HiFlyer

3D Printed Monster Spitfire

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So, for those interested in RC model planes, (I remember going to a store named POLKS in New York and staring at the really big, impossibly expensive ones in awe) it seems like a new era is possibly being born with the advent of cheap and fast(er) 3d printers.

A whole sub-industry in selling the plans for planes is growing, and the first experiments are filling the air.

A thought occurs to me: Even as internet stores are replacing big-box retail, and as big-box replaced mom-and-pop.... Might there come a time when most people simply buy plans and make things at home on their printers......?

I wonder if the world is about to change..... Again.

https://www.flitetest.com/articles/3d-printed-monster-spitfire

 

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2 hours ago, HiFlyer said:

wonder if the world is about to change..... Again.

Yes it has.
Pretty neat drone flying, he nearly ate the Spit once or twice...

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22 hours ago, HiFlyer said:

I remember going to a store named POLKS in New York

Grew up going to Polk's.  Loved it.  One of the highlights of my New York childhood.  I still miss it.  Several things mark the decline of the city for me, but the downsizing and then the end of Polk's is one of them.

Apologies for the slight O/T, but you struck a chord.

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48 minutes ago, Alan_A said:

Grew up going to Polk's.  Loved it.  One of the highlights of my New York childhood.  I still miss it.  Several things mark the decline of the city for me, but the downsizing and then the end of Polk's is one of them.

Apologies for the slight O/T, but you struck a chord.

I was a little kid at the time, and didn't have two nickels to rub together, unless you count my $1.50 a week allowance.

But me and friends would go there and spend hours gawking and racing up and down the stairs between floors, gaping at huge model airplanes, model rockets of the type that apparently no longer exist (pellet engines and liquid fuel!) and trains from Germany and other far-off lands where eskimos and such lived, none of which we had the slightest hope of buying.... :laugh:

Now those impossibly expensive, huge planes can be constructed for less than $40 of 3D printing materials.......

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As an RC Flyer and static scale modeler I;d say the answer lies somewhere in the middle. My understanding is the tech isn't quite there to make kit quality scale models. There is an article in Fine Scale Modeler this month about NASA providing cad drawings you can download and print on your 3d printer of many of their spacecraft. The take away was the material produced is a bit rough and not to the level of finish you find in good injected and slide molded kits. That said it's only a matter of time. I don't know too much on the RC front these days, Balsa kit building that I loved just 15 years ago simply died with the advent of ARF (Almost ready to fly) kits from Asia. You'd be EXTREMELY hard pressed to find a Mom and Pop owed hobby shop these days with a nice selection of DIY balsa kits in their inventory the days of perusing around looking at Sig or Pica model kits unfortunately has passed, its even hard to find all but the most popular ones from online retailers. Hopefully 3D printing will bring about a resurgence in new ideas and techniques. IMO it will affect smaller scale static model builders first simply due to size and expense.

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1 minute ago, Blaze said:

You'd be EXTREMELY hard pressed to find a Mom and Pop owed hobby shop these days with a nice selection of DIY balsa kits in their inventory the days of perusing around looking at Sig or Pica model kits unfortunately has passed, its even hard to find all but the most popular ones from online retailers.

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/15392

Quote

 

Polk’s Will Close Its Doors 12-31-13
October 1st, 2013

Since 1935, we have provided service and innovation to the Hobby industry. In this latest downturn, we cut back staff to the minimum required to survive. Then the government battle over the debt ceiling drove the consumer market down even further.

We’ve managed to stay in business, but the continued depression for the consumer has caused us to fall into debt that is unsustainable. We have put several million dollars into product development over recent years, but the need for customers to cut back on non-essentials has caused this investment to be lacking in returns.

We have seen leisure activities like golf courses plunge in popularity, as funds for such recreation have dried up. It seems to be the same for hobby time investments. Our products are no longer inexpensive as they were in the 1930s-era Depression. The cost of manufacturing along with minimum production runs and long lead times has caused a lack of ability to continue as a sustainable entity. It’s no longer a business!

It has been a pleasure to help our creative consumer base to enjoy their hobby and we have no regrets in doing so. Our business grew every year until the 2008 as the recession caused a shrinking of the mindset to stay active in our large-scale model train arena. We know that smaller scales have remained viable, but the higher cost of Large Scale trains and the space required to run them have not maintained their share of the market. Our airplane R/C portion of our business was lost when our patented frequency changer was lost to the 2.4Ghz portion of the marketplace, with no frequency compounds needed any longer.

For 80 years, the Polk family has made a fair living in the Hobby industry. I can’t help but remember the scores of co-workers that have helped make this organization as special as it was. Thanks to them all, but notably: Gil Rose, B.M. Song, J.K. Kim, Sam Kimm, Tom Flynn, Cliff Crane, Charlie Binder, Marvin Binder, John and Sherry Shievdayal, Aixa Lebron, Joe Bamberger, David Newell, Walter Matuch, John Mikesh, Navin Shievdayal, Marguerite Hubert (Rose), Michael J. Vickey, Jonathan Polk, Scott Polk, Fred Polk, Irwin Polk, Nathan Polk, Maryann Polk Bob Calandra, George Adams, Michael Hauptmann and so many others, it would take a book to list them all. While I can’t list all the hundreds that were part of the team, they remain in my heart and mind.

Our humble thanks to our loyal customers. Our apologies for not being able to keep this almost 80-year-old business going. It’s a heartbreaker for us all.

All the best,

The Polk Family

 

 

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@HiFlyer, Sad isin't it? I have a pretty good LHS here in Huntsville, Al. where I retired and I buy everything I can from them even if it's a bit more expensive than what's offered online.

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Very cool. Yea I remember my RC Days in the early 90's, 6 weeks to build a plane and everything I ever built inevitably crashed....It was a Labour of love.

This stuff is amazing but doesn't matter so much when you crash, you can just print another one. This is a better concept.

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