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  #1  
Old Mon 02 July 2007, 14:58
dneisler
Just call me: Donald
 
Paris, Texas
United States of America
Customer wanting someone to build a MechMate to spec

I have a customer here that is wanting a built ready to use mechmate. He has cash money for someone that wants to build one. Doesn't mind you making a profit on building it.

Anyone that is interested in this project, please contact me off list.

Prefer someone is on the TX, OK area.
  #2  
Old Mon 02 July 2007, 18:48
WTI
Just call me: James
 
Detroit (Michigan)
United States of America
How many MMs are completed already?
  #3  
Old Mon 02 July 2007, 21:38
joecnc2006
Just call me: Joe
 
Texas
United States of America
I think it is in the download disclamer that you can not build one for sell or profit, Gerald will be the one to ask its his machine.

Joe
  #4  
Old Tue 03 July 2007, 02:10
IN-WondeR
Just call me: Kim
 
Randers
Denmark
If you build one for this costumer, you cannot make a profit on it, you can sell it to the costumer for the productioncost. So the many many hours you put into building it, you won't get nothing for...
  #5  
Old Tue 03 July 2007, 02:30
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
I think it would be reasonable if I asked for 2.5% of sale price, or 5% of profit, whichever the higher, as a "licence fee"?

James, I know of 4 MechMates which are definitely running. I have received reports of 2 companies (South & Central America) offering them for sale. Companies like that can't keep it hidden for long, and I am hoping that they will learn to work through this web site for the small licence fee.
  #6  
Old Tue 03 July 2007, 04:19
bleeth
Just call me: Dave
 
Florida
United States of America
Gerald-you are lucky they are not being mass produced in Guang-Dong Province and marketed under every name from Sunhill to Grizzly by now.
  #7  
Old Tue 03 July 2007, 06:50
dneisler
Just call me: Donald
 
Paris, Texas
United States of America
Gerald,
I am good with your fee, that was my next step was to talk to you if I can find someone to take on the task. Looking to start building ASAP, so contact me off list if you are interested.
  #8  
Old Tue 03 July 2007, 10:43
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Dave, I don't see any difference between Guang-Dong and South/Central America.
  #9  
Old Tue 03 July 2007, 13:39
Marc Shlaes
Just call me: Marc
 
Cleveland, OH
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to Marc Shlaes
The difference is the ability to produce quantity and ship worldwide. China already knows how to do that. Only Brazil has figured that out in Central / South America.
  #10  
Old Fri 06 July 2007, 07:23
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Gerald,
Sorry to hear about the companies making your machine. It is too bad that anytime someone makes information (your plans) freely available, someone else has to take advantage of it. I hope you find some way to get them to give you your modest licence fee. Thanks again for your plans and your time you spend with everyone on this site!
  #11  
Old Fri 06 July 2007, 20:23
DocTanner
Just call me: Don Ross
 
Blue Ridge, Texas
United States of America
Gerald says:
"I think it would be reasonable if I asked for 2.5% of sale price, or 5% of profit, whichever the higher, as a "licence fee"?"

This is more than reasonable. The support here is superior to most companies with technicians on the payroll.

Any company building MechMates would be wise to get with the program.

If Honda, Nike, and the list goes on, can't stop them, I doubt anything can be done about it.

Best of luck to you,
DocTanner
  #12  
Old Sat 07 July 2007, 09:15
bleeth
Just call me: Dave
 
Florida
United States of America
Gerald: Labor and shipping costs are higher from Brazil for export purposes. There is a direct pipeline from there to my neighborhood and the products that come here from there are mostly raw or lightly processed. We get (in my business) lumber, tru-pan mdf, and if you are foolish, plywood. The plywood outgasses rain-forest smell (think swamp gas) for years. We also get a heck of a lot of working force. Their populace is leaving in droves due to lousy economy. They are basically supplying us with the next generation of motivated Americans.
The Chinese also have a much better developed marketing scheme for their machinery.
I believe you may be covered under "automatic" copywrite/patent and although that seems to be having no effect on many oriental manufacturers, there is much stronger government control in many of the SA and CA countries.
I would commence the patent process and post "patent pending" all over the download site with the appropriate warning. That should have some effect on anyone actually planning on ripping you off for more than onesy-twosey.
The flip side of that is that there are typically only 5 points of difference required to establish a "new" product. This is something that is a big topic in the marine industry due to people ripping off hull shapes from highly developed and tested designs. The first boat plant I worked in had taken a 24' Formula, popped a mold, stretched it 3' straight back in the stern, and marketed it with their own deck and rails. This is still their most popular model over 25 years later!!
  #13  
Old Sat 07 July 2007, 10:49
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Dave, I don't like "generalising" a country. There can be just one single entrepreneur person or company in a whole country that can make (or break) a product. Take cellphones from Finland or MechMates from Africa as examples. I consider unfair competition only if a government offers financial incentives or tax breaks to those entrepreneurs, or when basic human rights are abused (child/slave/convict labour etc.).

Somebody making copies of MechMates in Brazil doesn't bother me. In fact they are creating a product awareness that is going to help a more cooperative (licence paying) entrepreneur to move into that market and take it over.

I am working hard to make this www.mechmate.com website the focus of the project. This is where I want the value of the "brand" to reside. People must "want" to register here and do it in the "official" way. And then builders will realise the benefit in being accredited to the "official" brand. (For example, they will also be allowed to advertise here).

Patents are out of the question. This design has long been in the public domain and threfore un-patentable. (That's a double-edged sword - because this website has made everything public, nobody else can patent anything either). Falsely claiming to have a patent pending is not going to happen either - that type of claim has become very transparent and does more harm than good.
  #14  
Old Tue 10 July 2007, 16:16
Les Filip
Just call me: Les
 
Austin, Texas
United States of America
Hi Donald

I was wondering if you got my email from late Friday night? If not, please let me know here. Thanks.
  #15  
Old Wed 11 July 2007, 07:58
dneisler
Just call me: Donald
 
Paris, Texas
United States of America
I did, and I passed the info on to the customer. I have sent him several contacts already.

Thanks to everyone.
  #16  
Old Fri 13 July 2007, 19:15
Les Filip
Just call me: Les
 
Austin, Texas
United States of America
Thanks for the update Donald. Since that was my first attempt to send something through the forum I was unsure if it went through.
  #17  
Old Thu 15 November 2007, 07:53
grandpi
Just call me: Pierre
 
Caussens
France
Building the Mechmate for others...

Gerald,

I continue our private discussion on the web.
I have read all the messages ... and the problem stay not clear for me (sorry, maybe because of my english !):

- Is it possible (Is it time ?) to define a clear set (synthesis) of behaviourals recommandations concerning Mechmate utilisation/patent/selling/sharing points (a "charte" in french) for companies and/or for private users as a special chapter in the web site? : The Mechmate Tables of the Law (with maybe ten recommandations , it could became a game to find the ten most importants points between mechmate builders ?) :

Law 1 : " In crazy electric blue color you will have to paint the Mechmate, and lot of headackes you will have during the work", (sorry, i'm tired and not serious...).
law 2 : "For each Mechmate builders questions on the forum, an answer will be given...in less than one day !.".

- I don't understand : "...And then builders will realise the benefit in being accredited to the "official" brand...". : I agree with you but how?

Thank you for answers...Go to Pekin this Christmas to meet family, i hope i 'm not going to see thousand copies of the Mechmate in a lost industrial park waiting the boat for Europe !!.

Bye,
Pierre.

PS : maybe you could put in place a control box to fill with a cross when new users (and olders!) wants to join the forum the first time to agree with the 10 recommandations... as you do before installing a new software ??

Last edited by grandpi; Thu 15 November 2007 at 08:14..
  #18  
Old Thu 15 November 2007, 09:16
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Pierre contacted me off-line and asked what are implications if he wants to produce MechMates for sale. I sent him to this thread, and hence his questions above.

I recognise I have nothing in the way of patents or protection against others wanting to use this design. The design isn't patentable because it existed in various gantry devices (such as cranes) long before ShopBot, EZ-router or I became involved. I don't have a team of lawyers, so there is no sense in making up a set of absolute rules - they won't be enforcable or enforced.

What I believe that I do have is; a brand name and a brand identity, the website name mechmate.com, goodwill, and "missionaries" (you guys) who believe in the brand and spread the word. The use of standard logo and colour must increase the value of the brand - in other words, the resale value of your MM. I (and I believe all of us) want a visitor to our shop to see that we have good tools, and I want the visitor to go home and google the name he saw on your machine. When he sees the blue he must know he is at the right site. Pierre, when you drive down the motorway you see they use MechMate blue on all the big traffic signs, because it makes the traffic flow better - no headaches!

My personal dream is that I could earn a bit of retirement income from "licences" (actually "donations" because there will be no formal agreement), but that more that I could travel the world and meet some of the machines and people that have kept me awake some nights. It's a dream, not a mission. Quite relaxed whether it happens or not - in fact, that 's the overall approach, a hobby for relaxation.

Does this make any sense? Because I don't think I answered your question
  #19  
Old Mon 26 May 2008, 14:56
sevendale
Just call me: Rob
 
Statesboro
United States of America
doctrine of fairness

Gerald, I wonder... if every alumnus of a college were to pay/bequeath to the college a buck a week (or pound or euro) for life, how long would it take before college for everyone cost basically a buck a week? So do the math...because I can't. But my point is profiting from all this design/prototyping/techsupport is not expensive to those of us who benefit from it. How much to pay? I'll ask that of the gentlemen (there's gotta be some ladies in there too) of the forum. ?
  #20  
Old Mon 26 May 2008, 20:29
dmoore
Just call me:
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendale View Post
How much to pay? I'll ask that of the gentlemen (there's gotta be some ladies in there too) of the forum. ?
I have plans to build two more MechMates now that I have it down. When I sell them, I'll sent Gerald $200 - that seems like a fair amount - no? Of course with the way the dollar is, it may not be worth much.
  #21  
Old Mon 26 May 2008, 21:43
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Gerald did outline what he was interested in if people wanted to make them to sell. He posted it here.

http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showt...03&postcount=5
  #22  
Old Mon 26 May 2008, 22:51
dmoore
Just call me:
 
Thanks...

I was looking at this:

http://www.mechmate.com/useragreement.html

It seems to only cover building when used in conjunction with the forum...
  #23  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 00:00
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmoore View Post
I have plans to build two more MechMates now that I have it down. When I sell them, I'll sent Gerald $200 - that seems like a fair amount - no? Of course with the way the dollar is, it may not be worth much.
This statement took my breath away! A public discussion on how much to "tip" me?

David has irritated me with a number of posts & threads on this forum, and he knows it. Have had enough of that now, and his posting privileges have been suspended.
  #24  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 05:31
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
...unbelievable.

Use and build a working machine from a proven and free design and then slap the face of the man who gave it to him when the user agreement and forum dictate how and how much the license fee is for 3rd party sale.

...unbelievable.
  #25  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 05:47
TheDave
Just call me: dave
 
Toledo (Ohio)
United States of America
Well, I just can't hold back any longer - time to add my 2 cents

I haven't built a mechmate yet, so take this as just my opinion, for what it's worth.

If you want to build and sell a mechmate for profit, I think Gerald is being EXTREMELY generous in offering his plans for free and asking for a very small "licensing fee". And the amazing support of the community on the forum, also for free, is something you just can't put a price on.

I think you are asking for all kinds of headaches in terms of customer support if you build this for someone else. What are you going to do 3 months down the road when you get a call from someone whose production is stopped because the mechmate won't work? Believe me, it doesn't matter what you agree on when you make the sale, if it stops working they will call you.

I also sincerely believe that this project is for people who want to build it themselves to learn how the entire process works. Some people will be attracted to the low price and great performance, but don't have the desire to learn anything. These people need to steer clear of this project - if you don't want to be the guy keeping it in tune and making repairs yourself, you need to go with a commercial product that has a customer support line.

I'm certainly not trying to deny Gerald any opportunities to make some money here, just trying to make people realize that unless you have a solid business plan for building mechmates it is going to be quite a difficult process.

For anyone interested, there is a similar situation over at BYOAC.com. The website is dedicated to building your own arcade games, but there are no free plans (although it's not too hard to glean all the info from the forums). The issue they have is the software - it's free, but the authors clearly state you are not to use it for commercial purposes. Of course there are many people who try to go into business building arcade games for profit, and they run into the same problem - customer support. You just can't build a complex machine for someone else and expect them to maintain it and fix any problems that come up. Even if they agree to buy it "as is", you will still spend considerable time proving to them that the problems are not because of your workmanship, but because of their lack of understanding of how the machine works.

Whew, what a lengthy post . Let me just sum it up - without a real business plan and serious research, I doubt it is feasible to build mechmates for profit. But if you are that kind of business person (and have some investment capital) I wish you the best of luck!
  #26  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 06:23
IN-WondeR
Just call me: Kim
 
Randers
Denmark
Personally, I'm greatful for all the help and knowledge I have fouond through this forum, and I'm also greatful for all the effort Gerald has put into this project, in developing the mechmate from scratch.

But for people who want to build mechmate's for profit, there is only one answer.

Don't...

The time that will be used in tech support for the costumers is going to take all the time you have. TheDave has the right idea when he states that you can't build a machine and throw it into some poor smock that doesn't understand the machines roots and knows how to fix it him self, and just hope for the best.

And the post that dmoore has posted, is just ridiculous. Disrespectfull if you ask me...

I know dmoore has contributed to this site with many things, but a statement like that will set someone's temper a blaze...

Personally, I will only make parts for people who ask me, not whole machines. This is based on the time it will take to implement people in the construction, electronics and everyday use of the machine, and this is time I really don't have...

Just my thoughts written down.
  #27  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 06:45
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
The guys who want to build machines for other people DO have a plan for support......they are going to refer their customers back here to this forum......for the rest of us to give our normal free support.

You all are being far too generous with your thank you's and I cringe when you heap it on. You don't realise of what benefit all your contributions have been to me (and our son). Running this site has forced me to make detailed drawings and thoroughly research motors, power supplies, prices, suppliers, etc. When son asked me for 4 new machines of 3 different sizes, I could confidently start ordering $10 000 worth of equipment in the USA and tell them to to deliver to a bloke in Florida who I have never met, and who I wouldn't have known if it wasn't for this site. Another example; we havn't any direct experience of the motors we have ordered, but the contributions here tell us they are good. Thank YOU!
  #28  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 07:38
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Gerald,

"The Teacher always learns more than the Students!" I think that statement applies to you but I would say Designer - Builders.

You have provided a great avenue for us that have no experience to build some thing that is a challenge and is going to be a lot of fun to play with when I am done.

Thanks
  #29  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 09:00
Robert M
Just call me: Robert
 
Lac-Brome, Qc
Canada
Send a message via Yahoo to Robert M Send a message via Skype™ to Robert M
Gerald,
For me, Iím not certain who doesnít realize what benefit you have been to most of us ( present & future MM owners) !!
Far too generous is a modest understatement address to you Gerald, not to us !.
Iím convinced many others feel the same. Obviously itís normal some benefit from many feed backs helps you, but I have no need to remind you, it also helps many others. A group force I believe it is know as, and I wanted to take time to thanks you to implement this here !

I would like to be joined to others to sincerely thank you, even if I havenít started my built YET
You have help me ( not to say many others), directly & indirectly, gain access to valuable information, confidence & plans to configure what I imagined impossible a few years back !

So, much more cold be said, but againÖ. A simple but honest THANKS !
Amicalement, Robert
  #30  
Old Tue 24 June 2008, 10:09
Greg J
Just call me: Greg #13
 
Hagerman, New Mexico
United States of America
WOW !!!!!!

Agree with the other comments.

I know Gerald doesn't handle complements well, so I'll keep it short.

This MM project has been the best medicine for my state of mind.

Thanks again, Captain.
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