Oops. I was looking at the FAQ link from the "make a part" page, and didn't realize I was only looking at a subset of the FAQ. Now I see the other answers in the main FAQ.
Overall, I think you've hit on a great concept. For me, this may solve my problem of trying to make custom timing pulleys at a cost lower than I can get them from Misumi. I hope that business takes off for you!
Here's a few more questions:
1. Can you cut materials thicker than 3/4"? For instance, I need an aluminum pulley 1.25" thick. I understand it takes longer to cut. But especially for acrylic, a waterjet should be able to cut 2" or more.
2. You may want to indicate what stock grades of aluminum/stainless you offer. For instance, is the aluminum a 6061 series or a 7071 series?
3. What are your shipping methods/costs?
4. Why is the lead time 14-21 days? Is it because you're just getting started?
5. What if I want to quote several parts, but they're out of the same material and thickness? Can I send a DXF file with all of the parts arranged and have it quote as one part? It seems that right now, it has trouble with seperate solids. The reason I ask about quoting this way is that there would only really be one setup for you. If I upload the parts seperately, the autoquoter wouldn't understand this extra efficiency. This would be very handy if I needed several adapter plates and a few timing pulleys. It would also encourage me to run all the parts at the same thickness and material.
If you keep refining your web interface and make it simple and self-explanatory, you'll probably have a lot of customers from CNCzone!
1. We're not set up to do that right now. It's mainly a matter of figuring out pricing and stock sizes for stuff that's not available in large sheets.
2. We want to do all of our aluminum parts in 6061, but also want to work with whatever's available. If you absolutely need 6061, specify it in the comments section when you order, and I'll make sure that's what you get.
3. Shipping is via UPS. Rates are pretty typical for packaging and shipping. In other words, it's not a trick to get you to buy cheap.
4. Yes, that's correct. I've got several untested manufacturing partners, and I want to make sure that if one of them turns out to be less than reliable, our customers still get their parts on time. Eventually the lead time will come down. Same thing with prices.
5. Not yet, but you're not the only one to ask about this. One workaround is to connect all of your parts with a small tab so that the software on the website sees everything as one giant piece.