Tech Support Remotely Accomplished

If you need tech support, your Mastercam reseller will get it to you…no matter where you are. Alaska Arms of Big Lake, Alaska, stands out as proof of this concept.

This machine shop, specializing in custom-made firearms components primarily for gun makers and collectors is owned and operated by former logging truck driver Morris Melani. It is located 60 miles north of Anchorage where there is, on average, one house for every 16 square miles of land. Temperatures can dip to -50° F in the dead of winter. The degree of difficulty for getting technical support under these conditions is higher than average, but far from impossible.

When Melani decided to start his custom manufacturing business, he chose Mastercam Mill because of all the capabilities it offers. Plus, of all the CAM resellers he talked to, Tim Rowley of MCAM Northwest was the one who had the deepest expertise in providing service to users who are off the beaten path.

While he was putting his business plan together and arranging to finance his equipment, Melani relied heavily on web-based resources to build up his CAD/CAM programming skills. His initial focus was on learning the fundamentals using Streamingteacher, one of many learning resources listed on the Mastercam web site. Melani combined his Streamingteacher subscription with the generous tech support available with his license to obtain both personalized training online with MCAM Northwest trainers using GoToMeeting.com.

After about a year of self-paced learning, he knew his way around Mastercam well enough so that he could begin using the software to design his first products, along with the CNC processes and toolpaths for manufacturing them. By the time his tombstone-equipped Haas VF2 arrived and was installed in his garage, this North Country machinist was ready to roll.

Melani says he has 100% confidence that whatever he decides to manufacture, he will be successful. He has procedures and processes that have been vetted for their soundness and he has software tools that allow him to design and manufacture efficiently. And if he gets stuck, he has multiple avenues of support available via his high-speed Internet connection.

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