have to try to make this project a reality, production in the UK isn't what it should be, most of it taken away in the 80's If I can do my part to bring a little back for old times sake and a future living a life less ordinary, I have to have a go.