Been a while.

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I have a few sheetmetal designs so far. They are all "developable surfaces", I am trying to upload some photos (cad renderings, actually). I started a new job that makes desktop metal working equipment and some jewelry making tools, so if anybody has any nifty ideas that could be useful and not yet produced, I would happily discuss any ideas.(It would be cool to be the new guy and come up with neat new equipment ideas.) Would round forms (lathe parts) that had either "constantly increasing curvature" or "constantly decreasing curvature" be useful?

your pal,

matt m

Ries's picture

I am a little confused as to

I am a little confused as to what you are asking. Are you asking for product ideas?
The problem with metalshaping tooling today is not a lack of ideas- its a lack of an economic model that works. There is a much smaller market for hand forming tools, as so much is now done by machine, and so many metal parts have been replaced by plastic.

So the large market that existed, say, in 1900, is long gone. There is a very limited institutional market, not enough to keep Dixon or Pexto in business, or to keep Roper Whitney making any but the most abbreviated line of tools.

The only real innovator on the market today, Kevin Potter, is only making a go of it because he has basically no overhead, and a wife with a real job with health benefits- in other words, no accountant in his right mind would tell you he should be in business, but he remains, mostly due to love of the tools and pure stubbornness.

Certainly nobody could undercut his prices and expect to pay employees, have insurance, and make a profit. Mostly, even the Chinese have stayed out of this market. In fact, Kevin has been selling tools to schools in China.

There still is a small industry in europe making high end tools, mostly in Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, but almost no one in the USA will pay what their tools cost, so even Otto Frei imports very little of it.

So, please, elucidate- what, exactly, does your company sell now, and what markets do you serve, and what kinds of products do you think you could sell?