Cost: Kitbashing, scratch building, and altering RTR engines
I'm wondering what the upper boundary, in dollars, should be, in
purchasing engines, etc
that are going to be heavilly modified, if not completely dissasembled,
to consruct an engine that is prototype for one's model railroad?
On a semi-related note, is there an "easy way" to determine the
potential market volume, for any specific engine? (I'm wondering how
cost effective it would be, to make/sell/distribute engines that are not
currently available, for what is probably a niche market.)
- Searails was an early adopter of the 3D printing, using various techniques (per Alan, you can make high resolution, but a cost few want to pay for per-piece but good for masters). Many of his early parts (years ago) and typical of many 3D print bureaus were and are just too rough. However, he has begun to master a process that refines them to a polish finish after metal casting. But for the average builder, I concur with Alan and Rob that I would prefer sectional parts over 1pc to be able to both add detail (e.g. interior surfaces) but to also clean up the surfaces as the print process tends to favor one surface direction than the other.Still, it is an *exceptionally* small market, even in the much larger N scale.Yet I plead with anyone with the talents, ideas or whatever comes to your desires, go for it.JeffSent 'from the road'
On Feb 28, 2014, at 5:31 AM, Robert Kluz <ztrack@...> wrote:
Guys, this is a very good discussion. I agree with Alan's observations about 3D printing. Just because one can do in one giant piece, this is not necessarily the ideal way to do it. I think 3D will shine when pieces are design more as kits, then just one solid piece. We should see more detail while the making finishing much easier. 3D printing can be a great tool. I think though it is still a bit far from prime time due to the striations that have to be removed or covered up. But the potential is there, even to help create masters for casting and concept.I love the Miniatures by Eric line. Eric, I don't like the idea that you may drop the Z line! We need you!Gerd in Australia continually creates new locomotive models and version using parts that he has created. His work is regularly shown on Trainboard. While his work is created specifically on customer requests, there is a market.It is true that the majority of Z scalers are only interested in RTR. Having the ability to offer Z scalers unique RTR models is definitely a growth area in Z. Gerard Huet is another example of offing very precision and high quality locomotives that fill a niche. Also, any limited custom work must come at a cost in terms of pricing. Buy many Z scalers are not afraid to spend money on high quality, unique products.We are going to see even more locomotive models and rolling stock released in the coming years. But there will be many other versions that await mass manufacturer. Until that day, the market will wait for those brave (or crazy) enough to try an fill the niche. We won't know how it goes until someone tries it.Rob