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  1. #1

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    ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    I am very excited about 3d printing. I am sure that many RC goers are as well due to the ramifications that it would have for us. Like many similar technologies (substantial R/D and low cost of productions), these printers will cost as little as $200 or less in about 5 years. 3d printing CAD software will become incredibly simplified as well so that a typical consumer can easily just take a few pictures of the item they want and press start. I am wondering how it will change the R/C market though. Of course some people will chime and and state that it wont. Most of us know that is not true. Manufacturers and hobby stores make most of their Margin on parts as opposed to vehicles. Like many other businesses, they get by on a small percent margin. That margin will disappear without a market for standard replacement parts. Of course, not everything is plastic but more than enough is. Plastic parts of all grades will be easily re-produceable in home and the major manufacturers will not be sustainable under that business model. My concern is that even the largest manufacturers are very small companies. They likely lack the resources and talent required to re-tool their business model (This is just an assumption but it may not be correct). This might change the hobby but it will certainly not hurt it. It might even bring more people in. Nonetheless, I am concerned that we will loose some of our favorite companies.


    What do you think?

  2. #2
    FahrtAutoRC's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    The parts are too weak, being made out of layered plastic, as opposed to molded, and are not suited for long term or heavy duty usage. The printers work by printing in layers, and would not hold up to any kind of heavy usage.
    Tekno Losi 8ight II Slash 4X4 II HPI Blitz II Associated B4.1 II Losi Mini-T II Custom frame AX10 II Axial G6

  3. #3
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    i dont see these printers being used for most parts. not strong enough.
    where I can see a area of rc they would be awsome for, is scale rock crawler parts. bumpers, light bars, jacks, coolers, guns ect. all the small scale details that cost a fair bit now as they come from big manfucturers. I mean, a kit with a few small scale bits is $15.

    and think of a scale v8 motor for your scx10!

    Blowers, winches, roll cages and more.

    right now, we are limited by what the companies can come up with. unless you are skilled enough to to work with metal, your only option is to buy whats out there. but with 3d printer, if you can think it up and put it into cad you can then print it out of plastic and paint it.

    could be very cool stuff.
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  4. #4
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    I think its staples in europe is launching(been a long time since I read it so it might have launched already) a 3d printing service that uses a mind boggling number of (very thin) paper layers glued together with a resin to form the item, and they claimed its stronger then plywood in the press release I read. From what I remember reading the item that's printed can even be printed in full color so it has a huge benefits over traditional current 3d printing tech.
    One thing it couldn't do though that resin based 3d printers can do way better is use say a wax to make a mold for metal casting.
    With great speed comes greater repair bills.
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    At first, I did not think the strength would be there either. Then I saw the story about the guy who 3d printed a functional fire arm. The chamber was a little thicker than a traditional gun but any plastic would have to be. The fact that it was able to shoot a bullet w/o exploding made me think twice.

  6. #6
    SyCo_VeNoM's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: john2364

    At first, I did not think the strength would be there either. Then I saw the story about the guy who 3d printed a functional fire arm. The chamber was a little thicker than a traditional gun but any plastic would have to be. The fact that it was able to shoot a bullet w/o exploding made me think twice.
    ahh the free one shot plans?
    also have to remember the forces at work are way different.
    With great speed comes greater repair bills.
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    Until they develop new materials for them I don't think parts would be strong enough, I saw a video/short documentary about a guy that was making free plans for ar-15 parts such as magazines, lowers ect and the last I heard they got about 100 rounds from the lower before it broke but they keep improving the design and the life keeps getting longer but the materials are just too weak.
    If you dont know what your doing, its best to do it quickly.

  8. #8
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    I heard the interview with that F***-Wit who designed, test fired, and posted the plans on-line.  I couldn't believe my ears!  Just what we need, more cheap guns.....NOT!!   Now we can have kids and crazy people making their own!  Brilliant. [:@]  Jerk.

    The fact that someone was able to make something like that implies the material can be made strong enough to handle an exploding bullet.  But for how many times?  And RC parts are not as solidly assembled as a firearm.   Think suspension arm.

    But for cosmetic RC items it'd probably be great.
    Just a schmoe....

  9. #9
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    Got a problem with our given rights? If he wants to make it, let him. Besides, do you really think "kids and crazies" are going to go out of their way and spend the kind of coin to make one of these? Nah, gun shows work just fine, and are more affordable.

    That being said, it is clear you have no clue about the workings of a firearm and the forces exerted. The gun did fire, for a while, but not for very long. Not even enough RDR from said gun to make it worth entertaining as a viable option. The thing simply did not hold up for very long, heat being one of its biggest enemies. I liken it to making a shiv in prison out of compressed toilet paper and water. You won't be doing much with it for very long.


    ORIGINAL: EXT2Rob

    I heard the interview with that F***-Wit who designed, test fired, and posted the plans on-line. I couldn't believe my ears! Just what we need, more cheap guns.....NOT!! Now we can have kids and crazy people making their own! Brilliant. [:@] Jerk.

    The fact that someone was able to make something like that implies the material can be made strong enough to handle an exploding bullet. But for how many times? And RC parts are not as solidly assembled as a firearm. Think suspension arm.

    But for cosmetic RC items it'd probably be great.
    Tekno Losi 8ight II Slash 4X4 II HPI Blitz II Associated B4.1 II Losi Mini-T II Custom frame AX10 II Axial G6

  10. #10
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: EXT2Rob

    I heard the interview with that F***-Wit who designed, test fired, and posted the plans on-line.* I couldn't believe my ears!* Just what we need, more cheap guns.....NOT!!** Now we can have kids and crazy people making their own!* Brilliant. [:@]* Jerk.

    The fact that someone was able to make something like that implies the material can be made strong enough to handle an exploding bullet.* But for how many times?* And RC parts are not as solidly assembled as a firearm.** Think suspension arm.

    But for cosmetic RC items it'd probably be great.
    I'm not quite sure how to answer this post. While I disapprove of the idea of plastic printed firearms, I have somewhat different reasoning. I think that they pose just as much danger to the user as the target. Even if the designer finds a usable plastic that is stronger than steel, I can see many people trying it with cheap plastic (think ebay) and having it blow up on them. As far as who should and shouldn't be able to buy guns, the subject is almost as intense as politics, so lets just drop it.
    God bless America

  11. #11

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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    This seems to be going in a bad direction. Lets try to keep politics out of this and keep it about RC parts and the industry. The firearm was just an example but I do recognize that the forces exerted on a compression chamber are different from something like an A arm.

  12. #12
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    I saw a thread a few years ago highlighting a small scale indoor R/C aircraft - I believe it was an F6F Hellcat. The structure was entirely printed, with integral and servo and motor mounts. It was then covered with light weight film. Extremely cool and gives hugepossibilities for the prior mentioned scale details. Do I want a full scale interior for my Spitfire? Print it off as a single piece. Since then, there have been some highly publisised 3D printed drones and UAV's as well - including a model similar in size and appearance to a Kadet Senior.
    I seriously believe that not only will 3D printers be commonplace in 15-20 years, but they will change our hobbies as well. The winners of Top Gun or the Nats won't be the best builders, but those who possess the most advanced CAD skills.

    [edit] - here's the link to the F6F:http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1455808

    Graeme
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  13. #13
    t-max97's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: EXT2Rob

    I heard the interview with that F***-Wit who designed, test fired, and posted the plans on-line.* I couldn't believe my ears!* Just what we need, more cheap guns.....NOT!!** Now we can have kids and crazy people making their own!* Brilliant. [:@]* Jerk.

    The fact that someone was able to make something like that implies the material can be made strong enough to handle an exploding bullet.* But for how many times?* And RC parts are not as solidly assembled as a firearm.** Think suspension arm.

    But for cosmetic RC items it'd probably be great.
    Im with fahrtautorc on this one Im glad he's doing it, Its just proving that you cant ban guns, certain size magazines ect, it just wont work, how many kids do you know that have unsupervised access to a 3d printer? If someone wants a gun bad enough they can get one no matter what gun laws are in place, because criminals dont obey the law, thats why they are called criminals lol.`
    If you dont know what your doing, its best to do it quickly.

  14. #14
    t-max97's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: GraemeEllis

    I saw a thread a few years ago highlighting a small scale indoor R/C aircraft - I believe it was an F6F Hellcat. The structure was entirely printed, with integral and servo and motor mounts. It was then covered with light weight film. Extremely cool and gives huge*possibilities for the prior mentioned scale details. Do I want a full scale interior for my Spitfire? Print it off as a single piece. Since then, there have been some highly publisised 3D printed drones and UAV's as well - including a model similar in size and appearance to a Kadet Senior.
    *
    I seriously believe that not only will 3D printers be commonplace in 15-20 years, but they will change our hobbies as well. The winners of Top Gun or the Nats won't be the best builders, but those who possess the most advanced CAD skills.*

    [edit] - here's the link to the F6F:*http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1455808

    *
    Graeme
    *
    Now when I comes to planes I see huge possibilities for 3d printers, we use mostly weak balsa now, the plastic has to be stronger than that. You could also print parts to use as patterns for balsa.
    If you dont know what your doing, its best to do it quickly.

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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    I just finished 3d printing a dual movable camera mount for a FPV plane my son and I are working on. We can now tilt both cameras down or straight ahead while in flight instead of using 4 camera's to get the same effect. I noticed a couple of things good and bad with 3D printing. This particular mount was designed completely on CAD with only minimal measuring of the camera's and location ahead of time and the accuracy is perfect. If you can dream it, you can fabricate it on the printer. This printer layers the material and bonds it together in very thin layers forming the item. It seems to be vey durable, but due to the way its made the items are thicker than I would have liked in order to keep the structure stable. Being on a very large FPV plane its not really an issue buton a smaller structural part... Not there yet. I was told they can use ABS plastic and its thinner, but still not as strong as the nylon/plastic blends we currently use. But that will be available eventually and thats when these printers will come into their own.. its getting there and will be soon.. I can think of so many things I would love to print.. but everything I need is structural..
    If it has wheels... I\'\'ll make it fly

  16. #16
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    as you can make a cannon that can fire from duct tape, I'm sure you can do the same with a gun. That would be even cheaper and easier to do then a 3d printer
    duct tape one would probably last more than 1-2 shots too.
    Or go get a metal lath and make one...


    Now to get to topic (or a topic) how high do you think traxxas will raise prices when people start printing parts as it will cut into their replacement parts income
    With great speed comes greater repair bills.
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  17. #17
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    Well, one possibility for 3D printing is building extremely precise tooling parts.......male parts that can then be molded into useful molds. Fuselages, wings, stabs, rudders, wheel pants, landing gear, literaly any component that we currently require to complete a model, can be molded with extreme precision.

    Once the molds are done (in record time, with minimal work) parts that are cast will be more precise than almost anything available today, (excepting APC propellers probably). The biggest advantage is in refining individual parts.... making changes will be far simpler.
    Regards,
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: SyCo_VeNoM

    as you can make a cannon that can fire from duct tape, I'm sure you can do the same with a gun. That would be even cheaper and easier to do then a 3d printer
    duct tape one would probably last more than 1-2 shots too.
    Or go get a metal lath and make one...


    Now to get to topic (or a topic) how high do you think traxxas will raise prices when people start printing parts as it will cut into their replacement parts income
    Hmm, we have a pretty large metal lathe in our basement, I might have to make a cannon. lol
    If you dont know what your doing, its best to do it quickly.

  19. #19
    SyCo_VeNoM's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: MTK

    Well, one possibility for 3D printing is building extremely precise tooling parts.......male parts that can then be molded into useful molds. Fuselages, wings, stabs, rudders, wheel pants, landing gear, literaly any component that we currently require to complete a model, can be molded with extreme precision.

    Once the molds are done (in record time, with minimal work) parts that are cast will be more precise than almost anything available today, (excepting APC propellers probably). The biggest advantage is in refining individual parts.... making changes will be far simpler.
    just gave me a great idea on a use

    MAKING CAR BODIES

    think about it get a 3d scanner (yes they have them, and I saw one that was made dirt cheap with common parts) then get a matchbox car in the design you want (or even a model car) and use the scanner to scan it in. Then you can use cad software to manipulate it to the size you need to fit a chassis. After that print it up, and use it to form a lexan shell as vacuum forming machines are quite cheap and easy to make.
    With great speed comes greater repair bills.
    Click on My models to see some of what I own. Eventually will add the rest

  20. #20

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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    This was pretty much my point, once the tech and materials get there, the major rc manufacturers will probably be wiped out. These are not large companies and the do not likely have the capital to maintain long while operating at a loss. For example, apple is going to be pretty screwed as cloud becomes more consumer friendly. They make major profits by selling over priced proprietary hardware. Cloud computing prohibits most proprietary hardware so they will and are changing their business model. Apple has the resources and capital to handle this. A 50 to 200 employee rc manufacture with low gp (even the big guys are tiny in the general market place) does not have the capital. I also doubt that they have the business talent either. Their market is not really big enough to justify employing this talent resource. My prediction is that it will have a drastic change in the market.

    ORIGINAL: SyCo_VeNoM

    as you can make a cannon that can fire from duct tape, I'm sure you can do the same with a gun. That would be even cheaper and easier to do then a 3d printer
    duct tape one would probably last more than 1-2 shots too.
    Or go get a metal lath and make one...


    Now to get to topic (or a topic) how high do you think traxxas will raise prices when people start printing parts as it will cut into their replacement parts income

  21. #21
    SyCo_VeNoM's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market

    ORIGINAL: john2364

    This was pretty much my point, once the tech and materials get there, the major rc manufacturers will probably be wiped out. These are not large companies and the do not likely have the capital to maintain long while operating at a loss. For example, apple is going to be pretty screwed as cloud becomes more consumer friendly. They make major profits by selling over priced proprietary hardware. Cloud computing prohibits most proprietary hardware so they will and are changing their business model. Apple has the resources and capital to handle this. A 50 to 200 employee rc manufacture with low gp (even the big guys are tiny in the general market place) does not have the capital. I also doubt that they have the business talent either. Their market is not really big enough to justify employing this talent resource. My prediction is that it will have a drastic change in the market.

    ORIGINAL: SyCo_VeNoM

    as you can make a cannon that can fire from duct tape, I'm sure you can do the same with a gun. That would be even cheaper and easier to do then a 3d printer
    duct tape one would probably last more than 1-2 shots too.
    Or go get a metal lath and make one...


    Now to get to topic (or a topic) how high do you think traxxas will raise prices when people start printing parts as it will cut into their replacement parts income
    I was being facetious with the traxxas comment
    like traxxas ever needed a reason to raise prices

    Honestly though I don't see it cutting in at all really. As the people who would print their parts and make them strong enough to work, are the same people that would just make the parts out of aluminum sheets or other materials currently.
    Lets face it think about how many people have issues trying to use a gfx editor to resize a picture on this site. Now imagine the same people trying to learn to use cad to design a part to be printed
    so they MIGHT have a 1% sales drop but I do not see it as anything serious at all.
    Great example is look at RPM they aren't putting the RC companies under with their parts as they are more durable then the stocks, and in a lot of cases cheaper too. Look at how RPM has almost every part for a traxas vehicle(isn't the chassis like the only thing they never made?), and how traxxas is still doing great in business.

    Now it would help people like me who like to build their own RCs from scratch just so they can see their creation come to life.
    With great speed comes greater repair bills.
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  22. #22
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


  23. #23
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    seen that project before. Few things to note one its not running brushless from what I can see(which almost everyone demands), and 2 he isn't taking jumps. If they did either of these that thing would crack bad.
    Not saying it isn't impressive, but honestly for how much it probably cost to make in materials a cheap tamiya that could take way more abuse could have been bought. I know cost savings wasn't the point, but I'm saying more for the common joe not someone that just wants to do it to prove a point, or for the fun of it
    With great speed comes greater repair bills.
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  24. #24
    FahrtAutoRC's Avatar
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: SyCo_VeNoM

    as you can make a cannon that can fire from duct tape, I'm sure you can do the same with a gun. That would be even cheaper and easier to do then a 3d printer

    Can make a twelve gauge "zip gun" out of two pieces of piping and a screw

    Tekno Losi 8ight II Slash 4X4 II HPI Blitz II Associated B4.1 II Losi Mini-T II Custom frame AX10 II Axial G6

  25. #25
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    RE: ramifications of 3d printing on RC market


    ORIGINAL: SyCo_VeNoM


    ORIGINAL: MTK

    Well, one possibility for 3D printing is building extremely precise tooling parts.......male parts that can then be molded into useful molds. Fuselages, wings, stabs, rudders, wheel pants, landing gear, literaly any component that we currently require to complete a model, can be molded with extreme precision.

    Once the molds are done (in record time, with minimal work) parts that are cast will be more precise than almost anything available today, (excepting APC propellers probably). The biggest advantage is in refining individual parts.... making changes will be far simpler.
    just gave me a great idea on a use

    MAKING CAR BODIES

    think about it get a 3d scanner (yes they have them, and I saw one that was made dirt cheap with common parts) then get a matchbox car in the design you want (or even a model car) and use the scanner to scan it in. Then you can use cad software to manipulate it to the size you need to fit a chassis. After that print it up, and use it to form a lexan shell as vacuum forming machines are quite cheap and easy to make.
    That's a very good idea. Finally we'll be able to get bodies of vehicles that aren't classic cars or current vehicles.
    God bless America


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