View Full Version : Scale Down a Plastic Model

2011.10.06, 10:58 PM
Hi Guys,

I was wondering if there is a method to scale down a 1/24 Scale Plastic Model (Tamiya like) to a 1/28 Mini-Z Scale ? I know I can fit a 1/24 scale body on the Mini-Z but I'd like to maintain the same scale appearance.

Could heat do it ? I'm asking that because there is so many 1/24 Bodies out there that I would like to fit on my Mini-Zs and I know that Kyosho will most probably never produce them...

Any ideas ??? :-)

2011.10.06, 11:29 PM
Hi Alex,

You could theoricaly scan the 1/24 model (plastic OR metal) with a 3d scanner (http://www.david-laserscanner.com/) then print (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZboxMsSz5Aw) the result at 1/28.

Best of it you can scan a model of any scale (1/43, 1/32, 1/18) as long as it will fit in the 3d scanner. The only problem is to make the final model hollow and give it a thickness of 2-3mm and so some 3d editing would be required between the scan and the print processes. You could also scan the negative side of the original model to make an exact copy of the body as a whole.
Printing the 3d model to 1/28 is the easiest part, it works with percents just like 2d printing.

The print materials are now resilient enough to make a raceable body, you can even print in softer shores (unbreakeable body) or in colour, with transparency, etc.

2011.10.07, 01:05 PM
Holly cow! This is so freaking cool!!! I will go check a company that does 3D prototyping and printing to see how much it would cost to print one body. I will let you guys know.

2011.10.07, 01:13 PM
There is an older technique that used to be very popular in the tropical rain forest portion of South America. I'm not sure it would work with Mini-Z bodies though: en wikipedia org (http://en wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrunken_head) :D

2011.10.07, 01:30 PM
I don't care if it works but I'm not doing that :-D

2011.10.10, 03:06 AM
if anybody could answer your question... i believe it's fovea3d... :D

if you haven't seen it already, there's a thread somewhere... entitled "perfect fits - click to go to link (http://mini-zracer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5489&highlight=perfect+fits)"
which details certain scale models that are a "perfect fit" for the mini-z


click here (http://www.nanospeeders.com/mini6z/fovea3d.htm) to see the link of fovea3d's other creations / collections

2011.10.10, 10:03 AM
Thanks Herman :)

In fact I was believing in the Rapid Prototyping method for a long time.
This because I build 3d models for a living and I know the possibilities.

Several reasons why I did not "print" a Mini-z body already:

- cost: not under $100 for a mini-z body of 30 grams. The price depend on how much "print material" is used. A dNano body or small parts like wheels, spoilers, etc would cost much less due to the small amount of material required.

- Preparing the 3d model so that the moulded front slot and side mountings for the chassis are included in the design take some time, something like 2 or more days of work. We are talking CAD design here.

- Materials were not resilient enough. This recently changed.

- I really don't have time to work on this now :(

But I hope to make this one day. There are still cars I would like to see on a MZ chassis that are not available as model kits/perfect fits now.

Maybe one day I will sell my printed Mini-z bodies here http://www shapeways com/ ;) i hope so.

2011.10.13, 03:16 PM
how about a 4axis router and a vacformer ???

im in the prosses of building both so all that would be needed is a skilled cad drawer to encode the body of choice to G-code , send it off to the router to be made from a mould material (possibly MDF ) then onto the vaccume former

this would produce very light but strong body's either in colour of your choice or clear to be painted just like the big boys do in 1/10 1/8 etc

2011.10.14, 07:36 AM
Yes reaper that would work too.
And it would cost much less using this method.
What is really time consuming is the CAD modeling, especially making the shapes look good and true to scale.

Rapid Prototyping can print metallic compounds now, it would handle heat better for the vacuum method.

I have these (http://www.fovea3d.com/images/3dcars.jpg) that I modeled a long time ago and are copyrights free but they are not RP friendly unfortunately.

Reaper what file format do you need for the router? Maybe we can try something.

2011.10.14, 12:20 PM
nice work on the models !!

the router requires a g-code input ....something im yet to learn lol
i belive i have a program that can convert 3d cad to g-code but again i am yet to learn how to write to cad

2011.10.14, 08:12 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is a 4 axis router?
To me it sounds like something related to cnc machines but I could be wrong.
Good topic btw. ;)

2011.10.15, 04:30 AM
Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is a 4 axis router?
To me it sounds like something related to cnc machines but I could be wrong.
Good topic btw. ;)

sorry for the lack of info ...but yes your exactly right it is a cnc machine something like this \/


2011.10.18, 10:37 AM
I checked back the 3d printing method and interesting things come up.

Shapeways is a company where designers can upload a 3d model so he as well as other customers can order the plastic print of the model.

The price is $1.4 for each cubic centimeter printed (for white and strong plastic). A Mini-z body needs 80 to 100 cubic centimeter of material while a dnano body will need only 30.

There are not many car models in the catalog but here is an example with a nice 1/25 Jaguar:


A single 3d model file can be printed in different scales, so here is the 1/43 version (for dNano?) http://www.shapeways.com/model/323206/1_43_jaguar_long_nose_d_type.html?gid=mg The price is much lower than 1/25 just because it needs less print material.

Or even 1/16 scale http://www.shapeways.com/model/322373/1_16_jaguar_long_nose_d_type.html?gid=sg93489 Costs way much.

This is TDR innovation's Shapeway shop: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/tdrcatalog
You will see other model car related parts, wheels, figures, air intakes. TDR is a skilled hobbyist specialized in slot cars, here are his creations:
The same method could be applied to the Mini-z. There is no limit, absolutely any car body can be reproduced and mounted on a MZ chassis as long as someone CAD's the model.

2011.11.01, 03:20 PM
A few months back I printed a set of body mounts on my brother in laws 3d printer. I took all the measurements and drew it up using solidworks.

As for a body, I would love to draw one up, but its really time consuming and would probably take a bit of trial and error.

If I were to model something, it would probably be a honda crx!

2011.12.05, 01:59 PM
I just uploaded a model to Shapeways
With success! (3D printable).

This is a shell that should fit the dNano Murcielago chassis exactly.
It is not very detailed yet, also the wing is missing, I need to check if the material with 1mm wall thickness is strong enough to be used on a dNano chassis.
If OK I will detail the model more and integrate the body mounts for the dNano directly, then later it will be available for sale to anyone.

I ordered a sample print in White Strong and Flexible, check out the stress test (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXgbJB9v6Zk&feature=player_embedded)

The conversion of the original 3d model for print is time consuming, it is required to make a "watertight" 3d model with walls thicker than 0.7mm and with absolutely no error in it.

This is the 3d model That is now printable


I have an extensive list of car models that I'd love to print for the dNano and Mini-z chassis :)

2011.12.05, 02:22 PM
Reaper -- you probably have (and probably need!) a CAM program to convert CAD models to G-code. It is not worth the time to write G-code by hand for detailed 3D models, believe me. :eek:

2011.12.05, 07:41 PM
you wouldn't need it to print up a 3D model from a 3D printer, you would need G-code for machining.

2011.12.06, 01:56 PM
Reaper -- you probably have (and probably need!) a CAM program to convert CAD models to G-code. It is not worth the time to write G-code by hand for detailed 3D models, believe me. :eek:

i have a few converter programs ,mach3 ,microcarve,lazycam,and elite g code tap

but as yet i havent learnt any of the associated programing ....lack of time and skill lol im getting old you know

2011.12.11, 12:07 PM
Really neat thread guys.. I wasn't aware things like this were becoming "cost effective". (or @ least compared to only a few years back :p) It's too bad I'm not still in college or I'd have all kinds of fun/expensive toys at my disposal! While there I drew a couple real car-parts up in CAD, converted to MasterCAM & then used their CNC machinery to punch them out.. (and even sold a few :D)

...If I were to model something, it would probably be a honda crx!

Why not get a 24th scale model of a CRX? I've seen a couple of them modified to fit the Mini-Z & they turned out nice. Among others I'd love to have a Mazda MX-3. I've only ever seen one miniature of them & it's a rather rare, 43rd scale diecast, if memory serves correct.

...A dNano body or small parts like wheels, spoilers, etc would cost much less due to the small amount of material required...

This might even interest me more though, as IMO, oversized wheels are one of the biggest visual detractions from already available bodies. If it's possible to have a scale model wheel printed, but made to fit a Z's axle/offsets... :) (I've seen people modify model wheels, but I've my doubts if I could do the same & have it spin true, not to mention hold up :o)

Lightweight and/or unbreakable bodies sound nice too!

2012.01.02, 05:04 AM
First of all, happy new year to all!

2012 is starting nicely for me, as I have in my hand my first 3D printed body, designed on my screen and delivered by UPS this morning.

What can I say... Fantastic! Less than 1mn after opening the bag it was clipsed on my dNano chassis. It is a total success. The plastic feels rigid enough to be raceable. The fitting is perfect and tight, no rubbing of the tires.
This is the cheapest and less detailed material available but the details are still good. I modeled very tiny details on purpose to check the resolution.
A post treatment of the surface is needed before painting. I will let you know how that goes.

To go back on the title of the topic: scaling down a body: here is the second step of the process, the first step would be to scan a car model at any scale using a laser scanner and edit the file to add the body mounts then sending it for printing.

I am more than happy with the result, now I think to all the bodies I can design and send to SW. Next step: opening my shop :)


01 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/01.jpg)
02 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/02.jpg)
04 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/04.jpg)
05 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/05.jpg)
06 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/06.jpg)
07 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/07.jpg)
08 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/08.jpg)
09 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/09.jpg)
10 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/10.jpg)
11 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/11.jpg)
12 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/12.jpg)
13 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/13.jpg)
14 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/14.jpg)
15 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/15.jpg)
16 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/16.jpg)
weight01 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/weight01.jpg)
weight02 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/weight02.jpg)
17 (http://www.nanospeeders.com/photos/shapeways/120102dallara/17.jpg)

Here are more ongoing projects (http://www.nanospeeders.com/forum_z/index.php?showtopic=1580) (in french)

And here (http://www.shapeways.com/model/417342/dallara_dnano) my first dNano printable body, soon available for sale to the public (need to do some tests with the material first).

2012.01.02, 09:55 AM
impressive as always! you always do amazing work and this is nothing short of that. keep us apprised of whats to come. especially with printing the wheels. do you still have the 3d wheels i modeled several years ago?

if/when you get a shop open, let me know ;)

2012.01.02, 01:39 PM
Wow, that's awesome Fovea!! Let us know when you start taking requests. :D

2012.01.03, 07:39 PM
Thank you my friends. I will start my own thread about this soon.
I am currently playing with the material. It is tough. I mean it is so tough that it poses problems surfacing it (we all love glossy finish). It is in fact nylon, so it is like trying to sand tupperware stuff. Not to mention that the plastic is also porous, due to the fact that it is sintered powder, so it is full of air. If you try to spray it without treatment, it will just absorb the paint. Very special stuff.

But it is also very light and almost indestructible, very promising for use as bodies. Watch this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEUlmsLe12Y&feature=player_embedded)

Time to dig that "what body do you want" thread up...
@ Tinytacohead: I will be taking orders soon :cool:

@Arch: I just ordered true to scale wheels that I modeled for my dNanos, watch the pics in my shop (http://www.shapeways.com/shops/fovea3d) I know you like transformers stuff. You wont believe what some guys design and print: Transformers already articulated as they are printed all in one piece.
I am currently making parts for the dNano because I will order samples in several materials and the smaller is cheaper.
But the goal is to create stuff for the Mini-z.

I also ordered extended H and T plates in different thicknesses to test them on my cars... The ideas just keep coming.
Imagine stuff for the Motoracer like classic bikes and funny bikers sitting on them ;)

@ Kyoshosan, sorry polluting your thread ;)

2012.01.03, 10:08 PM
Thank you my friends. I will start my own thread about this soon...

Be sure to put a link to your new thread, in this one. :) Also, I dunno about other people, but I'd probably be willing to pay extra for one that's been painted/finished, as well, since that's one thing I'm no good at. :o

2012.01.03, 11:29 PM
fovea3d... fantastic breakthrough... :D
thanks for sharing too... can't wait for to see the painted model...

do you have a mini-z scale body in the works as well?

2012.01.04, 03:24 AM
fovea3d... fantastic breakthrough... :D
thanks for sharing too... can't wait for to see the painted model...

do you have a mini-z scale body in the works as well?

I have one ready (http://www.shapeways.com/model/420830/kadett_c_mini_z.html?gid=ug)! Just waiting Shapeways to produce it, it is a matter of days.
@ Tiny: If I can simplify the preparation step with a smoother plastic I may paint a batch of them myself.

2012.01.04, 04:01 PM
Alain, great stuff! The shallow curved areas look like they will be a pain to finish by hand, so I'm not sure you would want to hand-finish a batch of these by yourself. :eek: But 9.3g for a dNano body looks great, and when you are taking orders I have a couple 3D models in mind that would be nice additions to the Mini-Z pantheon. Seems like if we scale up the size and thickness to 1/28 the final bodies would weigh in just around 30g? :)

2012.01.04, 06:41 PM
Hi Brian,
Well I am now testing the different plastics available. I ordered another Dallara in White Strong and Flexible Polished. It is the same material but should be a lot smoother.
If finally I can have a print finish comparable to the K white bodies I would not mind paint them myself.
Your ideas are welcome.I will be starting a survey to list the most wanted bodies. You are right about the weight, it should be under 30gr for a MZ. Maybe I can design with thinner walls to reduce the weight even more, the minimum printable is 0.7mm thick and the dNano I ordered has 0.9mm. The material is very rigid and feels indestructible. BTW, watch this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhs2lW5x36Q)

2012.01.04, 07:45 PM
...BTW, watch this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhs2lW5x36Q)

awesome stuff!!

2012.01.04, 09:21 PM
OK I started the "Printed Bodies (http://mini-zracer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37529)" thread. Feel free to comment and suggest.

2012.01.06, 09:48 AM
i want one