Re: CG ventilated boxcar & pattern making

James Eckman

From: "pullmanboss" <tgmadden@...>

One additional note - this is not for the faint of wallet! You're dealing with a $250K machine and resin that runs a buck a gram.
Kind of like laser machining systems 20 years ago. Now you can get a desktop for $4K? Still even $4K is expensive for one tool, but the service bureaus will get better and in a few years we can crank out freight car parts like there's no tomorrow! There's laser cut freight car kits now.

I had one of our sales guys price out those windowed boxcar side pieces (three needed to make one side) as if I were a regular customer, and he came up with $163. Each.
For the level of detail, how many hours would it take to make one piece? 10? 20? more? Sounds not unreasonable.

All that showed is that our pricing algorithims don't work for very small and complex parts, and we worked out a much more favorable price. But be prepared for sticker shock.
What's more reasonable? Ballpark is fine...

Even so, if you value your time at all, or if you can't model to that level of detail, it's worth it. That's why this thread grew from Andy Carlson's observation that not every skilled pattern maker wants to work for free.
I usually build wooden cars so the rivet issue doesn't come up, but if it does!!!

From: raildata@...

I have been doing engineering design of injection molded cars and locomtives for virtually every HO and O scale manufacturer for many years using AutoCAD. For what it is worth, my guess (and Tom concurs) is that the "man hours" involved in doing a set of 3D CAD designs for a resin master is about the same as for doing an injection molded car. The injection molded design takes a bit more because of air brake piping, etc. which are cast instead of letting the modeler form from wire.
If there are any savings, they would be when you make variations which is trivial with CAD, not so trivial with models.

What this means in terms of $$$ is a function of what hourly rate you set for a CAD design engineer vs a highly skilled modelmaker. Interesting question, but basically it is what themarket will support!
Hopefully it will stay high, otherwise some of my friends will have to flip burgers instead!

Jim Eckman

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