So you have decided to get a K40 and would like to make some money, or maybe expand the existing lineup of products you are making … and you are fresh out of ideas.
To fix this I will give you some tips on how to go about your search and be successful.
1. The first thing you have to look for products that are made with a different manufacturing process that can be either made faster or cheaper on a laser. This obviously changes depending on the laser you have but for the k40 we are generally limited in size and material like plywoods, and acrylic being the most common with a 5 ,6mm or 3/8 being at the higher end of the machine capability. A well tuned K40 can go past that at lower speeds, higher power and number of passes, but the idea is to find the sweet spot. So try to keep at at around 5mm especially for acrylic.
2.You want to look for a product that can we easily scaled and adjusted to possibly morph into a different product.
3. For or the sake of time it is preferable to find something you can cut and not engrave as latter is time consuming.
4. Look at the products that target specific hobbies. Woodworking for example is always targeted by new products and re-inventions.
This is the products I have started with:
For the majority of people that are not in the woodworking or into the Festool community, this is a products that is pretty popular and it’s designed to clip the power cord of the tool you are using to the hose of the shop vac. This keeps it from tangling is it is useful to have.You can generally get 5 of these to $20 or so. The original product is 3d printed and even though the two processes are not quite apples to apples, there is some overlap that we can take advantage of. Especially when it comes to products that are flat with no complicated geometry the laser is a faster and more precise tool. Depending on the 3d printer used and the quality needed the times can vary drastically but I sincerely doubt you can get one done in less than 10min and I am being generous.
For testing I made 3 variations and it took around a minuted and fifty seconds on my k40 for all 3 of them. Even if you had to do a second pass or even a third, that would still put you ahead of the 3d printer competition by at least a coffee break. I did not run a cost comparison on the two but If I had to hazard a guess I would say the laser product would have a cheaper production cost due to the short completion time.
And here is are the two products one, 3d printer and one laser cut, both are functioning as intended.
I hope this helps with your process of finding products and good luck.