Have you ever needed to get a part custom-made and been shocked at just how much it cost? In this episode of Tuned In, we sit down with Dan Melling from Kiwi CNC to find out exactly what’s involved in making bespoke one-off parts — from the initial measurements to the 3D modelling, to the prototyping, and to the milling and finishing of the final product. Once you’re done with this episode, you’re going to have a solid understanding of machining in the motorsport world, and maybe even pick up a few ways you can do some of the leg work yourself to save on the final bill.
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Use “KIWICNC50” to get 50% OFF our 3D Modelling & CAD for Motorsport Course: https://hpcdmy.co/CADb
Growing up, all Dan wanted to be was an Air Force pilot, gaining his pilot's license while still in high school and then joining the New Zealand Air Force as soon as he could. While the pilot gig didn’t work out, Dan was still exposed to the world of machining, quickly building up his knowledge and skills while still in uniform. Once it was time to venture out into the civilian world, Dan worked in the aeronautical industry designing and machining parts from scratch before eventually deciding to commit to starting his own business catering to high-end automotive machine work. Thus, KiwiCNC was born.
Over the following years, Dan crafted a business that produces some of the prettiest billet components produced anywhere in the world, covering everything from sumps to suspension parts, diff covers, and plenty of one-off custom work.
In this episode, we get Dan to break down every aspect of his business and explain it thoroughly. This covers everything from the bare minimum amount of equipment to start a machine shop, the prototyping process, how CNC machines actually work and what’s needed to run them, plus much more.
We also cover 3D modelling and discuss whether generative design is actually useful in the real world and not just the latest buzzword. Dan then lays down a great impromptu 3D printer buyer’s guide and some excellent lessons he’s learnt running a small business that caters to customers who are willing to spend big money for the products he’s able to produce. Even if you have no interest in getting into machining yourself, the knowledge found in this episode is going to be invaluable when the time comes to design your own parts and find someone to create them.
Watch the amphibious van news segment here: https://youtu.be/HDzTE_a0VYQ?si=Ge6hnJw1yhfW0ZDp
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Don’t forget, you can use “KIWICNC50” to get 50% OFF our 3D Modelling & CAD for Motorsport Course: https://hpcdmy.co/CADb