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A connundrum for Customs and Excise.

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I've just noticed a new model company who seem to have an initial announcement on ebay......


A couple of 1/72 lightplanes specifically advertised as digitally printed. That's ideal for low run kits of this type with a limited market. The choice - a Mooney and a SOCATA - suggest to me they are not a British company (I could be wrong of course), but there is no indication of extra international charges on the ebay site.

This gave me pause for thought.

Suppose VFR models were based in, say, at random, Equador. What's to stop the digital file being sent to an accommodating UK commercial 3D printing company knocking out Mooney kits to order and sent to the UK buyer? No inland revenue charges, no 'handling charge by the PO, no international postage charges or delays or customs charges or searches.

Access to worldwide markets for the 'Ecuadorian' company and no despatch problems.

Kits that come from a UK source without double or treble the cost of the kit because of international importing and transport.


Edited by Che Guava
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Certainly doable (& in many cases more sustainable) to distribute production close to the point of use. There’s someone on Shapeways who contacted me a while back to ask if I’d be interested in producing his models under license for UK market rather than transport and associated costs of that. You’d still pay tax and currency charges on the license but very possible 

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Nice finds and an interesting idea. This looks like the way forward for low volume kit and aftermarket parts manufacture in my opinion.

As an aside: I love the look of 3D printed parts with all the structure attached below. Reminds me of an illustration in an old storybook of Gulliver's Travels where the Lilliputians had tied him down and built up a scaffold beside his head.

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