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The Future is Here!

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  • The Future is Here!

    3D printing is inexorably becoming the biggest game-changer to promote the RC submarine hobby by destroying the biggest obstacle to those contemplating getting into it - price.

    A well-designed 3D printed submarine hull can be built, (and sold) for a fraction of what traditional hulls cost. This isn't to imply GRP hulls are obsolete, it's just the established entry price-point is prohibitive to a vast majority of those interested in the hobby.

    3D printing technology offers the potential to revolutionize, energize, and promote this hobby like nothing since wireless transmitters. Inevitably, one of the first questions a potential hobbyist asks when checking out an RC submarine on display or in the water is, “How much does it cost?” The answer is prone to make them wince quicker than a suppressed fart in church.

    Let’s face it, the number of participants of DIY, hands-on-centric hobbies, be they model railroading, plastic model building, underwater basket weaving, or RC submarining are declining every year. If younger members can’t be brought into the hobby at a rate that sustains and promotes it, this does not bode well for the hobby in the long term. RC submarining has one aspect that defines and limits it's growth - a talented few performing a disproportionate amount of the effort for a dedicated, (okay rabid) base. We can't all be masters of our domain, but we share a common interest.

    RC submarining does not have to remain the domain of well-heeled, older, aficionados that have the time and financial wherewithal to pursue it. Unfortunately, younger people lean toward instant gratification whether it’s food or phones.

    They do not appreciate or care enough about the satisfaction and accomplishment of a well-done, scratch-built job because these days, modern life is vying for people’s time with so many distractions that fewer people are taking the time and effort to use their hands and minds to create functional objects that provide that intrinsic connection of sweat equity and satisfaction that many of you (almost) take for granted. We have to grudgingly accept and adapt to that reality in a way that moves the hobby forward.

    (As I told an old boss: I'm here to help build the fort -not convert the Indians!)

    Creating a silicon mold to make white metal castings of a propeller? I think that’s pretty darn cool. Spend weeks shaping a piece of wood to make a mule for a GRP hull? Ditto. As a craftsman, I get it. But it doesn’t matter what I think is cool, to promote this hobby to a larger audience, it has to be affordable and timely. --As opposed to cheap and fast – there’s a big distinction here.

    There will always be purists who have the talent and ability to make something useful from hardly anything. They’re called artists. Their skills and imagination challenge us to think outside the box and toil in their wakes. We observe, learn, and maybe, maybe, work our way through trial-and-error toward the inspiring examples of what’s possible they’ve displayed for us to marvel at.

    Unfortunately, that is not enough to grow the hobby. The sponge-worthy among us are too few in number. The hobby needs a revolution through evolution, and I think 3D printing is the perfect medium to light the fire. I am a true believer in evolution and here's why:

    When I started in digital 3D animation, the Disney artists who thought it was heresy balked at the idea of using computers to do what hand-painted, cel shading had accomplished for decades. “Better is the enemy of good enough!” they cried. Many of them quit the craft in disgust and were quickly replaced by digital artists. Some re-trained and led the field using their old skills to promote the new. (The fundamental principles of animation remain unchanged.) After twenty-five years, the on-screen results speak for themselves. The resulting animated features are built on the shoulders of giants. Evolution and adaptation prevent extinction.

    3D printing offers the path to more affordable hulls with comparable performance and with the opportunity to promote this from a niche hobby to something that can appeal to a wider audience. While it is unlikely to ever become mainstream, it can grow to the point that it isn't in danger of dying out. Just look at the variety of boats that are currently being offered, with a list that continues to grow. Have any of you seen such a varied selection? As the hobby grows, more resources from interested vendors will propel it forward.

    3D printing without the requisite tried-and-true principles that have gotten the hobby this far are still very much relevant. There’s a place for everyone.

    Why pay $1500 for a hull that can be obtained for a third the cost? Is a hand-laid fiberglass hull worth $1500? You bet! It takes time and no little effort to make it happen. There will always be room in the hobby for low-volume, hand-made works of art for those that can afford and appreciate them. But to grow the hobby in a direction that creates momentum, 3D printing offers a very real path.
    A 3D printed object is only as good as the engineering design, hand-held result, subsequent validation testing, and attractive marketing (ie: pricing) makes it. That was true ten years ago and remains so today.

    Editor’s Note: This is just my personal observation while lurking for several years: The subcommittee is static, and will become a virtual yawn-fest without positive change from new members. This site is dynamic and bursting with optimism. Every new post that generates buzz confirms it.

    What Bob has almost single-handedly accomplished within this server bandwidth to promote the hobby is most impressive. Using technology, he’s propelling the hobby forward by force of personality, social media, a website with useful resources, and a forum where interested parties can exchange ideas. He isn’t getting rich, which proves his dedication to the hobby.

    Bad attitudes, like enthusiasm is infectious and highly contagious. Bob shares his successes and failures in a way that instructs and encourages like-minded people to get involved, share their experiences and above all: HAVE FUN! Whether you’re interested in the history, technology, or craftsmanship that goes into designing, building, and operating an RC submarine, there’s a place for everyone. If we as a group can get draw more people to the hobby, it will be to the benefit of all.

    What do you think?

    Dive deep, fear nothing!

    CC
    Last edited by CC Clarke; 11-04-2020, 10:10 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CC Clarke View Post
    3D printing is inexorably becoming the biggest game-changer to promote the RC submarine hobby by destroying the biggest obstacle to those contemplating getting into it - price.

    A well-designed 3D printed submarine hull can be built, (and sold) for a fraction of what traditional hulls cost. This isn't to imply GRP hulls are obsolete, it's just the established entry price-point is prohibitive to a vast majority of those interested in the hobby.

    3D printing technology offers the potential to revolutionize, energize, and promote this hobby like nothing since wireless transmitters. Inevitably, one of the first questions a potential hobbyist asks when checking out an RC submarine on display or in the water is, “How much does it cost?” The answer is prone to make them wince quicker than a suppressed fart in church.

    Let’s face it, the number of participants of DIY, hands-on-centric hobbies, be they model railroading, plastic model building, underwater basket weaving, or RC submarining are declining every year. If younger members can’t be brought into the hobby at a rate that sustains and promotes it, this does not bode well for the hobby in the long term. RC submarining has one aspect that defines and limits it's growth - a talented few performing a disproportionate amount of the effort for a dedicated, (okay rabid) base. We can't all be masters of our domain, but we share a common interest.

    RC submarining does not have to remain the domain of well-heeled, older, aficionados that have the time and financial wherewithal to pursue it. Unfortunately, younger people lean toward instant gratification whether it’s food or phones.

    They do not appreciate or care enough about the satisfaction and accomplishment of a well-done, scratch-built job because these days, modern life is vying for people’s time with so many distractions that fewer people are taking the time and effort to use their hands and minds to create functional objects that provide that intrinsic connection of sweat equity and satisfaction that many of you (almost) take for granted. We have to grudgingly accept and adapt to that reality in a way that moves the hobby forward.

    (As I told an old boss: I'm here to help build the fort -not convert the Indians!)

    Creating a silicon mold to make white metal castings of a propeller? I think that’s pretty darn cool. Spend weeks shaping a piece of wood to make a mule for a GRP hull? Ditto. As a craftsman, I get it. But it doesn’t matter what I think is cool, to promote this hobby to a larger audience, it has to be affordable and timely. --As opposed to cheap and fast – there’s a big distinction here.

    There will always be purists who have the talent and ability to make something useful from hardly anything. They’re called artists. Their skills and imagination challenge us to think outside the box and toil in their wakes. We observe, learn, and maybe, maybe, work our way through trial-and-error toward the inspiring examples of what’s possible they’ve displayed for us to marvel at.

    Unfortunately, that is not enough to grow the hobby. The sponge-worthy among us are too few in number. The hobby needs a revolution through evolution, and I think 3D printing is the perfect medium to light the fire. I am a true believer in evolution and here's why:

    When I started in digital 3D animation, the Disney artists who thought it was heresy balked at the idea of using computers to do what hand-painted, cel shading had accomplished for decades. “Better is the enemy of good enough!” they cried. Many of them quit the craft in disgust and were quickly replaced by digital artists. Some re-trained and led the field using their old skills to promote the new. (The fundamental principles of animation remain unchanged.) After twenty-five years, the on-screen results speak for themselves. The resulting animated features are built on the shoulders of giants. Evolution and adaptation prevent extinction.

    3D printing offers the path to more affordable hulls with comparable performance and with the opportunity to promote this from a niche hobby to something that can appeal to a wider audience. While it is unlikely to ever become mainstream, it can grow to the point that it isn't in danger of dying out. Just look at the variety of boats that are currently being offered, with a list that continues to grow. Have any of you seen such a varied selection? As the hobby grows, more resources from interested vendors will propel it forward.

    3D printing without the requisite tried-and-true principles that have gotten the hobby this far are still very much relevant. There’s a place for everyone.

    Why pay $1500 for a hull that can be obtained for a third the cost? Is a hand-laid fiberglass hull worth $1500? You bet! It takes time and no little effort to make it happen. There will always be room in the hobby for low-volume, hand-made works of art for those that can afford and appreciate them. But to grow the hobby in a direction that creates momentum, 3D printing offers a very real path.
    A 3D printed object is only as good as the engineering design, hand-held result, subsequent validation testing, and attractive marketing (ie: pricing) makes it. That was true ten years ago and remains so today.

    Editor’s Note: This is just my personal observation while lurking for several years: The subcommittee is static, and will become a virtual yawn-fest without positive change from new members. This site is dynamic and bursting with optimism. Every new post that generates buzz confirms it.

    What Bob has almost single-handedly accomplished within this server bandwidth to promote the hobby is most impressive. Using technology, he’s propelling the hobby forward by force of personality, social media, a website with useful resources, and a forum where interested parties can exchange ideas. He isn’t getting rich, which proves his dedication to the hobby.

    Bad attitudes, like enthusiasm is infectious and highly contagious. Bob shares his successes and failures in a way that instructs and encourages like-minded people to get involved, share their experiences and above all: HAVE FUN! Whether you’re interested in the history, technology, or craftsmanship that goes into designing, building, and operating an RC submarine, there’s a place for everyone. If we as a group can get draw more people to the hobby, it will be to the benefit of all.

    What do you think?

    Dive deep, fear nothing!

    CC
    CC!

    I would be hard pressed to even begin to add to what you have just stated! Extremely well put sir!! I have totally immersed myself into 3D printing in every aspect of all my hobby endeavors! I believe 3D printing is or soon will be the new wave of the future!

    I also agree with you about Bob Martin and his forward thinking as to how this hobby is moving into the future! That being said, we must never forget the likes of the David Merriman's! They made this hobby what it is today with there skills and master craftmanship. 3D printing will certainly play a big roll in the future of this hobby, but the skills and the craftmanship of the David Merriman's will always remain at the head of the class!!

    Rob
    "Firemen can stand the heat"

    Comment


    • #3
      Great post and well said!! As 3d printing becomes more mainstream and filaments and resins become more structural and cheaper more and more will be made at home. Heck even the military now has additive manufacturing of repair parts in concept development. If they can rely on the parts consumers certainly should.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the Sub Committee has long since had its time in the sun. Any attempts to reform it are likely to be be met with indifference and/or resistance, probably simpler to start over with a fresh mandate, but to what end? The initial idea of the Sub Committee, like most other model submarine clubs was to enable individual enthusiasts to share knowledge, pool resources and make the sum greater than the parts. Until the internet really got going full steam, and IMO it took until around 2004-2005 with high speed links and the advent of streaming video media, paper still represented the best method to share information amongst a large audience. No longer the case. So what else can they offer, a website with little information- better ones out there. A forum, plenty of others out there, free of charge plus social media.

        So not much of a carrot there. They've got a shedload of cash though, so they could throw a few ideas at the board and see if something sticks, no guarantee of success mind, but at least they could say they tried. Don't see much evidence of that at present mind.

        Having said all that, the situation with the hobby in general is heavily down to external factors outside of the control of a few individuals. Pretty much every pastime involving practical application of manual skills is facing an existential crisis because of ageing members. I believe this primarily down to what happened to traditional industries in the 1970's and 80's. China opened its borders to external investment, and the western economies, particularly the UK and US piled in, and relocated huge swathes of the 'dirty hands' work there to make use of cheap labour and low regulation. At the same time home grown factories and production plants were starved of investment, and then subsequently shut down as inefficient and uneconomic.

        With those factories gone went huge swathes of skilled craftsmen, and no new ones employed to take their place. We're talking toolmakers, pattern makers, press setters, production engineers etc. Some engineers were retained, the very top end design talent, your one in a thousand. Of course modelmaking wasn't just practised solely by engineers, but generally the skills were handed down from them, either from relatives, fellow club members, evening classes run at technical colleges etc.

        Schools and colleges teaching traditional skills like woodwork and metalwork pivoted away from that, and began teaching 'design and technology'. Most technical colleges have been closed.

        Consequently we have a 35 to 40 year skills gap, which is one of the primary reasons there's a shortage of of 20-40 something's engaging in this kind of hobby. What can be done about it, well I think it's rather late in the day, I saw the clouds forming about twenty years ago but felt rather like a Cassandra, few seemed prepared to listen and fewer still wanted to do anything about it. It would have been hard back then, but it's going to be twenty times harder today..
        DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          Mr. Clarke you have put into word exactly what I'm sure many of us have been thinking for years, thank you. Every point you make is right on the money.

          I have been watching from the sidelines of this hobby for 20 years I have made two fiberglass boats in the past. With the use of Fusion 360 and 3d printing I have designed and made 5 boats and the satisfaction I get seeing the finished product is the same. It's not the quantity or quality I am highlighting it's the fact that with modern tools I can still enjoy my hobby but have time for my family as well. It is unfortunate the SKILLS and ARTISTRY of men like David Merriman, the art work of Greg Sharpe's drawings are disappearing but new skills are being learnt. Try designing the stern section of a Typhoon or getting the rivets to curve around the hull of the Hunley.

          I don't think we are necessarily talking about skill and artistry really. What is the difference between people who choose to purchase a glass model kit put it together and detail it and someone who purchases a 3d file prints it and puts it together? At that point the skill needed to make the boat look good is the same.

          At this point 3d printing will not replace the hands on skill of a true craftsman but for the few who can take the time and interest it is just another tool.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Subculture View Post
            I think the Sub Committee has long since had its time in the sun. Any attempts to reform it are likely to be be met with indifference and/or resistance, probably simpler to start over with a fresh mandate, but to what end? The initial idea of the Sub Committee, like most other model submarine clubs was to enable individual enthusiasts to share knowledge, pool resources and make the sum greater than the parts. Until the internet really got going full steam, and IMO it took until around 2004-2005 with high speed links and the advent of streaming video media, paper still represented the best method to share information amongst a large audience. No longer the case. So what else can they offer, a website with little information- better ones out there. A forum, plenty of others out there, free of charge plus social media.

            So not much of a carrot there. They've got a shedload of cash though, so they could throw a few ideas at the board and see if something sticks, no guarantee of success mind, but at least they could say they tried. Don't see much evidence of that at present mind.

            Having said all that, the situation with the hobby in general is heavily down to external factors outside of the control of a few individuals. Pretty much every pastime involving practical application of manual skills is facing an existential crisis because of ageing members. I believe this primarily down to what happened to traditional industries in the 1970's and 80's. China opened its borders to external investment, and the western economies, particularly the UK and US piled in, and relocated huge swathes of the 'dirty hands' work there to make use of cheap labour and low regulation. At the same time home grown factories and production plants were starved of investment, and then subsequently shut down as inefficient and uneconomic.

            With those factories gone went huge swathes of skilled craftsmen, and no new ones employed to take their place. We're talking toolmakers, pattern makers, press setters, production engineers etc. Some engineers were retained, the very top end design talent, your one in a thousand. Of course modelmaking wasn't just practised solely by engineers, but generally the skills were handed down from them, either from relatives, fellow club members, evening classes run at technical colleges etc.

            Schools and colleges teaching traditional skills like woodwork and metalwork pivoted away from that, and began teaching 'design and technology'. Most technical colleges have been closed.

            Consequently we have a 35 to 40 year skills gap, which is one of the primary reasons there's a shortage of of 20-40 something's engaging in this kind of hobby. What can be done about it, well I think it's rather late in the day, I saw the clouds forming about twenty years ago but felt rather like a Cassandra, few seemed prepared to listen and fewer still wanted to do anything about it. It would have been hard back then, but it's going to be twenty times harder today..
            20 years ago was when I first bought a sub, I was 21. I was driven by the Up Periscope articles in the MMI magazine. MR. M's D&E Skipjack article followed by his Hunley build was the 1st real eye opener. I joined the local club and found, what to me was a prevalence in most hobby, politics. I was also a lot younger than anyone else. I did however form a lasting friendship with Roger Suitters, he of the Perry and NR-1, which has helped massively. However politics follows everywhere the AMS, the SC etc. Here on this forum I feel comfortable. I also want to learn, I bought a lathe and have tried to follow many online vids on learning how to use it. I have no peer group of my own age with similar interests.

            What we do is very niche and necessarily expensive, the building skills can not be learned overnight. RC flying has RTR models galore that are a lot cheaper at an entry level. No or little assembly required but a similar outcome to an accident to model subs usually means a model with catastrophic or expensive damage. A model car or tank usually stops work but doesn't drown or crash into terra firma. The problem with subs is the popularity generally if the market was there to make a static diving scale sub RTR someone would have done it, painted, built and ready to go would still however cost a lot of money because of R & D, building it and the quality of components for it to actually work. I am sure my betters here can count in the hundreds the amount of people who start a project and never see it finished, I am guilty of this to some degree.

            Over the years I have built up my abilities and feel pretty confident in tackling most things. My Akula has stalled due to time available to me to carry on with it. I have had to ask stupid questions to find out how to do things then venture into scary and unknown territory to continue.

            I am not tech minded and do not have the access to the funds, knowledge or skills to even begin 3D printing. I have to rely on the lathe, the file, drill press etc. To get what I want out of this hobby. I have to rely on people, such as on this forum etc. to help provide the skills and knowledge that I have gleaned. Even now in my very early 40s I do generally feel in the minority.

            Some ramblings,

            Peter

            P. S. Even the current and reduced marine modelling press have no room for our hobby. Another issue with modelling generally is the massive loss of actual model shops. Here in the south east of England at least 95% of model shops have closed. The wonder of walking around the shop and picking a simple starter kit has been taken away.
            Last edited by Peter W; 11-05-2020, 02:04 PM. Reason: I am an idiot

            Comment


            • #7
              Really great information here! In depth and thought provoking!

              Rob
              "Firemen can stand the heat"

              Comment


              • #8
                We all stand on the shoulders of giants and pioneers.
                Technology changes, times change,.
                Good vs evil skilled vs unskilled
                Fork vs spoon
                Most would would not have been involved with this hobby without the subcommittee.
                All hail skynet and our cybernetic overloards!
                Nuff said.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Therein lies the part of the problem- pee on the fire my toast is done.
                  DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CC Clarke View Post

                    Editor’s Note: This is just my personal observation while lurking for several years: The subcommittee is static, and will become a virtual yawn-fest without positive change from new members. This site is dynamic and bursting with optimism. Every new post that generates buzz confirms it.

                    CC
                    If you've truly been lurking, you know this is old news.

                    The SC has been stagnant since early 2k. ruled by a select group living on a dinosaur of a publication.

                    Don't believe me, ask the former owners of Life Magazine.

                    Who wants information that's 3 months old? I can get it NOW...for FREE.

                    Sell that to newcomers. (Kinda like selling them 75Mhz radios, but I won't stir that pot ...again)

                    Evolve or perish, evolution is real. Life is impermanence.

                    Wasn't Bob Martin, it's the internet, YouTube etc. Bob did the smart thing and took advantage of it.

                    Not sure if it's general knowledge, but a new team is running unopposed, I won't name names, but the future of the Subcommittee, and it's publication, is about to have a "come to Jesus" meeting.

                    It may be very exciting, or bad, but it will change.

                    It's unsustainable now and time will prove that, people just don't or refuse to understand that.
                    v/r "Sub" Ed

                    Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
                    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
                    USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-USS BLUEBACK-USS PATRICK HENRY-K432-U25-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Foreword: Its been a long day. I'm home on the couch plowing through customer emails and I have a glass of whiskey and I haven't eaten in 10 hours. Be warned!

                      Wow... what a fascinating thread! I'm looking forward to some great insights, and more importantly, SUGGESTIONS from the assembled crowd. Historically speaking, people are quick to point out the problems, but few are willing to allocate the time and energy into creating solutions.

                      Okay, let's set the stage here...

                      Historically speaking, the SubCommittee has been at the forefront of the RC sub game here in North America, if not the world. Over time, this status has changed to the point where, as some others have pointed out, it has not changed with the times, membership has stagnated and the hobby as a whole has begun somewhat of a stall. Over time, due to personality conflicts and, let's be honest here, stupid internal politics, the North American hobby has been fragmented, each group separating off to play in their own sandbox. We see that in the SubCommittee, the SubDriver forums, SubPirates, and others.

                      I would like to say that due to an engaging vision, force of personality and strong message of change, myself, Ed Tordahl and Tom Chalfant have been elected to helm the SubCommittee beginning in 2021. The reality of the situation is that we had no one run against us. Were were literally the only candidates. That is sad, on so many levels.

                      What we see, what we envision, and what we dream of, is a unified front against the stagnation of RC submarines. Let's be honest, RC subs are awesome. No one can argue the point. There are challenges. There are barriers, but they are something that can be overcome. What I worry more about is the decades of bad blood and petty rivalries killing the hobby from the inside. We have enough problems to deal with without creating new ones ourselves.

                      Once we hit the ground running in January, we plan on making leadership of the SubCommittee (and, by default, the SubDriver community) a fully transparent affair. Everyone will be invited to online video discussions that the exec team will have. No, you may not have a voice at the meeting (my god, can you imagine the anarchy!), but you'll have visibility to what we're doing, what we're not doing, and what the vision is. There will be forums for comments and suggestions. Voices will be heard and, more importantly, action will be taken.

                      I have a very vested interest in this little world we play in. It's my only source of income. My passion. My living. I consider many of you true friends, brothers in the quest to create that which most cannot. The Elite, but an elite that quests for new blood, one that does not push it away for the sake of elitism.

                      Yes, the art, the TRUE art of hand-crafting is dying a swift and terrible death. Let's be brutally honest here... so did knapping obsidian for knives and starting fires with flint and steel. I'm not taking ANYTHING away from that art form, don't get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for it. The writing is on the wall, however. The days of rubber and resin are nearing an end. Enter the age of the computer, the printer, and the digital craftsman. The kings of old are dead. Long live the kings!

                      Let's get this hobby with the times. Let's leverage social media, video and the devil spawn computer! Let's get Generation X off their collective asses and building things, but in a way that they can relate to. Let's spam the market with a hundred submarine designs that can be printed at home in a week. Let's get kids excited about this!

                      We have nothing but opportunity here. I'm excited to be a part of it.


                      Bob

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Right on Bob!! I have been right with you from the beginning! The Gotland from Thingiverse!! Keep those great 3D files coming

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It’s really enjoyable to cogitate on the many views put forth in this thread. Thanks for responding and I hope more reading along will offer feedback.

                          While craftsmanship is still at a premium in this country, DIY hobbies don’t seem to have the same impact as they once did – especially when I was a kid. Most of my friends built plastic models, and at some point, (usually near the beginning of July) we began blowing them up, and building new ones. I learned how to heed instructions, problem solve, paint a little and most of all – finish with as many fingers as I started with.

                          I appreciate the skilled artisans who share their knowledge and methodology as much as anyone. 3D printing is just another tool, but one I believe can make the hobby more accessible to a wider audience.

                          What’s the biggest difference between someone who prints (or buys) a 3D printed hull vs acquiring a hand-made, GRP hull? For the most part, price.
                          Both must be assembled, prepped, painted, made ready for a WTC, and tested. The end result is the same: another boat underway, which is free advertising for the hobby when run in public. More hulls punching holes in the water have the potential to draw more participants. The larger the hobby, the more products are needed to support it, to the betterment of all. There’s plenty of work available for the craftsman and the computer geeks, but how many hulls each month can one highly skilled and dedicated person lovingly produce in a workshop? I would wager not enough to meet the demand – at any price.

                          Again, there are a limited number of deep-pocketed customers at that price point. High quality, well-designed 3D printed hulls can be sold as printable files or physical objects, since 3D printing is still growing, but schools are increasingly pushing it as a STEM subject, and young people are becoming more interested since they can design and make things in a short period of time. That’s another prime segment of the target audience to grow the hobby with. As a Science Fair project, I would have definitely been interested were it available at the time.


                          As an engineer, I’m a cradle-to-grave kind of guy. I like everything from the conceptual to design phase as much as the testing and production aspects. It’s all good. Some jobs take months, others years, and some die untimely deaths, victims of overconfidence or obsolescence due to schedule slips or skyrocketing costs.

                          3D printing has become an indispensable tool to our workflow. Without the expense and wait time associated with machining, it’s pretty handy to be able to place a printed prototype on a bench and have the team throw rocks at it. The resulting feedback ensures we efficiently design-to-build, taking into account interferences for wiring and cabling, mechanical interfaces, and the most important question of all – Have we overlooked anything?
                          3D CAD models are great to review on screen, spinning them on an axis, but when you can physically hold a complex combination of parts that were designed last week, printed at a cost of <$50, it’s a huge leap from what we were doing ten, even twenty years ago when expensive stereo lithography was all the rage with resin printing. And it will only continue to increase in popularity.

                          The Chinese were mentioned as siphoning away our manufacturing:

                          Presently, they don’t innovate – they imitate. Their last big contribution to the world was gunpowder. That’s about to change. I’m okay with competition, it keeps innovation moving forward. That genie is out of the bottle and there’s no turning back. It’s all about numbers, and they have more citizens to placate.


                          The last time I checked, there were still fifty-plus year-old American footprints on the moon, but the pace of innovation that fueled that remains just as active today due hard-working entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and people with imagination and foresight to see what most of us can’t.
                          We have beaucoup talented engineers creating the future right now – are we diminished because we don’t create apparel like we once did? Low wage, repetitive manufacturing spreads though the world, creating new economies and bringing prosperity to millions. Our economy has an insatiable appetite for an educated workforce who work harder than any other. Our productivity is the envy of the world. We work hard and play harder. Technology-wise, I’ve seen no slacking off during my lifetime. Competition drives us to become more creative and efficient.

                          But I digress. Back on point. . .

                          Producing a well-designed, 3D submarine model is not a modest undertaking. 3D Printing one pretty much is. Assembling, painting and acquiring the know-how to troubleshoot and repair an operational boat is what links and bonds all of us together, regardless of the origins of the hull. On that, I think most are inclined to agree. People gravitate toward like-minded people.

                          An oft-repeated question we would hear (or ask) on submarines was, “What drew you to this?” The answers were amazingly varied, yet similar. But that’s a question for another thread.

                          Promote the hobby, share the tribal knowledge, and let the good times roll. Those who have done this far longer and better than I can best be repaid by following their unselfish examples.

                          CC

                          Dive deep. Fear nothing.

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                          • #14
                            Can someone approve my other post here ?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Peter W View Post
                              Can someone approve my other post here ?
                              Done! The software is pretty picky lately for some reason.

                              Bob

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