September 14, 2010

Why Reinvent the Droid Wheel?

Its been a long time since I've posted on the blog. Most of my time since January was spent on the last laser cut styrene dome run and then a 5 month marathon to complete the Rebel Troop Carrier and lead the 501st Troop-Athlon committee for Celebration V. I've seen a bit of a trend lately that I just wanted to comment on. So before I get started, here are a few disclaimers:

1. I'm writing this on my personal blog (and not the forums) because these views are my own. I don't want to imply that the site, the other admins, or the leadership of the club feels the same. They might, but I can't speak for them.
2. Innovation is a great thing for the club. Smart people working to improve the process of droid building are the foundation that the group is built on. Keep innovating!

Since Celebration V, there has been a giant wave of new people and thats awesome! With being new comes a lot of questions and a lot of excitement. We've all been there - its part of the fun.

Whats a little different about this wave of newbies is their "creativeness." A good number of these new folks are looking to dive in and build a droid on a budget. The unfortunate part is that they are doing so in ways that seems to set the club back. There are accurate budget domes out there now... why try to find some hemisphere online? We have styrene droid plans that allow you to build accurate droids for VERY low cost.... why are people still using body tubes? People are talking about using all of these alternative materials when the superior option has already been identified.

I understand that people don't always have a ton of extra cash to use for this hobby, but there are some places where it just isn't worth it to cut corners. If it isn't to club spec, DO NOT BUY IT. I can't say this enough. You will end up doing more work on this "found part" and in the end, it will most likely not be accurate.

I love seeing new things that actually improve on what we have available today, but the increase in "reinventing the wheel" might be giving the wrong message to new people. I encourage new folks to really do their research, understand what you are buying, and know what the best available techniques & parts are. You don't have to reinvent anything.