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Is 3D Printing Cheating? Options
Markwarren
#1 Posted : 10 November 2022 22:44:52

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Is 3D Printing Cheating?

After hearing a discussion last week on whether 3D printing was cheating, I thought this would be a great topic for our own forum for all to contribute and to share and offer my own views on this matter.

For some modellers it is perceived that 3D printing is an easy way out of modelling parts rather than scratch building using materials that you have lying around, but is it?
You can use 3D printed parts for many models, whether you buy from a reputable source or buy the STL file to print yourself, if you are fortunate to own your own printer, so is this cheating?

Well, my own thought is that you still have to paint it like any other kit that you purchase. It is no different to buying an Airfix or any other brand kit that someone else has designed for you to build. You get the parts in the same way, still having to glue into place and and then paint them. Resin made figurines for instance, which are quite expensive if you have ever bought one, are now available to print yourself, using a resin printer, but you still have to paint it. The other advantage with having the 3D file, is you can print and paint another one anytime. Most on here, including myself, would have bought PE parts at some time to enhance a kit, it is the same thing or is that cheating?

With more and more 3D files becoming available and quite a lot of them for free, it is a great source of obtaining parts and models to make at little to no cost.

What about the modellers that scratch build, which I think is very creative and skilful and we have a lot of modellers here on the forum that fall into that category and their skills are second to none. I love scratch building, seeing a piece of plastic card, bits of wire and spare parts from an old kit come to life, and lets face it that is how ILM started. With the advent of Star Wars in 1977 when models were kit bashed and used in the films, it was a revolutionary. As the years went by, the newer Star Wars sagas were primarily CGI, special effects, computer generated, which took something away in the realism in my mind. Now ILM have gone full circle and use kit bash models again, or have they? In fact all the new ships produced, including the Mandalorian series, are computer generated with kit bashed parts. These include old tank and engine pieces that can be found on the original kit bashed Millennium Falcon, are now embedded within the CAD program. These are then 3D printed, painted by professional modellers and used for filming.

So here’s my point, anyone that designs a part themselves in a CAD programme still has to know what they want, how it will look and how it will piece together. I am myself new at this, and just started designing parts myself, but when I am on my computer or iPad creating a part for one of my models, to me it is just another way of scratch building. Once I have the final design, I then print it to see my creation come alive, yes, I might tweak it again, but I get the same buzz as I do with scratch-built parts. It also enables me to produce something with more definition, more detail, and I can print it as many times as I want.

So here is my conclusion. I don’t think 3d printing is cheating in any way, it is just a new method of modelling to embrace.

Mark
Plymouth57
#2 Posted : 11 November 2022 18:24:13

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I would have to agree with every word of that Mark!
As I'm ploughing along with the Ferrari there is a heck of a lot of scratch building going on which gives me a great deal of pleasure. Quite a few of the bits I've made I've also made into silicone moulds to cast in resin rather than having to make multiples (plus you never know when such bits might be useful for other models in the future)
I haven't got a 3D printer and I can't get my head around computer programming to any great extent but if I did have such a thing and learned the skills to use it well I would definitely be using it on this project and all those to follow!
In the days before CGI one of my great pleasures with sci-fi films was picking out recognisable kit parts adorning the hulls of all the spacecraft, if I remember correctly there's some tiger tank hulls incorporated into the Millennium Falcon hull! BigGrin
My brother has got himself a 3D printer (never told me until months after) and he's given me a large Tyrannosaurus skull model (a few missing teeth will have to be SCRATCH BUILT)BigGrin but I'll be seeing how good it looks with a clean up and paint session on here one day.
But no, I don't think it's cheating either - if I had one I'd be churning the parts out too! Actually, how about a 3D printer with a built in 3D scanner to input scratch built prototype parts! That would be perfect (and save all this program files milarky too!)Cool

Robin
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Markwarren
#3 Posted : 12 November 2022 11:09:43

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Now believe it or not Robin, this technology is out there already, although in its infancy. They are still not incorporated in the printer yet, but a reasonable quality scanner is still expensive and usually hand held. I have been looking into this and most scanners work on the same basis as a games console accessory. I have an old Xbox Kinect from my two boys old Xbox. This can be programmed using software on a computer to scan an object, I am about to test it scanning my son in a pose where I can add a sword to his hand within the software. Give a few more years and it will be like a microwave style machine where to put in what you want and moment later, hey presto, you’ve got a new one. We can dream.BigGrin
Mark
delboy271155
#4 Posted : 12 November 2022 18:24:10

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Hi all, BigGrin

In my book nothing can be classed as cheating. All we are doing is making the best possible model with the stuff we have to hand.

What next?

Is airbrushing cheating above a brush finish Confused

Is using masking tape to get a straight paint line cheating Huh

I say use whatever means you have and just enjoy what you do. Flapper

There`s my views LOL LOL


Regards
delboy271155
(Derek)
COME BACK GUY FAWKES "YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU"






admin
#5 Posted : 18 November 2022 02:59:44
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I, for one, do not think it is cheating. If you design and print your own parts, its simply another mode of scratchbuilding. If you purchase files, or the printed parts, it is just like purchasing a detail set.

That said, Quinta Studios might be cheating they are so dang good.

cheers,

Mark
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”

Marcus Aurelius
goddo
#6 Posted : 20 November 2022 06:02:38

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I agree with all of the above comments. If 3d printing is available and it helps your build, then use it. Nobody complains about etched sheets.
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