Tag Archives: 3D printing

Slot car racing for the rest of us

I’ve always wondered about the slot car craze of the 70′. I heard so much about it. But I never did understand its lure. Unlike RC flying, slot car racing provides a racer with only one degree of control. You go fast, or even faster, until your slot car derails, and flies off a track.

After I bought a starter kit recently, I now appreciate why classic slot car racing can be a hobby, and not just a toy. I get that at the enthusiast end of the spectrum, die-hard collectors and racers build elaborate custom tracks and cars. I know that at the toy end of the spectrum, cheap slot car kits are available for $30 to keep toddlers entertained.

But the majority of potential customers for slot cars do not belong to either end of this spectrum. There is a reason why slot cars soon faded from the popular stage. Most casual users find the experience thrilling only for a brief moment. After an initial adrenaline rush, the game soon become repetitive and one-dimensional for casual users.

I have some ideas about what to do, with respect to issues I raised. I will talk about them at the end of this article. But first, I’ll document some of my experiences that you won’t find elsewhere online. Some of these pertain to a particular brand of HO-scale slot cars and tracks I bought. Some have to do with lack of accessories for casual racers such as myself. I modeled and 3D-printed these missing accessories. Readers with similar tracks and cars may download my 3D models, and print them on their own printers. Continue reading

Posted in Fun | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What is a Doob 3D Selfie?

Last year my family visited the miniature park, Madurodam. We had ourselves scanned at the Fantasitron, and subsequently our 3D selfies printed by Shapeways. I was so impressed that I wrote an entire article about 3D scanning, stereophotogrammetry and gypsum-based 3D color printing. We have since found another venue for making 3D selfies, this time in New York City. The company, Doob, delivers an impeccable service, starting from the first moment we made an appointment online. This smooth and professional experience extends to email reminders, in-store consulting, and actual 3D scanning. It concludes with flawless 3D-printed figurines delivered to our house.

However, Doob as a company is rather secretive about its scanning process and 3D-reconstruction software. It is almost impossible to find any information about its 3D printing process. Unlike Madurodam and Shapeways, Doob offers no technical details on either its American website, or the English version of its main German website.

Hopefully this article will help answer some of most frequently-asked questions folks may raise, concerning Doob 3D selfies. If you come across this article, make sure you first read the one about Madurodam 3D selfies, to understand the basic concepts. Continue reading

Posted in Being a Wikipedian, Drawings and Paintings, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

3D selfies made in Fantasitron at Madurodam

Writing a computer program to map 2-dimensional drawings to 3-dimensional models had once been my obsession. This stemmed from the endless hours I spent drawing, by hand, orthographic projections of 3D models, and vice versa. While this was condemned as a chore universally by my classmates at Escuela Técnica No. 28 in Buenos Aires, I quite enjoyed it. After my family moved to New York, I no longer had to make these homework drawings. Instead I wrote a C program to generate 3D polyhedrons from 2D polygonal views. The long paper I wrote alongside this program won the gold medal at the New York Math Fair.

That seemed like a lifetime ago. In between then and now, algorithms had been invented to generate 3D models of people in color and with great details, all from simple 2D photos. But it is only in recent years that such technologies started to become commoditized. Just a month ago, Elisha and I stepped into, for a few seconds, a photo booth the size of a restroom, at the miniature park Madurodam. Three weeks later we received an exquisite 3D selfie printed by Shapeways.
Continue reading

Posted in Being a Wikipedian, Drawings and Paintings, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Miniature Corsair made with the 3Doodler Pen

So I picked up a 3Doodler Pen to make a birthday present for my wife. Given my recent interest in flying RC model airplanes, the first idea that crossed my mind was the ultra micro Horizon Hobby Corsair I had been flying of late. So I 3D-doodled one with a wingspan measuring all of three inches long, modeled on a plan I found of the Vought F4U Corsair.
Continue reading

Posted in Drawings and Paintings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment