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Captain Plastic

"Oh for goodness sakes, get down off that crucifix, someone needs the wood!"

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Anybody heard of RAPID PROTOTYPING? Me neither. A prop maker friend of mine put me onto it. Itís basically making a 3D model in CAD and then getting all Phantom Menace on it and manipulating the computer image it until youíre happy.

Then - the really clever bit - they transfer that data to a 5 axis CNC machine and make a full size model out of polystyrene. Brilliant. Laura Croft to Angelina kind of thing.

So, In theory, me, you or the Dali Lama could take our AW11ís to a scanning facility and have a fully accurate 3D model made - and totally design his, mine and your Super Car in a computer - cleanly and accurately. Efficient and clinical - like Craig Davidís beard.

Thatís all well and good. But this is supposed to be a fun project where I maybe even discover something Yoda-like about myself.

I actually want to get my hands dirty. I want mix up the resin, lay it up, sand it back, wax on, wax off umpteen times, like an epileptic Mr Mayagi. Fix my cocks upís and sand it back again. And, the sad reality of it is I will undoubtedly excel in making a pigs ear out of the Mk1 silk purse. Iím not kidding myself - making the buck and panels perfectly symmetrical is a very skilled, time consuming and labour intensive job and far way beyond my current skill-set.

However, maybe itís possible to have the best of both worlds. Was Frankensteinís bride a pretty monster or an ugly human?

I design and manufacture the buck as intended -THEN get the buck 3D scanned and have any measurement deviance corrected in CAD - before having the 5 Axis CNC machine cut me a new perfect buck and have my moulds made from there. Surely thatís the best of both worlds. Sounds too simple. Expensive? Of course, but not as much as you may think.

There are seriously loads of companies doing it. Hereís a couple of links to be going on with [url]http://rapido3d.co.uk[/url] & [url]http://www.3dscanners.co.uk[/url].

I dunno. Maybe itís an utterly stupid idea. Just thinking aloud.

anon
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  1. Spook's Avatar
    This is a better and more amusing standard of writing than you find in most magazines ....and way better than newspapers! (or is that bringing the tone down).

    No honestly, I knew about this stuff and it was still a great read, well done mate.
  2. Captain Plastic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Spook
    This is a better and more amusing standard of writing than you find in most magazines ....and way better than newspapers! (or is that bringing the tone down).

    No honestly, I knew about this stuff and it was still a great read, well done mate.
    Thank you Guv'nor. Much, much appreciated.