40 Year Old Brian Seeks Grant Money For Engraving Etching Business
by Brian Mooso
(Archdale, North Carolina, USA)
My name is Brian, and I am 40 years old. I'm looking for some government grant money for an engraving/etching business.
Like so many others, I was in the military. However, my disability didn't come from the military; it came from outside sources (like the woman I was going to marry, who married someone else and sent me into a downward spiral).
I had a tremendous nervous breakdown that at the time, I was not going to go into the VA hospital for… not after reading the article in Stars and Stripes! I had no desire to be forgotten for days on end.
I was subsequently other than honorably discharged, and I managed to get on Disability. I spent a VERY long time dealing with what my ex girlfriend had done to me… 21 years, in fact.
Help wasn't there. Drugs did nothing but turn me into a half zombie, still wracked by nightmares, hallucinations, and other bad things I don't want to go into here.
I must also add that being abused when I was younger, I have been left with NO family to lean on, making all of this so much more exciting. Not.
I have gone the "work while on SSI" route. I have been witness to employment practices that would bring Hoffa back from the dead.
I have been cheated, lied to and run around like a fool. I ended up with more disabilities than I started out with!
I finally got the mental breakdown under control, and now, I have back problems from being worked literally half to death in some cases.
After a few years of trying to find a job, and being run around by less than scrupulous businesses on the application front and treated worse by the few jobs I COULD get, I said, "ENOUGH! What can I do here at home with the resources I have?"
I found a virtual cornucopia of free software -- Blender, Mypaint, The Ubuntu OS -- more programs than I can actually use, which is a darn nice thing.
I have been teaching myself Blender with what I believe to be pretty decent results. My art is on Photobucket under the username Wylekat.
I also tried my hand at 3D manufacturing through an online business. So far I've not had too much in the line of customers.
I have been the only one so far. I made a piece for use with a club I am with. They like it. It's been pretty disheartening otherwise.
My next step... Combine Blender and the other open source programs with my wish to make my own stuff, and the ability to engrave/etch and MAKE my own stuff and sell it online.
This led to a bit of sticker shock. I'll outline what I have found that I'd need to buy (simple start up) for an engraving/simple 3D printing business: brand names are there for reference only.
Makerbot's Thing O Matic (for 3D printing) $1225 (I doubt the prices on this stuff covers shipping)
Epilog Laser Zing: I saw prices for $8000+. I am going to guess that after it's all said and done, $12,000-$15,000 for a laser etching rig.
Other things that would help my cause a LOT:
A quad core computer with 8 gigs of ram and a good graphics card and a half decent monitor… 19 inch will do: $1200
I have an older dual core (with Xubuntu- runs like a dream) and an older XP machine, but I need one to design and one to print out on. I wouldn't trust my XP machine with my dirty socks! I use it for the few windows programs Ubuntu can't run.
I have a spare room where I am living. I was VERY fortunate to know the landlord. I get a GREAT rent and 2 bedrooms to work with.
I am going to find an a/c for keeping the extra room both cool and circulating any stray fumes from either piece of equipment... after all, it's hot plastic and wood/metal/plastic being etched.
I do like to breathe; it's about the only thing I can do well without pain!
I plan on using both in tandem as demand happens. I think the need for inexpensive, good quality models, engraved items and the ability to make your own custom goodies has come.
I believe firmly I can make more of a profit by offering items at reasonable prices and not overcharging. Quality does not need to be ridiculously expensive.
Now all I need is the ridiculously priced equipment to get started... *sigh* A total of $25,425. On an income of $9,000 a year…This is why I am posting my story. That's one AWFUL hurdle to climb over.
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