Page updated on 11-19-2017

To all you resin casters and scratch builders….


mrsmorf
10-05-2013, 03:25 PM
I’m around this forum quite a long time, but I’ve been not posting very much (joined 2005, only 20 posts so far). Even though I’m not contributing that much, I may kindly ask for your opinions to my idea. But lets tell the story from the beginning.

I studied automotive and mechanical engineering. I always loved cars and had a passion for engineering. My actual job is more the “soft-skilled” type of, but its great and I love it.
Nevertheless since I’m a “technical creative” person, I somehow miss producing and especially designing things. That’s where it comes to one of my hobbies – building models.

Some months ago I had the chance to buy a used (almost new) Roland MDX-40 CNC machine with a 4th axis for a reasonable price. So far I designed and machined some parts for my later model car projects. The results so far are very satisfactory and that good, that I asked myself if I could use it commercially.

So the idea is to open up a small business for 3D-prototyping. Since I would be doing this beside my full time job, it needs to be straightforward and not causing much effort. So the prototyping service would be very dedicated. It would include 3D-scanning and 3D-machining (nc-programming and milling) of parts. Designing parts would be too time consuming and expensive, so that would be preferably up to the customer.

Based on the scanned surfaces, parts, transkits etc. with a perfect fit could be designed. These designed parts would be milled out of PU-hardfoam block material. The stuff I’m using has a density of 1200kg/m^3 and is generally used for deep-drawing tools. So it is a very rigid material and ideal for master pieces and moulds.

So what do you guys think? Is there a market among all the resin casters and scratch builders, where my business idea fits? Is it feasible against all the 3D-printing stuff you can find everywhere? Concerning the material and the surface quality, I think the subtractive prototyping method is superior. The parts I produced so far only need very little touchups (little surface sanding).

The prices strongly depend on the complexity of the parts. I think I would e.g. ask for about 60-80 EUR for a rim (like on the pictures…).

I don’t need to live from that business, just a little extra income…. I just want to get a feeling about the potential of the idea and if it is worth the efforts of opening up a business….

So I love to hear your comments:

Greetings Sebastian



scanned grill of a fujimi Nissan Skyline Coupe
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/g35_grill_zps84adc04c.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/g35_grill_zps84adc04c.jpg.html)

scanned trunk of the nissan skyline coupe
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/g35_tail_zps18f1c6b6.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/g35_tail_zps18f1c6b6.jpg.html)

Designed front lip and rear spoiler for Nissan Skyline Coupe
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/g35_fraesteil_zps44191a4a.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/g35_fraesteil_zps44191a4a.jpg.html)

Machined front lip and spoiler (the support struts need to be removed)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01923_zps1ae64b0d.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01923_zps1ae64b0d.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01926_zps000f1976.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01926_zps000f1976.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01922_zpsf5cc9ec9.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01922_zpsf5cc9ec9.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01930_zps399b6b60.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01930_zps399b6b60.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01929_zps69b6f7a0.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01929_zps69b6f7a0.jpg.html)

Designed 18 inch rim
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/RG2_zps2609c38d.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/RG2_zps2609c38d.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01911_zps06e04a6e.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01911_zps06e04a6e.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01910_zps49749acc.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01910_zps49749acc.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01909_zps9218a9aa.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01909_zps9218a9aa.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01908_zpse656cdf7.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01908_zpse656cdf7.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01907_zps1c77bc87.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01907_zps1c77bc87.jpg.html)
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/cnc/DSC01931_zps4758c899.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/cnc/DSC01931_zps4758c899.jpg.html)

lovegt40
10-05-2013, 03:37 PM
I think it is a very good idea. Check prices on more famous websites around (I use shapeways ) and compare the prices to have yourself an idea for the production.

there are infinite things to produce with such machines, and quality shown in pictures is very good. More, u are a modeller, so you already know what are items suitable for our hobby, and this is not at all a small plus.

Good luck ;)

griffin-gt40
10-05-2013, 05:10 PM
I think its a fantastic idea. Those rims look very impressive. I have a few sets of rims I need made for a couple of different ongoing projects and would definitely be interested. The only real issue would be unit cost? The block of material you used to make the rim sample looks overly large for 1 piece. I am sure its a test but hopefully a pair of rims could be cut from a block that size to minimize waste? Anyway, post up some prices, I'm sure you'll find many that would be interested in this type of service. The quality definitely looks as good if not better then some of the 3D printings I've seen, the deciding factor would be cost.

David

JeremyJon
10-05-2013, 08:10 PM
The pivotal issues are costs & time spent, your time is worth something, but you may find to have a realistic sale price to customers, it quickly is deminished

I can tell you that $60-80 Euro, for a single wheels design, is really steep, I have tire & wheel designs done & printed for me, as masters for casting, for a portion of that, and is where 3D printing comes in it's own benefit

Anything is possible, but you have to evaluate the pros&cons, being realistic about cost control, and not overly ambitious about potential profit(s)

Good luck! :)

cjsbosox
10-06-2013, 11:37 AM
I think some of us would be willing to pay if the quality is there. I just got some wheels from shapeways that look awesome. But they are textured and I doubt I can get them entirely smooth. BTW I love what you have done for that skyline. I only wish I could get my hands on one to make a replica of my car ;)

Tamar
10-06-2013, 02:29 PM
If the 60 - 80€ for a single machined rim includes the scanning and/or producing the 3d file it might be a reasonable price for a master. The client/caster would have to sell at least a 100 copies to break even (or 25 sets)

But then again at the present state of 3d printers the quality and surface texture of a machined master of a 1/24 rim will be better.

I might think of a few rims and projects I would like to have done.
Contact me via pm for your phone number.

with kind regards
Tamar

hirofkd
10-06-2013, 03:05 PM
I can get a set of four wheels for about US$40 from Shapeways, and the parts only need minimal sanding.
Level of detail of STL printed parts is very good, and it's hard to compete with a milling machine (though it depends on the quality of 3D model and the printer operator's skills.)
I think your advantage is the build envelope of 30 x 30 x 10 cm. Large parts (line an entire car body) can become quite expensive through online parts fabricating services, but if you can offer better price, you can compete.

puffyrs
10-06-2013, 03:10 PM
All looks very good,

Mikezibit
10-06-2013, 03:12 PM
I think some of us would be willing to pay if the quality is there. I just got some wheels from shapeways that look awesome. But they are textured and I doubt I can get them entirely smooth. BTW I love what you have done for that skyline. I only wish I could get my hands on one to make a replica of my car ;)

has shapeways changed something on their print quality ? I have ordered my last parts in spring time and I was not really happy with the FUD quality.
I know a guy with a milling machine and the parts are much better.

Kjenjak
10-07-2013, 03:57 AM
It was my initial idea that you could offer transkit parts, like to change bodies of certain Coupes into Spiders, where there's no Spider kit yet. You could scan 1/18 models and compute them "down" to 1/24. (Something I would be interested in.)
But you have to be very careful about licensing, and can't name the parts by their correct OEM when you want to sell or advertise something.

mrsmorf
10-07-2013, 05:16 AM
Thank you very much for your kind replies.

It seems that there are opposing opinions about the quality of 3D-printed parts.
To see how the machined wheel looks, I just sprayed some primer on it (without any sanding). There is a little texture on the inside, but nothing you can’t handle with a little sanding.

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/DSC01938_zps16897a56.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/DSC01938_zps16897a56.jpg.html),

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/DSC01939_zps1456f3a7.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/DSC01939_zps1456f3a7.jpg.html)

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w300/mr_smorf/DSC01940_zps8fd7409f.jpg (http://s179.photobucket.com/user/mr_smorf/media/DSC01940_zps8fd7409f.jpg.html)


Concerning the prices, there’s no way you can compete with shapeways. Machining the wheel in that quality you can see on the pictures, took about 5,5 hours. The nc-programing and simulation took about 1,5 hours. When you go to a professional machining shop, they have typical machine cost of about 15-20 EUR/hour….. (not talking about the cost for a man-hour…..)

So if I ask for 30 EUR for machining a part like the wheel and taking all the efforts and costs into account (electricity, raw-material, wear of tools and machine, nc-programming, opening and running a small business, customer care, taxes), it stands in no relation with my free time which I’m willing to invest.

But that was what my questions were aiming for. Not only to see if there is a potential interest, but also to gather some information about price structure and to see if my idea is feasible.

So again, thank you very much for all your inputs, information and opinions. Please feel free to keep your opinions coming.

I’m going to think about everything and especially the prices. I will let you know, what will happen next....

Greetings Sebastian

JeremyJon
10-07-2013, 02:53 PM
has shapeways changed something on their print quality ? I have ordered my last parts in spring time and I was not really happy with the FUD quality.
I know a guy with a milling machine and the parts are much better.


it depends on the operator and the orientation of the FUD print done, some come out more or less grained, depending on the axis of print - which they do not allow you to stipulate, nor is assured to be as the STL files orientation - a friend is now trying a print, with the same object on a single sprue, but orientated at 3 different axis, so that at least one object comes out as intended

JeremyJon
10-07-2013, 02:58 PM
keep up the idea Sebastian, don't let these remarks be a negative to you, but perhaps rather a challenge
I can tell you that right now as I prepare for casting, my key requirements are 1. cost of development (vs. forecast returns) including shipping costs, 2. smooth & accurate finish of master parts, 3. ease & quality of cast parts
even though I use shapeways, doesn't mean that I am not constantly looking out for other options, and have been trying out other 3D printers to that extent, including newer printer technologies, but ultimately it really does come down to cost, and it's hard to justify spending more than about $30-40USD (inclusive shipping) on a ready-to-mold master part (wheel)
best luck to you! :)

Boreham
10-08-2013, 05:33 AM
It's great to see a fellow modeler and machinist striving to make parts from scratch
Accurately .
Ideally for a production run of these resin copies as suggested might bring down the cost.
I can see a market for this as there's a huge interest in model car wheel that reflects the 1:1 scale scene.

keep up the good work and I personally look forward to developments on this.

Might be an idea to start a seperate thread asking people for the wheels they'd like and narrow the list down to 5 or 10 different wheels that are currently not available.

Good luck

rallymaster
10-08-2013, 08:24 AM
Sincerely, it seems to be highly acceptable quality judging by the pics above, a lot of aftermarket resin stuffs are way under this quality and we do with them.

Talking for myself, if you're able to offer a full service including design and printing for 30 euros each set of wheels I would consider that fair.

I have a few projects pending due to a wheels issue that could have a new life with such service ! :iceslolan

BVC500
10-08-2013, 08:57 AM
Agree with Rallymaster - design and printing for that cost. I think FG Models used the same type of machining because their wheels are perfect and require very little if any cleanup.

daniel_k
10-10-2013, 02:41 PM
Sincerely, it seems to be highly acceptable quality judging by the pics above, a lot of aftermarket resin stuffs are way under this quality and we do with them.

Talking for myself, if you're able to offer a full service including design and printing for 30 euros each set of wheels I would consider that fair.

I have a few projects pending due to a wheels issue that could have a new life with such service ! :iceslolan

As 3D-Artist I can tell you that that is totallyridiculous...30 for whole set.
This shows again that people have no idea about the whole 3D prototyping process.

daniel

rallymaster
10-10-2013, 05:34 PM
As 3D-Artist I can tell you that that is totallyridiculous...30 for whole set.
This shows again that people have no idea about the whole 3D prototyping process.

daniel

People don't care about prototyping process but they care about their money !! :tongue:
And they probably "don't know about prototyping process" but they know about what a market and a price is when they have to pay !!
just try to sell 3-D designed parts what they cost and you'll see how long you'll have to wait to find a single Customer...!! :loser:
It's like selling a car what it costs in research and development... :disappoin

Personaly, having done some protopyping the old way (bloc of resin and saws + litters of sweat) I do know or at least imagine what it can cost (moreover I precisely said "if you're able to" which proves if it has to be proved that I really consider what it could cost compared to price it's sold) but sincerely that's not my problem, it's the maker problem, my problem is will it match the price I'd accept to pay for it. :dunno:
That's what I said, 30 euros as given above would be a fair price for me, Customer... is it a fair price for maker...? not to me to answer :nono:
I don't buy a process or a cost, I buy an item and a price.

daniel_k
10-11-2013, 05:44 AM
hmmm, so this looks like the "end of discussion"
too expensive, too little money...no deal for you :-)

daniel

lovegt40
10-11-2013, 06:07 AM
here enclosed are the nice 3d printed wheels from c1 models. They are for my rwb cabrio. The quality is good, even if a little crispy details remains in the border of the rims (acceptable anyway and very nice looking at the end when painted imho)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xKo5QT6GVCQ/UlLOEQ_4C8I/AAAAAAAASOg/QIKPEFZcYdc/w707-h530-no/SDC11616.JPG

daniel_k
10-11-2013, 06:17 AM
these wheels do look very nice !

There was also a thread by Wim from Bestbalsakits about printing wheels for the 1/12 Enzo, this was also a very interesting read and the wheels look amazing

daniel

hirofkd
10-11-2013, 09:33 AM
40 EUR won't cover a one-time project, but the designer/manufacturer can sell copies. For example, if Phil wants a set of particular wheel for 40 EUR, and if the designer/manufacturer can find twenty more people who're committed to buy a copy, that's 840 EUR. You only have to design a part once, so the question is whether 840 is enough to cover the designing, material, packing&shipping, and machine's maintenance cost, etc.
Twenty may not be enough, but fifty might. The designer/manufacturer just have to find a reasonable break-even point + profit margin, just like any business.

Mikezibit
10-11-2013, 03:16 PM
That are RWB wheels from another print service, design mwhh,
the rims are once primed and then polished

http://www.scaleproduction.de/htmlbilder/bilder/100_9757.JPG

http://www.scaleproduction.de/htmlbilder/bilder/000_0178.JPG


Mike

rallymaster
10-11-2013, 04:27 PM
hmmm, so this looks like the "end of discussion"
too expensive, too little money...no deal for you :-)

daniel

Ooh, so this was a discussion...?? :confused: :screwy:
just thought you only wanted to explain how we, buyers, are so stupid not willing to overpay items to cover costs that aren't issues belonging to us in total disregard of the market it takes place in !! :sly: :disappoin :disappoin

rallymaster
10-11-2013, 04:30 PM
40 EUR won't cover a one-time project, but the designer/manufacturer can sell copies. For example, if Phil wants a set of particular wheel for 40 EUR, and if the designer/manufacturer can find twenty more people who're committed to buy a copy, that's 840 EUR. You only have to design a part once, so the question is whether 840 is enough to cover the designing, material, packing&shipping, and machine's maintenance cost, etc.
Twenty may not be enough, but fifty might. The designer/manufacturer just have to find a reasonable break-even point + profit margin, just like any business.

Couldn't say it better, thank you to show there's still someone understanding something to what a sales market is and a lowering costs strategy can be !! :grinyes:

And it's a business leader selling expensive stuff that tells it to you :lol: :lol:

Lownslow
10-12-2013, 11:49 PM
keep up the idea Sebastian, don't let these remarks be a negative to you, but perhaps rather a challenge
I can tell you that right now as I prepare for casting, my key requirements are 1. cost of development (vs. forecast returns) including shipping costs, 2. smooth & accurate finish of master parts, 3. ease & quality of cast parts
even though I use shapeways, doesn't mean that I am not constantly looking out for other options, and have been trying out other 3D printers to that extent, including newer printer technologies, but ultimately it really does come down to cost, and it's hard to justify spending more than about $30-40USD (inclusive shipping) on a ready-to-mold master part (wheel)
best luck to you! :)
youll spend more than that getting the wheels drawn.

Lownslow
10-12-2013, 11:50 PM
As 3D-Artist I can tell you that that is totallyridiculous...30 for whole set.
This shows again that people have no idea about the whole 3D prototyping process.

daniel
Agreed my minimum is 50$ for drawing time alone.

JeremyJon
10-13-2013, 03:10 PM
youll spend more than that getting the wheels drawn.


Not in my case, and as said $30-40 per single wheel is about the max realistic paid out for consideration of return

...but getting 3D design work done is highly variable, and I have seen quotes anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour, provided you find a competent designer for the wheels, or more difficult, the tires, then an agreed rate 'per design' is the better way to go

Lownslow
10-15-2013, 04:19 AM
Not in my case, and as said $30-40 per single wheel is about the max realistic paid out for consideration of return

...but getting 3D design work done is highly variable, and I have seen quotes anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour, provided you find a competent designer for the wheels, or more difficult, the tires, then an agreed rate 'per design' is the better way to go i do alright by charging a flat rate it only takes me 45 minutes to draw most wheels,lately most of my work has been coming from diecast guys.
http://i.imgur.com/phK42jo.jpg
tires are still tricky
http://i.imgur.com/VXZtB5S.jpg

Mikezibit
12-30-2013, 01:54 PM
HI

today I got the first wheels from Sebastian, design by member MWHH, new BBS for the Revell M3 DTM

The quality is outstanding, there is only a thin layer primer on the wheels

Many thanks to Micha and Sebastian

http://www.scaleproduction.de/htmlbilder/bilder/100_4251.JPG



Mike

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