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MikeH

3D Printer - Cool!

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Imagine if model companies had these. Scan a car or whatever, shrink it down to scale, and print = done. cheesy.gif

 

http://www.wimp.com/functionaltools/

 

All it takes is money! Of course they didn't mention how much it costs to make the wrench, the cost of the printer, or the cost of the replacement cartridges.

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Imagine if model companies had these. Scan a car or whatever, shrink it down to scale, and print = done. cheesy.gif

 

http://www.wimp.com/functionaltools/

 

 

 

 

HardCorps Models offered a few printed items including a set of workable LVT tracks and hatch cages for PTO Shermans. There is also a company that prints scale dinsosaurs. Resolution is the biggest issue. With parts such as HardCorps was doing where the sides vertical and the corners pretty sharp, it's not a big deal, but for angled or curved surfaces you definitely can see the layering effect. Stereolithography, which uses lasers to spot cure a gel, produces smoother results than this powder process, but all the parts I have seen still have have a surface most modelers would not be happy with, unless they are bead blasted. SUrf around and you can find examples of guys that are building this way, and some of the aftermarket guys are using this process for masters. As long as you are aware of the limitations of the technology it can be very useful, and I'm sure the resolution will continue to improve. Check out http://www.finelineprototyping.com/ if you want to learn a little more.

 

Jim

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i HAVE KNOWN OF THIS FOR ABOUT A YEAR,

this is just toooooooo cool, and man could we all do some very cool things.

 

Kev,

 

 

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'GENTLEMEN WE CAN REBUILD HIM. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY!'

Remember this quote from the opening sequence of the 6 Million Dollar Man?

3D Modelling is certainly a brilliant technology. I had a go at using one of these machines about 2 years ago. I must agree that the finish is not yet good enough, as stepping is visible for each layer.

There are two ways of importing info into these machines. A previous poster mentioned, scanning and printing being one nethod...However, 3D machines and scanners to convert a scan into CNC code for the machining do not come cheap! Likewise there is another method, whereby the originals are drawn up using 3D cad programs such as Solid Works, Pro Engineer, Solid Edge and Autodesk's Inventor to name the main players. These software programs cost thousands. So for most modellers, cost wise this is a bit of a dead duck at the moment. But who knows what developments there will be in about 10 years or so.

One thing is for sure, the kit manufacturers already use CAD in a big way to design the kits and the injection moulds. We must all have noticed how good the fit of new kits are these days. The accuracy of the model however is still down to the CAD drafting being correct in every detail.

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