Starting a new business from home is a common dream. Few people can convert that dream into reality as successfully as Jerry Frederick, from Sugar Land, Texas. His Camcraft 3-d business has been so successful that Mr. Frederick recently quit his day job as plant manager for a CNC machining firm after working there for 20 years. Furthermore, the business won't be based in his garage for much longer. Mr. Frederick recently leased building space for his machines, computers and three part-time employees.
Camcraft 3-d specializes in architectural sculpture – custom carved woodwork for doors, stair railings, columns, archways and even ceilings. The key factor in the success, as Mr. Frederick is quick to point out, is Delcam's ArtCAM Pro software.
His business is booming as word-of-mouth spreads among residential architects and general contractors around Houston. Thanks to ArtCAM and two Multicam routers, Camcraft 3-d offers a faster and more creative service than the craftsmen who still do carving by hand.
In the building business, speed is paramount because architects and contractors don't want their completion money (the final 10% payment made when the owner moves into the house) delayed by what, to them, are small details. Securing high quality woods and carving them can add six months to a year to the time needed to finish a new home and few architects can afford to have their payments held up for so long.
Creativity is just as important to the homeowners. These are typically multimillionaires who can afford to add whatever touches they or family members desire. No matter what design element has captured their fancy, Mr. Frederick claims, “I can cut it." He added...
Some of them come in here just to see if they can present me with something that I can't do. Thanks to ArtCAM, they haven't been able to manage it yet."
Speed and creativity are essential to the way Mr. Frederick runs his business, too. It is not unusual, he said, to develop a design in ArtCAM, working side by side with the customer, “in about an hour." Another benefit of ArtCAM is that every carving can be stored as a computer file to provide a rapid replacement in case of fire or weather damage.
Asked about return on his investment, he estimated that payback was reached during the third job, a matter of weeks. “For an average user in this business, the payback would certainly be in less than six months," Mr. Frederick concluded.
Camcraft 3D machine their ArtCAM designs with a Multicam router. For more information on their work, please visit the Camcraft 3D website.