Great discussion here. One of the most honest comments I saw on here was something to the effects of you being in full control of whether you purchase products from certain folks or not. I absolutely agree. There are so many people printing and traditionally casting parts, some ok, some great, and some amazing. While I like to think that my recent products fall somewhere in the middle,, the buyers/builders get to decide how they really feel about the items.
This is not to convince you that my items are the best. But I figured I’d be transparent with what I offer.
It’s true that I do not design the majority of these pieces. I have been lucky to partner with some amazing people to help with that side of the process. Andy, Chew, Ron Olsen, Daft, and a few others that prefer to stay unmentioned, have worked with me to allow me to print and offer their parts through my store. I, honored and humbled that they would allow that. Once in a while I might “remix”a file I have to make it fit something else. I feel designing is a different hobby on its own. Maybe when I retire I’ll have time to learn.
The other side of that coin is taking what these guys design and figuring out the best settings (exposure, angles, etc) to print for the better looking pieces. On my IG and FB accounts I constantly post test prints. Sometimes it takes one test print and minor modifications and others it takes 4 or 5 (or 8 one time) test prints to get the final product. It’s not just adding them to the printer and hitting the print button.
When I first started printing I was using a light colored resin that did not show the details without giving it some depth with a light coat of primer. I made the mistake in some of those to spray with a dirty airbrush. I do need to go back and update those pictures eventually. The last few engines I’ve released, I don’t spray anything I just changed my resin formula instead.
Because different guys design at different levels when it comes to details, some parts will look more smooth that others. Some will require sanding to smooth out as is the case with many resin parts. Some may look great after just a coat of primer. There are a lot of factors that come into play to get parts as smooth as what we’re used to working with in plastic right out of the box. So yes, some sanding may be required to get the parts looking as good as the builder wants.
Some people have a misconception about how the low to mid level printers we have at home are supposed to work. They want the same output on these <$800 printers that the industrial ones provide. Not the case. I’d recommend doing more research on that before flat out saying printed parts should be completely smooth every time.
I have started offering transkits and soon full kits, but I only make those as limited runs of 24. It takes too much time for final products, and not everyone is willing to invest time in the prep work. A few one-offs is cool to have to mix it up in the hobby I think.
3d printing has grown so much in the last 6 months alone. Printers are affordable and a lot of folks have started offering their designs online. There is a learning curve and it does cut into building time but I encourage folks to give it a try. It opens up lots of possibilities.
All this is still just a hobby for me. It helps me fund my plastic addiction. 🙂
Again, this is not to convince anyone to purchase my products because there are a lot of guys printing nowadays. We have many options to choose from and I think that is great for the hobby.
I respect your decision to not to buy from me whether it’s because you don’t trust what you see, or you have a thorn on your side due to shipping cost to your country, or maybe even because you plain and simple don’t like me. You’re in full control. And it is a beautiful thing to have that control. To those that have purchased from me, a full hearted thank you. I truly appreciate your support.
I’m not looking to BE the hobby. I just want to be a tiny part of it by offering aftermarket pieces that are not available otherwise.
I hope this provides some clarity on the items I sell.
Now get back to building! 😝
thanks for letting me blabber on about this