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KurtLaughlin

3-D printed models prohibited?

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I got the new Journal yesterday and noted the rule change that (essentially) says that 3-D printed models cannot be entered as scratchbuilt models. However, rule I.4 says "Pre-Production Examples. "Test Shot" or pre-production examples of kits not yet commercially available may not be entered in any national competition for awards" and Rule II.4 says that "Simple conversions may be entered in
regular categories. More extensive conversions, however, must be entered in the appropriate conversion category." So, a 3-D printed model is not scratchbuilt, it's not an extensive conversion, it's not a simple conversion, and it's not a "commercially available" kit, so how is it allowed to be entered?

KL

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Not sure where your question lies....

If it's a complete KIT (as in ALL parts provided for a the model), 3D printed examples are not permitted to be entered; just like die casts or flying models. Personally, I support this rule addition since we're an organization that promotes the BUILDING of models from kits; not the simple painting nor remarking of fully assembled models from others. This is also in compliance with the rule that demands that all of the work on any model entry be entirely our OWN. Thus, a scratchbuilt model must be entirely our own work (except for tires, props, guns, etc. as noted in the rules); which would rule out a 3D printed example. Personally, I do not think that a modeler who loads some scale plans into a computer, translates that to a 3D printer and prints the model (even if done entirely by themselves) is doing what WE do: assemble, paint, and finish plastic model KITS. Nor does it involve or call for all of the skills needed to scratchbuild a model as demonstrated by the competition who does not 3D print.

If it's a CONVERSION set (be it one or more pieces needed to change a KIT), then 3D printed parts ARE allowable, and are considered to be like pe or (more closely) resin cast parts used in a conversion.

The second part in your citing merely defines a conversion using a parameter of complexity and the degree of work needed to complete it. So, adding a entirely new wing to a plane (whether 3D printed or cast in resin) might constitute a conversion and go in the conversion category. But, adding more detailed "featherless" exhaust cones (3D printed or resin cast) to an F-15 model would not be enough work nor a significant change to the model and thus could still be entered in the F-15's regular competition category.

Hope this helps and I haven't misunderstood your question.

 

GIL :cool:

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I think the "rub" is that if it is a home-brewed 3-D model, how do you enter it because it can't be a scratch built and it isn't a commercially available kit. I don't think we have many of these yet, but they may start to crop up more and more. 

I'd suggest you contact either or both the National Head Judge, Mark Persichetti at NCC@ipmsusa.orgor the Phoenix contest chairman. Jim Clark, at contestchair@ipmsusanationals2018.org for a more definitive answer. 

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The subject of 3D printed models was discussed during the NCC meeting at last year's convention.   Examples of 2017 state-of-the-art models and details were shown.   Both during the NCC meeting and afterward, the opinions of various modelers who are familiar with 3D technology were solicited.   The general consensus of opinion was that since the process of making a 3D model does not typically  employ the "manual skills" of modelbuilding (cutting, sanding, glueing, etc) they are not scratchbuilt models, and may not be entered in scratchbuilt categories.

3D printed detail parts may be used.  They are considered to be just like resin, photoetch, or other such material.   

A conversion using 3D printed parts is considered to be a commercial conversion as opposed to a scratchbuilt conversion.

A totally 3D printed model may be entered in the appropriate category.    3D kits were present at last year's Nationals, in the ship and spacecraft categories (of which I am aware).

 

Ed Grune, Head Ship Judge

IPMS-USA National Competition Committee

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Ron, as far as the home-brewed 3-D printed model is concerned, you have to consider a development that would let those  types of models qualify as scratchbuilt.  Consider that reasonably priced 3-D printers can now be purchased that come complete with built-in 3-D scanners.  There's also a very low priced handheld 3-D scanner that lets you scan anything of any size into the appropriate computer file.  This allows the modeler to scratchbuild the various parts of a specific model in a larger size...say 1/10 actual size so extreme detail can be incorporated...then scan this large part into a computer file, scale the file to the desired size and print it.  The end result is a 3-D model that was truly scratchbuilt using the skills we are familiar with, as well as the additional skills required for 3-D printing.  It could also be considered a kit since the scratchbuilt parts used to create the files would then print the parts that would be assembled into the finished model.  Not only is the end result a scratchbuilt, it could also technically be considered a stock or oob model as well, allowing the finished 3-D model to be placed in the scratchbuilt category and it's exact duplicate in a stock kit category.  I know, it's enough to give you a hernia of the mind!

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Wasn't trying to answer, merely to clarify the question I'm not the expert nor the authority in this area. 

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18 hours ago, ghodges said:

Personally, I do not think that a modeler who loads some scale plans into a computer, translates that to a 3D printer and prints the model (even if done entirely by themselves) is doing what WE do: assemble, paint, and finish plastic model KITS. Nor does it involve or call for all of the skills needed to scratchbuild a model as demonstrated by the competition who does not 3D print.

Gil, this impression of the process of making a 3-D printed model grossly - by like two orders of magnitude - the amount of effort needed to go from a printed plan to a plastic part.  Hopefully that's not the type of thinking behind the NCC's decisions.  We're not in Star Trek  where you can talk to "the replicator" and get a finished model three minutes later.

I really have no interest in 3-D models.  I was just reading the Journal over my cereal and started thinking . . . OK, it's not scratchbuilt, fair enough.  But isn't there also a rule about no prototype kits or test shots?  Yup. . . .  So if a guy uses a 3-D printer to create a set of parts with the identical breakdown and parts count of a typical Tamiya kit, assembles those pieces into a complete airplane or tank - trims the sprue, removes the mold marks, glues it up, fills the seams, paints and decals it - he can't enter it into the contest because a) It is specifically excluded from scratchbuilt and b) UNLESS a model is scratchbuilt, it can't be entered unless it is a commercially available kit.

I'm not talking about a 3-D version of those 1/288, one-piece recognition models from 75 years ago.  I'm thinking of something like this guy's stuff where the kit has as much detail and complexity as a injection molded kit but it's printed instead.  I think you can see that it is also much more complex than a resin kit - which is allowed.  (An interesting follow-on:  What if someone used their 3-D printed parts as masters to make molds and build the exact same model out of resin?)

To look at it another way, if Peter Jackson used his resources to create a WNW kit that he never offered for sale, a model made from that kit could never be entered in the show.  That seems odd.

KL

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13 hours ago, Ron Bell said:

I think the "rub" is that if it is a home-brewed 3-D model, how do you enter it because it can't be a scratch built and it isn't a commercially available kit.

That's my question exactly.

 

KL

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12 hours ago, EFGrune said:

The general consensus of opinion was that since the process of making a 3D model does not typically  employ the "manual skills" of modelbuilding (cutting, sanding, glueing, etc) they are not scratchbuilt models, and may not be entered in scratchbuilt categories.

Ed, if you look at the link in my post above a guy is selling an exhaustively detailed, inside and out, 1/35 tank model *kit* that requires the same or more of the basic skills needed to assemble an injection kit into a *model*.

I guess because he is selling it it is "commercially available", so it could legitimately entered in to the armor category.  (I'm sure that would cause some consternation when it was discovered that it was a "3-D printed model".)  My question would apply to something with the same level of detail but entered by its designer and not offered for sale.

 

KL

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How does designing a 3D model on your home computer and printing the parts on your home 3D printer for assembly differ from a model that is assembled from 3D parts that conform to scale plans, are visualized by the modeler, and manually created by the modeler from balsafoam, RENShape, styrene sheet, or other allowed materials, using knives, files, and sandpaper? Both are scratchbuilt. The only difference is the technique used to create the parts.

The argument against 3D printed models sounds much like the argument against plastic kits when they first began to appear back in the 1950s: "real" model builders carved everything from balsa, and plastic kits were only toys or a fad because the process of building a plastic kit did not typically  employ the "manual skills" of model building (cutting, sanding, glueing, etc).

Edited by SkyKing

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Maybe it's me, but I don't get it and fail to see the difference with the exception of the materials used. 

  1. A "plastic" model made by the big boys is designed on a computer.  A 3D printed model is designed on a computer.
  2. The big boys drawings are downloaded into a CNC machine via computer.  Same process is done by the 3D modeler at home or by a vendor who produces the parts.
  3. The "tool/mold" for a "plastic" model is machined by CNC by a computer from stainless steel.  A "mold/tool" for a 3D printed model (if you wanted to reproduce it) is created by the modeler from RTV rubber.
  4. Both models are assembled by the modeler using virtually the same techniques.
  • Like 1

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The NCC is attempting to be proactive regarding 3D printing technology as opposed to reacting to what should we do when someone suddenly walks in and drops a 3D project on the table.  3D printing technology is evolving and maturing.  What we saw in 2017 may well be obsolete in 5 years.  We intend to review 3D rules each year based on inputs from the membership.

To your questions:

If Shapeways designer ETS-35 completes a Hotchkiss H-35 using his 3D parts that he has designed  and enters it in our competition it will be considered a standard 1:35 armor  entry.   It is commercially available from Shapeways.  Per the rule it is not considered to be scratchbuilt.  it will be judged against the other standard entries using the existing craftsmanship criteria.

The same can be said if you purchased the kit,  completed it, finished it and brought it to the competition.   The designer/scratchbuilt question is moot in this case.

Parts are parts,  be they 3D printed, resin, brass, white metal, turned metal,  etc.  Using 3D technology to enhance a kit detail is acceptable. 

Is there an available tank model on which these 3D piece parts could be added to make a new version?    I'm not an armor guy here.    This would be considered a commercial conversion.     Note the rule caveat about a conversion requiring a  significant change in configuration.

if a model is scratchbuilt  using standard materials (i.e. you built the tank body from sheet styrene) and used 3D printed roadwheels that could be considered a scratchbuilt entry as there is an allowance for minor items (wheels, guns, etc.)

We have not seen the condition where a designer builds a complete complex model which is not otherwise commercially available and enters it as scratchbuilt.   If it happens the NCC will address the situation.   An option may be to have a 3D category

To your comment to Gil regarding using 3D parts as masters for resin kits, that has been done for several years now.   Several resin ship manufacturers do this. The printed parts are cleaned up and refined to remove the printing artifacts and used as masters for resin casting.   The completion of the kit still requires the manual skills typically associated with modeling.

Ed Grune

Head Ship Judge

National Competition Committee

 

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Rusty and Ed, you both make excellent points.  I came up in the early days of plastic and can remember when Strombecker wood aircraft kits were common on hobby shelves.  Plastic?  That was limited to things like Revell's Highway Pioneers car kits or horsedrawn fire equipment.  Popular Mechanics ran regular plans in their issues for model ships.  They provided foldout drawings that would fit in their magazine with hull cross-sections that were laid out on paper grids.  Then you copied the patterns by hand onto paper with larger grids before you started building the model from solid blocks of wood.  Monogram started producing hybrid model kits that combined wood and plastic, then all plastic.

Yep, times change, techniques change and so do skills.  But it's the skills, whatever they may be that we value.

 

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I really think the NCC is on the right proactive track.  Let's not attempt to fix a problem until it arises.

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Exactly Rusty, but be ready for it... And it's on their radar so that is encouraging..

 

Jim

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FWIW, this will happen much sooner than later as many figure kits are already 3D sculpted and printed and then casat in resin. Or ytou can buy and opwn you own kit. Here's some examples:

https://www.gambody.com/

Dave

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