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Modding Mod of the month/year Pro competition only?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Sn3akr, 17 Jan 2018.

?

What do you think?

  1. I'd like to see them split up

    4 vote(s)
    36.4%
  2. I don't care

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  1. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Hand tools only get you so far. Once you reach those limitations you have had it. I have had an idea for a mod in my head for years. It would blow absolutely everything ever done totally out of the water, but is not doable by hand. It just isn't, end of. It would look awful and it would p**s coolant everywhere.

    I know how to use the camera on my phone and indeed my actual camera. What I don't have is £300+ of lighting. Without which makes it pretty much impossible with any sort of digital camera. Like I said, dudes be using those tricks to make things actually look better than they do in the cold light of day. Again it's another thing that gets your mods noticed and again, it comes at a high price.

    If you have put yourself into that category then there is nothing I can say is there? you got to where you are, congratulations etc. However, most of what you have made would have been impossible without very expensive tools or very expensive sending them off and having them cut/made. Or, had you tried it with a Dremel it would have looked gash. You pays your money etc.

    But seriously if you are truly telling me that it's not about the money you are high. Even the software you use to design and render with costs a fortune. That's what got you noticed. And I can see the severe amount of talent you have for it too, but it's not something the average Joe could afford.

    Trust me, Sketchup looks like Etch A Sketch compared to what you use.
     
  2. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree with you there, Vault...

    When blokes with Dremels started all this off they were modding 486s. Should we all then limit ourselves to only modding 486s? No...that would be ridiculous. CPU technology has moved on...

    Tooling and manufacturing technology has moved on too. Just like CPUs, they're becoming smaller and more affordable. In his famous TED talk from 2007 Neil Gershenfeld pointed out that we are in the "PDP era" of manufacturing - a metaphor from the computer world.

    Economist magazine described this miniaturisation and democratisation of the means of production as the 3rd industrial revolution which, if you don't believe is upon us, then it's definitely coming. You shouldn't ignore or poo poo it - That's akin to Ludditism and you will be left behind. Instead seek out a fab lab and start learning the CAM machines. Otherwise, in 10-20 years, your 7-year old relative will be churning out case mods in 5 mins on their Benchtop Superfab™ while you're slaving away with a Dremel™.

    EDIT:
    Nope. Fab Labs aren't a 3rd party manufacturing service. They're a social workspace for hands-on learning of CAM techniques.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2018
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  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I can use Sketchup and I know how to create basic 3D models just like a 7 year old. However, where do I go from there? you tell me?

    Do I -

    1. Pay for all of the machines and materials and rent a building (very expensive) or
    2. Send my designs away and pay out the rectum for some one to cut/create them using his or her machine?

    Sorry, it's not quite as simple as having the artistic talent any more. That only goes so far, then you need serious helpings of cash. The funny thing is because I think in logic and can break pretty much anything down into components and cost etc? I can tell you that every year MOTY is won by the most expensive rig.

    So you can either keep going the way things are and it all become rather snobby and ridiculous or you could actually do some hard thinking and come to the realisation that maybe there needs to be more categories?

    Do you think I would turn up at a pro meet BMX race with my £500 bike and race the pros? no. They would age me first, then put me into the appropriate category. Why isn't modding like that?
     
  4. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    I don't mod... And tbh threads like this sum up why...
     
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  5. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    My software is free and open source, you can use it yourself, BLENDER, if you need CAD then use Fusion 360, also free. My first mod was done with a dremel and frankly I don't see why people stick with them when there are good tools out there that do almost all the jobs without spending a fortune. Grab a hlaf decent drill and a jigsaw and you can do almost everything a dremel can but about 20X better. Don't impose limits on yourself when there's literally no need to, you're constantly on the Purchases thread showing all the bike bits you got, spend that on some tools instead?

    Similarly for photos you don't have to go out and spend big money to get good results. Dave brought over a £30 flash gun to my place when he interviewed me, that will work with any number of cheap cameras and you would get amazing results. I now have fancy kit because I've ploughed every spare penny I've ever had into it, but it's not as if you need that, most people don't use anything special for their photos, I use a paper backdrop on the dining room table and a single flash, very high tech indeed.

    I suppose you know about Von Carlo Rasonabe and Suchao right?

    Bah doooooo iiiiiiiiit! Who cares what people think, modding's great fun at any level.
     
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  6. Sn3akr

    Sn3akr New Member

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    #15 I get that the category would be hard to do for a lot of the reasons you list.. But some of the guys are sponsored almost 100%, some you can even tell from the log that they expect to get sponsored.. log start... a render.. update 1, 2, 3 etc.. sponsor parts, and not until they have their parts in stock do they start work in the log. - You know your in a pro league if you only need to post an idea before the Sponsors line up, and he just orders parts to be made to specs ready for bolt on. Whereas the guy that's 60% done before some company sponsors a hard drive or a SSD, and the build takes months because he's slowly accumulating parts, you can't really claim him to be a pro.

    I've seen dozens of build logs where the first few posts of most of their recent builds all start with sponsor adds before there's any actual builds and some even aren't much more than assembly logs since most parts are just ordered ready for assembly.

    my point is that a lot of the DIY low budget builds drown in the sponsored masses, even if they deserved just as much attention, but due to the lack of fundings/sponsors, they end up getting 0 attention in comparison.
     
  7. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Read what I posted above about categories.

    As for a £30 flash gun? no I didn't know. And I didn't know because no one told me. I have asked numerous questions in people's modding threads numerous times. However, I have mostly been ignored. Why? because if you are competing you don't want to give away your secrets. However, if you care to enlighten us (pardoning the pun) in future articles then I am all ears. In fact, no offence meant here but I would much rather see that than how to use a heat gun.

    Even if I drew my stuff using Blender or whatever for free* I would be screwed. Like I said, the ideas I have call for machinery and no matter what way you shake it that machinery is going to cost you a lot of money. Whether you buy the machine or pay for the use of it.

    * I spent 15 years learning how to draw and create things with Photoshop. I really am too old to be learning something new now. Plus where do you even begin? it's very difficult for me to learn how to use anything without clear, concise instructions. Thankfully the two guys who got me started on Photoshop were very patient.
     
  8. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    First off, I wasn't comparing you to a child. I'm just saying that in a decade or two automated machining will be so simple-to-use than even a 7 year old could do something complex like a case mod.
    There are fab labs in both Brighton & Bournemouth. Not massively close, but close enough...there you'll have access to any machine you can imagine.
    For the smaller stuff there's hand tools.
     
  9. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I didn't imply that you were calling me a child. What I meant was I probably have about the same grasp on it as a 7 year old would now and thus would be able to do what they can IE drawing and creating shapes etc. The basics. More than enough for my dreams to become fruition. However, every time I have that same dream I get to the same place - money.
     
  10. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    It really isn't... not from where i'm sat...

    FWIW... the 'maker' 'community' is even worse...
     
  11. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Yup...I'm in the same boat. Lack of money sucks, but that's not on anyone else.
    I've reached a point where I've bought all the tools I can comfortably use at home (the sacrifice was having exactly zero social life the entire time I've been unemployed). Now I'm looking in to a bank loan to buy a few more machines and start a business out of it. Now I'm not suggesting you do the same; My point is it's what you choose to spend your money on. On a long enough timescale anything is possible.
     
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  12. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    How do you think we find it these things? I don’t understand, we literally spend most of our days helping people and get told we’re hoard secrets, what are we supposed to do? Do you not think that I have things planned for this in the future?

    It sounds like you’re just angry that nobody’s spoon fed you every single piece of knowledge when you’ve made no effort to find out for yourself. Read a magazine, I learned all my photography techniques from Digital Photogrpaher and online, can find it in WH Smith’s. And do you honestly think that the rest of us don’t throw away “Ground breaking ideas” due to lack of feasibility? C’mon, this is just ridiculous.

    Now for categories in actual organised event competitions I’m 100% behind you. If we were to do another NUC style event then I would push for an amateur and master affair like they have at Dreamhack. But Mod of the Year is a “best of the best deal”, and if you think that it only means money and machines just because the recent winners happen to have gone that route, it means your thinking is being self limited. We could easily put a time limit on too, in which case you wouldn’t stand a chance either because you said you take too long, it never ends.
     
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  13. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Ideas are the soul of any mod. End of. The bar gets raised slowly but surely. Go back and look at something that won MOTY ten years ago. It would look very different to now. Know why? because it starts with a solid idea, then having the means to create it. And that costs money. Every mod you have done and every picture you have taken and render etc all costs money. I could draw what the eff I like wouldn't matter squat would it? I don't have the means to bring it from my head to reality. And I know for a fact that no one has ever done anything like it and I know my artistic talent is very good. I know that because of what I achieved with nothing but a Dremel and some stencils made from plastic sheet. I went a long way for a guy like that. However, as soon as the voting thread started I could really feel the tension. It was shitty, so I decided to tell Anthony never to put my mods into anything competitive again.

    For those reasons. Look man, you asked you got OK? maybe I am the only person who would actually sit down and tell you everything that is wrong? maybe because I am outspoken and inappropriate? but I am telling you what is wrong with the modding scene and you are arguing with me.

    You can keep doing that if you like. It won't fix everything that is wrong. It will just make it worse "Hey this small guy is speaking out and just being steamrollered".

    It's your choice fella. I am not forcing you. I don't need spoon feeding either, BTW. But asking some one how they did something only to get completely ignored isn't much fun either. In fact, most modders only reply to people complimenting them. Funny that. Maybe they should have learned the wonders of being social first? I've even PMed modders who have done things I can find no information on. Simple things like how do you cut EL wire etc? no replies.

    Seriously man if you can't see that modding is a very expensive circle jerk then nothing will change.
     
  14. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Maki, you could try structuring your sentences so they don't come across so antagonistic...currently they're not very diplomatic or moderator-like.

    Vault, you and I are in the same socioeconomic situation, having bounced around the welfare system for years. If we were to enter a modding competition, according to your logic, I'd win - because I have better tools. So where's the economic advantage? Sure money helps, but ultimately it's about what you choose to spend your time and effort on.

    Also, if you want to know anything about CAM or making techniques, just message me and I'll point you in the right direction. I mean that literally - While I've got all the tools, I haven't had much opportunity to use them because I just kept buying more tools - So I'll literally be pointing you to tutorials from my well-researched bookmarks that I've never actually followed myself because I'm broke. :D
     
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  15. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Sadly that is the direction modding has been taken in. As I said, it's all about ideas. You have a kick ass idea and you know what? if you have machinery you don't even need a steady hand or anything else because you can correct mistakes easily in software.

    Some guy has an idea, then has the finances in place to make it a reality and bang ! you're in (see also Andreas). But the problem is to beat that you would need to take it one step further. Using the same basic ideas and techniques etc etc.

    As I said, the build I have in my head is so out there and so utterly crazy that it would make people stand up and pay attention. Problem is just the one thing - it is impossible to do by hand. You simply can not mill acrylic accurately enough for it to hold water. Which it would need to, given everything would be carrying water.

    I had this idea about four years ago. Every now and then I promise my mate I am going to do it, then I sit down and do the maths. Just not within reach. Materials I could probably afford (just about, and it would mean beans on toast for a month !) but I just have no way of creating the parts it would need. You can't accurately machine a piece of 10mm thick acrylic with a Dremel.
     
  16. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    Fair do, will dial it back, still mentally working from the view of just another forumite rather than a staff member.

    Well In any case Andy, if you hang around you'll see a lot of modding content popping up that should help people get into all those areas you mentioned. I don't subscribe to the idea that these are all the problems with the modding scene, as they largely only exist on a select few forums that each have been around for ages. I also manage some other communities chock full of beginners and frankly it's great, they've been growing and taking all the routes that you mention, but also incorporating new available tech that just wasn't around. I'm talking people ranging from 15 to 60+ and from all backgrounds, just goes to show that it's possible to break into things still and produce cracking results.

    Chat to me in a few months and we can see about how feasible this project of yours really is. Perhaps it may be possible to get it off the drawing board :p
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo Bargaining chip

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    My first modded PC (Metaversa Navi) was made in the front living room with hand tools.

    My current project --which is taking nearly two years now-- is being made in the loft of a Victorian terrace. There is still a surprising amount of handwork involved; £9,-- jewelers saw, four quality metal files of £10,-- each, an old hand drill (free), a sheet bending brake (£45,-- inc. C-clamps), stuff like that. And scrap aluminium and brass cost very little.

    I agree that having a lathe and mill are nice, but I had to save up for them and think hard about where to put them. And then I had to learn to use them --two years in I am still learning the basics.

    Also, with Ada I dialed my ideas back a lot because I don't have easy access to a CNC. I am gradually reintroducing a few of them as my skills on the mill and lathe are getting better, but keep in mind that Camille was my first idea --and I had to abandon it because it was too complex to realise. Even now.

    All my photos are taken on a three-year old second hand Lumia 930 Windows mobile phone. No special lighting; no post-processing (for which you can use freeware Paint.Net anyway). Hosting on Flickr now (also free), because it does really good compression without losing sharpness.

    If you can find one near you, Makerspaces are useful.

    I hear your frustration --I was in the same position when I built my first modded PC. But there is a lot you can do with hand tools and limited space; creation is the compromise between ideas and realisation.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2018
  18. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    Yeah, sometimes I look at a heavily machined build and have a '**** that' moment, but honestly it's not that huge of an advantage. Like any tool, it just makes the tedious part of the work less tedious...sometimes. I think there are a lot of misconceptions driving this whole debate.

    1) CNC and the likes do jobs in 5 minutes that would take hours by hand.

    Totally not true. I can not stress this enough. This is no where near being in the ballpark of reality. While a very high dollar machine might be able to whip out a part quicker, each aluminum blade for my latest build took 2 hours to mill. I could cut them with a jigsaw in 10 minutes. I milled them because I wanted precision that I'm not good at, but in all honesty could have pulled off pretty easily. So 16 hours of milling vs a couple of hours to cut them with a jigsaw. I basically wasted 14 hours to make sure I couldn't screw something up.

    2) You can't win contests with hand build tools.

    Wrong. I took second in my first CM contest with a build that was done with a dremel, drill, router, and saw. My MOTY nominated build a while back, all hand tools. My other wins have been with builds where the only CNC work has been for small details like cutting logos. It's a nice touch, but not the reason they won. CNC does make it easy to get nice tolerances or cut grills or cut details, but none of that wins contests. It helps, but CNC machines don't paint, they don't wire, and they don't design. This argument is similar to suggesting that me using a jigsaw isn't fair if you've only got a handsaw. It's not the tool, it's how you use it.

    3) You have to have high end components to win.

    Nope. I've seen contest winners and placers with just run of the mill, mid-level or even low end components. Wasn't it 2 years ago that one of the CM placers used recycled bicycle parts to build his PC?

    4) Sponsorships=wins

    Also not true. My contest placing projects(except for 1) and my best performing mod on BT...not sponsored. Personally I prefer it that way, but that's my hang-up.

    5) You need a thousand dollar setup to take good pics.

    Nope. All my build log pics are on my phone cause it's handy. My first final pics were on a $100 point and shoot with $10 clamp on lights for lighting. I've seen a lot of good pics done outdoors. And even if you want to upgrade, you can get a decent set of lights for $70 and they'll make all the difference.

    6) This whole debacle is the fault of sponsored modders, sponsors, Bit-Tech, etc, etc. and they should do something to fix it.

    The users of the forums suggest the mods, vote on them, and drive their popularity by visiting the logs. Is it skewed because people like eye candy? ****ing totally. Does that mean you blame the eye candy or the forum the users congregate on? No, that means you go make something eye candier. If having a chance at winning something here is important to you, look at the audience and build at them. It doesn't take a CNC or a 3D printer. If you just like modding, post your log here and realize that this audience has certain buttons to press and sometimes your build isn't gonna press them. And then you go on with life.
     
    Last edited: 23 Jan 2018
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  19. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    All I am saying is that it involves a very large plant pot (those red brick like material ones, name for it has gone right out of my head now :( ) and a very, very large radiator. I've almost pulled the trigger on the rad multiple times but never had the bottle.
     
  20. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    My biggest problem with BT is the ****ing censorship. hahahahahahaha
     
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