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Apr 02, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Discussion

C.N.C Machines are not necessary to build R/C airplanes!


Seems like every day here on the Builder's Workshop, there are more and more questions about C.A.D. and C.A.M. I've used a laser company to supply me with a short kit and have to say the quality was first rate. This certainly is a viable alternative to actually buying kits, which seem to be less and less available. However, all this sophistication which people seem to think so necessary, really isn't. The hardest part about an R/C airplane is the wing ribs which do take some mass production abilities. There really are ways of making a model airplane kit, which doesn't involve C.A.D. or C.A.M. You want to buy a $20,000.00 C.N.C. machine to cut out ribs for a $25.00 wing, I guess that is your choice.
Last edited by Mode One; Apr 03, 2010 at 03:19 PM.
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Apr 02, 2010, 05:15 PM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
the payback comes when you are cutting 5 kits a day ..

There really is no excuse to buy a cutter yourself if you just want to BUILD.

The point is, that if you ARE producing kits, its the most cost effective way to get the shapes in sub 100 quantities.

For me, with old eyes and asthma, the less cutting and sanding I do the better.

Its another tool, that's all, one that you can hire to do what it does. No one forces you to use it, and many people do not.

It takes just as log to draw up the cad as to cut the parts by hand. I just prefer working at a screen than with bandsaws and routers.

YMMV
Apr 02, 2010, 05:15 PM
Prop Buster Extraordinaire
philba's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode One
Seems like every day here on the Builder's Workshop, there are more and more questions about C.A.D. and C.A.M. I've used a laser company to supply me with a short kit and have to say the quality was first rate. This certainly is a viable alternative to actually buying kits, which seem to be less and less available. However, all this sophistication which people seem to think so necessary, really isn't. The hardest part about an R/C airplane is the wing ribs which do take some mass production abilities. There really are ways of making a model airplane kit, which dosn't involve C.A.D. or C.A.M. You want to buy a $20,000.00 C.N.C. machine to cut out ribs for a $25.00 wing, I guess that is your choice.
Most of those discussions wind up in the CAD/CAM forum.

CAD/CAM goes a LOT beyond making ribs. The possibilities really are endless. To characterize it the way you have seems a bit odd to me. If you are happy doing things your way, that's great. Other people do things differently and that's really fine by me too. Full scale aircraft are designed with CAD, built with CAM and modern materials. Why shouldn't small scale be done that way too. Just because you don't, doesn't make it wrong.

By the way, you can spend a lot less than 20K.
Apr 02, 2010, 10:59 PM
Registered User
harveyweewax's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage1
It takes just as log to draw up the cad as to cut the parts by hand. I just prefer working at a screen than with bandsaws and routers.

YMMV
It usually takes me triple the time to draw up a part in cad than to cut it out by hand but that's because I'm not very good at cad.

The process of designing a model with cad is enjoyable to me (I'm a scratch builder) however; I also love working with the bandsaws, routers and such so I really don't want/need to farm out my design to a laser cutter. That being said, I can understand why other people would since it does save a lot of work and the quality of laser cutting is usually quite good. To each his own. This is a hobby after all and people should do what they find enjoyable.

Regards,

Sven
Apr 02, 2010, 11:13 PM
Suspended Account
I imagine when people went from using axes to X-acto knives to cut their balsa there were people lamenting the imminent death of the hobby due to technology getting in the way.
Apr 03, 2010, 05:17 AM
Registered User
I'm almost old enough to remember the fuss when kit manufacturers started actually printing the components on the wood so you only had to cut round the outlines and sometimes they even cut out some parts for you. Suddenly you couldn't build anything unless you had all that new-fangled "printing-on-balsa" and "die-crushing" technology and the skill of marking out your own components was bound to be lost....it would be the death of modelling for sure.

There will always be people who like to use the old-fashioned craft skills to build their models. There will also always be people who want to use their current skills for their hobby. You're not going to get new people into this hobby by telling them that all their (normal in the real world) computing skills are too complex and pointless and they should be doing everything like their great-grandfathers did.

BTW it's not really a question of cost. I know quite a few "traditional" modellers who have far more money sunk into their wood-working workshops than they'd need for a simple CNC setup that would render most of the existing gear redundant. True you could do most modelling with a couple of hand saws, the odd knife and some sandpaper...but do you really know anyone who stops there ? Man seems to be a tool-buying animal .

So if you're asking when modellers will stop importing the latest technology into their hobby I'm pretty sure the answer is never. The only other likely answer is that it will be just a few years before the hobby finally does die. No growth, no life.

Steve
Apr 03, 2010, 05:21 AM
Closed Account
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode One
Seems like every day here on the Builder's Workshop, there are more and more questions about C.A.D. and C.A.M. I've used a laser company to supply me with a short kit and have to say the quality was first rate. This certainly is a viable alternative to actually buying kits, which seem to be less and less available. However, all this sophistication which people seem to think so necessary, really isn't. The hardest part about an R/C airplane is the wing ribs which do take some mass production abilities. There really are ways of making a model airplane kit, which dosen't involve C.A.D. or C.A.M. You want to buy a $20,000.00 C.N.C. machine to cut out ribs for a $25.00 wing, I guess that is your choice.
The above is not lamenting anything; or, telling people not to buy CNC equipment; or, directing anyone how to build model airplanes, in any other way, then how they want to build them! You who see anything more then a simple statement that CNC equipment is not necessary to build model airplanes are more interested in starting an argument than anything else!

Without doubt, if your considering becoming a kit manufacturer CNC machines are the way to go and if you like designing with CAD, by all means, have at 'er.
Apr 03, 2010, 05:43 AM
Closed Account
Sometimes I don't put enough thought into the title of a thread. This is one of those times. The thread would have been better served, if I'd of called it: Is CNC equipment necessary to build R/C models?

However, I'm amazed that people think they can get a feel for my opinions on something from a stupid title making little to no sense such as: "When will it end/start?"
Last edited by Mode One; Apr 03, 2010 at 05:48 AM.
Apr 03, 2010, 10:24 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode One
Sometimes I don't put enough thought into the title of a thread. This is one of those times. The thread would have been better served, if I'd of called it: Is CNC equipment necessary to build R/C models?
You can easily change the title by editing the first message (use Advanced mode). The only problem may then be that it's difficult to get any real discussion going if the only possible answer to the question is "No".

OTOH if you just wanted to make a statement rather than start a discussion that should work for you .

Steve
Apr 03, 2010, 10:38 AM
Suspended Account
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstick
You can easily change the title by editing the first message (use Advanced mode). The only problem may then be that it's difficult to get any real discussion going if the only possible answer to the question is "No".

OTOH if you just wanted to make a statement rather than start a discussion that should work for you .

Steve
Steve,

I have to agree with you. A statement like "CNC machines and CAD programs are not necessary to build models airplanes" is pretty much self evident so how does one even begin to respond to that observation?
Apr 03, 2010, 10:46 AM
You sabotaged my plane.
eliworm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode One
Sometimes I don't put enough thought into the title of a thread. This is one of those times. The thread would have been better served, if I'd of called it: Is CNC equipment necessary to build R/C models?

However, I'm amazed that people think they can get a feel for my opinions on something from a stupid title making little to no sense such as: "When will it end/start?"
Either way you are asking a question. I would think people will give you their answer/opinion.
Jim
Apr 03, 2010, 12:01 PM
Balsa breaks better
Thermaler's Avatar
The good thing is that people are still building!!!!!!! I cut my own, build from both die crunched and laser cut kits.... it's all good!!!

Joe
Apr 03, 2010, 02:52 PM
Prop Buster Extraordinaire
philba's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstick
I'm almost old enough to remember the fuss when kit manufacturers started actually printing the components on the wood so you only had to cut round the outlines and sometimes they even cut out some parts for you. Suddenly you couldn't build anything unless you had all that new-fangled "printing-on-balsa" and "die-crushing" technology and the skill of marking out your own components was bound to be lost....it would be the death of modelling for sure.

There will always be people who like to use the old-fashioned craft skills to build their models. There will also always be people who want to use their current skills for their hobby. You're not going to get new people into this hobby by telling them that all their (normal in the real world) computing skills are too complex and pointless and they should be doing everything like their great-grandfathers did.

BTW it's not really a question of cost. I know quite a few "traditional" modellers who have far more money sunk into their wood-working workshops than they'd need for a simple CNC setup that would render most of the existing gear redundant. True you could do most modelling with a couple of hand saws, the odd knife and some sandpaper...but do you really know anyone who stops there ? Man seems to be a tool-buying animal .

So if you're asking when modellers will stop importing the latest technology into their hobby I'm pretty sure the answer is never. The only other likely answer is that it will be just a few years before the hobby finally does die. No growth, no life.

Steve
well put.

Up until the mid 19th century, most furniture was made completely by hand. These days, who but the most hard core cuts mortise and tenons completely by hand? Even one-at-a-time-wildly-expensive-stuff master craftsmen use power tools. I bet there were lots of people decrying the move to power.

This sort of thing has been around as long as there has been technology. People are often resistant to change. Perhaps it's the fear of being obsolete (like the early textile workers tossing their sabots into the looms) or maybe it's just nostalgia for the "good old days".

To the point about "tool buying" I will also add man is a "tool building" animal. To me, this is one of the core defining virtues of man.
Apr 03, 2010, 03:33 PM
Closed Account
You guys need to get off your High Horses! No body here is lamenting the new technology! Currently, I work for a high tech CNC machining company. I have a position with this company using state of the art software for calibrating and maintaining the gauging the company uses. My boss recognized my depth of knowledge in the machine trades and put me to work where I could do the company the most good!

If I were new to this hobby and came here to the Builder's Workshop and saw some of the titles of threads posted here, I might come away thinking some pretty sophisticated equipment is needed to be involved in this hobby. This is the thrust of my point!

How some of you can construe this opinion to mean I am against the new technology is beyond me and this makes me wonder about your reading/comprehension skills!
Apr 03, 2010, 03:47 PM
Prop Buster Extraordinaire
philba's Avatar
I dunno, maybe the original title of the thread had something to do with it - "When will it end?"

By the way, I really don't see how some one would get the idea that cad/cam was required. Especially if they look at the scratch built foamies forum. Lots of plans that just need some foam, a knife and a bit of glue. Sure, there are a couple of built threads that imply the need for something like a phlat printer but that's no where near the $20K price tag you put on it.


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