limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's alive! CNC test program (video)


As you know I've been programming like crazy. This video is a test program for the machining of the flashlight body. Two parts are held in the vice at a time. The one on the left is "tail up" and the one on the right is "head up." In other words the tailcap will screw into the part on the left and the head will screw onto the part at the right. After the tail gets machined, the same part is flipped upside down and transferred to the right hand position. Confusing enough?

These parts are only 2 inches tall. The actual flashlight body is 4 inches tall. I'm running these "short" test parts to work out any bugs in the programming without wasting a lot of material. You will notice the machine spindle starts and stops and the coolant goes on and off more than it should. That's because each operation is a separate program and I'm using a master program to call them all as subroutines. Don't worry if that doesn't make sense. That's what the "machining content" warning was all about :) Eventually I'll delete the M09 and M05 codes from the individual programs and that will prevent all the erroneous starts and stops.

So, machine tool geeks...enjoy in HD! That's you Bishop. Oh, and for you people in the real world, here in Silicon Valley "geek" is a flattering term :)


  1. Wow this is some cool shiznit. Is that all preprogrammed?

  2. Yep the machine runs off programs I write myself, by hand. There is a lot of "automated" software out there in the form of CAM (Computer Aided Machining) packages, but this stuff is simple enough for me to do manually.