#580: Sprue love

I have to admit to an interest in building models…aircraft, tanks…almost any kind of warlike machinery interests me enough to want to recreate it as a plastic miniature. I don’t understand it either: but at least I’m not alone.

There is a subset of model buyers that likes to keep their construction kits in-box, pristine, unassembled. That’s fine (if a little obsessive) until they happen to own a very rare (and valuable) kit. Today’s invention is a way to build it without ever having to separate the components from the virginal sprue.

The contents of a box of parts would be laser-scanned whilst still attached to that holy sprue. This would result in the creation of a 3-D computer model of the components which could be ‘detached’ and assembled in silico to build a virtual 3-D model.

This could then be passed to a rapid prototyping device in order to create (and sell) unlimited reproductions of a very rare model design.

Another nice feature is the ability to make those versions at different scales…so if you only have a 1/24 scale model of the 1973 Airfix Hawker Hurricane, you can use that to create a highly-detailed 1/72 squadron.

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