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The Power of Smallᵀᴹ

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Do you remember the time when most of the things were made here, they were durable, repairable and they would last for a very long time?
Do you remember the time when shop and other hands-on trades training were part of the school curriculum?
And you also probably remember when all this deteriorated, was bought and moved oversees and centralized by mega corporations... And this is great for few industries, but for a lot of small shop and inventors, makers and hobbyists, there is a real need in local distributed manufacturing. We are looking for your help to spread the word about our new initiative which we call "The Power of Small".


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What is The Power of Smallᵀᴹ ?

• Small businesses doing big projects with low amounts of capital;

• Office-desk sized machines making large parts - 100lbs and more;

• On-shore, distributed manufacturing on a national or international scale;

• Converting 100% waste plastics directly into viable finished goods - affordably and locally;

• A sustainable and economical plastic molding and extrusion technology;

This isn't our fantasy. This is our reality.

Plastics have a reputation of being very harmful to the environment. While this may be true of plastics incorrectly disposed of, a lot of plastic can, and should, be recycled. The ability to convert previously used plastics into new products on a local scale isn't commercially viability. Yet.

We are actively working on a video series to explain how our new Omachron Plastics Inc. Molding and Extrusion Technology enables sustainable use of plastics.
You can check out our introductory clip here.

On our YouTube channel, you will also find another video series. Its purpose is to assist people with fabricating and machining plastics.

Our goal is to enable like-minded people to create a community dedicated to manufacturing high-quality plastic products cost-effectively, locally, and sustainably.

We are the most environmentally friendly company in this industry. Bold statement? Sure (literally and figuratively) - but why not subscribe to our channel and decide for yourself.

We encourage you to share your thoughts and recommendations with us. We're all in this together, and this is just the start!

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Comments

#2
I don't think plastics has a place on a machinist forum.

[moderator's note: This vendor has done a lot to support our site and encourage hobby machining. They belong here.]
 
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#3
It is a material that is used vastly and machined to a great deal. It can be a challenge to machine plastics. It is just another type of material. Take alook at all the plastic products out there that are machined. It s huge!
 
#4
I have a textile machine shop... I've turned a lot of plastic in my time...

Turning plastic.JPG
 
#5
Wow please don't tell my grand daughter that plastics don't belong on a machinists forum. I helped her machine a complete working model of one of our inland river locks. Mostly out of acrylic. And it worked.

dry fitting structure.jpg large upper valve vent water test chamber full.jpg


David
 
#6
I would think since the same machines are used to convert chunks of plastic to usable objects just like chunks of steel are converted to usable objects that plastic certainly belongs in a machinist forum.
 
#7
Ok, you have piqued my interest. But I'm a bit confused after seeing your vid as there was no machining plastic mentioned but only molding.

Your opening statement "remember when?" was something that is very timely and close to all our hearts. One MAJOR component of this statement that's missing is more jobs have been lost from automation initially and is now really ramping up in the offshored jobs too as they are being replaced by automation. There is now 1/8 of the workforce that was being employed just a couple of years ago. Quickly the jobs of even tending machines is even going to dwindle. But these mega factories have a hole and that's specialized small runs. This is where small,smart, light, local and fast is going to find a niche IMHO. I believe the relatively cheap transportation over vast distances is also going to play havoc with bottom lines for even the mega corps. So a bleak as it looks right now there might be a place for the right next thing.

Problem with plastic is there needs a drastic evolution. It's synonymous with cheap throw away so this stands in contrast to your "remember when they were durable, repairable and they would last for a very long time? "
 
#8
Machining is machining, in aluminum, steel, plastics or wood. It is still machining.

I often prototype something in wood or plastic to get the kinks out before doing it in metal for the final. It is a great way to save time and money, and easy to fix problems.
 
#9
I tend to look at plastics more like alloy steels. They can add this and that. There are some tough durable and hard plastics out there. I ve spun some in chucks being too greedy with no mark left at all. Nightmare on tooling. Probably worst job I have ever ran on a screw machine. Could not get any production with tooling deteriating so fast until high dollar carbide tooling was made. We kicked that one out the door and my boss lost huge. All kinds of brilliant stuff out there. Don t underestimate them.
 
#10
I tend to look at plastics more like alloy steels. They can add this and that. There are some tough durable and hard plastics out there. I ve spun some in chucks being too greedy with no mark left at all. Nightmare on tooling. Probably worst job I have ever ran on a screw machine. Could not get any production with tooling deteriating so fast until high dollar carbide tooling was made. We kicked that one out the door and my boss lost huge. All kinds of brilliant stuff out there. Don t underestimate them.
I agree, the right material for the job. I guess I'm most interested in how different plastics can truly recycled. Right now it's a degenerative process that each time it goes through it degrades and after the fourth gen it's done. I saw a while back where a Stanford prof had found the chemical additive or something that would make it recyclable indefinitely. There is a lot of potential there that I'd like to see evolve where we are not just turning the oceans to plastic slurry. And in the process moving ahead instead of a looming brick wall.
 
#11
I just milled, turned and drilled a 7" chunk of PVC to make an inlet strainer for a water pump. Hmmm, wonder what you would call what I was doing? Plasticing? Syntheticing? Plastismithing?........... Miserable stringy "chips", BTW..............Bob
 
#12
In 40 yrs. of machining I would hate to guess how many tons of plastics I've machined at companies like Rosemount Eng., Lockhead, Stratisys. SiMed, Boston Scientific, Mentor. Plastics are a BIG part of the machining world.
 
#13
Based on cubic feet of chips produced, I'm sure I have machined more plastic than metal.

Here is one run just doing a secondary operation on a couple hundred parts
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#14
Jim , that mess will be a picnic table some day soon . Our scrapped Unilever detergent bottles were recycled and made into picnic tables , signs etc and donated to all of our countries national parks . :encourage:
 
#15
I Really like the idea or movement of gathering plastic for manufacturing to maybe combat this load on Mother Earth. Also a movement to the possibilty of more local work in the Machining Industry. I am small. I do think there is a positive movement happening to more of the power small and local manufacturing. A Mind Set has somewhat changed for the good. I think! People still need to be educated and not throw everything away.
 
#16
My small biz exists because there is a bunch of folks who love that they know the guy who makes it. They don't want something that has been churned out by a mega corp by the millions/billions. Granted this is a percentage of the whole, but I've talked to others in other fields and they see the same thing. Unlike the mega corp's we don't need it all. Just enough to make it worthwhile. In my case it's my retirement as I never worked for anybody who offered a real retirement like my dad has.
It's interesting this is being pitched to this forum. For me it's because I've always been a junkyard dog repurposing before the word was popular because I HATE waste, planned obsolescence and never was a chaser of the latest and greatest. Some us saving old iron and keeping manual techniques alive seems to dovetail. But I'll admit plastic is not my preferred medium as I mostly work in mild steel and aluminum. I love UHMW and Delrin for their specific wear properties but don't see making a machine or tooling out of it. I guess I just need more examples of applications?
 
#17
Ok, you have piqued my interest. But I'm a bit confused after seeing your vid as there was no machining plastic mentioned but only molding.

Your opening statement "remember when?" was something that is very timely and close to all our hearts. One MAJOR component of this statement that's missing is more jobs have been lost from automation initially and is now really ramping up in the offshored jobs too as they are being replaced by automation. There is now 1/8 of the workforce that was being employed just a couple of years ago. Quickly the jobs of even tending machines is even going to dwindle. But these mega factories have a hole and that's specialized small runs. This is where small,smart, light, local and fast is going to find a niche IMHO. I believe the relatively cheap transportation over vast distances is also going to play havoc with bottom lines for even the mega corps. So a bleak as it looks right now there might be a place for the right next thing.

Problem with plastic is there needs a drastic evolution. It's synonymous with cheap throw away so this stands in contrast to your "remember when they were durable, repairable and they would last for a very long time? "
I guess, I had a mixed message between the machining and stuff that lasts forever made of plastic.

Regarding the perception of plastic to be cheap, it wasn't used to be like that and we are working hard to change it. You possibly could be interested to subscribe to our mailing list on our website or to our YouTube channel so that you are kept in a know for the developing technology we will be introducing in the coming year. we are trying to enable local distributed manufacturing, we call in "The Power of Small".

We had another post on this forum about how to machine, drill etc different plastics. We started with very basics, as we had a lot of basic questions from people who come from woodworking or metal working background. So we felt that it is important to start how to videos from zero ground.
We just posted another video, and here is our channel with all the videos we have to date:
 
#18
Wow! Now I know, thanks!
 
#19
My small biz exists because there is a bunch of folks who love that they know the guy who makes it. They don't want something that has been churned out by a mega corp by the millions/billions. Granted this is a percentage of the whole, but I've talked to others in other fields and they see the same thing. Unlike the mega corp's we don't need it all. Just enough to make it worthwhile. In my case it's my retirement as I never worked for anybody who offered a real retirement like my dad has.
It's interesting this is being pitched to this forum. For me it's because I've always been a junkyard dog repurposing before the word was popular because I HATE waste, planned obsolescence and never was a chaser of the latest and greatest. Some us saving old iron and keeping manual techniques alive seems to dovetail. But I'll admit plastic is not my preferred medium as I mostly work in mild steel and aluminum. I love UHMW and Delrin for their specific wear properties but don't see making a machine or tooling out of it. I guess I just need more examples of applications?
To understand a bit better were we are coming from, perhaps you'd be interested to see 2 short videos where Wayne Conrad (our chief scientist) talks at Ignite event where young enterpreneurs were given awards for their innovations:
Enabling Local Distributed Manufacturing
Knowledge economy and core manufacturing

We (Omachron) are working hard to make sure that all this is not just popular sound bites, but that there is an actual very affordable equipment available to people, this equipment can be installed in their garage. In 2019 we will be introducing small injection molding, plastic extrusion and small CNC equipment. It is going to be a long path, but hopefully worth it.
 
#20
I look forward to seeing your IM equipment.
I often make hundreds of parts from extruded plastic materials (noun) because the quantity is to low to make a mold an economical choice.

Also if you can produce a PET product that is not terrible to machine I would be very thankful.
I have turned Ensinger's TECAPET which they consider "modified for improved machining", I hope to never turn the unimproved version.
 
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#21
To understand a bit better were we are coming from, perhaps you'd be interested to see 2 short videos where Wayne Conrad (our chief scientist) talks at Ignite event where young enterpreneurs were given awards for their innovations:
Enabling Local Distributed Manufacturing
Knowledge economy and core manufacturing

We (Omachron) are working hard to make sure that all this is not just popular sound bites, but that there is an actual very affordable equipment available to people, this equipment can be installed in their garage. In 2019 we will be introducing small injection molding, plastic extrusion and small CNC equipment. It is going to be a long path, but hopefully worth it.
Watched them both and they were still very general and had some great sound bites. But if this is mostly about selling new equipment I'm going to be disappointed. I was hoping the first step was going to start laying out the vision of distributed manufacturing through seeing who on this site can or want to make parts for the machines in the affordable equipment you want to do the process with. There are literally 1,000's of members with all kinds of machines and levels of experience and varying expertise. I've always seen this as an unharnessed potential just waiting for an open source local distributed manufacturing opportunity. Not everybody will be able or want to participate but it would be an interesting way to utilize those who want to. As long as it doesn't turn into some kind of Uber race to the bottom with people undercutting each other.

This way of manufacturing is in no way new. Lots of big manufacturers like GM, Ford, Chrysler etc had small companies making parts for them. Toyota early on had small shops that contracted for certain things. I was fascinated by how the Allies couldn't knock out the manufacture of the FW 190 in WWII because Kurt Tank, the engineer, designed it to be made in small shops by craftsmen like cabinet shops, auto plants, metal shops etc then assembled elsewhere. Unlike Messerschmitt which was made in centralized plants which the bombers were able find and bomb easily.

This is an exciting thing in concept. It's all going to be about the execution.
 
#22
I ll throw this out there. I would love to be a Guinea Pig. I am small trying to find my way back in the trade. Have some ideas that need to be developed. I have a four year plan and it s been over a year. The Machining Industry has accelerated out of control in my opinion. Every one wants or needs the answer but the people who can take a problem and solve it are becoming rare. The power of small isn t just about equipment. I think this is where the true craftsman will be that can solve problems without aids and computer help. Don t get me wrong there are brilliant minds out there but were losing are true understanding of what is happening.
When I started out I had an old Mentor from Scotland teach me. He made me stand and watch the machines for three months. It was a Screw Machine Shop. I could not move even to sweep the floor. After some time I was able to see the crashes and tooling deteriate. I Thought it was crazy but today I know why. He took me aside and gave me projects that did not make sense and I struggled with. He did not care about my wasted time. He was preparing me so he could leave the shop and I could step in and solve issues and have the understanding to work around tooling and our equipment. I don t know if this exists today and the small shops have to be crafty to exist. Machinery costs are out of this world. I would love to see doors open for the small shop to be able to compete amd attain machinery where one wouldn t have to risk it all financially to dive in as alot of us just don t have that kind of money. I ve already have roughly thirty grand into it and know I am still mickey mouse but its a long process and getting closer to be a full rounded shop. The problem in our trade is we are always in need of something. It is just so vast.
 
#24
Machining will take you broke if you let it , better off doing it as a hobby only and make a buck at it when you can . When cnc houses count their scrap on the floor as profit , you know it's a competitive business . I told my children to learn how to fix things , learn what makes thins work , learn how to troubleshoot equipmet etc , but for god's sake , don't do this for a living . Why in the world would someone shell out half a mil , rent a place , deal with the headaches of owning a shop? I knew people who bid jobs and didn't make $2 bucks an hour on them :rolleyes: they won the job alright . Wonder how much they spent to make that $2 bucks an hour ? :)
 
#25
No rant was intended above :big grin: , but that is the gawds honest truth with tis trade . You always need to be faster , bigger , smaller , lighter , better , cheaper than the next guy . I run equipment no longer , I saw this coming years ago . I now fix the equipment . If my company could buy parts from China cheaper than having them manufactured here , you can bet your arse they would . Unfortunately , they can't pack up there lines and move there so easily . We chase cheap labor all the time , our manufacturing plant closed and they moved it to Nebraska in the mddle of awheat field . Now they can't find skilled people . Heck , I can't hire skilled people here in Md .:big grin:
 
#26
mmcmdl I kind of agree with you in a sense but your last comment about not finding skilled people is where it changes. People want stuff for nothing when it comes to a production level but when you get a call from the mill and your told were losing 25 000$ an hr. As we had to shutt the line down and we don t care what it costs. Fix it. There is gravy there! In no way could one compete in a production setting with multi million dollar outfits. Repair maintenance is what I am interested in along with coming up with my own products. It all depends on what your doing. Take on site line boring for an example. Pays good money and this type of work now is done by few people. Just the big ones like say Caterpillar for example are called and charge an unbelievable amount of money for this service. So a skilled guy can do well at this. The problem I find today is even that farmer has stopped thnking about machinist as everything seems to get thrown out and they don t know that the skilled machinist is around anymore. For me anyways a big part of it has been to educate people that equipment can still be fixed and improved upon. I ll knock on doors amd they are like really you can do that.
I will admit though this is a scary endeavor for me at my age of fifty. I lost some people in my life a few years ago and it changed everything for me. I want to fill my soul and it s machining is what I want to do. Tired of the crap working for people. I still have to for now and it even harder trying to do both. I have to choose wisely what I buy and what I turn my shop into. Machining is done along a sharpening business for something steady and to be honest I have concentrated more on that knowing the machine aspect of it isn t there yet. Yes I ll admit it. I may be crazy!
I have contemplated about starting a thread about my journey.
 
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#27
Wall Street is more to blame than anything/anyone. The desire/pressure to return earnings to stockholders is what drives virtually all corporate decisions today. Wall Street has done more to destroy the manufacturing segment of this country than probably all other factors combined.
We've gotten a little off track on this thread. I will say one more thing, and I would not have said this 10 years ago... If you want to make money, or want your kids to make money, be a professional pilot. There is getting to be a huge shortage of qualified pilots. If I was still working I would be at or above the $200k mark plus incredible benefit packages. That being said, there is a lot more to life than money though.
 
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