The Engravers Register is very pleased to present our next Featured Business – CNCROi.com. You and I know him better as Jon Cantin from CNCKing.com, one of the Engravers Register’s founding supporting sponsors in Australia / New Zealand. Jon has been very proactive and supportive of the Register, providing a range of quality content and projects. Jon has now returned to his native Canada, establishing his own laser business! We are very excited to be able to spend 5 minutes – we hope you enjoy the read.
Contact name: Jon Cantin
How can people get in touch:
Location: St. Catharines, ON CANADA
Staff: 3 (me, myself and I)
How did you get into business or get started?
I’ve been designing for CNC machines (laser, router, 3D printers and plasma) for several years and decided it was time to get my own machine, circumstances worked in my favor on several levels though I had to make some serious sacrifices to make my dream become a reality. I just bought the machine and started in a new market from scratch without a client base then networked like crazy to build it up for CNCROi.com.
As for CNCKing.com, it was a slow process of gradually releasing models and gaining attention from people within the industry. Unlike CNCROi.com that really only started a month ago, CNCKing.com has been in existence since 2008. Ironically, these two businesses couldn’t be further apart, one is helping companies, architects, designers and entrepreneurs and manufacturers with their etching, engraving, annealing, marking demands while the other is giving awesome designs for people with CNC machines. Where the two cross paths is that I can now video tape using my Trotec Speedy 400 flexx all the models on CNCKing.com.
What is your specialty?
We have two areas of expertise, one is design, I own CNCKing.com which has hundreds of CNC designs available for people who have CNC machines make cool projects and the other is in industrial marking. I bought a Trotec Speedy 400 flexx because I knew industrial work is mostly all metal, hence the fiber would be in high demand and the CO2 would allow me to cut my models out of wood and acrylic easily.
So far, this decision has allowed me to bid for projects that very few people can within my area – being able to do two different laser processes in one pass is a MASSIVE advantage, being the only one in all of Canada with this ability is an even larger advantage I’m taking full advantage of. We can essentially designing anything in the virtual world and bring it into the physical one without having to oursource any of the production required to make this transition happen.
What makes you unique?:
Attitude, anybody can buy a laser or CNC machine for that matter – not everybody can wake-up in the morning, call a company cold for a meeting a few hours later and then “drop in” to a dozen more around the same area.
My self-taught experience in the design field means I can just as easily speak to a CAD designer as I can with an architect – in their language – and my business experience has helped me gain the confidence to meet-up with pretty much anybody and open their eyes to the possibilities CNCROi.com offers them. Being able to comfortably handle both ends of the stick (design and business) is a very unique ability that I’m taking full advantage of. I also spent years creating industrial 3D animations for manufacturers – the key client base I’m working hard on developing now yet again – so all of these synergies are creating a perfect environment for me.
What is your favourite job?
I wouldn’t call what I do a job in the traditional sense, I enable a designer to see his creativity in the real world, I enable manufacturers to meet parts identification requirements, I enable architects to explore new design possibilities, I enable retail shops to open up new revenue streams, I enable people to enjoy the delight that CNCs can bring to their lives. If anything, I’m an enabler and that’s by far the best part!
What is your dream project?
I want to make a full-scale Moon car – my only limiting factor at the moment is physical space but once I move into a larger shop, that’s on the top of my list… I’m not sure where I’d put it after, I have a few ideas of people that I think would like to take it off my hands, but to me, spending a month sleeping next to my Trotec Speedy in the shop designing and cutting away would just be awesome! There is a certain kind of peace that comes from working on a massive project that challenges your boundaries of what is possible – it’s almost like a dream state where hours lose their presence and all you see is goal after goal being achieved.
Finally, what is your all time favourite job?
This may not be the “job” answer you had in mind but I’ve done a lot in my life, from publishing books to traveling the world, visiting manufacturing companies all across North America to showing-up in magazines and newspapers. By far my all-time favorite “job” though was working at Evright.com as it opened my eyes to the possibilities I’m now turning into reality here at CNCROi.com. Up until that point, I had only designed for CNC machines, never actually touched a laser and knew nothing about the engraving business – NOTHING! Everything was so novel to me, a showroom (???), production environment with a bunch of laser (???), awesome employees (???), it was like crawling out of a cave after years of hibernation.
Beforehand, CNCKing.com was a completely virtual one-man company and I had spent the previous 6 years away from any real business related activities teaching rug rats ESL during the day and designing at night. The fact that Evright.com was located in Australia, a country I will settle down in one day, it was just an unbelievable opportunity for me all around. I was exposed to so many facets of the CNC laser industry that it’s tough to put in words how life changing the experience was and how hard it was to tell the management that it was time for me to go after two years of living in paradise. It’s one of those moments that you wished you could press rewind and do it all over again, with a few tweek of course! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met while working at Evright.com. The experience inspired me and without knowing it, lit the fire of entrepreneurship within me that layed dormant all those years and before long, it consumed me.
Knowledge is a job that never ends. Oh yeah, design wise, my favorite project was designing my CNC laser Eiffel Tower design, it was quite a challenged making something so complex using so few pieces and I look forward to cutting it out in Acrylic with my Trotec Speedy 400 flexx! A very close second was my Wooden Big Wheels that was recently featured within the pages of Make Magazine – converting six full-sheets of plywood into a vehicle that moves is quite a challenge that I wasn’t sure I could meet… but I did!