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3D Printing........Scratch Building or Not?


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I think this is a very interesting topic that IMHO is good for the hobby.

Now for my thoughts on the matter.
As a person who does CAD parts design and 3D prints on FDM (filiment) and SLA (resin) printers I do not think that it is technically scratch-building.
That said, the definition of scratch-building has different meanings to different people. To me if someone says they built a car from scratch it means that they used styrene (or wood or whatever) stock to create all pieces of the build, tho that rarely happens from the posts I've seen.
If a person says they built a model with scratch-built parts, that to me is what we usually see on this forum and places like Facebook. I am a stickler for precision, so that's how my mind works, good or bad.

In the end its what most people say it is, so if most people call is SB, then that's what it is, and I'm okay with whatever the call is. Like what was posted earlier, contests just need to make it clear what the contest will accept as SB. Build on!!

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19 minutes ago, Richard Bartrop said:

Bill has the right idea.  If you create the file, then it's scratchbuilding.   If you think creating that file involves no effort or creativity, then you don't understand the process, and your opinions on it are without value.

It's not that there's no effort or creativity involved with creating files.

There absolutely is.

It's just not the same kind of "get your hands dirty" effort or creativity.

 

I'm sorry, but I will never equate "Call of Duty" with "Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel".

 

As the saying goes in Brooklyn, "Fogetaboutit"!  :P

 

 

"and your opinions on it are without value" ????????

C'mon. :rolleyes:

 

 

 

Steve

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Interesting responses to my thread!         Keep em coming guys!

My own take on this is that I get far more satisfaction from creating and making things by hand.

3d printing has revolutionised prototyping and small batch production for the hobby. The greatest advantages being accuracy and consistent repeatability. But somehow the process seems a bit cold and remote to me where competency in computer design is more of a requisite instead of the hand skills of an artisan to create something.

Don't get me wrong, as I recognise the different skill set required to master 3d programming, having been a CNC programmer in industry. 

But is it actually scratch building?    I personally think not and will have to agree to differ from those who think it is.

 

Edited by Bugatti Fan
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35 minutes ago, Bugatti Fan said:

...My own take on this is that I get far more satisfaction from creating and making things by hand.

...3d printing has revolutionised prototyping and small batch production for the hobby. The greatest advantages being accuracy and consistent repeatability. But somehow the process seems a bit cold and remote to me where competency in computer design is more of a requisite instead of the hand skills of an artisan to create something...

I agree in principle, entirely, and have at times found myself resenting the "oohing and ahhing" some digital art and photography seems to engender, being an old-school dirty-hands artist and photographer myself.

But when I see something like Bill Cunningham's magnificent birdcage Maser, I really have to reconsider.

Maybe it's because Bill is a master craftsman in all the old senses as well, excelled in hacking and carving things with his hands FIRST, so to him, CAD and 3D-printing is just another tool in his box.

I'm not so sure I'd be as accepting of similar work produced by someone who had not mastered the physical skills prior to getting involved with 3D, just as I'm reluctant to embrace "fine" art produced by someone who can't draw a blade of grass, but can manipulate an image in a computer.

My attitude is the very definition of ambivalence: the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

Is original work produced by 3D printing traditional "scratchbuilding"? No, but original work is still original work, worthy of respect, no matter the tools and techniques employed.

Again, if modelers stick to accurate descriptions of the way they work, saying for instance "I designed and printed such-and-such", there's no need to argue about redefining terms.

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I'm sure that when models transitioned from carving blocks of wood to plastic kits there were those who said all the skill was going away in model building.

Before resin casting if you needed 10 of something you had to make ten. Does that mean you are less skillful if you choose to resin casting those parts does that mean you are less skilled? No you have to learn another skill if you are going to make the parts.

If you choose to scratchbuild all your parts fine. But recognize that there are new ways to do things that require learning new skills.

New technology provides another tool in the toolkit for building models. Choosing the right tool to accomplish the goal is a skill.

Edited by bobthehobbyguy
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17 minutes ago, bobthehobbyguy said:

I'm sure that when models transitioned from carving blocks of wood to plastic kits there were those who said all the skill was going away in model building.

Before resin casting if you needed 10 of something you had to make ten. Does that mean you are less skillful if you choose to resin casting those parts does that mean you are less skilled? No you have to learn another skill if you are going to make the parts.

If you choose to scratchbuild all your parts fine. But recognize that there are new ways to do things that require learning new skills.

New technology provides another tool in the toolkit for building models. Choosing the right tool to accomplish the goal is a skill.

That’s all well and good, and if others are like me, they realize that 3-D printing is very likely the way of the future, and everyone is free to explore that corner of the hobby, or not, as they choose, but it doesn’t really address the question of whether it could, or should be considered scratch building.

In the end it’s all just an exercise of philosophy, because it really doesn’t make one whiff of difference what we chose to call it.

It’s here to stay, like it or not.

 

The only place that I can really see it being a question at all is on a contest table, where a judge is going to have to make the determination as to whether a 3-D printed part is comparable to a scratch made part when making his deliberations.

Otherwise, what each of us chooses to call it is nothing more than personal opinion.

 

 

 

Steve

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So many points in this thread to keep track of.

What is scratch building?  I guess it depends on where he gets his scratch.

 

I am reminded of the old debate regarding photography vs. painting.  With a painting the artist is involved in every step with his hands.  With a photograph so the argument goes, the photographer just presses a button.  There's no art involved, right?   I think there is.

The discussion regarding resin casting is interesting.  I wonder if anybody's used investment casting ("lost wax") in brass or bronze in their model work.  Such craftsmanship.  While some modellers do their own resin casting, I think fewer might do their own brass castings.  It's an art form.  To say this doesn't count as scratch building if the modeller uses this process to make duplicate parts for his project doesn't quite sound right to me.

I may as well point out that before plastics were available, model builders were casting components in plaster.

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8 hours ago, Tabbysdaddy said:

Designing a file isn't building. The architect designs the house but I build it.

If you're doing the 3D work yourself, you're both the architect and builder in this metaphor.

I am fascinated by the CAD and 3D printing process, but right now to me it feels like yet another program for me to learn to use when I already have others to figure out, such as image and video editing.  So far working with an old version of Sketchup I have been unable to draw a straight line.  🙂

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As far as contests go the first criterion is how good the paint and over all parts finishing is done. With two models both the same then the degree of difficulty comes into play. And that's where the question of how the parts might come into play. So if you are going to be concerned about how the parts are made; what about the person that scratchbuilds one part and resin casts more for a project vs someone who scratchbuilds all of the parts.

Scratch building is the process of building a scale model "from scratch", i.e. from raw materials, rather than building it from a commercial kit, kitbashing or buying a pre made kit

 
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3 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

in my world, a true artist works with his hands.

I don't necessarily disagree with this sentiment, but note that some artists have a crew of assistants to do the physical work for them, to their specifications.  Some of these processes involve machinery.  These sculptures, etc. are still viewed as art created by the artist.

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6 minutes ago, Brian Austin said:

I don't necessarily disagree with this sentiment, but note that some artists have a crew of assistants to do the physical work for them, to their specifications.  Some of these processes involve machinery.  These sculptures, etc. are still viewed as art created by the artist.

Lots of the Renaissance masters had apprentices working for them. 

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4 minutes ago, bobthehobbyguy said:

As far as contests go the first criterion is how good the paint and over all parts finishing is done. With two models both the same then the degree of difficulty comes into play. And that's where the question of how the parts might come into play. So if you are going to be concerned about how the parts are made; what about the person that scratchbuilds one part and resin casts more for a project vs someone who scratchbuilds all of the parts.

With castings you can get identical quality.  With a model that has duplicate components individually crafted by hand, there's the possibility that quality can vary visibly from one part to the next.  In this case the model made of castings could have a tidier appearance.

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32 minutes ago, Brian Austin said:

With castings you can get identical quality.  With a model that has duplicate components individually crafted by hand, there's the possibility that quality can vary visibly from one part to the next.  In this case the model made of castings could have a tidier appearance.

Exactly and isn't the goal to produce the best model possible.

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1 hour ago, Richard Bartrop said:

Are we really suggesting that casting your own parts isn't scratchbuilding now?

From some of the posts there are some who think that is the case.

Whether you resin cast or 3d print your own design parts it requires learning new skills. The same applies to using  a lathe. They all require learning new skills.

 

Edited by bobthehobbyguy
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6 hours ago, Bugatti Fan said:

Personally I like the challenge of physically making things by conventional tools and hand / eye coordination.

 

I'm with you.

At least for me, there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of taking some scraps of plastic and making something out of it with your own two hands.

 

 

 

Steve

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