legoman666

Printing and laser cutting replacement cloth sails

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Hi all, this is something I've been thinking about doing for about a year and just finally got around to it. I have access to a fancy UV flatbed inkjet printer that can basically print on to anything. I also recently purchased a little desktop laser cutter. I run a small decal business, OKBrickWorks, so recreating the art and cut lines wasn't out of my realm of expertise. Finding good enough photos was a bit of a challenge though and I was able to redraw everything as nice vector images. Additionally, finding a good fabric for laser cutting wasn't easy, I ended up finding a nice media to use that doesn't fray. I've got the art ready for almost every large sail LEGO has made in the past, I just haven't had the free time at work to print so many different items.

Anyway, here's a few shots:

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One of my favorite things is helping people restore their beloved classic sets from their childhood (which is why I got in to making stickers), so I'd love to sell these to folks if they're interested. Send me a message if so. If this is not allowed, mods feel free to remove this bit. I don't make a lot of money doing this, and it's quite time consuming but I do have to charge enough to make it worth the trouble.

Let me know what you think.

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Very nice.  Have you considered cutting them with a drag knife?  Laser leaves burn marks. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dr_spock said:

Very nice.  Have you considered cutting them with a drag knife?  Laser leaves burn marks.

 

I have a laser cutter, I don't have a CNC machine. 

The burn marks aren't too bad. Its mostly the surface of the edge that's browned, not the top or bottom of the sail. A nice side effect of using a laser is that it melts the edge so it doesn't fray, a knife cutter would require the edges to be sealed somehow.

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They look great and I think all my new aquired sails like the Carribean clipper 2x for my BSB (Blue Coat) and my Pirate Moc are exactly that kind of sails.

The burn marks on the sides are really barely to see when you play or display them on the ships. The colours are even better brighter deeper than in the original ones, see my blue coat BSB here:

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Very impressive prints !

we could really think there are originals !

do you think you could create custom sail designs too ?

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Very impressive work.

Have you considered doing custom striped sails in various colours?

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3 hours ago, Hive said:

Very impressive work.

Have you considered doing custom striped sails in various colours?

I could, although the charge would be around $20-30 per sail. It is a very time consuming process, and the printer I'm using is $80,000.

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Made a new pic of the BSB where you can see the sails closer. I bought them online and they pretty look like the one he is doing here. They are very nice quality 

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I don't want to put a negative comment, but I feel like someone should and since nobody does, I will.

I don't find pretty correct to print stuff that already exists.
Take the Series 18 Policeman, I stumbled upon a guy who was printing the torso and 1x2 tile so he could sell it for a big price.

You are surely a nice guy, nodoby doubts about that, but this may give the idea to someone who wasn't aware of the chance to do such, to mass produce these and flood bricklink and other sources with non original material.

Don't get me wrong, but I think as long as you do it for yourself it's nice, but you shouldn't publicize it imho.

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I sort of agree and disagree on that point. Some of the other posts in the thread make it sound as though reproduction sails are starting to be something that you just "get" when you buy an older set online, and that could be a bothersome trend if it's not made clear that the sails are reproductions. They aren't real LEGO pieces, after all, and I would be extremely annoyed if I bought what I thought was an original sail and it turned out to be a reproduction. It should always be made clear what you're buying, and there should probably be some tiny printing that says "reproduction" on the sail somewhere. (Actual collectors will know the difference in the older sails, but I don't think the average buyer would recognize them)

That said, though, I think sail reproductions are an absolute necessity for collectors and MOCers and I'm glad that someone is trying to make some high quality sails to sell. Sails are unique pieces that are incredibly expensive to obtain by themselves, so it's nice to have an inexpensive option for MOCers who want to make huge ships or fleets in the classic Pirates style, as DIY sails can be pretty hit or miss. I would be interested in buying them to display with my original models too, as the sails themselves are rare and can easily fray, burn, mold, or any number of other things. I'd much rather have my classic sets displayed with reproduction sails while keeping the originals safely preserved for special occasions.

This isn't something that's unique to LEGO collectors; there's an entire industry of people who recreate old car parts for classic car restorers. This is important work and I think it should be encouraged.

 

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