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Programming service

ChuckD128

Plastic
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Does anyone know if there’s a market for programming services I would like to do some side work programming for shops, but am unaware if there’s a market for that type of work. I know a few people that have done it off and on and only one that does it more consistently and he more fell into it (relative). Please let me know thoughts and opinions!
 
Both are true:
  • I don't want to run something someone else programmed because what if I misunderstood their setup instructions or if they were an idiot? I'm still blamed because I'm running the machine.
  • I don't want someone else running something I programmed because what if they they misunderstood my setup instructions or if they were an idiot? I'm still blamed because I did the program and setup instructions.
In my simplistic view, the programmer needs to be there to at least assist in the machine setup and running the first part(s).
 
Both are true:
  • I don't want to run something someone else programmed because what if I misunderstood their setup instructions or if they were an idiot? I'm still blamed because I'm running the machine.
  • I don't want someone else running something I programmed because what if they they misunderstood my setup instructions or if they were an idiot? I'm still blamed because I did the program and setup instructions.
In my simplistic view, the programmer needs to be there to at least assist in the machine setup and running the first part(s).
I can definitely see that! In a theoretical world if it was more full time then like flying to customer sites or being available via zoom teams etc.?
 
I think there would be a market. We had a grinder machine manufacturer write some grinding programs.They also ran the parts on their machines before we tried the programs.
I think that would be the Key to success...Actually running the program.to prove it..
 
First off I want to qualify the question more.
What's your machining background?

I only see a need for something like this at a manufacturing facility.
Where they have machines to run only their parts, and only want to hire long term machine feeders or automation, and don't need a programmer except at initial setup of each part.

I think this market in the US would be minimal to none.
I also think there are a bunch of false YouTubers saying they started machine shops by initially offering programming services using F360.
I call BS on this, after watching their videos their skill is near zero.
 
ChuckD,

I think Houdini hit the nail on the head: I know a few insanely skilled programmers, but they all work for machine tool companies.

And as Michiganbuck says: Big shops will buy turn-key solutions for a part or a series of parts, and the machine tool manufacturer will land the machine in their building, with the setup people to do the mechanical work, and a programmer/applications-person to completely dial in a program (or multiple programs) for the parts they are going to produce. I believe this is the common scenario where you will find the true "hired gun" programmers.

PM
 
It would be really tuff getting your foot in a door. Not impossible, but be difficult. I do know someone who does this, but after working in the area for 25+ years many places know him and he has a solid reputation.

Tell us what licensed software you have and would be using to program with. That would be my first question.
 
Another thing I didn't think of, you would need to own the post processors for every machine you program for,
or the customer would need them, and would also need to have the same CAM software as you, either way.
I call BS again on this scenario.
 
About 10 years ago I fell into an opportunity with a company contract programming, they provided me with a computer with their CAM on it. It was a love/hate situation. A lot of going back and forth, making adjustments, I’d program a operation with a specific tool and they’d ask me to change it cause they don’t have that size or want to use something else that’s already in the machine. Takes some time to really learn the way the shop expects the programs to be and even then the set up guy always complained, didn’t like this, didn’t like that.

I know some CAM resellers offer programming, the few shops I’ve talked to that have used their reseller have said it was more or less getting the operations and tool paths there and their own programmer “finalized” everything, as in selected tools, feeds and speeds, etc.
 
24k rpm, 200 ipm
View attachment 424115

micro scratches are from wiping the coolant residue off.
night and day difference. thankfully the rep is replacing the 4 packs of DLC inserts i have with polished ones.
I think this might be in the wrong thread? I checked the other one talking about your Mits facemill and didn't see anything from you with this same time stamp. Just a heads up.
 
Programming never ends at the first article. Lots of tweaking required to get a program to run correctly in an actual machine with actual material.

Billable hours becomes a lot less obvious after the first article. Who's to blame if an endmill chatters in the cut? The programmer who may have used parameters that are too aggressive, or the customer whose machine/setup might lack the rigidity required to run the tool at those parameters?
 
I do programming for my family's business for their cnc wood router 6 hours away. I did however used to live in the area and had my mill and lathe in the same building, and have worked with them for 15 years and often they are machining parts I have designed for them. I know what tools live in the machine, I also know their capabilities when it comes to fixturing and work holding. There is a lot of back and forth, photos and video calls when they are changing to a new setup for a new product, and tweaks needed. I also have to pretty much be living with my phone in my hand while first runs are being done and things need to be tweaked.

This would be a much more difficult task, if I didn't know their products and employees. Would be a lot harder in a jobshop situation where things are changing all the time.
 
Programming never ends at the first article. Lots of tweaking required to get a program to run correctly in an actual machine with actual material.
I think this nails it. We've bought 2 turn-key systems with robot arms. Did the programs work? Yes. Were they any where near where they needed to be for us to meet quantities? Not with our current production schedules/shifts. The only thing we kept from the turn-key system was all of the robot logic. Everything else has been changed and adjusted to meet our needs and demands. If we had kept working with the original programmer I'm sure they could've gotten it to where it is now, but it's the timing and phone calls that made us dive in and do it ourselves.
 








 
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