While the CAD/M and laser technologies are making advances, a large part of
the expense of tooling is still in the mold base and fitting the inserts to
The marketing of kits is not related to the cost of the tooling,- it is a
function of the demand for kits versus assembled cars. Even buildings are
now coming built up.....this is not because labor is cheap in China (it
still costs more to assemble and ship assembled parts than package kits) but
because (most) customers in the marketplace want to buy them that way.
Rapid prototyping has its most promising application in the creation of
masters for short production run kits.... something in between today's resin
kits and Intermountain / P2000 . I have been working with a company that
has a new technology machine that has the resolution to build Z scale rivet
sized detail into an acryic plastic part. The process is too slow to
compete with resin and injection molded plastic but is great for producing
masters, either for resin kits or for ceramic tooling inserts.
There is all sorts of good stuff coming and the technology is helping make
possible projects that would have not been possible five years ago!!