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Scratchbuilders!: Armor/AFV
This is a group for armor scratchbuilding questions, topics and projects.
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Need injection molder or printer for project
MikeyBugs95
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Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 09:33 PM UTC
I'm not sure where to put this but I chose the most likely forum.

I'm in need of someone who has an injection molding machine or a 3-D printer for a quote on how much it might cost to create some kit pieces for me... And some as in... An entire "kit." "Kit" being used lightly because this isn't of a currently produced model kit, in fact it's never been produced. It's of an experimental tank that never made to mass production.

So in essence I would need a quote for something with no current electronic CADD plans out there, currently. I need this because I would like to get this built.

The tank I mentioned is the T49 Gun Motor Carriage- featured on the game World of Tanks.

So back to my question, does anyone have a possible quote for me? I'm also wondering this excluding a CADD drawing cost. I might be able to actually make the CADD drawing with the AutoCAD and AutoCAD Inventor programs I have, I just can't convert them into any format thats readable by those machines. I also have the technical drawings for the tank in case of usefullness.
barkingdigger
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 02:40 AM UTC
Michael,

If you need the tank CAD'd up as a kit of parts to 3D print (or to cut tooling for injection moulding) it'll cost quite a lot. Think about how much you earn per day, and multiply it by the days (or weeks!) it would take to convert the plans to a complete 3D CAD model... If your pockets are deep enough, there are folks out there (like me!) who'd happily take on the commission.

Getting tooling cut for injection moulding will then add another set of costs - in the $10-100k range! Getting it 3D printed in resin at Shapeways.com would be a lot cheaper, but for say a 1:35 scale "kit" you're still looking at hundreds.

If you have the CAD software and the skills, try churning out the shapes and upload them to Shapeways. If it comes out well, you could even offer the design for sale, so others can order resin prints and you get a mark-up! Be sure to look at their Guidelines for the various materials before doing any design work, since these set out rules for min&max sizes, min thicknesses, etc.

(I work in AutoCAD designing things for Shapeways and occasionally for IM tooling, and the solid-modelling is fun, if somewhat clunky to operate.)

Hope this helps!
MikeyBugs95
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Posted: Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 08:48 AM UTC
Ah. Ok... Thanks. I have the CAD software, granted it's only free student versions, so I might be able to draw up plans but my computer might not allow it- it's been acting up and my software has been running very, very, very slowly.

Unfortunately my scratch-building skills are... well, I have none. And I don't have many tools needed. So this is why I ask.
retiredyank
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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014 - 11:09 AM UTC
I would recommend working on acquiring the tools/materials(it will be much cheaper than having the parts tooled) needed and work on your scratch building skills. It is much cheap and, IMHO gives you much more satisfaction in completing a project. These, of course can be used throughout your building career.
barkingdigger
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 05:18 AM UTC
One other thing I'd suggest is to borrow the running gear from an M18 Hellcat kit, as the T49 used the same wheels and tracks. That way most of the parts you need to make are flat plates for the hull and turret. You'll need to make a new lower hull, but again it is flat plates - all the suspension stuff can come from the donor M18...
tankmodeler
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Posted: Saturday, February 01, 2014 - 04:41 PM UTC
If you're looking to make a kit for others to buy, then making the master on Shapeways and hiring out the castikng would work and you might make a couple bucks. If you are doing this for yourself only (i.e you only want one model) then going the CAD & 3D printed parts route is _NOT_ the way to go. It'll cost you a fortune.

If your CAD skills are limited to drawings, you'll need 3D modellling skills and software. Printed parts need 3D CAD models, not drawings.

Learning how to scratchbuild is NOT hard. It's a skill and you need to practice to get good, but it isn't "hard".

As a ferinstance, I've made a number of full kit masters and to produce a master of the T49 (as a kit) I'd probably quote it at around $1500. If you owanted "just" a single scratchbuilt model, that's easier and I'd do that for $1200 _unpainted_.

You'd also have to cover the several hundred dollars for some printed parts though most would be made the old fashioned way.

Just as a data point for your decision.

Paul
MikeyBugs95
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Posted: Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 07:20 AM UTC
Ok.. Thank you. I can work in CAD. I've had a lot of experience with 3D CAD programs. Not so much experience with technical drawings- the actual drawing part. But thank you anyway. I'll try to build it myself to save me the costs.
Caesar9
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Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014 - 03:39 PM UTC
Hey Tom.

If someone(me) wanted to get started on how to learn CAD, where should I start? I learned a little in High School, fifteen years ago to be exact. I'm almost starting over. Do you suggest classes or is there an online course I could go through. I prefer to learn on my own, I learn much faster.
jon_a_its
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Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014 - 08:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Tom.

If someone(me) wanted to get started on how to learn CAD, where should I start? I learned a little in High School, fifteen years ago to be exact. I'm almost starting over. Do you suggest classes or is there an online course I could go through. I prefer to learn on my own, I learn much faster.



A simpler entry point would be Sketchup, (other head-hurting progs are available), but it is used in my Uni as the 101 intro program for students before moving to the Industry std AutoCad.

Free, with lots of Free add-ins that add the STL file output needed for 3-D production, has lots of tutorials & lively forum, as well as a warehouse of users' work freely available for non-commercial use.

It also doesn't need an Open-GL graphics card to optimise performance as AutoCad does.

Then all you need, is time, a new 3-D headspace, practice, a slight talent, practice...
& practice...
barkingdigger
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 10:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Tom.

If someone(me) wanted to get started on how to learn CAD, where should I start? I learned a little in High School, fifteen years ago to be exact. I'm almost starting over. Do you suggest classes or is there an online course I could go through. I prefer to learn on my own, I learn much faster.



Not sure about the best way - I'm mostly self-taught from using it on the job for two decades. One thing I CAN say is you need to actually use the skills once you learn them, or else they get forgotten. (Kinda like "muscle memory".) So, start with a definite project in order to force yourself to master the techniques. I am still learning new things even after all these years!

There are some classes out there, but again I'd make sure you have a real project to work on outside of the classes.

As for exact software, it depends on your pocket. AutoCAD and Solidworx are good but pricey, whereas there are cheap & cheerful alternatives like AutoCAD 123D, Sketchup, or Blender. Each has its own strengths & weaknesses, so have a look at them before getting too committed. (I STILL cannot get my head around the user interface in Blender - it's so non-intuitive!)

And dare I repeat - have a real project to do! It forces you to get to grips in a way that being taught does not...


PS: Have a look around the forums at Shapeways.com to get a feel for which software folks are using for different types of modelling. True solid-modelling packages are great for "engineering" subjects with crisp lines, but "surface" modelling packages like Blender are used for more organic shapes.
MikeyBugs95
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Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 12:40 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Tom.

If someone(me) wanted to get started on how to learn CAD, where should I start? I learned a little in High School, fifteen years ago to be exact. I'm almost starting over. Do you suggest classes or is there an online course I could go through. I prefer to learn on my own, I learn much faster.



I was taught on the AutoCAD system in High School, in the CAD class my freshman year, and I'm still using it in my Senior year; albeit on my home laptop because I have no classes using CAD. I currently have most of the suite of AutoDesk AutoCAD products in the free Student Version form. With the products comes a built-in tutorial for how to use it and there are online manuals that one can download to learn how to use the system further. But yes, it is hard on the computer's graphics card and the computer's frame rate can take a hit if the computer is not an at least good performing computer. I have also used GMAX which is based on AutoDesk's 3DS Max program which I have also used. Both are 3D design softwares and are quite easy to use when you get hang of it but are a bit confusing to first learn.

I am in no way promoting one product over another because these are pretty much the only programs I've use. Before you commit to buying/downloading any CADD software, which can be very VERY expensive should you choose to buy the product, you should first do your research on the product and other products and see if there are any "free" student versions available so you can see if the product works for you or not.
Caesar9
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Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 07:43 PM UTC
Thanks gentlemen.

I downloaded Blender a second ago. I shall also see about a student version of AutoCAD.