View Full Version : business idea?

31-05-2012, 12:36 PM
hi all
i was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on a business idea i have, not sure if theres a place for it or not.

its based on a business in america, called ponoko where people can get things cut out with routers and laser cutters.

i want to do a similar idea but using a plasma cutter so cutting metal.
ide have the business run off the internet, just like ponoko. its mainly based at hobbyists or one off builds people need parts for.

does anyone think there is a decent market for this or not?

any comments would be greatly appreciated.

31-05-2012, 06:31 PM
look into 'Fab Lab', theve been around a while and work on the same principal plus more.

31-05-2012, 07:18 PM
they don't do what I'm suggesting

31-05-2012, 11:43 PM
I should have been a bit more specific. their idea is the ability to walk in of the street and have your idea made. that is not much different than what you are suggesting. Your idea is sound as long as it fits with what the market wants? these days they all want it yesterday and exactly how their mind sees it. Have a look at their business model not necessarily their business. You can go almost anywhere and get what you want these days, it all boils down to cost and speed to supply. Personally i think you have a sound idea just do a bit of homework with some PR. Are there local business that could use your service? go ask first and gauge the response.

Good luck

01-06-2012, 11:51 AM
oh yeh, similar. but die hope mine would be more accessible
locally I'm not sure i can't think of any off the top of my head.
ill start asking round other forums who may be interested too

Robin Hewitt
01-06-2012, 12:12 PM
It's been tried, usually by people with plasma experience, fancy weather vanes seems to be the thing with popular appeal.

Plasma is low tolerance so you might target arty types and welders. Laser cutters usually quote 0.2mm tolerance on a good day, but they don't have the same problems with corners that the plasma tables do.

Expertise in marketing and slick web design is probably more important than plasma experience, but you will need to understand the machine limitations.

01-06-2012, 12:28 PM
oh i know its low tolerance, its also much quicker so turnaround would be shorter.
my initial idea was welders, as I could have done with this sort of service when i was making something.
laser cutters can't go as thick as a plasma cutter either, i think

thats my main aim, to get a good looking website. i also need some system to calculate cutting line path, to be used in the pricing of designs.

Robin Hewitt
01-06-2012, 12:56 PM
Laser cutters can blow oxygen into the cut and the beam has parallel sides so depth is less of a problem. A plasma "flame" holds reasonably square so you can go to some depth before the kerf starts to be a problem, but I don't think you'd have happy customers if you went to "severance cut". A selection of different power torch heads might be a good idea if you only had the one table.