At the 2020 World of Concrete, we saw something that really caught our eye. Red Art Technologies had created a programmable concrete CNC Pro machine that could quickly and efficiently create graphics, custom logos, and text in a multitude of materials. It was a show-stopper, and it didn’t take long for us to see the potential of such a tool. In fact, we included it in our Top 10 Tools of World of Concrete video for the show.
Fast forward a year or so and we partnered with Red Art to explain more about how both this product and process works. But first, it helps to understand a little bit more about the company behind this innovative concrete CNC machine.
Read our article on the Top 10 Best Tools at World of Concrete.
Red Art Technologies Invents a Concrete CNC Machine
RedArt Technologies was created by Henry Ashworth of Bountiful, Utah. After a year of research and development, Henry patented the world’s first truly portable CNC engraving machine—the Red Art CNC Pro. It could customize surfaces with any typeface, logo, pattern, graphic, or image you could imagine—largely because the system removed the engraving deck. The target market was businesses, entrepreneurs—even non-profit organizations.
The Red Art Concrete CNC Machine links to the software on a laptop which transforms virtually any image from the computer into a precise engraving on any desired surface. Specifically, the CNC Pro utilizes standard G codes to operate and Vcarve serves as the principal vector design software. Using Vcarve also enables CNC Pro operators to engrave wood, HDPE, aluminum, and other soft metals.
The product—in addition to having a revolutionary design, boasts durability, versatility, and portability. The design has remained the same milled aluminum frame for the past 6 years. Red Art has made some improvements like using beefier step motors which now allow the machine to engrave vertically onto walls. These motors also allow engravings to get down to .006-inches of precision. The Red Art CNC Pro is designed to advertise, commemorate, brand, or customize any sign, landmark, bridge, walkway, or building. Basically…if you can imagine it, this thing can help you make your mark.
Cool Concrete CNC Machine Engraving Projects
Some of the most impressive are these larger engravings that require much more space than you find within the confines of the CNC Pro. This concrete CNC machine accomplishes this via a process called “tiling”. Tiling is where you pick up the Machine and position it relative to the adjacent tile or engraving area. Red Art has training videos that take owners through this entire process.
Carving a Periodic Table of Elements
The largest tiled job we’ve seen this system tackle was performed by an owner out of Baton Rouge, LA. He engraved a large Periodic Table of Elements into the Science Plaza at the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. The project took around 5 days to complete.
Each of the Elements was sponsored. As the school auctioned off each element to donors, it engraved their names alongside their element.
Engraving Poems in Walkways and Fundraising Opportunities
Another cool project happened when the city of Las Vegas contacted Red Art. They wanted them to use the CNC Pro concrete engraving machine to help improve the historic Artistic District by engraving poems into area walkways.
So how else do we see the SNS Pro being used? Many individuals want their favorite team engraved onto their driveway, garage, pool deck, or shop. Businesses tend to make requests for street signage or to have their logo engraved onto the lobby or in recreational areas. Educational institutions and nonprofits often utilize engraving services for fundraising such as engraving donor names.
The Red Art CNC Pro Concrete Engraving Process
No matter the application, the design process for creating custom engraved artwork is pretty straightforward. The turnaround time from when a customer walks into a CNC Pro shop and when they get to take home or have a design engraved is anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours. The process, if you want to call it that, entails a customer bringing in a photo, text, or design they want engraved. With Vcarve, you can trace any logo, text, or design and send it to the machine for engraving. The software accepts virtually every image or vector format including JPEG, PNG, Illustrator, EPS, and CAD. The CNC Pro operator drafts a design and gets the customer to sign off on it. Lastly, they engrave the design and optionally add pigment or epoxy to make it pop.
Creating a Business Model
But how would you create a business around the CNC Pro? Well, in this case, the project not only raised money for the school but also brought in a secure source of income for years to come. It ended up being one of the most exciting jobs Red Art has ever seen completed with the CNC Pro—and it also did something really great for the community.
Red Art ships the CNC Pro in a waterproof, high-density plastic case secured in customized foam lining. It makes it a very transportable CNC solution that can handle going on location and making it safely back to the shop. And that’s the point—while you can use this system in your workshop—it’s designed to go boldly where no CNC machine has gone before…to coin a phrase.
So here’s where it gets interesting, Red Art Technologies makes it so that you don’t have to have any CNC knowledge to buy and use this concrete engraving machine. The reason is that they include in-depth training materials with every CNC Pro. Red Art even offers one-on-one training with every CNC Pro purchase. While most owners are ready to go with only the training videos, if you need more, the company provides 24/7 support with an actual real-live CNC Pro engineer.
For some, that makes this a business investment opportunity. That’s true whether the CNC engraving machine becomes your main source of income and opportunity or it supplements the concrete work you already do for your clients.
Four Compelling Aspects of Owning a Red Art CNC Pro
Red Art gives four reasons why you might want to add the CNC Pro to your professional tool arsenal. First, it lets you generate long-term income on existing surfaces. That comes from the potential to market your services to facilities and organizations interested in commemorating donors or contributors. Colleges, businesses, municipalities, private industries—the possibilities seem endless.
Second, you could really make an impact in your community. Imagine beautifying a downtown art district or commemorating fallen heroes at a central park or memorial. From schools to community centers, you could literally make a lasting impression in the cities where you work and live.
The third reason has to do with the nature of the business a concrete CNC machine generates. This market is largely untapped—so you have the potential to offer a valuable and unique service. With no deck, the CNC Pro travels wherever you want it and engraves on both horizontal and vertical surfaces for nearly endless applications. Currently, Red Art Technologies says less than 200 CNC Pro owners exist worldwide. Between them, they’ve logged over 30,000 hours netting over $10,000,000 in sales.
The fourth reason? Well, that goes back to where we started. This CNC engraving machine and technology are simply cool. It’s rare that a tool contains an entire business model—but this one does. Aside from concrete, the right bits and techniques also give you the potential to engrave wood, stone, tile, brick, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and even glass. On top of that, it’s built to last, with components milled from solid aluminum and backed with a 2-year warranty and support. Add to that the self-paced training program and owners group, and you’ve got something you can build on for years to come.
CNC machines used to take up entire warehouses and airport hangers. Now you can carry one in the back of your pickup. Is the Red Art Technologies CNC Pro Concrete Engraving Machine right for your business? Hit the link in the description below and find out. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish with this tool. At the very least you can leave your mark in your community. You see what I did there?
For more information, visit the Red Art Technologies website here.