Originally Posted by bastardbiker
Actually I think that using a 3d printer to make motorcycle fairing molds designed in CAD could be a pretty lucrative business...
Originally Posted by btblueskies
It's simple plastic and there are a couple different types/colors available.
It come's in spools like weed whacker cord, and it is melted by a hot tip similar to a hot glue gun...
Being the Cad Guru has benefits, but Fairings and such are complex flowing rounded shapes, which no current Cad program is good for relating to design...unfortunatly...
BT, have you actually seen / held the plastic used for that process?
I had a "Flatbed" type 3d Modeler back around '95 when I worked for Gould, it had a 12 x 12 platen, and deposited layers like an ink jet printer.
Cost a bizillion$$ for the thing then, and the prototype plastic was very soft and not durable, a cross between extremely hard wax and flakey plastic, actually about the same as hot-melt glue sticks... It would print "layers" about .002"-.005" th'k., and any voids during the vertical build contained "pillars" spaced out so you could crumble them out after the build...which supported the next consecutive layer.
I have to think even today, the meltable material is still soft, and fragile comparably.
The new industrial rage is UV hardenable plymers, where a High output UV light probe circulates in a "vat" of polymer, and "prints" the pattern by hardening in a vertical build in a similar fashion. Those plastics are much harder, and can actually be utilized for finished parts...unfortunatly they cost $$$$$$$$$$$