The very newest technology can often also be the key to preserving much of our older history and technology–in many ways–from archiving and curating in museums to rebuilding and re-creating with prototypes. And for the hobbyists, model makers, and toy makers around the world, 3D printing can be like a dream come true, allowing them to replicate detailed pieces however they see fit, with much greater latitude due to the nearly infinite number of new options available for customizing, innovating, and experimenting with materials.
While 3D printing technology is in the process of transforming contemporary manufacturing of many high-quality automobile components for companies like Ford and Lamborghini, that’s also simultaneously true for many on the individual and micro-level who simply love everything auto–from making parts of their own like 3D printed motors to using 3D printing kits for kids. And for the avid hobbyist who wants to finally complete work on that model they’ve been thinking about for quite some time, 3D printing can reignite and set their creative worlds on fire.
That’s exactly what happened for Arin Panait, who is just launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise $5,000 USD for the continuation of producing his 3D printed Bucegi trucks. The 52-year-old maker lives in a small town in Romania called Slobozia and has been a talented and dedicated tinkerer since he was a kid.
A fan of working with a range of materials, from wood to wire, Panait is experienced in making toys, complex railroad sets, and more–but his true passion for quite some time now has been that of the custom model car. Being introduced to 3D printing by a friend sent his hobby speeding into the future, as well as prompting him to want to take on the craft full-time–and start his own museum eventually.
“I’ve been fortunate to have friends who helped me use the new technology and helped me with creating 3D models,” said Panait. “This way an old dream of mine came true–modelling of the old Bucegi Romanian truck.”
Like many enthusiasts who enjoy making model cars or trucks, it’s because they have an authentic affinity toward different years or makes after owning them or driving them. The Bucegi brand, based on the Ford Y-block pattern V8 gasoline engine with 140 horsepower, has been responsible for a number of different service trucks in Romania since 1960, from the milk truck to timber lorry.
“Bucegi is an old Romanian truck brand that was produced in Romania forty to fifty years ago,” said Panait. “I drove one for many years when I was younger and it was love at first sight.”
Until now, Panait had encountered great difficulty in re-creating a Bucegi truck with the detail he desired.
“Years ago, playing Microsoft Train Simulator, I modelled the trucks as 3D digital models using the software. I’ve tried many times to replicate real models with resin and stuff, but nothing was satisfactory until I started using the 3D printing technology,” he noted.
Panait was able to go back to the old saved design from the simulator program and convert it into an .stl file. One year later, he’s made an incredible amount of progress, and it looks like both he and his friends have been enjoying themselves quite a lot along the way. As a group, they have completed 22 different 3D printed models.
With the Indiegogo campaign just launched today, Panait hopes to continue focusing on 3D modeling and 3D printing, and mainly with the truck design, as even as prolific as he and his friends have been while mastering new technology, they’ve only been able to produce three fully printable models of the Bucegi models.
For each truck model, the cabin has 14 .stl files alone, while the body has another 20. Once the prints are completed, the secret in finishing for Panait is in sanding and a lot of polishing.
With the three models ready to be manufactured, he has twenty designs waiting behind those to start producing. He makes it clear his campaign is not a business or profit-making venture, but rather just an avenue to help him continue with his hobby. Every reward is the same regardless of the pledge.
“All the perks are the same, no matter the contribution,” says Panait. “Although the Indiegogo platform is mainly used by startups and businesses, I do not see my Indiegogo campaign as a business. If I wanted to make money, I would have sold the models on Shapeways or similar places for a fixed price; however, I only need a way to focus on designing new stuff for 3D printing and later creating my museum, and nothing more.”
“It’s up to you to decide how much value and happiness my models bring to you and for you to contribute accordingly on the campaign.”
It’s your choice. From $10 to $5,000–no matter what you pledge, Panait sends you 75 .stl files (printing at a scale of 1:43) with two different versions–one is the pre-assembled version which is easier to print in just several parts, and the other is the original full version which features 35-40 different components. Each backer will receive the following models:
- Gasoline Peco Tanker
- SR 113 Long Lorry Truck
- SR 115 Tractor Truck
“3D printing has opened a new universe for me,” says Panait. “What I want is to share with people the results of my work. I really think it’s nice for the youth to have the chance to connect with the technology of the past. As soon as I have enough trucks to display, I want to create a small museum for everyone to learn about the old technology.”
Will you be supporting this Indiegogo campaign? Have you attempted to 3D print other model cars or trucks in the past? Discuss in the 3D Printed Model Bucegi Trucks forum thread over at 3DPB.com.