Most people know that Hewlett-Packard and Apple both started off in a Garage.
People generally do not realise that there are many more such companies such as Amazon, Disney, Harley Davidson and Google that also started off from a garage.
Well, I am proud to say that CNC Design Limited also started off in a small garage that has been turned into a workshop and is STILL in that garage !!
If we need to acquire a new machine for our workshop, and commercial ones are too big, we simply make a smaller version to fit into our cramped garage!
So what have we done in our garage? and what project are we going to try and kickstart?
My company designs and manufactures CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines.
We design the mechanics, we design the electronics and we write the software to control it all.
Research and development, small quantity manufacturing, the design of unique new machines to accomplish tasks needing automation is what CNC Design Limited is all about.
Our marketing targets are the small business and home/hobby markets. Our foundational goal is producing machines of high quality at an affordable price.
We love what we do.
Our website is over at http://www.cncdudez.co.uk where you can see other prototype and production machines we have built, all the way from a high speed 3D Printer that can ice and decorate cakes, to a heavy duty CNC Milling machine we use to produce parts we can use in the production of smaller machines.
For this Kickstarter project we are focusing on:
The Dynamically Controlled CNC Coil Winding Machine
Our latest Desktop CNC Coil Winder is ideal for anyone who needs to produce small quantity runs of coils or custom one-off coils.
A vast range of different coils can be wound for electronic projects.
Our machine is unique within the Guitar Pickup winding community and attractive to other small niche markets as well, such as Tattoo gun coils and hobby motor rewinds.
As development has progressed, we have been assembling small batches of winding machines, and now we are at the stage where we we are completely confident this machine does exacty what it says on the tin!
WINDS COILS :)
This machine is sturdy with no flex or wobble even at high speeds.
It is constructed from aluminium extrusions and 6mm thick aluminium angle. It is topped with high quality linear bearings and solid rails. This machine is designed to get the job done.
We could have chosen a cheaper construction method such as rigid plastic and low cost bars, but what's the point!
Here is a video of the Windows Software controlling the machine and just showing some random speed/distance commands being sent.
Some moves are shown with ramping and others without. There are short bursts and longer runs.
You can basically configure it however you want in order to wind the custom coil you have in mind.
We are using a DC motor controlled by a PWM circuit with attached encoder for clear monitoring of the position/speed of the bobbin motor.
The Wire Feeder arm/tensioner is attached to a high quality ball screw with near zero backlash. It is controlled via a stepper motor which gives us the needed resolution for very small wire.
The machine will arrive fitted with sliding tailstock and rubber stops. (The rubber stops being despatched with the machines are slightly smaller than those shown in the video.)
A 10mm drill chuck that can take a number of different bobbin holders, as well as another rubber stop are supplied with the machine. This part is attached to a gearbox for more torque and can go up to 2000 RPM
Attached to the machine is an Emergency Stop button and an electronic panel which contains switches, indicators and voltage readout.
Firmware can be upgraded over the USB port, and all Software/Firmware is free.
Wind your own Coils for electronic projects.
Wind your own Guitar coils.
Wind your own Tattoo gun coils.
Basically it should cover most tasks for small business/hobby needs.
The Machine runs on DC power, 11-14 volts recommended. You will need to provide your own power supply, but we can help advise on this.
Dimensions 425mm width x 280mm depth height with top extension bar approximately 320mm
Max Bobbin Diameter 150mm
Max Feeder Travel approximately 220mm
Max RPM 2000
Feeder Max Resolution 0.025mm
Manual Wire Tensioner
Keyless 10mm Chuck
Status Panel Lights
Built in Emergency Stop Button
Free Firmware Upgrades and Free Windows Software.
Access to a VIP support area, where we can help you setup your machine and tweak the software to suit your every need.
Requires 11-14 volt power supply (Not Included, please see forums for recomendations.)
The Software and Firmware is under continuous development and constantly is being tweaked as we go along. This is a FREE service that we offer. We will endeavour to incorporate and add anyone's ideas if we can.
Here are some screen shots.
Machines Despatched for 2012 to early adopters/testers.
So far we have made and despatched 3 batches of machines to early adopters who have helped us by suggesting what Software changes they would like to see. The first batch of 5 were despatched in April, 2012.
We even made a smaller version for one of our customers who had little room to spare in his workshop. See the small machine in the photo below.
The next batch of 10 were completed and sent out at the end of August, 2012.
The third batch of 10 we sent out at the end of October, 2012.
We are working on a Pendant Add-on that will let you manually control the machine and playback any winding patterns you have recorded.
This nifty feature is mainly for the guys using the machine for winding special patterns into Guitar Bobbins.
Guitar Bobbin Plates
We can make up Bobbin plates for mounting Guitar Bobbins.
With our new Muscle CNC Machine now complete, we are continually working on improving parts. Below is the new Version 3.0 of the Guitar Bobbin Plates that are now being sent out.
Below are some pictures showing the coils that have been wound using the Coil Winding Machine.
Risks and challenges
We have been producing small batches of 5 & 10 machines for early adopters who know that, as such, this project has been a work in development.
Many of the bugs have been ironed out and most of the Proof Of Concept (POC ) has been satisfied showing the machine performs as we expect it to.
While our initial product lines are in final stages of development, most of the startup work has been accomplished and we have managed diligently to keep our machine at a low price when compared to other commercial machines out there.
We are confident we can produce 100 machines and get them out-the-door in good time without the many challenges and risks that have already been overcome in the last 6 months.
We now have the following in place:
1) The design is finished and has been in testing by early adopters for the last 6 months.
2) Suppliers are sourced and secured for specialist components giving us access to all needed parts.
3) A significant number of parts and components we manufacture ourselves to keep the price down. Currently, all the machinery we require is in place.
4) Software and Firmware is complete, and we continue to offer free upgrades and enhancements that people may request.
5) This is our own design from the ground up. We designed and produced the mechanics, the electronics, the firmware and the software. We do not rely on third party companies to perform tweaks or fixes for us.
6) Proof Of Concept is already done with over 25 units out there being used and tested by serious early adopters.
7) Any necessary support is available via our website, complete with forums and member areas.
Challenges we see in ramping up the production to meet anticipated demand:
1) Moving out of the garage into a bigger workshop.
Although it will be a challenge in manpower to do this, we do not anticipate that finding a property in the current economic climate will be a problem.
Sadly for some, there are a lot of empty properties at the moment due to these tough times.
2) Hiring a work force to help us produce and assemble the units.
We are a small family run business and can pull in resources quickly when needed. We will be happy and proud to create local jobs and invest back into the community.
3) Source and supply of parts.
For precision parts that we do not make ourselves, we have companies that are already supplying us. In addition, we have alternative companies that can supply virtually identical products.
1) Investment of money for Design, Fabrication and Completion of Proof Of Concept on the product.
These investments have already been made. We have invested our own time and money doing all of the above, not just for this machine but for other machines in our product line.
This means to us there is Low Risk as we researched the market before we even started prototyping the product.
We are delighted and surprised at the high level of interest the CNC Coil Winder has created around the world. Even though we have ongoing development costs, the units we have sent out to early adopters have covered the development costs to date.
The funding of this project will be directed toward further development of our product line enabling us to expand out of the garage. We intend to keep the garage for R&D purposes and develop the many other ideas we have.
2) It is difficult to see extended risks.
We are confident, given our extensive experience to date with this project, that we can perform to expectations and offer ongoing support and help as needed.
Our thanks for backing CNC Design Limited in reaching our goal of funding.
We will place your name up on the Supporters area of our website and give you access to the VIP member area of the support forums.