all depends on the model and what resorces you have> I build models for a living and have a leser cutter handy. I use it for just about everything. The foam method is good and polyester resin makes for a nice hard coat. But for quick models the foam is best and accepted. For presentation quality models anything works, especially mdf or hardboard. It is cheap and can be laminated and routed well. For building up detail in little areas I like crazy glue and kicker. Thick glue can add shape and the kicker sets it fast. I use this a bunch. Remember to sand within 10 minites or so cause the glue will get really hard and be a pain to shape. Remember too the cool styrene you can get at hobby stores. That and brass rod can make for quick hinges and be used to add detail. Most important though as mentioned is the finish. Do not expect to paint it once. My last model for grad school I painted 6 or more times each time filling little areas and sanding. Just like preping a car for paint. The actual final coat doesn’t take more than an hour or two to spray. It is all the prep work before hand that makes a good paint job a really good paint job. But if anyone has any questions I have been a model maker for 8 years and can possible help.
I just watched the bonus DVD of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD and they showed some behind the scenes of the upcoming episode III. The model shop sculpted half of Darth Vaders mask, digitized it, mirrored it in software and carved the other half with some sort of desktop CNC machine I’m not familiar with.
It caught me off guard… Was all that really necessary? Did it actually save them work and time? Or were they just playing around with the tech?
Rapidly scanning, tweaking and outputting models could represent a paradigm shift in rapid form development… Any thoughts?
everything has changed allready because of the rapid prototyping techniques out there allready. For 30k you can get a Dimensions 3d printer that prints in ABS. It has pretty good quality and is fast. That and solidworks you can basically put out of work a bunch of modelers. And from what I heard about starwars is that the first mask was so non symetrical that they did that to have a perfect mask. Plus if you have a tool at your disposal why not use it? If I could 3d scan and print I would all the time. From a sculptural point of view when you are dealing with form I can see it saving a lot of time and money, it will also help products get to market faster.
Obviously we’d all love a “3d photocopier” if it were that easy and if the results were that good. My question is, is it that easy already?
I don’t mean to derail the thread, so I’ll answer it: I don’t do appearance models beyond conceptual “foamware.” I think a good rendering and a few rounds of engineering SLAs are the best way to move the design forward AND keep management happy.