Customs: Shapeways Customs

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by weeklyhero, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    Just curiosity here, but what's the biggest custom someone's made totally or mostly through Shapeways? I saw someone (I wish I knew who) had modded a Universe Silverbolt into a Galvatron with a lot of pieces printed from Shapeways, but has anyone done a larger custom solely from printed pieces?
     
  2. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    The only person I can think of is treadshotA1's Chibi devs.....

    Randy!
     
  3. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    No I'm not Randy, Austin Powers! lol

    I forgot about that Devs. I guess I'm wondering about the financial viability of printing larger figures, like the Deluxe or Voyager scale. How much would something like that cost?
     
  4. Megatron31

    Megatron31 I Belong to Nobody!

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    the galvatron was done by cashanova but i believe he said the parts cost close to 400 bucks

    but yeah i think the chibi devs may habe been the biggest thing printed thus far
     
  5. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    $400? I thought I saw him say it was only $150. I guess I never saw the final project. Is any one else interested in doing full figures through Shapeways?
     
  6. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Interested in? Plent of people, I'm sure.

    Is it viable yet? Not really.

    A target-master type figure with a decent number of parts will run you 15-20 bucks in a moderate-quality material. Dlx style figures would probably run over $100 easy.

    Now, if someone DID one at that scale and it was a brilliant design, I'm sure it would sell a few units, but it's not going to take the fandom by storm, as we're not great at the DIY thing, collectively.

    I'd LOVE to see a good artist take the risk and go for it, I'd buy one or more for sure, but you're getting into niche of a niche of a niche territory...
     
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  7. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    I'm hoing to do it someday, starting with Legends scale figures that missed the cut in the Generations line and a few OCs then going up to a larger scale. I'm planning on doing them just for myself since larger figures would be expensive and I'd probably never be able to sell them.

    I know that Shapeways recently changed their chipping options and payments, but I'm not sure if it would positively or negatively affect the chances of someone doing this.
     
  8. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran

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    Shapeways' new pricing scheme is theoretically more friendly to large-scale prints (and worse for small accessory-size prints, unfortunately). However, the sheer amount of material for even a small scout-sized figure will likely run you $100 minimum. Additionally, the material really isn't there yet. Shapeways does extremely high quality prototypes, but it really can't compare with your typical injection-molded ABS plastics.
     
  9. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    To clear things up:

    The largest completely Shapeways printed transformer on these boards is my Chibi-Devs.

    Cashanova's Galvatron is a conversion kit from Universe Silverbolt. It cost ~$180. He's since sold off the first kit, in order to fund the second kit, hence bringing the total price to ~$400.

    Targetmasters generally cost ~$20, give or take $5 depending on the size and complexity.

    Personally I'm not interested in producing a full-size figure through Shapeways as the cost would be ridiculous for a student like me. Though, to be fair, it wouldn't be the $1000 people are quoting, as Chibi-Devs is Voyager sized, and he only cost ~$300. Considering that combiners are some of the densest Transformers figures you can make, the cost wouldn't be too much.
     
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  10. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    Thanks for the clarification, Treadshot. Is price the only reason you're not interested in doing a bigger figure?
     
  11. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Well, there's a few reasons I don't want to go larger:

    A) I'm a student, taking my final exams of high school. I have to focus now, else I'll never get into university.

    B) it wouldn't be financially viable. I'd have to sell many units to recoup the cost of printing the test sample. For something like Deka, I only need to sell...well, it's a number you can count on our fingers...to recoup the print cost. For a figure that costs ~$300 or so, I'd have to sell far more.

    C) no point drawing Hasbro's fire. It's not exactly likely, but there's very little point of provoking them. If someone doing a business as small as FR casting FunPub's Botcon Jazz head can get a C&D order, a student like me has no interest in baiting their rage. Though yes, this isn't likely. Still, something to consider.

    D) I don't know anyone with manufacturing equipment, nor the clam shelling skills to make the parts injection mold-able. If I were to make a figure that big again, it'd have to be something I can make into a professional product, to make it worth my while. Right now, that's a no go.

    E) there are better designers out there. I can make large complex robots if I want, but I'm not at the level where I can consider going any further than Shapeways.
     
  12. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    Thanks Treadshot, I appreciate your input. I don't have to worry much about A, B is definitely a concern, C I'm not too worried about because I'd be doing more original characters, D I got the same problem, and E I'm at least hoping to get to that point somewhere down the line. Way down the line as it looks now.
     
  13. thebruteslayer

    thebruteslayer Banned

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    What would it take to make a movie accurate DOTM Optimus jet pack?
     
  14. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    Looking at the pricing and the effort it takes to design things, it seems to me Scout class size is the most complex that is feasible. Perhaps a really scrawny and lanky deluxe sized figure that has a lot of hollow areas and doesn't afraid of anything or waste plastic could work, too, although that limits the range of design.
     
  15. weeklyhero

    weeklyhero Prototytan

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    I guess that leaves the Cyberverse commander and legion scales feasible, which works for me since I'm a big fan of that line.
     
  16. Bigbot3030

    Bigbot3030 Well-Known Member

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    To get injection molded projects off the ground usually means you need a wad of cash up front. There are some places that will do small run batches, but your looking at around $1500 just to get started. not all molds have to be steel. you can use aluminum for smaller runs. there is a sweet spot where aluminum molds will handle the stress and heat from injection molding and be worth it on cost. it all depends on what you're trying to do.
    In school we have small injection molding machine that nobody uses, becasue they don't know how. I plan on changing that.:ev:  I can use our CNC machine to make a mold, and as long as I take my time and don't do more than 500 pulls, I should be okay and still keep the same tolerances.
    problem with Injection molding is you need to plan on trying to recoup your costs and selling versions later, and to do that you better have a an audience that wants what you are making.

    Shapeways is great for the hobbyist, but it's not really for full on production work (as far as what the TF fan would want at least). I've seen some friends who make rings on there, polish them themselves, and sell them. They look like anything else out there in the professional world.
    Most shapeways stuff I buy i then make a mold and cast it in urethane. This way I can smooth out the parts and get the finish I want. and just to be clear i do not then sell the copies to other people.

    if someone was really serious about doing this, i'd recomened the "Kickstarter.com" thing. I had a friend who raised enough money to get his project off the ground. i don't know the details on how it works, but it seems pretty cool, and a "win-win" for everyone involved.

    Randy!
     
  17. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    "Not really for full on production work."

    That is exactly what makes Shapeways so appealing to me. No products are made until there is an order for them. You never have to deal with excess stock, you never have to put things together, you never have to paint things, you never have to ship things out, and you can run a Shapeways shop without paying any money, aside from the money you spend to print a copy of the item for personal review.
     
  18. RedAlert Rescue

    RedAlert Rescue Banned

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    The Botcon Jazz head was not that brilliant so I guess someone could make it bigger and less flat and maybe even cast it to have clear eyes as an insert.. but then I suppose if you wanted to make your own G1 Jazz from the same mould or a non-shattered Ricochet then you'd need to to look quite similar.

    I would image there's a small demand for a Ratchet/Ironhide head or two such as a G1 head to fit on the Rescue Ratchet Movie toys or a Convention Ratchet as that is so expensive and it would not bo to hard to make the original Energon toy into a custom one when all you need is the weapon and the head and some white paint and something to seal it with.
     
  19. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    I think those are the exact sizes where the most awesome could be done without making things that are too fiddly and/or suffer from too much leverage against them.

    However, I do imagine the simpler the design, the bigger you could go. Right now I'm working on a "Not-Wheelie" figure based off of Wyatt's design from the Almanac that will be around this size. After that I have an idea for a "Not-IDW-Whirl" figure that could be substantially bigger since the dimensions and fit won't be so demanding compared to my "Not-Wheelie."

    Regardless, I think the best way to go about modelling these things is to model them as small as possible that is still printable and has a chance to work at that size. Then you can scale them up as you need and keep a close eye on the price and you'll be able to engineer it to a specific price you want while ensuring at least some amount of sturdiness.
     

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