Cruzin’ Machine Delivers Custom Parts Fast with ZW3D
"ZW3D is truly my secret weapon. When a customer walks in with a photo or a sketch, ZW3D allows me to do what a lot of CAD programs can’t do."
— Cruzin Machine
Suppose you are a motorcycle enthusiast and you want forward controls that look like a pirate’s cutlass because your bike has a buccaneer theme . . . or maybe you are a custom car buff and want just the right accessory to go with your show rod . . . where would you go?
Go to Cruzin’ Machine. Owner, Tim Kruse, runs a small custom design and fabrication firm that specializes in building “artform theme images,” of totally unique parts and accessories.
“I’m just a one-man band,” Kruse says, but that’s a little like saying Michael Phelps is just a swimmer. Kruse is, in fact, a triple threat. First and foremost, he is an artist who produces beautiful things in metal. He is also a machinist and a computer design engineer.
When a customer comes to Kruse with a request – “I’d like an air cleaner cover that looks like a dragon” –Kruse responds with astonishing speed. Sometimes he can produce the desired custom part in less than a day. Even better, Kruse manages to keep the cost of his creations “very reasonable,” considering that they are one-off custom parts.
So how does he do it?
Kruse’s Secret Weapon – ZW3D
“ZW3D is truly my secret weapon,” Kruse says. “When a customer walks in with a photo or a sketch, ZW3D allows me to do what a lot of CAD programs can’t do.”
Kruse imports the image directly into ZW3D creating the base outline of the artwork. While he is doing that, he is also thinking about how it is going to be used. For example, if a piece of Cruzin’ Machine art is going to be used as an air cleaner cover on a motorcycle, Kruse obviously has to allow for the screw or bolt holes where the cover attaches.
“I can import a template of the air cleaner and scale the overlying image with ZW3D so it fits,” he says. Kruse’s artistic judgment plays a significant role in the process. He works his magic, adjusting the image, adding lines and contours so that function and form balance, becoming elements in the overall design. The result is a part that not only looks beautiful but works well. Kruse uses ZW3D integrated machining to create his parts, so that by carving different levels of contours, he creates a relief image in the metal that has a great deal more depth than a simple metal silhouette.
He says, “Once the image is frozen, and the customer has approved it, I use ZW3D to create NC code, which drives the machines to create the part exactly as the customer wanted it.” After machining, the part is polished and then can be finished with a wide variety of surface treatments: chrome, copper, or gold plating, etching or powder coating.
Kruse says, “ZW3D has allowed me to build high quality custom parts at competitive prices. Prior to ZW3D, these projects took weeks to complete. Now I do them in hours. My goal is to make the next project even more awesome than the last, and ZW3D lets me do that.”
Note: VX CAD/CAM software and technology has been acquired by ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. VX CAD/CAM has been rebranded as ZW3D. All the testimonials of ZW3D refer to its predecessor.