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3D printing... friend or foe?

 
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Futurepig
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:48 am    Post subject: 3D printing... friend or foe? Reply with quote

I was looking at different examples of 3D printed objects the other day and I started to wonder who that affects the hobby (or profession) of model making.

I know how hard people work looking for that particular plastic part that was used in a famous prop. Some times you have to look for an old appliance that the original model makers redressed or cannibalized to make a gun or a space ship. Or carefully make a mold and cast the piece in resin.

But now there are ways to make a part, or the whole thing (even guns) with a 3D printer.

So I was wondering, does that ruin the magic of creating a prop? It makes it too easy? It would allow an untalented hack (as myself) to recreate a prop with minimal effort?

Or on the other hand, it would be a great tool in the hands of a skilled model maker? What do you think?
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joberg
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As everything in this life has a dual purpose (good/bad), 3-D printing has its good side:
If I can re-create parts of an Entex Porsche on my 3-D machine I will, instead of paying an arm and a leg (and try to find the kit) for that part.

As for the case of CGI, is too much 3-D modeling a bad thing?
As a model/prop maker/hobbyist it all depends on time/money/level of difficulties, etc.
I'm sure that, when you're on a tight schedule, you'll be glad to use that tech instead of re-creating the part from scratch.

And so what if you have "untalended hacks" making/creating 3-D objects with a minimal effort; it's the end result that counts, not necessarily the way to get there...sometimes Wink
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andy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being able to think in 3D is not something untalented hacks can usually do. many need the experience in building and making stuff long before they can actually design something as such. The best model maker will being doing a combination of both still, but might lose some of their skills in milling and machining. They will be saving a lot of time too, but of course those they can buy the printers now can print any file they can get their hands on, so it might create something similar to music downloading if it hasn't already. The designers of these things in the first place will still require all the skills and talent of their forebearers.

Andy
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Futurepig
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joberg wrote:
As everything in this life has a dual purpose (good/bad), 3-D printing has its good side:
If I can re-create parts of an Entex Porsche on my 3-D machine I will, instead of paying an arm and a leg (and try to find the kit) for that part.

As for the case of CGI, is too much 3-D modeling a bad thing?
As a model/prop maker/hobbyist it all depends on time/money/level of difficulties, etc.
I'm sure that, when you're on a tight schedule, you'll be glad to use that tech instead of re-creating the part from scratch.

And so what if you have "untalended hacks" making/creating 3-D objects with a minimal effort; it's the end result that counts, not necessarily the way to get there...sometimes Wink


Yes. Definitely every new invention has a good and a bad side.
They're either a benefit or a hazard. Wink
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Futurepig
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy wrote:
Being able to think in 3D is not something untalented hacks can usually do. many need the experience in building and making stuff long before they can actually design something as such. The best model maker will being doing a combination of both still, but might lose some of their skills in milling and machining. They will be saving a lot of time too, but of course those they can buy the printers now can print any file they can get their hands on, so it might create something similar to music downloading if it hasn't already. The designers of these things in the first place will still require all the skills and talent of their forebearers.

Andy


Yeah, but I was not thinking about people who are actually skilled at 3d. I was more thinking about someone searching the web for a 3D model of the Aliens Pulse Rifle and printing it, then adding a semi-decent spray paint job and voila! Instant prop that usually takes a traditional model maker months or years to finish.

And I say it because that's exactly what I would do if I had the money. Twisted Evil
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andy
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well in order to get a finish that is ready to just paint you need to do a lot of sanding and cleaning it up, or have an industrial printer worth about a million bucks. maybe as they improve and get cheaper, but the cost of the materials and the printers will still keep many away, and the best finishes will still be on the ones using different materials. As it is many of the 3D printer prop makers use the printers to help make a master and then cast them in resins to get a more resilient and paintable material. Maybe some of the new 3D printing material is getting better too though.

Andy
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joberg
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cleaning up on ABS is simple: acetone and a light sanding.
If you farm your object to be printed (ShapeWay for ex.) you can choose different finishes and medium (at a cost of course).
In the last James Bond, the vintage Aston Martin model was entirely 3-D printed on a $ 400 000 machine Shocked but you don't need to sand anything at that level Wink
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Replicant 13
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: ON THE FACE OF IT Reply with quote

There is an area, I think not discussed yet - that of sculptures. In particular figures and busts.

I have always enjoyed the challenge of creating a figure, or taking an existing piece and trying my hand at changing the pose or improving a likeness, if it is based on a recognizable person.

Years ago when Gentle Giant announced that they would be releasing busts based on actual scans of the actors in The Phantom Menace, they released images that were amazing, but static poses. I wondered then what might become of the talented sculptors potentially replaced by this new process. And I questioned if my efforts might become moot as well.
(However, for whatever reason, of their offerings GG's earlier efforts remain their best, IMO.)

Since then companies like Sideshow Collectibles and Hot Toys have upped the stakes considerably, and yet seem to rely on a variety of processes and employ a small army of extremely talented sculptors and artists, both here and overseas.

While this is encouraging, I wonder if that magical human element will eventually fade in this realm, in the light of perceived digital perfection, and time(?)

- R13
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Bwood
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Food for thought indeed, Replicant 13..
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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mixed feelings about it. I think it's good for making the parts that are tricky or difficult to get. For me I think making something and getting my hands dirty is a large part of the enjoyment.

The whole concept of model making in general has changed so much the last 20 years. When I was a teenager I used to get the old Screamin, Horizon and Halcyon kits, and also military vehicles from Tamiya.
I used to build up my construction and painting skills making them.

The Tamiya kits are still around, but now there are many pre-painted snap-together kits. Where's the fun in that? Screamin, Horizon and Halcyon are no more, if you want those kinds of kits you have to buy some cheap and poor recast knock-off from Thailand. Figure kits are now pre-built and pre-painted from Hot Toys et al. As someone looking to get back into the hobby and share it with my son, I'm finding there isn't many kits out there now. Basically it means I have to do more scratchbuilds and then comes the question on whether 3D Printing becomes a part of that process.

I think if I do it, I'll do the smaller parts so I still have to assemble. Maybe it is the future of some model kits, being able to download and print the parts, then assemble & paint.
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Replicant 13
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:07 pm    Post subject: THE DEFINITION OF 'FUN' Reply with quote

Jockey, et al -

Agreed. Where's the fun in snapping together something in 5 minutes or less? There's no fun, no real value and it offers no true accomplishment.

Technology offers us wonderful tools, but it's how we use and apply them that matters. IMO, video and now online gaming has derailed original thinking and to a large degree, stolen the interest of today's kids. They have little patience for something that takes time to learn or to create, looking instead for immediate gratification at the push of a button.

If you venture into today's dwindling number of hobby shops, you see very few kids. And sadly, the price of kits prohibits much of the trial and error from which we all learned. It's become the hobby for the retired - those who love the challenge - who grew up dreaming of the kind of kits they can now afford, with a level of detail never thought possible in the 60's, 70's and 80's.

The action and adventure we experienced playing outside, using and exercising our imaginations has been replaced with predetermined outcomes - be it 'snap-tight' kits or repetitive role-playing games. Even something as basic as LEGO blocks, are now mostly sold as kits designed to build a specific subject - the Millennium Falcon or Hogswarts Castle. Imagination is no longer encouraged or required.

But it will be imagination, applied to new tools like 3D Printing technology that will drive our dreams and futures.

I applaud those parents who take the time and make the effort to challenge their children to get their hands dirty - to think independently and be creative.

HAB1! - R13
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Bwood
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's become the hobby for the retired


Perhaps unintentional, but still profound, replicant 13..
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joberg
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that creativity, imagination will always be part of what a true Artist is and strive for.
You gotta have imagination and creativity do design/draw/print something (first CAD and then 3-D printer)

It's not necessarily the "manual/on hand work" that stimulate the imagination; I mean, who has the time to do lettering applying Letraset one by one on paper? (Yes, for us old timers, we know how it feels, same with kits bought in a box or better, made from scratch Wink )

Life is trial and error and we Artists are simply there to find solutions to our challenges, be it with a model or a CAD design
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