Author Topic: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?  (Read 1187 times)

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Coxy

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Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« on: May 18, 2013, 12:43:51 PM »
Hi Guys,

I'm wondering if it is time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?

Seems to me that 3D printing will become increasingly important to model railroaders, especially in the smaller scales.  In the many decades I've been in N scale, I'd call 3D printing a serious game changer. We're all well aware of examples where scratchbbuilding is the only option for modeling an item because no manufacturer will ever mass produce it, or there is one model produced and we can forget about variations. 3D costs will likely continue to come down and printing capability will become more accessible as there is a strong demand for personal printing systems. One of the huge benefits is the ability to print as few as one part, something traditional manufacturers can't touch.

One of the things I like about the Railwire is the way the forums are segmented. (My favorite happens to be the Engineering Reports forum). Looking at the diverse range of cool railroading items that can be made with 3D printing, the learning curve that goes with it, and that 3D printing is independent of modeling scale , I think it could be time to make a 3D printing forum on Railwire to aggregate 3D threads in their own space.

Right now, 3D threads appear whereever the poster puts them. They are simply scattered around the various forums. If you believe that 3D printing will become an important factor, giving 3D printing threads a focus defines an key audience which has the potential to draw in more people and encourage more modelers to go down the 3D path. The 3D forum would be a great repository for folks to share tips and tricks making it a more valuable method for everyone.

I also suggest that 3D printing is distinct from the Weathering, Detailing, Scratchbuilding Forum which is about techniques the modeler applies themself. 3D printing, on the other hand, is really about a new form of manufacturing. Quite frankly, manufacturers should be all over this new mode as it will increasingly represent significant competition as modelers divert some of their budget to purchase 3D printed models that the manufacturers don't and/or won't and/or can't offer.

So over to you. I imagine you have website analytics to track how visitors flow to each of the forums and you'll be able to track the level and growth in interest. I think it would be a good development and I hope you agree.

Cheers,
Coxy


PS.The new forum could potentially focus more generally on "Short Run Production" techniques such as 3D printing, Metal etching, (eg. Ed's excellent coupler box thread) Molding, Decals etc. So maybe it could be the "Short Run Production Forum"  - 3D Printing, Metal Etching, Molding, Decals etc.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 12:58:02 PM by Coxy »

Philip H

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 01:21:49 PM »
I'll endorse the suggestion Coxy.  Lord knows we have enough threads on Shapeways and etching spread around to move administratively (With the author's permission Tom) so it would look like it's been there a while.  Just don't move Ed and Gary's etched Coupler pocket thread - it really is a Best of sort of thing.
Philip H.
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wazzou

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 01:27:02 PM »
Wouldn't these types of threads fall under the Scratchbuilding, Weathering and Detailing umbrella?
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Coxy

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 02:08:52 PM »
I see some overlap in all of the Railwire forums and that's to be expected as they are all related.

Right now, posters could post in Scratchbuilding but are chosing to post all over Railwire.

The 3D printing forum is complementary to the Scratchbuilding forum but distinct and different due to the potential for 3D printing's significant impact to the entire hobby (and product development generally).

Coxy

DKS

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 02:11:33 PM »
Wouldn't these types of threads fall under the Scratchbuilding, Weathering and Detailing umbrella?

+1
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Philip H

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 02:20:38 PM »
I see some overlap in all of the Railwire forums and that's to be expected as they are all related.

Right now, posters could post in Scratchbuilding but are chosing to post all over Railwire.

The 3D printing forum is complementary to the Scratchbuilding forum but distinct and different due to the potential for 3D printing's significant impact to the entire hobby (and product development generally).

Coxy

Exactly. I don't see the Bestine cleaning posts, or Bryan Bussey's threads on using 3D printing to develop projects as things for the Scratch building forum.
Philip H.
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"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

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wcfn100

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 03:07:29 PM »
Wouldn't these types of threads fall under the Scratchbuilding, Weathering and Detailing umbrella?

But it's not any of those things.  As previously stated, it's manufacturing.  Now actually using the parts however would fit there fine but that's not about 3D printing anymore.

The only way to support a separate forum would be if it included items in the drawing stages.  But then you'd have pretty much nothing but a bunch of never-to-be-finished threads like so many other types of projects.

I think it's fine the way it is.  If you produce something in N then put it in the N forum or wait until the weekend.


Jason

Chris333

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 05:46:47 PM »
Tom will put it with the separate Z scale forum   :trollface:

tom mann

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2013, 08:06:40 PM »
Tom will put it with the separate Z scale forum   :trollface:

I was going to make a joke about that!

Thanks for the suggestion but I think that would fracture topics a little too much.  To elevate a certain technology above other techniques (tree building, for example) by giving it its own forum would not be in the spirit of the "small footprint" philosophy of the Railwire.

However, I do need to change the name of the "Scratchbuilding, Weathering, and detailing" forum to incorporate the legal entity "Weathering Factory" name for tax reasons. :facepalm: 

Coxy

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Re: Time for a 3D printing forum on Railwire?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 12:19:21 AM »
I'm thinking 3D printing will be a little more influential than, say, tree building for example.