THE Cub Report, Version- Life In The Fast Lane
Ya know, life isn’t all about rc. Well, it mostly is, but if you go 100% at rc all the time, you will get burnt out. That’s why it is prudent to enjoy other sports, hobbies, and racing. Especially right now. I say that because both F1 and the Feld Supercross Series are having freak’n incredible seasons. With just 3 rounds to go in Supercross, Ryan Dungey and Eli Tomac are having a slugfest and are tied in points, while the F1 series is shaping up to be the best season in decades. For years, every Supercross season has not been close, and F1, well it has been the Mercedes show for far too long. 2017 looks to be the best one in years for the types of racing that I enjoy following, I highly recommend catching some of it while you are wrenching on your bash trucks.
Over the weekend I attended an off road event (yes, rc) and was blown away by something I saw. One of the guys at the event was running a scaler that was made entirely from parts he had made on his personal 3D printer. It was as if he grabbed one of the big name scale crawlers on the market, tore it completely down to individual pieces, scanned them, then printed them all back out. Needless to say, the guy’s rig was getting a lot of attention, and perhaps even more importantly, multiple people were hitting him up to get parts printed out for their own trucks.
On the same note… one of our contributors bought a new boat a few weeks ago. It is one of the latest and greatest to hit the market, so he picked one up and had a blast with it. That is, until it broke. His boat broke a fairly common part, one that quite often breaks regardless of model or brand, but he could not find a replacement. We searched the web and couldn’t get a part, then he contacted an insider at the company hoping to score one off a pre-pro or display unit, but that didn’t pan out either. So what did he do? He got with a friend who then 3D printed the part he needed.
There is a HUGE change coming in not just our industry, but across the board because of 3D printers. Currently they are just past the infancy stage, and once they take off, that market is going to explode. I’ve talked with multiple industry insiders about the subject, some of them were still clueless, a couple were quite well versed on the subject, but none of them know exactly what impact 3D printing is going to have on rc. Will the new standard become buying files from your favorite car manufacturer then printing out your new car at home? Will aftermarket parts become the wild west with hundreds of different garage shops selling files for upgrade Traxxas a-arms? When you break your truck at your local park will you simply print a brand new one on the spot with your portable 3D printer?
The point of this Cub Report is to wake up those people in our industry that aren’t thinking about the 3D printer issue yet. After all, 3D printing can be yet another reason that traditional rc gets killed off, or perhaps they can be used to take our industry to all new heights. It is simply a subject that has not been talked about enough in this industry, but absolutely needs to be addressed, and the sooner the better. If you are an “industry type”, I know you hate talking to your competition, but this is an issue where the big guys need to come together and at least formulate a game plan, a plan of action to help keep 3D printers from decimating the industry as we know it now. I certainly don’t have the answer, but if you sit down the right makers and shakers of our industry in one room for a couple hours to get a plan going, our industry can only be better off because of it. The NRHSA Table Top Expo is less than a month away and the Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo is this fall, both would be excellent places to get together and start wrapping everyone’s head around the inevitable change that is headed for us.
Anyways, that’s all I have on tap for this week. Like always, get out and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter