CNC West Feb March 2019

54 CNC WEST February/March 2019 H e has navigated steep slopes, a few bumps, and occasional tough terrain, but Jason Miyamo- to made his way through to starting his own high-performance automotive parts manufacturing com- pany in 2015 and, to this day, he’s never looked back. For eight years, Miyamoto worked as an engineer for what is known as the largest manufacturer of aftermarket off-road parts for Jeeps and light trucks. He designed and machined parts for products like locking differentials, shock absorbers, axle housings, and lift kits for off-road 4-wheel vehicles. Once promoted to director of engineer- ing, Miyamoto became less involved in hands-on manu- facturing and more involved in management. Managing people was taking him away from what he was passion- ate about – designing and machining specialty parts. He knew he needed to make changes. Around the same time, Miyamoto observed that, al- though there was plenty of machining going on around him, a good amount of prototype work was being turned away. In fact, there were few, if any, local companies that really wanted to service that portion of the job. In June of 2015, with almost two decades of experience and an extensive network throughout the automotive industry, Miyamoto bought some machines, one seat of Mastercam® CAD/CAM software from CNC Software, quit his job and, based on what he saw as a pressing market need, he started Moto Engineering and Prototype (Moto Proto). In the next few years, business expanded and he hired two machine operators to work in the 2,000 square foot El Cajon, CA, shop. Today, the company has a few customers in the aerospace industry, but mostly, Moto Proto serves high-performance automotive and motorsports custom- ers. “We do everything from parts for vehicles that race in the desert, to suspension components, to parts for race car teams,” he said. Mostly, though, automotive “one-offs” is Moto Proto’s specialty. “We service people that need design work. We service people that need machining prototype work. And some- times we service people who need both. It’s our niche in the San Diego area,” Miyamoto said. Being a design engineer, and having spent so much time at the machines, enables Miyamoto to add some very important value to what Moto Proto offers. “We can optimize the design of a prototype part to help minimize the cost of producing it come manufacturing time. Know- ing what’s going to work and what’s not, we can look at the part and say, ‘Hey, if we just change a few things, this would be so much easier to manufacture on the shop floor.’” Miyamoto said his customers appreciate that kind of input. Moto Proto produces prototypes from drawings, solid models, or actual parts. According to Miyamoto, 25 per- cent of their work is reverse engineering. “When we get an order from a customer who has a CAD drawing, or a solid model, I’ll program it, then use the software’s Back- plot feature to create a new model in the software.” His MOTO PROTO’S HIGH PERFORMANCE IS STANDARD Article & Photos Courtesy of Story provided by CNC Software Moto Proto serves high-performance automotive and motorsports customers. “We do everything from parts for vehicles that race in the desert, to suspension components, to parts for race car teams.”