Equipment and Software Equals a New Business
For some people, developing a business takes a unique idea and sometimes years of effort. For Dennis Carey, it took a unique idea and just a few weeks. His unleashed creativity took him back to a hobby and a first love – woodworking. He named the new business he created to apply his love of woodworking to signage, “The OakSmith, Inc.”
“So how did I get into sign making? Well the word “oaksmith” has a dual meaning. One of the definitions from Webster is ‘someone who is skilled in the art of carving.’ Oak implies wood carving. I thought that with my machine abilities, I would do some sign making on the side. Why not make high-end, hand-carved signs that you would see in cities. So we (myself and my employees at the time) did a few of those signs and people really warmed up to them. We touted ourselves as a three-dimensional sign company,” says Carey.
Today, the company works primarily with thermo-plastics, high-grade acrylics, and uses some wood for its signs. Their high speed router allows great creativity with few restraints except for one large one, says Carey–the ability to program it. To solve this issue, Carey decided to use Mastercam CAD/CAM software. He uses three primary products – Mastercam Art, Engraving, and Mastercam Router.
When Carey purchased the router through CR Onsrud, they offered Mastercam and another software package. Carey says, “I selected Mastercam because in my years in metal working, I had heard the name, and knew they had a good reputation. So we chose Mastercam as our operating system for the machine. We’ve been buying Mastercam ever since, and also all the add-ons that go with it. To be honest, I think Mastercam is a routing software package dream. I’m very happy with its ability. In my opinion, it’s very easy to train people on, too. I just found it quite conducive to what we use the machine for.”
Carey uses the Mastercam Art and Mastercam Router software together. Asked which features he especially likes in Mastercam, Carey says, “I like the Modify and Drag feature. It allows you to manipulate images in a ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ environment. It’s more of the Windows Drag and Drop kind of scenario.”
Toolpath verification is another feature that Carey likes. He says, “Verify is a good, safe bet for seeing what’s going to happen in your cutting path. Basically, if something goes wrong, you’re going to see a red line somewhere. We probably use the Verify feature on every program before we send it to the router.”
Carey is now taking his abilities and equipment in another direction thanks to an opportunity to produce signs for the Country Music Television show “Trick My Truck,” which uses LED illumination and acrylic composites to create illuminated artistic designs and logos in place of the vehicle’s standard windows. He remarks, “Really, without Mastercam, I’d be in trouble. Without it, we wouldn’t get anywhere. And as for waving the Mastercam flag, I truly could not be happier with the support we’ve gotten. Any time we’ve called, they’ve been right there to help us, even at the higher levels of the program’s code writers, if need be. I feel that with the staff they have at Mastercam, they’re going to continue to make improvements in ways that will keep them far above the competitors in the field.”
To read more about how Mastercam helped Oak Smith, click ‘here.’