(Topic ID: 15642)

Pilot Project - DIY Plastics that look professional


By Curbfeeler

7 years ago



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  • 64 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by Curbfeeler
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    #1 7 years ago

    First Pinside post. Greetings to all.

    Anyway, hello. We've all had it happen to us. You have just one plastic that is totally trashed. Either the plastics are totally impossible to find or a whole set would cost you more than the whole pin is worth. So what do you do?

    If you're like me you aren't quite happy with any of the options currently available. Printing to paper and gluing to a piece of Plexi will do in a pinch, but it's not professional-looking. Putting packing tape over your smashed-up plastic isn't a great solution. But neither is begging for a reproduction to be created.

    I think a good answer has finally arrived. If you google "Direct-to-Substrate Flatbed Inkjet Printer" then you will see what I mean. There is now an affordable process that will print in small runs and will produce the high quality results we finicky pinballers demand. This is the technology used on subway and bus translights, so it's actually meant for light to pass through. IMHO, this is the silver bullet we've been hoping for for quite some time. Take a quick look at the images of my DIY Jolly Roger Backglass plexi proof, and you get some idea of the quality we're talking about... rgparchive.com/rgpforum/showthread.php?t=387343 ...

    At any rate, I am writing this post to announce a "proof of concept" or pilot project. Here is what I propose...

    1. A small group of pinsiders sign up to be part of the pilot.
    2. I collect/prepare all the artwork and send out proofs for review.
    3. Pinsiders have an opportunity to review and suggest corrections prior to printing.
    4. I order up a small run of plastics by working with my local printer.
    5. I cut the plastics up and send them out to pinsiders. Each pinsider pays his/her share of the total run. This is expected to be a few dollars. Costs are ACTUAL costs to the printer. Nobody profits from the project. Also, plastics you get are for PERSONAL USE only.
    6. Each pinsider agrees to post back an extensive review of the plastic they get. You'll be expected to review everything from installation process to resolution of image to opacity vs. original screened plastic.
    7. Nobody can be a d*ck. This is a community-based project to try to develop a better mouse trap for we pinballers. Please remember that we're trying to improve the tools that are out there currently, not simply replace your broken plastic.

    So...PM me to sign up for the pilot. I'd like the know the following...

    1. Which plastic do you want to include in the pilot?
    2. Why would this plastic make a good addition to the pilot?
    3. Do you have a scan or can you get a scan of the plastic?
    4. Are you able to vectorize (trace) the scan or do you have any Illustrator/Inkscape skills to contribute?

    Can't wait to get started!
    Dan

    #2 7 years ago

    It's too bad that "balls of steel" was closed down a year or so ago.

    There were all sorts of user uploaded scans of plastics for people to use to do what you are trying to do.

    I think you have a great idea, help people keep machines up and running without having to spend an enormous amounts of money to replace 1 or 2 plastics.

    Good luck with this, as I expect the people that had balls of steel pull down their scans; will also want to know where you are getting the artwork for your project.

    Robert

    #3 7 years ago

    1. STTNG, there is a partially U-shaped piece on the left side of the playfield that is a fragile little turd. Believe it says something about Ferengi jackpot and it goes around the side of the kickout scoop that feeds the left cannon.

    2. Fragile, high breakage.

    3. Might be able to scan the broken one I have, but I don't have a great scanner or a flawless plastic to scan.

    4. No skills.

    #4 7 years ago
    Quoted from MrSanRamon:

    It's too bad that "balls of steel" was closed down a year or so ago

    Agree. BoS was a great resource for scans. It was gone before I ever got to use it. Having a scan is really only half the battle, though. I should probably explain the printing process (as I understand it).

    This machine prints in reverse on the back side of the plastic -- so you see the design through the plastic. This is similar to how they were screened originally. Because of how the process works, you not only need a scan but you need to vectorize the artwork. You need to set up the Illustrator file so that it's done in layers one color at a time (since it will be printed in layers as well).

    When they did my backglass at the printer they charged me a setup fee for the artwork. It was around $25. Sounds like a lot, but they know their machine, and they know how many layers of white it's going to take, how many layers, of black to make the mask, etc.

    Since I did the Jolly Roger backglass project, I've had two guys contact me privately and ask me if they can get also get a Jolly Roger backglass printed. I've contacted the printer and told them they'd be getting a call. Then I've directed the requestor to the printer to deal with them directly. I have no involvement other than being the guy who made it all possible.

    So you see, in this case it's the printer who has the artwork, not a site like BoS.

    I did tell my printer not to take requests from anyone who wanted more than a single run of the backglass. I do not want to help those who insist on taking everything to eBay and selling the work of others. Just trying to help fellow pinheads fill the need for something that is for personal use.

    I really have no idea logistically if any of this will work. That is why I am kicking off a pilot "proof of concept" project. I do know that the Direct-to-Substrate process produces amazing results, so that's a good start if nothing else.

    #5 7 years ago
    Quoted from Curbfeeler:

    Having a scan is really only half the battle

    Yes, I understand what you're saying; and by no means was I trying to minimize your efforts.

    I think it's going to be an issue trying to use protected artwork to make parts for people, and not pay a royalty.

    I guess what my main point is...it's different if I have a machine with a broken plastic, where I scan it and produce a duplicate of what I have already have paid for. As opposed to getting a scan of a plastic (where the artwork is intellectual property) from someone else to make a part for a 3rd party.

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ahrpa/opa/museum/1intell.htm

    I want you to succeed, truly. Good luck; this is a service that we need...I'm just not sure how this is going to play out.

    Robert

    #6 7 years ago
    Quoted from MrSanRamon:

    I think it's going to be an issue trying to use protected artwork to make parts for people, and not pay a royalty

    I too wonder about this. As you said, it's one thing to do it yourself (since the original company is not providing them, say williams for instance). It's entirely different to start making copies, and "in theory" make a profit (I doubt anyone is going to do this for the good of pinball, even as enthusiastic as we all are). At the same time, since Williams as a company (WMS) still exists, the rights to all the pinball stuff is owned by someone, yet they refuse to provide parts we need, shouldn't there be some gray area? I mean it's equivalent to Pontiac closing it's doors, and GM going "tough luck, find your own parts". Also, it seems like when movies or music aren't available by any means, it starts going black market (if you know what I mean), it's a similiar situation.

    Also, Design patents are only good for 14 years (which artwork would fall under being ornamental). By my clock, even the pinball 2000 stuff only has a couple years left (unless they renew, and going by their track record, I don't see them investing money into renewing).

    #7 7 years ago

    Sign me up for the Pilot!

    - I'll scan my Arwin Plastic and provide millions of them to all the faithful LOTR owners out there

    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Also, Design patents are only good for 14 years (which artwork would fall under being ornamental). By my clock, even the pinball 2000 stuff only has a couple years left (unless they renew, and going by their track record, I don't see them investing money into renewing).

    Artwork is protected by copyright rather than patent, which basically means it will probably never expire unless it was created before Mickey Mouse in 1928 (I wish that was a joke.)

    The technology is certainly there for the companies to offer print on demand replacement parts, but as far as I know none of them has pursued it.

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from ecurtz:

    Artwork is protected by copyright rather than patent

    Yes, the art work is intellectual property, not covered by a patent...so the protection doesn't expire; though I believe it does need to be renewed occasionally.

    That was why (as I understand it) Balls of Steel was closed down; improper coping of intellectual property...i.e. without permission.

    If you Google who owns what, with regards to pinball, it's not straight forward, at least in the case of Williams. I think Illinois pinball, Planetary pinball and Mr Pinball Australia may all own some rights to Williams pinball intellectual property; perhaps even Williams themselves may still hold some rights.

    Gottlieb's official licensee is Steven Young's Pinball Resource.

    While I'm not positive, I'm pretty sure Stern holds the rights to all Data East, Sega & Stern pinball property.

    So, in order to start producing parts for these machines, you would need to obtain the rights from the owners of them.

    Robert

    #10 7 years ago

    @toyotaboy - No, NEVER for profit. You'd have to be insane to try to make a profit by selling copies of somebody else's copyrighted design. You might sell a few on eBay, but at what cost? It is asking for trouble. Most pinball owners are also homeowners. You want to lose your house for a playfield plastic? Too risky.

    If somebody truly wanted to make a profit by doing this they'd need to secure the licensing from both the original pinball company and in the case of a movie theme from the movie rights owner as well. They'd basically have to do what CPR does. CPR is a class act all the way that uses the highest quality materials and creates and end product that is as close to original as possible. They license everything they do. They also screen their plastics, which is the correct way to do it. CPR also have very skilled artists. I'm a hack, tracing a scan to the best of my abilities. Stu from CPR is the real deal. No comparison.

    I'm not talking about creating a perfect reproduction as CPR would do, though. I am talking about a DIY approach to create the odd broken plastic that you can never seem to find. I'm talking about using the good technology which I know to exist to make a plastic that is cheap to buy but higher in quality than gluing a piece of paper to a piece of plexi.

    Anyway, I've been giving my pilot project a bit of thought. I'm wondering if maybe the best thing to do for now is just to trace all the broken plastics in my own collection and publicly review the result. If the end product is as good as I expect it to be, we can figure the rest out from there.

    #11 7 years ago

    Curbfeeler is a class act and a great guy.

    Screened plastics have some sort of white backing, that in my guess, is used to sort of diffuse the light coming through. What do you plan on doing to replicate that look and feel?

    #12 7 years ago

    I did a Google search on direct-to-substrate printers and found quite a bit of information on them... but no price quotes. How much do these cost? Or is it a question of "if you have to ask, you can't afford it"?

    #13 7 years ago
    Quoted from JDG1980:

    but no price quotes

    The place I am using charges based on how much ink they use (how many passes, how much surface area they print). The backglass I had them print they cost me ~ $80. That was like 25x24 and used gobs of ink. It had many layers of white and some layers of black to create a light mask to match the opacity of the original glass. See the pics of the proof on RGP and you get an idea of what we are talking about.

    EDIT: They charged me a 1-time $25 to set up the artwork but dont' charge this again when they make copies.

    #14 7 years ago

    Sorry if I was unclear - I meant a price quote on the printer itself, not on having work done on it at a print shop.

    #15 7 years ago
    Quoted from btrip:

    Screened plastics have some sort of white backing

    Yes, but you could take direct printed plastic and spray paint the back white after you got it.

    If I was going to get one made, that's how I'd probably do it...get it printed and then paint the bottom white when it showed up in my mailbox.

    Only would need to find out what white paint to use, so the ink doesn't "run".

    Robert

    #16 7 years ago
    Quoted from JDG1980:

    price quote on the printer itself

    Oh, sorry. That I don't know.

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from btrip:

    Screened plastics have some sort of white backing, that in my guess, is used to sort of diffuse the light coming through. What do you plan on doing to replicate that look and feel?

    Thanks for kind words, btrip.

    Yes, my direct ink backglass had this white layer to diffuse light. It worked very well and looked like an original glass. The artist knew exactly what I wanted, since a lot of advertising uses this same strategy to set apart logos.

    #18 7 years ago
    Quoted from Curbfeeler:

    Can't wait to get started!

    What format do you want the scan in and how do you know what size to make the part; unless it's in some kind of *.dwg format?

    Robert

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from Curbfeeler:

    JDG1980 said:price quote on the printer itself
    Oh, sorry. That I don't know.

    Here is one starting at $8500. http://www.sepsgraphics.com/Site/Direct_to_Substate_Printer.html

    It's a real shame this thread was basically hijacked by copyright discussion. If you are not selling the material for profit then there's nothing to "come after". So I wouldn't give a thought to this issue.

    #20 7 years ago
    Quoted from MrSanRamon:

    What format do you want the scan in

    Just a flatbed of the whole plastic at 300dpi or so should be good. If you scan at 100% I should be able to get my measurements from photoshop.

    #21 7 years ago

    I didn't mean to hijack as others have with copyright, I'm just sayin be careful how you approach this. Perhaps if u keep accurate books, and truly keep this non-profit, you'll be safe. Maybe the best thing to do is start a kick starter project to pay for a scanner and printer. Start a poll on here for top 3 wanted plastics that don't exist right now, then give supporters their choice if it gets funded.

    #22 7 years ago

    I have the backglass art for my custom pin, but unfortunately not for the plastics yet, or I'd offer those for testing. What about just doing a generic set of slingshots? Those are standard enough that many people could test them in a game and they could be original artwork, so there would be zero potential issues.

    #23 7 years ago

    The other thing I thought for running a test, what if you did a parody? (which in theory is protected by the first ammendment). Take the original artwork, and change it. Like if you were wanting to do star trek, do "start wreck". Who knows, maybe a parody re-theme would be more interesting than the original?
    http://www.legalzoom.com/intellectual-property-rights/copyrights/are-literary-parodies-protected-under

    #24 7 years ago

    Are we legally allowed to do this? I recreated the bride of pinbot chest plastics and sent out a couple of sets to people. I did it for free just to help the hobby but also was affraid of williams coming after me if I started to sell them. First couple of batches were "OK" but I've got it down a lot better now and may sell some if it's not illegal to do...

    #25 7 years ago
    Quoted from 85vett:

    Are we legally allowed to do this

    You will never be allowed to sell what you make because part of what you are selling (the design) does not belong to you.

    It is legal, however, for you to make your own plastic for personal use. It is also legal for me to teach you how to make your own plastic for your own personal use. That is really what this should be about -- a bunch of guys who are willing to help teach each other how to replace their own broken plastics by using readily-available DIY resources.

    Anyway, tomorrow I'll post a few WIP pics of my progress tracing two of my own broken plastics. I'll try to write it like a tutorial so others can start in on their own broken plastics as well.

    #26 7 years ago

    One doesn't need to make a profit to violate copyright laws. Just ask Johnny Gasca, AKA "The Prince of Piracy" His defense was that he wasn't profiting from copying movies. It was ruled the infringement occurred despite the profitability of the venture.

    While the MPAA is far more militant than the pinball industry, the number of C&D orders handed out to ipdb (ROM links), BoS and others shows that pinball manufacturers aren't beyond pressing their rights. It potentially gets a bit stickier for reproductions of movie licensed pieces. Could/would the MPAA get in on the act if LotR, POTC, etc pieces are reproduced - particularly if they had actor likenesses or other licensed copyrighted marks?

    #27 7 years ago

    Maybe your best bet is to contact planetary pinball since they are a licensee, let them deal with legality since they do already. You could be the oem, they sell it as an eastablished pinball parts supplier, everyone wins. Only difficulty is red tape of paperwork, especially a contract (artwork approval, quality of workmanship, minimum stock, etc)

    #28 7 years ago

    I started my DIY plastics project last night. To start with I am doing 8 plastics. Five are from my DE Star Wars. Another is from my 1977 Big Hit. The last is from my 1967 Jolly Roger.

    For the purposes of the tutorial I'll be starting with Big Hit.

    Step One: Get the programs. You need a photo editing software like photoshop (free version = GIMP) and Illustrator (free version = Inkscape).

    Step Two: Scan your broken plastic (or get a friend to scan his). This results in a file such as a TIF or JPG or PNG.

    Step Three: Import your scan into Inkscape. (File >> Import >> Choose File). I also choose to embed the image. It makes the inkscape file bigger, but you can remove the art when you are done.

    Step Four: Create some layers. I create a layer for my artwork and usually a layer for each color. Just depends on the design. As I organize my drawing, I try to consider how it will be printed.

    Step Five: Create a duplicate of your image (just for visual reference). You're going to be tracing right over the top of your image, so some parts can get obscured. I find it easiest to keep a copy just to the right of where I'm actually drawing (see first pic).

    Step Six: Get to tracing. You're just creating a series of shapes that are made from a series of points. You want to just draw right on top of your image. This takes some practice and is time-consuming, but I find it relaxing. Here is a pic of one I worked on about an hour....

    Anyway, more to come...

    512012_110357_AM.png 512012_114537_AM.png

    #29 7 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Maybe your best bet is to contact planetary pinball since they are a licensee

    After giving it some thought, I can see that anything I do other than making plastics for my own games is going to quickly turn into a headache. Therefore I'm just going to make them for myself. I'm happy to share tips with others to help them through the process as well.

    #30 7 years ago

    Does the Inkscape auto-tracing tool work well enough for this purpose, or does all the tracing have to be done by hand? I know the auto-tracing tool only works well with one color at a time, but if you're doing color separation anyway...

    TILTed post. Sign in to be able to view TILTed posts.
    #32 7 years ago
    Quoted from Curbfeeler:

    Just a flatbed of the whole plastic at 300dpi or so should be good. If you scan at 100% I should be able to get my measurements from photoshop.

    This is correct. 300 DPI at 100% typically. Save it as a TIF, not as a JPEG. JPEG's can get "fuzzy" with artifacts. TIF typically use loss-less compression (use LZW or ZIP)

    The $25 "file charge" was likely for them to vectorize the blocking layer. That's not a bad price actually. The actual artwork will be fine as a rastor image, but the blocking layers will have to be vector - as well as the outside trim lines (for plastics). Also keep in mind that you're going from a silkscreened Pantone colour print to an RGB scan, and then to a CMYK printer.. so don't expect accurate colour (though in most cases, something is better than nothing). If you're doing sling plastics for example, I'd suggest doing both sides. ALSO -- because most originals were done in Pantone spot colours, some colours would be out of the range of the CYMK spectrum. So if you're doing plastics with bright, or even fluorescent colours (ie. AFM), you're going to have a tough time matching them.

    As far as copyrights... well, I've been down this road before with Mr. Pinball Australia, and don't care to go through that again. Y'all are on your own there.

    Keep in mind that "license" is exactly that. The IP has been licensed for use in a product, but is still owned by a separate entity. For example, Gary Stern has said multiple times that he doesn't care if people reproduce his parts.. but if it's a licensed part (ie. a Jurassic Park logo), the original IP owners will likely have a problem with it.

    - B

    #33 7 years ago
    Quoted from JDG1980:

    Does the Inkscape auto-tracing tool work well enough for this purpose, or does all the tracing have to be done by hand?

    Good question. I don't like to use autotracers. Especially working from older scans where the image is dirty. You pick up a lot of noise and end up having to do too much cleanup. I just take my time and trace the shapes one by one.

    #34 7 years ago
    Quoted from pinball_customs:

    The $25 "file charge" was likely for them to vectorize the blocking layer.

    Should have explained that better. The artwork I gave them was vector already (inkscape converted to Illustrator), but the $25 was for them to arrange that data into plot paths for the layers of ink. They printed the color in reverse against the glass. Where there was white they printed multiple layers to give it the correct opacity. Then they printed the mask layers over everything, again using multiple layers of white. The $25 was to input all this data into their computer.

    I think they were cutting me a break b/c they love pinball. The gave me the proof in the picture for free.

    #35 7 years ago
    Quoted from Curbfeeler:

    It is legal, however, for you to make your own plastic for personal use.

    Again, good luck with this effort.

    A process for people to reproduce the pieces that they already own, that are damaged, is sorely needed.

    Robert

    #36 7 years ago

    please do continue with the tutorial - and as far as you can take it. i think it'd be very worthwhile to understand some of the details and gotchas in the entire process of trying to repro plastics - particularly since it would appear anyone wanting a repro that isn't available for sale will need to understand the whole process. The color pre-press work is a whole body of knowledge in itself - and not easily conveyed. But even details as to if it was easier to find a close match for the fonts in your above screen grabs, or if you actually traced the letter characters, is useful info for someone trying to repro plastics from their own game. Too many times I see just bits and pieces of projects like this.

    #37 7 years ago

    and for the unfortunate souls that have spent money on titles and no plastics available to buy??

    Copyright police, give me a break, if the manufacturer does not want to support their own product why should we be penalised for doing their work for them.

    ... so there is no money in making them, but there is in stopping others!!!

    what a world!

    #38 7 years ago
    Quoted from stuartr7:

    and for the unfortunate souls that have spent money on titles and no plastics available to buy??
    Copyright police, give me a break, if the manufacturer does not want to support there own product why should we be penalised for doing there work for them.
    ... so there is no money in making them, but there is in stopping others!!!
    what a world!

    Yeah, where the hell can I get replacement Sopranos slingshots?

    #39 7 years ago

    Continuing on.... When it comes to text and fonts I have two choices as mentioned above. I can trace the words of find a font that I think is close enough. For my backglass I just found something close, but for these I am on the fence.

    Let's assume I decide to trace the numbers. I start my ZERO with a square. Sounds odd, I know, but that's how I do it. Then I convert the shape to a path (a collection of lines). Then I convert those lines to curves which can be dragged to the desired shape (see first two pics).

    For block letters like an O or the zero I then normally duplicate that shape and scale that down like in my third pic. I now have the two shapes I need for my zeroes and need only to combine them (next post).

    512012_23106_PM.png 512012_23248_PM.png 512012_23848_PM.png

    #40 7 years ago

    Moving right along, it takes a lot of fidgeting, but I finally get the inner and outer half of my zero to line up like I like (pic 1).

    Then I can use a nifty tool in Inkscape that allows me to exclude the inner from the outer (pic 2).

    The result is I now have a completed zero (pic 3) that is good enough for primetime. I can copy this and paste it all over my plastic. Note how much nicer this looks than the text-based font I found and used above it.

    512012_25439_PM.png 512012_25506_PM.png 512012_25605_PM.png

    #41 7 years ago

    Wanted to post about the idea of using a font that's "close" versus tracing your own letters. There is the option of choosing a "close" font and then converting the letter to a series of points. This can save some tracing.

    In Pic 1 I am using a 3 that is "close" but not great.

    512012_32501_PM.png

    Notice in Pic 2 that I convert this numeral to a plot path. I can now tweak the number to suit my needs, and I have saved myself quite a bit of tracing. Just a little shortcut I've found does work.

    512012_32708_PM.png

    Then after a bit more tweaking you can see that all my numbers are looking pretty darn good (pic 3)

    512012_34057_PM.png

    #42 7 years ago

    I think it's a great idea Curb. Keep at it and teach us how to do it.

    #43 7 years ago

    Awesome idea Curb! Here are a couple of screen-shots from a Baywatch plastic that I was messing around with 3-4 months ago in Blender.

    blendplastic_002.png blendplastic_001.png

    #44 7 years ago
    Quoted from stuartr7:

    if the manufacturer does not want to support their own product why should we be penalised for doing their work for them

    I agree.. unfortunately, anyone with copywright has the right to sit on their work without ever reproducing it. Is it financially stupid not to make replacements and make a profit from it, I think so, but they have that legal right. It's not unlike patent trolls, where they will patent an idea, a company will miss it during their search, invest millions of dollars into R&D, and then when the product goes to market, that patent holder comes out of the woodwork "Oh hey, I own the patent on that. Stop production, or I'll sue.. So either pay me a royalty, or spend millions of dollars in court and red tape, or give me a settlement out of court".

    I like this tutorial, and maybe this should be a sticky. I know the pinball database stores photos, roms, sounds, manuals, schematics. I wonder what the legality of cleaned up artwork for plastics is (for archival purposes)? I mean then your not producing a physical object to resell.

    But then it goes into that gray area, like pirates putting dvd rips on torrents "well I'm not selling it", though that might be different because that has the potential to effect dvd sales. What sales are you affecting if you post artwork files for plastics? If the companies aren't selling them, your not causing any harm.

    #45 7 years ago

    If you own the machine and have a broken plastic. Whoever owns rights does not make this part. I don't see any reason you cannot make yourself and yourself only a replacement part if you do all the work and don't sell it. Just MHO but I am not a lawyer.

    #46 7 years ago
    Quoted from Shoot_Again:

    If you own the machine and have a broken plastic. Whoever owns rights does not make this part. I don't see any reason you cannot make yourself and yourself only a replacement part if you do all the work and don't sell it.

    This is likely fine - even if the part is reproduced elsewhere. While technically still a copyright violation, it'd never come to the public view and is likely unenforceable. Generally you'll see enforcement once the image/part/files are made available to the public for free/a small fee/shipping/etc

    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    I wonder what the legality of cleaned up artwork for plastics is (for archival purposes)? I mean then your not producing a physical object to resell.

    Its the artwork, not the rendering, that is the copyright material.

    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    But then it goes into that gray area, like pirates putting dvd rips on torrents "well I'm not selling it", though that might be different because that has the potential to effect dvd sales. What sales are you affecting if you post artwork files for plastics? If the companies aren't selling them, your not causing any harm.

    Its not how the copyrighted works are shared/sold, but the reproduction of the copyrighted work that violates the copyright. Its not the harm being done, but the potential harm. Say a copyright holder A doesn't make a part, so company B decides they will, and they sell/give a ton of them. Copyright holder A later decides they want to to sell more of their copyright work, but come to find out there is no longer any demand because company B made of bunch of them. Copyright holder A neither received any sales or any license fees from company B. So there are still real (potential) losses.

    #47 7 years ago
    Quoted from Curbfeeler:

    Wanted to post about the idea of using a font that's "close" versus tracing your own letters. There is the option of choosing a "close" font and then converting the letter to a series of points. This can save some tracing.

    WhatTheFont! and Identifont are both super-useful in helping find a close-match font for this purpose.

    http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/
    and
    http://www.identifont.com/

    I'm very interested to see what a final plastic looks like using this process. Do you know what specific printer they're using, and what sheet size it will print to? Also curious as to the price of a single printed sheet, and pricing on multiples of the same sheet... although of course per the side discussion on copyright nobody would be running multiple sheets of the same plastics.

    #48 7 years ago

    A lot of good points being brought up about copyrights and legality. It's an interesting discussion, but my focus is on the "How To" aspect of producing DIY plastics for personal use.

    My initial plan was to do a pilot where I would be distributing plastics at cost to a few people for review. Based on the flood of copyright posts, I can see that's not going to work, so for now I'm just making 8 plastics for myself. I've also found a pinsider to work with who is making a custom pinball using his original artwork. This seems ideal, so I will be including his plastics in my run as well.

    For now I will keep prepping the artwork. Soon I should know some pricing info and will share when I do.

    Also, thanks for all the good feedback and for all your posts on the thread.

    #49 7 years ago
    Quoted from Curbfeeler:

    Wanted to post about the idea of using a font that's "close" versus tracing your own letters. There is the option of choosing a "close" font and then converting the letter to a series of points. This can save some tracing.

    I'd probably settle for this, the process to convert a scan into a font can in itself cause differences with the original.

    I think for the most part, that close would be good enough.

    If you essentially recreate the font to match the original, are you able to save it in a library, so you can call it up again?

    Robert

    #50 7 years ago
    Quoted from Shoot_Again:

    If you own the machine and have a broken plastic. Whoever owns rights does not make this part. I don't see any reason you cannot make yourself and yourself only a replacement part if you do all the work and don't sell it.

    You can reproduce that part for yourself, since have purchased the part already, there is a chain (for that part) back to the original royalty/permission/etc.

    Robert

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