Yes, NOT to get political...
Please tread carefully gentlemen, facts good, political aspersions or rants will result in things disappearing.
Thank you in advance for keeping "on track" with trains.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Alan Cox <alan@...> wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:39:41 -0500
> Rick Saviano <saviano@...> wrote:
> > Not to get political, but it's more like they want to run the
> > non-Chinese mold makers out of business. That's what happened to the
> > U.S. clothing industry.
> It's simply a matter of their wage bills being much much lower than very
> expensive US labour. That is changing rapidly because China is rapidly
> building a middle class of its own and they also want flat screen
> televison, nice cars and the rest of it.
> Quite a lot of clothing has been moving back the other way. Some of our
> model companies in the UK are doing more of their work here as well, and
> Hornby (our biggest model brand) is moving about 10% more of its
> production back to the UK.
> Plus you need to remember that in some cases (eg Bachmann) it's a Chinese
> company in the first place - they merely outsource some business to the
> USA ;-)
> Europe does have a fair number of people doing tooling and moulding work,
> or you can do your own. There is nothing intrinsically "magic" about
> plastic moulding that requires massive production lines. In fact I know
> people who cut plastic kit tooling and run them in their shed. They are
> CNC cutting rather electro-eroding so the quality is a tiny shade lower
> but its rare that matters.
> Pad printing is also widely available because it's not a 'speciality' -
> there are people pad printing everything imaginable all over the world.
> Again it's not a speciality art - the machinery is not that cheap but it
> is available off the shelf, and Europe is full of people who will run pad
> print jobs.
> 3D print is also beginning to change the rules. although we are not quite
> at the critical point (which is going to be a $10K printer with
> acceptable media costs at Shapeways FUD range of quality). It'll get
> there and that plus home CNC kit will change the world. Z is also ideal
> for such technology because the costs are heavily based on material
> volume. Z is big enough the features are printable, small enough to be
> cheap, N likewise. By the time you hit HO it's incredibly expensive 8)
> I mostly do N these days but a lot of my recent stock is stuff I designed
> and built from a mix of 3D print, cut vinyl, etching and other
> technologies. Much more fun than buying little boxes from shops.
> You don't need to buy pre-assembled little plastic trains from China, you
> have a choice.