Fecha de publicación: 30/07/2014
The steady drip of news the last few months about 3D printing has led a lot of comments throughout the slotcar sector. There are a little bit surprised, there are skeptical ones, there are incredulous, but above all interest to see where it is capable of reaching this new way to create forms, to give life to concept, of developing ideas.
Since a few years ago 3D printers are taking their place in the production processes, but so far only did so in the development phase, in the study phase of product and to support the final design that is still made with the traditional method. Who does not remember the last years trade shows that the future models had final aspect when they were 3D printing, unique piece.

The more adventurous, those of rapid responses will say: Nowadays they only need a scanner and a 3D printer to offer a product in short runs and that meets specific needs. Yes and no. It is not that simple. Regardless of the cost involved at household level in purchasing these silent workers, probably the artisan, the small manufacturer working in small series, can get with a 3D printer some of the pieces that mold would have a similar aspect at a higher cost. Small complement pieces of mounting kit would be a perfect example. Die Cast and Slot artisans have an open door that can greatly facilitate their work. In fact it has already been commented on SCT from a manufacturer of 1:24 scale kit which has completed the production with 3DP pieces for being a very short run.
If we go further in the field of small manufacturers of resin models we can always get to thinking that a master obtained from a 3D printer thanks to earlier official data will give us a perfect mold. Where will be those moulders that transmitted to the piece his way of understanding a step to scale that allowed fans to discover in the final model, of this one or that manufacturer, a parallel beauty to the real car, even if the scaled dimensions were altered? Yes, it is likely to reach this end. But we keep talking about a step in production to achieve the same result as now.

So where is the fear if there is one? Who fears that a manufacturer offers us a final product entirely made in 3DP? Everyone comes to mind the recent contribution on this theme of Maurizio Ferrari of Slot.it putting for sale specific slot car parts in 3DP. If we coolly value it, how important is to the final consumer that the product received at home and used successfully is injected in plastic, cut from a sheet of carbon or 3D printed with petroleum components? For the consumer I understand that any if not that probably the final price will be lower. For the manufacturer who has put his know-how, design and above all its knowledge of the market, the possibility of offering a quality product without cost of production (molds, injection, handling, transport, logistics ... etc..) No stock and without losing the right to stamp his mark on the piece. Is loop the loop, Just in Time manufacturing but another company do it and take care of everything. Entrepreneurially is supposed to be profitable for both.
3D printers of high quality and speed of operation are not available from any manufacturer of slot models. This probably means that they are calculating, crunching numbers of the differential cost between injecting 1500 bodywork or print 1500 bodywork. In the first case the budget rears up performing the mould (China is the only economically viable solution) and of the second is unknown the true costs of the process that will come exclusively marked by the amortization of machinery.

In a few years, very few, the finishing of a 3DP product has improved spectacularly and still has plenty of room for progress. Now there are few companies offering 3DP services at large quantities, but growth is unavoidable. This will lead to an increase in competency and logically a price cut. This will be the moment when the brands of slot sector, among many others, leave East to return to origins. A printer can help regain the slotcar sector.

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