Make Time - Make Money from your machine

I recently had a conversation with the founder of Make Time. It’s a website where they connect people with machines to people that need parts made. Here’s the page that would describe how it works for a machine owner.

To quote their site:

"If your shop is like most shops in the U.S., your equipment is idle up to 40% of the time. Every unused minute is money lost. Bidding on RFQs is a time consuming process with no guarantees. We match jobs to your capabilities and capacity.


You’ll notice they refer to the suppliers as “shops”. Typically these shops have machines like a Haas. However he said increasingly they are getting requests for smaller runs and often times these “shops” don’t want to do smaller runs because the start up costs and overhead when running a larger more industrial machine make it more worth while to run the same part in high volume than low volume.

He asked if I thought X-Carve owners would want to get an alert when someone needs parts that could be made on the X-Carve. I said I didn’t know but I’d be happy to post it on the forum.

On Friday I was having a conversation with a high school shop teacher in Ohio and he said that his seniors are using their X-Carve to run a business in the community. They are taking on projects for local businesses, charging them, and then producing the parts. I was blown away. He said one of the students is acting as the CFO and sends the invoices and even follows up with the companies if they don’t pay on time. In their case they are using the money to pay for more materials and upgrades to their machine. When I heard that I figured I better post this to the forum in case other students or teachers want to make money for their class but don’t want to go hustle down the projects. With Make Time it seems like you can do as little or as much as you have time for.

If anyone does try this let me know how it goes. I’m really curious.


I think I might have to look in to this. Good info thanks.

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I’ve read through the FAQ for becoming a supplier and I don’t think this will fit many people on the forum. It’s pretty rigid and meant for serious CNC shops.

Not that there aren’t serious CNC shop people here, this is just not for the person who wants to make a little money on the side.

They match a job to your stated capabilities and you have the right to reject the job, but they say that if you reject one or two jobs that meet the capabilities that you stated then their job offer algorithm moves you down the list and you won’t get as many offers for work.

Hey @LarryM I’m in communication with the CEO of the company. The idea is to match the projects to the machine and desired workload.

They filter the inbound projects based on the machine capabilities and he is aware that X-Carve owners may be signing up.

It’s an experiment and we don’t want anyone to get in over their heads but if the experiment is successful the projects would be sized appropriately for an X-Carve owners capabilities.

Make Time currently rejects some of the smaller projects that may be a better fit for people in our community because they are too small.


Thanks, Zach.

I just wanted to point out that this is not a casual operation. There are many such outlets in the 3D printing world and they leave the negotiation and delivery details to the client/supplier. These folks are taking a much more active role in the management of the client/supplier relationship.

Just wanted to give folks a heads up as many people here are also from the 3D printer world.

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Ah. Yes this is not a casual operation. The expectation is you take it seriously and represent our community well.



Thank for this Zach I added my big machine and the laser X-carve we shall see if I get any work

one thing I can’t seem to find is the fees associated

are there fees taken from me the supplier or is it all taken from the customer?

also how does the shipping work?

and price negotiations how does that work?

or are they strictly getting you in contact with customers? but if that is the case then why are they only paying me 15% upfront and then the rest on completion? alot of time depending on the orders small businesses need 50% up front to buy materials 15% seems a little low to me

example: if your paying 60.00 bucks a sheet for material and the order takes 10 sheets we are looking at 600.00 that is a chunk of change for a small business to put out especially for a first time customer

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I don’t know all the answers. My hope is that they explain it to you as you make progress in their system. Then you come back and explain it to us.

My understanding (I may be wrong as I’ve never done this before it’s an experiment for me too)

  1. The purchaser pays all fees

  2. I don’t know how shipping works.

  3. I think they send you the material per this page in their site:

  4. I think they set the price and you accept or reject it. There is no negotiation as I understand it.

yeah I will have to look into it some more and post some answers when I know

its kinda crazy that they arrange the materials and logistics of those materials for you interesting to see how that works for sure

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All registered… Let’s see what comes in. Thanks for the link and shout out Zach

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Keep us updated I find the idea interesting

1 Like has been operating the same way for many years. I don’t know the criteria for becoming a vendor for them, but the pricing is fixed and calculated within the software.

I would definitely check out their software though, as handles the design in 2D->3D really well and is very simple to use.

Have you ever tried emachineshop as a purchaser or supplier?

I used it as a purchaser about 10yrs ago. I was real happy with their service, real simple to get some aluminium parts made for my motorbike. Due to setup charges and volume discount, it was always just as cheap to buy 20 than 2, so then I would sell the others on. Their model has always been to buy/sell unused capacity at machine shops. They also do the same thing with PCB’s, good/basic layout software for low/medium volume runs.

I probably would never use them for work, as both only import standard design formats.

Their software has always impressed me for the ease of designing parts and not very steep learning curve.

From the customer side, you have no interaction with the shop who does the work, until the box turns up with the parts. When placing the order, you can see that there might be three (unknown) shops who can fulfill the order, but emachineshop decides who gets the work.

I looked into but they dont have a cnc router category it looks more centered to metal milling machines which seems the usual in the market place even though cnc routers make a tremendous about of things out of metal even large machine manufactures like Haas make cnc routers

I am going to shoot them a email and see if they will allow cnc routers on there market place

I mean you have water jet, laser, and plasma but water jet is extremely expensive to run and people charge more for laser, plasma, and water jet then a cnc router and in some cases a cnc router will suit the project just fine

as a note though imo the X-carve should not be on a site like unless extensive modification has been done or the project requires a tolerance of .010" or more the X-carve is just not well suited for imo the type of customers that are on the platform it may depend on the job though plus to make it profitable for yourself you really need to regulate things alot more closely aka spindle etc. I just spent 2400.00 on a proper GMT Spindle for my large machine although I still dont have a ATC but its a step in the right direction for milling lots of metal and actually using the tools to there engineered spec

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Hey everyone!

My name is Delaney and I’m from the Customer Success team over at MakeTime. I heard some folks from Inventables were signing up and I already see some familiar names, so I wanted to introduce myself and answer some questions you all had posted. It looks like Zach covered quite a bit of ground here, but I’ll get into the nitty gritty details.

There are absolutely no fees to be a supplier on MakeTime.

Materials + Logistics
We source and pay for all materials and logistics. As soon as you accept a job offer, you’re prompted to request material and we’ll handle ordering it. When an order is complete, you check-in on the platform and let us know and we’ll contact you to set up logistics.

We price the part(s), get a P.O. signed by the purchaser, then match the part(s) with a supplier based on capability, capacity, material preferences, and location. There is no negotiation. If you see a price that doesn’t look right, you can reject it and give feedback right in the platform, which helps us with our pricing in the future. We have a proprietary pricing algorithm that is constantly being evaluated and updated with more data, so your feedback is crucial.

After signing up, each supplier will be contacted by a Supplier Account Manager. You can book a call here if you’re interested in having a larger conversation about the platform. Additionally, we have an online chat that’s available throughout the week as well. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have!


has anyone got a job yet?

I have not gotten any jobs but I did get a call from them and we talked things over and we are getting everything set up

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What did they say?


they just asked me a bunch of questions about my past projects and current target market and seemed really excited to have me on board with my different machines it all seems like a really easy process they said they were also wanting to check into my background to make sure that I was a ligit shop and will serve there customers well

but from the info provided you receive ready to go files and cut as is all the design work is handled by them so all you need to charge for is the cam side of things for your machine

nice guy that called me we talked for about 30 minutes going over alot of things

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