Re: reverse engineering or copying?

Dennis Storzek

Aw, heck, the microwave oven had already attained its highest use in in 1970, in the student break room at U of I Chicago Circle, where the students would load it up with ketchup packs and watch them pop. The history of cooking with microwaves is all downhill from there.

There has been technology available to turn hand built pattern work into injection mold cavities for almost as long... I should know, I gave it a whirl in the eighties. The reason most of these processes are no longer available is simply that they offered NO real advantage. It's hard to build good looking and accurate patterns in HO scale, and the inherent inaccuracies run right up against the tighter tolerances required to have a functional mold that will run production.

The art of toolmaking has always been about technologies that will turn gross hand motion into precise movements of a tool; the handles on a milling machine are one way to accomplish this, a pantograph is another, and Computer Numerical Control is just another in a long line of such steps. The problem has always been the finer the resolution required, the more time (and expense) will be involved to obtain a satisfactory result. Scanning doesn't really change this. It's great, as Bill said, for large freeform shapes that are hard to define, and will see increased usage there. But for our models, which are really just a myriad of little geometric shapes, so long as there are drawings available, it's quicker and cheaper to just model it in CAD. And there are more drawings available now than ever before.

Dennis Storzek

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