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Gregsed56

3D printer for Modeling

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Nothing like a fascinating conversation where definitions are determined by individual perception.  Noel, creating something from raw materials is modelmaking and it doesn't matter what the raw materials are or how you create the end creation.  In fact, most if not all modelbuilders are also modelmakers.  If that sounds strange, consider this:  When you take a model kit and then superdetail parts of it using raw materials....or as close to raw materials as most of us get...you are both a modelbuilder and modelmaker.  For example, take a model with a basic landing gear and no detail in the gear wells.  Build the kit stock and you are a modelbuilder since you add nothing to the kit parts that were provided by the kit manufacturer.  However, when you add detailing to that landing gear and/or gear wells by using minute pieces of wire, bits of scrap plastic, etc, then you are a modelmaker.

Rusty uses skills developed in the creation of patterns from conventional material.  That definitely makes him a scratchbuilder and modelmaker.  But when he complements those learned skills with additional skills required for the use of new technology, you would say that he is not a modelmaker.  I would suggest that a rethink is required due to the fact resin or whatever material is used by a 3D printer still qualifies as raw material because it has to  be changed to create the desired form.  And it would not know how to change into that form unless the creative person using the new technology had the scratchbuilding experience to create the program that the 3D printer used to instruct the raw material...resin or whatever...to become the final form.  It's really not that different from me creating a pattern from wood of a desired part, then building a mold box, pouring RTV over it and...after it cures...removing the original pattern.  Now I pour liquid resin into the RTV mold and when the resin hardens, I remove it.  Result?  I have a copy of the original pattern.  I have combined my skill at scratchbuilding with those needed to use a different technology to create a part that can be reproduced repeatedly and sold to anyone who would like one. 

Now, here's where it gets to be fun.  While, as I have described, Rusty and I would both have legitimate claims to being a modelmaker.  But if someone buys that part and uses it as instructed to a kit they are building...without any other detail beyond the commercially manufactured part...they are a modelbuilder, but are NOT a modelmaker unless they add detail of some kind that begins with some type of scratchbuilding material.

Bottom line is this: Creativity resides in the mind.  Without that spark, all the technology in the world won't help you.  It doesn't matter whether you use a block of wood, scalpel & sandpaper or a computer, CAD program & 3D printer.  When you have that God given spark or talent, you are a modelbuilder and as soon as you start adding detail created from raw material, you're a modelmaker.  You're also an artist, but that's a discussion for another day.

Richard

 

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Interesting points Richard. Before I retired I was a full time CNC Programmer in the engineering industry, so well used to drawing up parts on CAD to produce on CNC machines. Although I will agree about the need for creativity and engineering expertise to design parts in 3D, it is still the machine actually making the part, not the hands of a craftsman. Rusty having a model company naturally uses 3D printing for rapid prototyping and short run manufacture that would take much longer by traditional methods.

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