We love and depend on our CNC Masters Supra Mill to make shoes here at OESHshoes.com.
I am not a manufacturer by training. I am a physician known for my research on the effects of shoes on the body, who was compelled to make shoes that do not abnormally increase forces through the joints in the body. That required making and testing a number of prototypes, which in turn involved making numerous shoe sole molds. Communicating with and making molds in China (where most shoe sole molds are made), was cumbersome and not something I wanted to continue as our business grew. Eventually we figured it would be better if we could make the molds ourselves. We searched online for CNC Milling machines and found CNC Masters.
When we purchased the CNC Supra Mill, all I had was a rudimentary understanding of the Rhino CAD program. I did not know what an “endmill” was, or for that matter, what a “collet,” “dial indicator,” or “spindle” was. Nor had I ever taken a shop class (I took home economics instead). But in no time, we were milling away. We purchased MecSoft’s Visual Mill CAM program through CNC Masters and with a couple phone calls to CNC Masters and a couple more calls to MecSoft, we were churning out shoe sole molds.
We’ve been making our own molds now with the Supra for about 20 months. As soon as we make one set of molds and a batch of shoes (which quickly sell out), we’re on to a new style and a new set of molds. While the main reason we bought the Supra was to make better molds and to avoid communication delays with China, clearly, we have saved incalculable amounts of money by making our own molds. Not even considering the ability to make and test numerous prototypes, just one style of soles for example, means 20 different molds for all the sizes, each costing between $1000 and $2,000. The main benefit though has been the convenience and ability to try many different molds and styles – something that our customers greatly appreciate.
Throughout, the milling machine has been a rock and so has the technical support / customer service at CNC Masters who I so enjoy talking to and learning from. Whenever I have a question or concern, they’ll walk me through various protocols over the phone so that I can check each part of the machine. Initially, I did this a lot and I am so grateful for all their patience in explaining the basics to me. I have all the confidence in the world that with their help, we can figure out anything. It is so comforting to know that they are always there. I love our mill but I also love the tremendous support from CNC Masters.
I like to tell people who are thinking of getting a CNC mill, if I can do it, anyone can do it. CNC Masters truly makes it easy. In fact, they make it fun.
D. Casey Kerrigan, M.D.
Chairman, OESH Shoes
705 Dale Avenue, Suite E
Charlottesville, VA 22903