We caught up with Ian Hillier in our latest conversation with the Tormaker Community. Ian has been using Tormach since 2016, most recently the 1100MX.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, Ian!
A: I’m an engineer but decided to quit the day job and join Hacksmith. James the Hacksmith and I have been doing this since grade 9. We went to engineering school together, would make these epic projects and he would create video content. The YouTube channel began to grow fast.
Q: What machine do you have?
A: We have the 1100MX mill, an AF50 Bandsaw, 15L Slant-PRO lathe and PCNC 440 mill.
Q: What do you make?
A: We take pop culture ideas and make them real. Any kind of fictional destructive weapon is our influence. We make functional prototypes, like lightsabers, replicas of Captain America’s electromagnetic shield and so much more. Our most popular make to date has been the plasma lightsaber, which has a propane torch core and is fully retractable.
Q: Why did you choose a Tormach?
A: Tormach is super user-friendly. I’ve been using Tormach since 2016, having started with the PCNC 440, and then got the 1100MX. The best thing about it is the advanced features like the ATC.
Q: What do you like about your Tormach?
A: Everything. We’re brand ambassadors for Tormach. We enjoy using the machines and have been partners with them for ages. As soon as we had more space, we discussed options available and opted for the 1100MX complete with a fourth axis and auto bandsaw!
Q: What advice would you give to anyone thinking about a Tormach?
A: My advice to someone wanting to go from a garage hobbyist to making a career out of it: Make sure you're following your passion. We make what we want to make, which most of the time aligns with what people want to see. The revenue doesn't always follow the effort, and sometimes we definitely do things for ourselves rather than for the money. Just follow your passions and quit your job sooner!
I quit my job with six months of savings and I was also getting married. Going from a guaranteed monthly income to absolutely no paycheck was daunting, but it worked out pretty well. If you quit and it doesn’t work out, there will always be another job. I've never regretted spending more money on a quality machine. If you're considering buying a machine that will be with you for life, don't cheap out. Go with Tormach!