I mentioned in my other post that I was planning on starting a new business. The time has come for me to explain a little bit about what I plan to do! For now, this discussion will just talk about what my business will be capable of doing and not go into to much detail about how the business will be run. I will be (temporarily) moving to ICHQ in Detroit until @Malia
eventually finds a job in the area.
First off, let me explain that I am a Mechanical Engineer. I have a lot of experience with machine design - what this means is that I set the specifications and approved the technical drawings for gears, castings, bearings, and assemblies. I calculated forces and stresses and made sure things fit together properly. In other words, that object / thing / widget that performs some function with physical force - I could probably figure out how it works and design it for you.
To this end - I will be purchasing a SolidWorks license. This will allow me to create 3D computer models (and drawings) of objects that I can either provide as a service or export to 3D printers or CNC mills...
Which leads me to the 3D printer that I have already purchased and will be delivered ~ mid-November. The printer I went with is a LulzBot Taz 2
that has the capability of printing PLA, ABS, and even some engineering grade plastics. With this, I can either print the finished product, or perhaps make a mold...
With a mold, I could create wax parts which I could use to create metal cast parts. I will also be building a small cast furnace to work with aluminum, bronze, or cast iron parts. (I hope to be able to directly print to the wax part eventually.) Using aluminum or cast iron, a much wider variety of prototypes can be created - even things that are structural or create a part that can be machined into something that does a more specific purpose.
The last thing I will be starting with is a 3D laser scanner that will be able to take an object, and turn it directly into a SolidWorks model that could be manipulated and then printed. This should help quite a bit with recreated difficult to model parts (like scroll work, complicated toys, gears, clay models, computer mice, etc.) and then allow me to spend my time customizing the model, and then printing to a customer's request. Here's a video
of the 3D scanner working.