I have been learning MasterCAM now, so I set aside the learning of SketchUp. Many hours have been spent on this CAM software per week. I even want to buy a latest version reference book about MasterCAM from Amazon, it costs US$61.03 which is quite expensive to me. I hope I can be familiar with one CAM software first so that I can control my Shapeoko which is a DIY CNC Mill. I am also planning to modify the Shapeoko to become a 2’X3′ CNC Router in the future. If I can do it, I will own my production tool and I can make many interesting stuffs in large scale. I also think of buying a mini laser cut machine so that I can make some prototypes in my design process. I think that owing a tool is very important in experimental design and making.
A man, an idea, skills and a tool can make something interesting or even profitable. I see a very successful model — PROJECTIONE which is a design and fabrication firm based in England, they do design and fabricate it themselves. They do the project from the conceptual idea, digital design, digital fabrication to final installation, all of it is done by their own. They are designers and also makers. This model is quite unconventional and innovative. It can save many transaction cost and have a large profit in the end because design and making are unified. I have been watching the growth of them from a small firm with a CNC Router to a firm with many new machines such as laser cut, CNC Mill….etc. This new kind of model in design firm is worth our attention. If I can design a project from conceptual ideas to fabrication, I think the sense of satisfaction and achievement will be great!
What’s more, I am reading a book called “Makers — The new industrial revolution” by Chris Anderson. It gives me many inspiring ideas about becoming a maker and engaging in maker business. The old model of manufacturing industry will be gone in the coming days, the new technology like home 3D printer, personal CNC machines …etc, the maker movement, open source movement, open community, crowd funding will change the whole industry. Mass production may become obsolete, mass customization will become the norm in the future. I am excited to see what will happen in the realm of maker movement.
The following videos are about what I learned in MasterCAM.