BigD (in E15bf.410592$1i.163654@pd7tw2no) said:
| Thanks for the response.
| I'm in the preliminaries of putting together the game plan but
| here's what I have:
|  How big are the house panels and what materials in what sizes
|| shapes are you wanting to cut?
| standard 4'x8' sheets
||  Do you want to automate just the cutting - or do you want
|| assembly, too?
| initially no until I can prove the market and am up and
| running and more experienced with which tools justify their cost
||  What is your panel per day/hour/minute/second target?
| again - too early to tell
||  How much are you _willing_ to spend? :-)
| how long is a piece of string? I was looking at initial
| start-up of between $50k - $100k to include everything. I'd prefer
| something a little more labour intensive at the start and then
| upgrade at a later date.
| My last business was a stainless shop and I made the mistake of
| following my ex-partner's suggestions on what tools to purchase, we
| bought all new equipment which most of we barely used or could have
| purchases on the used market for 25% .... but we still made very
| nice breweries. So am trying to get a feel for what is out there
| (prior to sticking my foot in my mouth) and what each level of
| automation costs/ production output.
You might take a close look at used ShopBot CNC routers. I've seen 'em
offered for as low as US$2K (once) and a number of times in the $6K
ballpark. The PRT-96 standard machine can handle 4x8 sheet stock and
can handle internal cut-outs.
Having taken that close look, it might pay you to lurk at the CNCZone
forum and learn how to build your own machine - it's not as difficult
as you'd probably imagine. I think you could probably design and build
a combination saw/router CNC machine for an amount around $2500 if you
shop carefully. OTS motor controllers make it relatively easy to use
inexpensive control software (I'm not sure if there's freeware
available; but it'd be worth looking for.)
Typically, you'd create a DXF (drawing) file and feed that (or a
converted version of that) to your control software, which would then
control the cutting to produce what you'd drawn. No magic required;
and relatively little cash needed.
DeSoto, Iowa USA