Page 25 - CNC West web Feb March 2022
P. 25

 has a world class science and technology museum called the Exploratorium, and after school Austin continued his hands on education as part of their build crew. “I know we want to talk about my shop, but if you’ve never been to the Exploratorium, it is amazing,” continues Austin. “They have great exhibits, it’s on the water at Pier 15, just a fantastic place to go. I was part of a team working behind the scenes on the exhibits. Milling, turning, welding, fab, design, engineering; it encompassed a ton of different skills.” Austin made connections with like- minded people that led to jobs at local tech companies. “I
got a position at Google machining on their X projects,” details Austin. “That led to a job at Uber working on their self-driving big rigs. The projects were super cool, but mainly I was there gaining experience. The money was good, but at some point, I was like I’m going to just buy my own Haas VF2 and see where that takes me. I was living for cheap on a sailboat and saving as much money as I could to get that machine. I rented a space in another shop and thought I
would just be a guy in the back of a shop making stuff for years. I had connections from the jobs I had that were willing to send me some work. I figured it would be a few parts here and there and I would use the Haas like an expensive hobby machine to do my own thing on.”
Things escalated quickly and 2.5 years later AR Machine Corp. has four employees, five machining centers and 3,000 sq.ft. of manufacturing area. The first year in business Austin made more money than he had before, reinvesting it back into the company by adding an employee and a used Doosan lathe. “I said yes to everything and was getting these really complex parts,” tells Austin. “I was quoting and actually getting the jobs, so the VF2 got an upgrade by adding a 5th axis trunnion. I also purchased a 5 axis Haas UMC 500. I struggled through it, a lot of times having no idea how the best way to produce the parts. I turned to the internet. Honestly, YouTube is such a great reference for learning. I taught myself how to program and machine from watching videos. I never went to college and find it to be outdated with the internet as it is. If you want to expand your knowledgebase, you can basically learn anything you want. I wanted to learn how to do 5 axis machining and I did. You are only limited by your desire to learn.”
CNC WEST February/March 2022 23

   23   24   25   26   27