Q: How would you describe your company’s primary business?
A: Tormach’s mission is to empower people to make things by making manufacturing technology approachable and affordable. Our “Personal” CNC machines appeal to non-traditional machine tool users, such as engineers, inventors, educators, and prototype designers. Yet, we also find them used in factory environments as second operations machines, such as in tool rooms, and as specialty manufacturing work cells.
Q: In brief, what is the history of your company?
A: We got started as a response to the lack of a quality, affordable CNC machines available for occasional, and at-the-ready use. At the time, if you wanted something that could do real work for less than $30,000, the only option was to convert a manual mill by retrofitting motors and an aftermarket CNC controller. Most people who had a use for this type of machine didn’t have the time or skillset to do this type of conversion, which presented a business opportunity we choose to fill.
Today, our story is all about helping people make things. We empower ideas. We make affordable, precise tools and support them with top notch software, customer service, and educational resources. We’re committed to being the best CNC equipment provider to research and development departments, prototyping shops, educational institutions, makerspaces, and small production facilities.
Q: How has Tormach, as a company, changed through the years?
A: Tormach is a younger company, founded in 2001, with a passionate group of machining and engineering experts. Since we were founded, the biggest change we’ve noticed is how excited people are about making things and how eager they are to learn a new technology if it means bringing their concept to life. The maker movement has been trending for the last few years, and that has had a big impact on the reach of our company. What has not changed about Tormach is the brand loyalty our machine owners have, and the quality of the machines we engineer.
Q: What questions do your customers frequently ask?
A: Besides the obvious question, ‘what are you launching next’, our customers like to ask us for technical assistance on how to machine, since they typically don’t have a machining background. As we mentioned before, our customers come from a variety of backgrounds, which is great, because we know these individuals feel empowered to not only make things, but to try something new. Our technical support team is always ready to help them troubleshoot and problem solve when they’re having trouble getting started.
Q: What advantages do you bring to your customers with your products?
A: Since the beginning, Tormach has always had the goal of providing capable machines at the lowest possible price. We call them Personal CNC (PCNC) machines, because they’re designed to be easy to use and small enough in size to be approachable to people of all levels of skill and expertise. These advantages still stand strong; customers continue to choose Tormach, because our machines are priced affordably with a suite of accessories, our PathPilot machine control software is intuitive and fully functional CNC controller, and the small footprint of our machines means they can be used anywhere, such as in an R&D shop or garage.
Q: What successes has Tormach had this past year?
A: Tormach has had many big accomplishments in the last year, such as the successful release of the PCNC 440, our smallest CNC mill, and a variety of capable accessories, such as SmartCool, our programmable coolant system, and RapidTurn, an accessory that converts our larger mills into 5C chucker lathes. These large accomplishes are milestones, but our everyday successes come when we hear from customers about the exciting projects they’re making on our CNC machines.
Q: What do you want to see in the future for the industry?
A: We are excited to keep seeing how machinists and engineers use CNC machines to develop new ideas. Specifically, to the manufacturing industry, we’re excited to see how the next generation of engineers, machinists, makers, and hobbyists respond to machining. Our team loves working with and hearing the stories of users at STEM events, Maker Fairs, FIRST Robotics competitions, and other events. Since our mission is to enable ideas, it’s only natural we want to see what ideas the next generation has in store.