The future of RP and small Resin Manufacturers?


Marcelo Lordeiro <mrcustom@...>
 

IF the pattern maker is a model railroader , is also the resin caster and was the freight car design mananger for a car builder , I'm sure you will get something outstanding.
Marcelo Lordeiro

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Chapman
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2005 12:09 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: The future of RP and small Resin Manufacturers?


>>> ... if you mean eventually it will come to pass that we
everyday modeler types will be able to create masters... <<<

> NO. That is not what I mean Brian. This thread began by talking
> about compensation for making masters, and it arose that there
> are pattern makers out there who can do custom work. The problem
> with this is that the TRANSLATION from a modeler's head to a
> pattern maker's head to a resin caster's head is going to be a
> risky, error prone path.

Ahh, OK, I do see what you're saying now, I believe. Generally, I read
this list via daily Digests, and I do believe I missed the
compensation discussion at the thread's beginning.

Even now, though, the cost of using the .002" resolution system for
proof of concept is darn expensive. However, if a modeler is
well-to-do or intends to cast a number of copies to amortize costs of
a production run, it makes more sense.

I think others were saying this earlier, but I seemed to have gone off
in another direction. <g

Thanks for clarifying what you meant so that I could finally "get it."

-Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


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Brian Chapman <cornbeltroute@...>
 

Jim,

I much enjoyed your note. Riches are not my goal (good thing, eh?) In
fact, I had hoped to develop this small business to keep bread on the
table while I pursue a few writing projects I've hankered to get after
for a number of years.

These days, it's just myself and my roommate (a big, ol' Tomcat who --
sometimes . . . once in awhile -- answers to the name, "Bogart"). So,
I have low overhead, love this hobby, have a keen interest in the
prototype (1920s through the 1960s mainly, I guess), plenty or room
for shop and office, so. . . .

Maybe I can fund my writing, make one or two modelers happy with
railroad items they otherwise would not have had, and be ready to move
on to something else if RP should kill all people like me. I'll keep
at it until death comes knocking at my door, though. lol

Jim, thank you for your insights and suggestions,

-Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


James Eckman
 

From: "Brian Chapman" <cornbeltroute@...>

I am self-taught, at considerable investment of
dollars and time, in CAD and CAM software and the use of CNC tabletop
equipment (among other production venues, too, such as photo etching).
How soon will my world of manufacturing collapse about me? I do not know.
I would be worried more about the collapse of the model railroad freight car market myself. RP isn't going to happen overnight, it will take a while before the service bureaus even can do things with the level of detail required. Note Jim's? post where the salespeople didn't even know what their machine could do along with a silly pricing policy.

Sitting near me is a test CNC cut negative mold of one side of a
40-foot bead-sided Trailmobile meat reefer, with some 1200 rivets
located between each corrugation in vertical rows. The corrugations
and rivets were cut with a ball mill and a drill bit, respectively, of
appropriate scale size. I think the result looks terrific. But, can
this type of work compete with RP? I do not know.
If it looks good, why not? The end purchaser will only care that it looks right and can be put together into a working model. I'd look at Westerfield kits for pointers on that!

I wonder if RP, eventually, will not be a greater threat to injection
molding manufacturers than to today's small shop resin manufacturers.
If you have a mass market, injection is the way to go, making molds is easier and cheapier as well nowadays.

Today, small resin manufacturers are seen, I believe, as the future
for prototype modelers (particularly steam-era modelers) wishing to
acquire highly accurate models of equipment and structures that can
never been produced by injection molding. How long is this "future"
likely to last?
As long as the hobby.

Egads, I do believe I have developed a stomach-ache while writing this
post ;-/
I hope you will derive pleasure from your business, model freight cars are probably not the road to riches. Of course there's my secret method for making a million at model railroading, if you send me $1,000,000 I will be glad to share it with you ;).

Jim Eckman


Brian Chapman <cornbeltroute@...>
 

... if you mean eventually it will come to pass that we
everyday modeler types will be able to create masters... <<<

NO. That is not what I mean Brian. This thread began by talking
about compensation for making masters, and it arose that there
are pattern makers out there who can do custom work. The problem
with this is that the TRANSLATION from a modeler's head to a
pattern maker's head to a resin caster's head is going to be a
risky, error prone path.
Ahh, OK, I do see what you're saying now, I believe. Generally, I read
this list via daily Digests, and I do believe I missed the
compensation discussion at the thread's beginning.

Even now, though, the cost of using the .002" resolution system for
proof of concept is darn expensive. However, if a modeler is
well-to-do or intends to cast a number of copies to amortize costs of
a production run, it makes more sense.

I think others were saying this earlier, but I seemed to have gone off
in another direction. <g

Thanks for clarifying what you meant so that I could finally "get it."

-Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


---


Tim O'Connor
 

... if you mean eventually it will come to pass that we
everyday modeler types will be able to create masters...
NO. That is not what I mean Brian. This thread began by talking
about compensation for making masters, and it arose that there
are pattern makers out there who can do custom work. The problem
with this is that the TRANSLATION from a modeler's head to a
pattern maker's head to a resin caster's head is going to be a
risky, error prone path. But IF the modeler can specify what he
wants with drawings and specs, and if the pattern maker can do
a set of CAD drawings from that and the modeler can see they are
good, and then the pattern maker can turn on his SL equipment to
produce the masters Voila! Then the last step is the casting...

This type of thing can be done now, by custom pattern makers, but
without the CAD drawings as verification and without the inherent
reliability of the SL process, for Joe Modeler commissioning the
custom patterns is risky not only in terms of sales, but it also
is risky in terms of technical success. So this RP/SL process is
a way of assuring technical success. But like I said I don't think
it alters the cost structure significantly. I think your investment
in time & equipment is safe for now, and I hope you go ahead with
your venture.

Tim O'Connor


Brian Chapman <cornbeltroute@...>
 

Tim,

Is that supposed to make me feel better? lol.

Actually, going on instinct, I'm thinking RP will make a huge
difference, I just don't know how quickly and in what ways: Which
production methods existing today will it kill (if any)?

So often, "things" don't develop in ways that we predict. It'll be
interesting to see how this all shakes out, won't it?

rapid prototyping . . . makes "creating masters" more accessible to
those of us without all of the skills to do it. <

This kinda flies in the face of what Jim and/or Tom have said in this
thread, though, doesn't it? IIRC, they have pointed out that, as it is
now, a steep learning curve is involved along the entire route to
production with this process. Equally troublesome, the few companies
that possess this process at the moment likely will want little to do
with we small customer / manufacturer types with shallow pockets.

But, if you mean eventually it will come to pass that we everyday
modeler types will be able to create masters, certainly, you're right
on the mark. (Listen to me talk, as if I have a clue how this whole
thing will look in the future. Just talking in order to attempt to
understand it on some elementary level, I guess.)

casting is where the rubber meets the road! <
Unless and until the RP process is so powerful and efficient that we
can feed a prepared design into a machine and 20 seconds later it pops
out a complete replica (like ordering dinner aboard the Star Ship
Enterprise, push a button and your food appears, "magically").

Maybe RP will move from a "slow" process good enough only to produce
masters for casting to a point where it is the manufacturing process
itself, obsoleting resin casting alltogether.

Just one point of view, and no doubt it's way off course. <g

-Brian

Brian Chapman
Evansdale, Iowa


---


Tim O'Connor
 

Brian,

I do not think rapid prototyping dramatically changes the
cost of resin kit production. Instead, I imagine it makes
"creating masters" more accessible to those of us without
all of the skills to do it. Or it makes it possible to
create more masters, faster, for people who really know
what they're doing. Technology often amounts to a trade
off of time for money. Besides, good masters is only half
the battle -- casting is where the rubber meets the road!

Tim O.