3-D printed Gn15 steam locos

A section for our lovely Gn15 manufacturers to plug their latest releases and for the rest of us to post our wish lists. Don't be shy.

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Postby tebee » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:14 am

Everybody is puzzled by the new structure - it seems a bit arbitrary at the moment.

Most of our sort of model are going up - it rewards more solid things like your track inserts.

but in my case this one http://shpws.me/wgb5

Image

goes down 20 euros while this one http://shpws.me/q3TW goes up 20 euros

Image


It seems very hard to pin down what causes some of these changes - indeed I suspect some are being caused by errors in the pricing algorithm. Suspect we will see more changes in the weeks to come.

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Postby KEG » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:24 am

When you search for Gn15
they show you all the stuff YOU can NOT buy!



In many cases you can simply contact the designer and he will tell you, why it is not yet on puplic sale. In the past, very often the Shapeway prints varied in quality. Sometimes it came out OK, sometimes they send trash.

Many designers and dealer feel responsible for the models they offer.
So they either proofbuild themselves or ask others to do so, before they offer it to paying customers.

Some designers have never seen their models printed. They simply expect customers to lay their money down blind and to solve upcoming problems themselves. - No chance to get your money back from Shapeways or from careless designers if they produced rubbish or fauly models.


Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:59 pm

I think there could be some interesting conversations with Shapeways.

https://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=21153&start=0&

My original Simplex locos have gone down, but the slightly bigger steam locos have gone up. I think size has had an effect, which is something designers can not change. Luckily I have all I need for my own project and it is the tram track which I am hoping others will buy in quantities. On looking at the Shapeways forum, it seems that if another model can be fitted inside your one then chances are price will go down. Multiple parts models might need to be looked at .

As for test printing, that is not always possible, especially if you have a lot of models. When I started re-sizing some models, I only did a few and then only in basic material. Only a couple of small problems with rejects, mainly because FUD material was more accurate so gaps appeared. Shapeways always tell me if there is a problem, and I can then fix it.

There is quite a bit on the Shapeways forum, concerning quality control, in particular FUD material. Odd as I have found their quality control OK. Biggest gripe is that for tram track there seems to be variance in quality of printing when using basix plastic.
Suspect there might have to be some new changes as there seem to be some less than happy designers out there.
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Postby tebee » Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:37 pm

KEG wrote:
When you search for Gn15
they show you all the stuff YOU can NOT buy!


Some designers have never seen their models printed. They simply expect customers to lay their money down blind and to solve upcoming problems themselves. - No chance to get your money back from Shapeways or from careless designers if they produced rubbish or faulty models.


Have Fun

Juergen


I'm guilty as charged there, but firstly most of the time I've printed similar designs or a version of that design in a different scale. I can be reasonably sure what will print.

Secondly, if you force me to do a test print first, you are going to have much fewer design( probably about 1 a year) and each model produced is is going to have to absorb the cost of that test print and therefore be more expensive.

It's going back to the old days, when things needed to be produced in small batches rather than using the produce on demand concept this technology offers.

For instance the O9 and Gn15 locos I produce share a common design. I've produced most of them in 09 if not in Gn15 ( infact the Gn15 ones came first, but were not finished for a long time as I thought they were a little too expensive. I started using the designs scaled down to make O9 locos as these seem much more affordable)

The Gn15 electric locos and trams I'm doing now are double sized versions of the ones I did for 5.5mm scale 9mm gauge ( so they are nominally 11mm scale representing 18 inch gauge using 16.5 track)

Things are different between the scales, but I try to design clever so only a few changes are needed and the whole range changes.

You don't need to test print everything in every possible variant. There may be the odd minor error, but how many times have you bought a kit and found something needed fettling to fit? At least with a 3 d print you can change the design from the next one produced.

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:34 pm

Tom, its worth thinking back to your first posts as to whether it as was worth designing 3D printed models for Gn15.
Thing is, no commercial company would spend a million pounds developing the moulds to produce injection moulded plastic models for a range of Gn15 models. It simply is not a big enough market. 3D printing with ALL of its faults is the only practical way forward.
I realised after my last post that a very very good reason for having models saying 'not for sale' is publicity/marketing. I had someone in Germany begging me to make one model available and they bought 2 with 30 minutes of making it available.
On the other hand the I forgot to add commission to price of the first loco I made available and lost that commission on 2 models, as they sold in a very short time!
I design my models in a simpler way (in theory) to Tom. Tom uses a modular approach , I re-design each model from scratch. Even when I have to make a small change, my computer forces me to go through every line of code. Might seem a long process, but actually it does not take very long at all. That way I can be pretty certain it will work first time.
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:53 pm

made this a new reply, as it concerns the other question - price changes. Fro m reading what Shapeways say, it actually makes sense in theory. The assumption is that a large hollow model can have the space inside used for another model makes sense, and such a model should therefore cost less.
What I am less happy about is the way Shapeways announced changes, making people think most prices would go down is wrong.
The only fault in their logic, is the assumption there will be smaller items to fit inside your bigger model. Obviously it has to be possible to get out, and in practice given amount of items Shapeways process ,there ill be something, and on the rare time there isn't they take the hit.
I model in various scales and gauges. Every one has it range of prices, which I have to think about. I would like to design some 4mm scale OO models, but could not do it cheap enough, and guaranteed one of the big companies would announce a r2r model cheaper and better quality.
One thing that will be interesting to monitor is the differences in prices for different sizes of the same model. A big model has space inside, a medium model does not, but a very small one will happily fit anywhere.

The great thing about 3D printing is that if you want to move to another company you can. Suspect there are a few looking at that option now. I am happy to stick with Shapeways assuming their reported quality control problems don't affect me. The package they offer works for me, at the moment. I would have to find someone offering a similar package before I jumped. Sometimes it is better the devil you know, and others know where to find you.
Last edited by rue_d_etropal on Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Simon Dawson
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http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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Postby tebee » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:10 pm

Strange you should say that I'm just looking at several other companies now!

Some are much cheaper for some things, but the same price or dearer on others.

I've just found iMaterialize will print the Gn15 bogie flat wagon for just over 10 each if I order 10 of them, where as Shapeways want over 30 each.

Cubify seem cheaper with the Gn15 locos though.

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:20 pm

Tom, as with comparing electricity prices in UK(one advantage France has, as its EDF or nothing, and there are various option plans), is that companies will promote themselves as better, but once they have you they change the rules.
I had a look at some of my big models. The complex shapes of steam locos suffer worse, as all that unused space is of little use to others. My 1/24th scale version of Decauville loco will go up 50%, but the 1/19th version only goes up by 10%. Thus the difference between big and smaller, reduces.
Odd thing is that for the Simplex protected, the 1/24th version goes down, the 1/19th goes up.
Something else to consider is what plastics other companies use. Someone told me at Apedale that they thought plastic use by another company absorbed dampness so expanded slightly.
Simon Dawson
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http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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Postby Willow Creek Traction » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:40 am

Interesting to see the matter "from the inside" as y'all share and discuss.
I appreciate being "let in" to the event.
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Postby tebee » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:24 am

While we are in the show and tell mode I'll try and explain why I think the "buy unseen from Shapeways " system which Juergen doesn't like, is a good deal for both designers and buyers.

If you buy direct from Shapeways I have no money invested in stock, I pay tax only on my markup and Shapeways handle all the packing and shipping.

My only investment is in the time I spent designing the item. My profit margin can be relatively low and the cost to you, the buyer less.

Now if we go down the old route. I buy my stock from Shapeways or somewhere else.I pay 20% vat on it ( I'm too small to reclaim this) and postage to me.

Now it might not seem much to buy a few loco bodies, but it soon adds up. I have 60 ish fairly small items for sale on ebay most of the time. At the last stock count I had 13,000 euros of stock supporting these sales . OK that's at retail prices so I haven't paid that much out, but for a small outfit like me it's a lot of money.

Now I have to pay French social tax at 16% percent of each sale. Ebay fees are 10% and paypal around 3.5%. So I lose almost one third of each sale in costs.

I have to pack each item and take it to the post office. Last year I spent almost 600 euros in packing materials and labels and just over 2000 euros in postage. A certain % of item get lost in the post and it's my responsibility to replace or refund these.

To make a living wage, if I buy something for 10 euros, I have to sell it for 25-30 euros .
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Postby martin » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:00 am

Costs for a small model business are huge. I'm still using centrifugal casting equipment left over from my Mothers O Gauge model business for giftware I make in Pewter.

I think my mum would have been glad to be making prototypes on a PC, tying up stock etc is a huge investment but that doesn't even begin to account for all that's tied up in R&D... we have a shelf full of failed moulds that didn't quite turn out right... each one represents hundreds of pounds of materials, labour, overheads etc.

Now normally those "failure" costs are/were amortised into the cost of a "succesfull" mould... but to think that kind of cost just doesn't exist in 3D printing. Remarkable.
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:44 pm

Business costs are something the average punter does not fully appreciate.
I have mentioned it before but the 3 years I tried to run a model railway shop taught me a lot. Luckily it wasn't my money, but you can buy a house for the cost of filling a small shop! No wonder model shops are on the decline. One well known spares business would have needed someone with a lottery win to buy all their stock. Most of these businesses are built up slowly over the years.
A similar problem with manufacture, which is why 3D printing is so good, but I suspect the other side of the coin can still have problems. I think this is possibly one reason why Shapeways have had a change in price structure. We are only one small part of their customer base, and the other materials (eg gold) are possible part of their future plans. Fashion items possibly have more street cred. Business is business, and they have had to adapt what they do to keep ahead.
I think it might also be a case of being too successful, as Shapeways are growing, possibly more than expected and that means they have to invest more in equipment.
It does worry me what some are saying on the Shapeways forum about quality control, and how this might have come at same time as the refund credit system was replaced.
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Postby KEG » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:46 pm

is a good deal for both designers and buyers.



I can see the advantage for the designer / seller. Little investment,
no direct contact with quarreling or unsatisfied customers. No packing, no bookkeeping.....Probably little to no customers on the long run.

The customer can choose from drawings on the shapeway pages. Little information on which drives or wheels to use. Lots of freelance designs, without mentioning it.
If you buy the cheapest variant, you´ll get surfaces like rough sandpaper or a shark´s skin. Try to get you money back if not satisfied and you´ll fail.

I do buy printed 3D-Designs from dealers I trust or which have their models well documented. I do not have any money to waste.
You don´t see too many finished models in the forums. Most seem to land deep in a hidden drawer or straigth away in the next trash can.

Up to now, the state of the art are Resin models, Laser-Cut, Whitemetall castings, etched brass. Most of the makers know their trade and know what they are doing, when creating the masters.
Put a Steve Bennett or Smallbrook studio, Schomberg, Scotty Models side by side with an average Shapeway print and you know, what I mean. In most cases, they are cheaper and better than the stuff from the 3-D printers.


So let`s see more of this printed Gn15 stuff actually built, to proove me wrong.


Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Resin is on the way out, maybe not this year, but I know one person who I have heard has had health problems working with resin and other one-person set ups where the slightest thing can upset the apple cart. It does not take much to go wrong.
The new up and coming star is laser cut wood kits. I have some of the 28mm war gaming ones to make up. It is also a better alternative to resin for larger scales. I think it is also something that can be out-sourced, so the designer is not run off their feet by orders.
Etched metal is not my scene. It belongs in a totally different modelling field.
The quality of the material used in 3D printing is a matter of opinion. Some like it some don't. Some like nice factory finished models, others like well worn(out?) ones.
As for finding suitable chassis, my original 1/35 ones were designed only if I could find a r2r chassis. I then did do a couple which would challenge the modeller, and me, and the smaller scale ones are just that in most cases. Life isn't supposed to be easy, and model building sometimes needs a challenge.
There are quite a few resin and metal kits out there designed for r2r chassis and these chassis are no longer produced.
Oh then there is cast metal. Main advantage is the weight it adds to locos, but a train of metal wagons can put a lot of strain on light weight motors, as someone told me on one of the specialist trade stalls at an exhibition.

Finally, have a look at current(October) issue of Continental Modeller. Not my stuff, but the Nm models which are also produced on Shapeways . The editorial makes interesting reading, think it might be my first mention in a mainstream railway magazine, but its the attitude of outsiders that is possible a very important attitude change to our hobby as we are embracing 21st century state of the art technology.
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Postby KEG » Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:03 pm

The new up and coming star is laser cut wood kits.


Laser-Cut Gn15 models in acrylic, wood, styrene were introduced in this forum from 2008 onwards by people like Oliver Zoffi, Harald Brosch, Michael Saettler, Rockley Bottom, me and others. http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?t=4984&highlight=zoffi

Instead of excuses I´d rather see some convincing examples of those Gn15 Shapeway printies in this thread. After all, it can be free advertising for the designers.

Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby Brack » Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:03 pm

I'm afraid designing a prototypical model, for an available rtr chassis, putting instructions online and test building one hasn't done me much good as There are only 3 of my Bagnall's in existence. Considering I spent a few months of spare time drawing and tweaking it, £30 of royalties isn't a very good return. If I'd tried to resin cast it I'd be very out of pocket.

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Postby tebee » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:19 pm

KEG wrote:
Up to now, the state of the art are Resin models, Laser-Cut, Whitemetall castings, etched brass. Most of the makers know their trade and know what they are doing, when creating the masters.
Put a Steve Bennett or Smallbrook studio, Schomberg, Scotty Models side by side with an average Shapeway print and you know, what I mean. In most cases, they are cheaper and better than the stuff from the 3-D printers.



I don't disagree with this, I don't put myself, my skills or my models in the same class as Steve Bennett. You do however have to assemble these models and there are people who do not have the skills to do it well. Equally there are resin cast models that are being produced from molds that are well past their sell by date, so not all is rosy on the resin cast front

But you miss my point - How many new Gn15 steam loco kits do we see being produced by these people ?

KEG wrote:I can see the advantage for the designer / seller. Little investment,
no direct contact with quarreling or unsatisfied customers. No packing, no bookkeeping.....


Precisely because there is so little investment we can afford to do things without worrying too much about the commercial consequences. If no one buys one of my Gn15 locos I've lost a day of my life but nothing else. If I make a resin kit and no one buys it I have lost much more in both monetary terms and time.

I'm offering them to the market on my terms, it's a free world and a free market no one is forcing you to buy one. I happen to think that the availability of more locomotive possibilities make the world or at least the Gn15 world a better place,as people have more choice.

If you disagree with the way I do things you are quite free to set up your own business doing things the way you want. I personally see the lack of similar business as an indication that the market for this sort of thing is not strong enough to support them, but you are welcome to try, but not with my money.

Indeed if anyone wants to try to market these locos a different way I'm quite happy to sell the original design files for each loco for the cost of a couple of bodies and you can try to market as you want and do whatever changes you want.

Tom
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:58 pm

Almost forgot those narrow gauge kits using laser cut wood. Seem to remember something went wrong with supplier. Fancied one at the time, but they disappeared hen I searched for them again.

As for kits/models lying around unmade/unused, well I tend to buy some kits when I see them, partly because they are the right price(not to be repeated) or they are not around when I actually need them for a project.

That is one reason why no reports on 3D printed Gn15 models out there. Another reason is that not everyone either wants to or is able to publicise the models they have built.

I think there is a thread on another forum concerning 3D printing and Shapeways. I got the impression(difficult when reading a foreign language sometimes) that there are a few out there who just don't like 3D printed models and won't give it a chance.

The kits I buy tend to be plastic, as resin ones cost a lot more, and don't always come out as intended. I like to adapt models, and that is also more difficult with resin.
Good point about over-used moulds , that is the problem. It might be relatively easy for the original designer to make new moulds, repair master, etc, but when that person , for what ever reason, retires, it is very likely no-one else will take over.

I think this thread has put me off designing anything for Gn15. Most of my designs are of real prototypes. This means I don't have to think so much :roll: , and there is quite a good chance someone out there is looking for a model of that prototype. I am also wanting a particular model for a project I am working on, hence my WW1 60cm gauge items.
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http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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Postby martin » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:20 pm

I've not yet bought a printed Kit... and I do very much understand Juergen's concerns about untested prints - it puts me off too! Though I am considering buying some of teebee's accessory parts.

However 3D does show promise. As a jewellery designer i still prefer to carve my originals from wax by hand or form them in metal... but I see more and more moving to CAD.

When my mother retired from her O Gauge model business (she'd done it for almost 20 years) I had a serious think about whether to carry on... but my lack of standard gauge knowledge tied with a shrinking market deterred me. We have a catologue of parts (mainly LNER) and patterns. Many we're left with, both stock and originals and moulds.

I've often toyed with starting up in narrow gauge or GN15 Though they'd be whitemetal/brass kits) but again i don't really have the knowledge and while we have the equipment to do the job I couldn't equal the products made by Steve in GN15 and the other narrow gauge kitmakers in other scales.

And again also is the market actually very big?

Instead most of the equipment is now put to use in jewellery/giftware making... much better suits me and my scale ruler averse mentality!

It may very well be 3D printing is the way ahead for niche scales if not necessarily for the customer perhaps in prototyping for small manufaturers

oops edit: 20 years not 2!
I turned to the darkside, I moved to Gnottinghamshire! http://suttonboningtongallery.com/soar-valley-garden-railway/
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Postby KEG » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Most Gn15 laser kits are still available. It was a group, which had the cutting done in Argentinia which gave up before they got started. http://fcalv.laurell.nu/

I think most modellers are very much interested in the development of 3- D printing. Before Shapeways hit the shore, this technique was known as Rapid Prototyping.
Quite many masters which were later cast in different materials, mainly brass and whitemetal, were created that way. Even some of my false teeth.

Looking forward to see more quality parts and models in here.

Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby chris69 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:09 pm

Happy chewing........
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Brittany
Interests: just about every scale you can think of....
cute trains generally

Postby tebee » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:46 pm

Brack wrote:..... There are only 3 of my Bagnall's in existence. Considering I spent a few months of spare time drawing and tweaking it, £30 of royalties isn't a very good return. If I'd tried to resin cast it I'd be very out of pocket.


As a comparison I've sold 9 of the various Gn15 locos I do - less than one of each, but I rather expected that .

Still it's going to be a long time before I make my first million from Gn15.

One other advantage of 3-d printing is that you're not relying on some one man cottage industry to produce the kit. If I become ill or get run over by a bus, my stuff is still available.

Tom
To know the meaning of life you need not to be dealt a good hand, but rather to play the worthless hand you have been dealt to the best of your ability.

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rue_d_etropal
Millegniumer
Millegniumer
Posts: 2160
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Accrington and sometimes France
Interests: France, any narrow/minmum gauge 40cm,50cm , 60cm

Postby rue_d_etropal » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:35 pm

and when you decide to retire, the business can carry on............
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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Willow Creek Traction
Demi-Millegniumer
Demi-Millegniumer
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:14 am
Location: Boonville, Missouri, USA
Interests: HO, On30, G/Hn15, regular G, kites, model rockets, the occasional model boat, retro sci-fi miniatures game.

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:19 am

rue_d_etropal wrote:Business costs are something the average punter does not fully appreciate.
Truth. I was in and out of retail over a period of 23 years. all the way from hobby shops to F.W. Woolworth.
One learns a lot.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

User avatar
rue_d_etropal
Millegniumer
Millegniumer
Posts: 2160
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Accrington and sometimes France
Interests: France, any narrow/minmum gauge 40cm,50cm , 60cm

Postby rue_d_etropal » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:39 am

I have been asked to include stainless steel as an option for my 1/220 models, which I have done. Interesting to see how they come out, as this is the other material which has had a price change, and where-as one of my OO9 engines has gone up slightly, the stainless steel version has gone down in price.
The increased weight might improve loco running as well, which is main reason I was asked to include it for the very smallest models. Someone is modelling 60cm gauge in 1/220 scale. I have seen some pictures and it looks interesting.

Maybe Gn15 in 1/12th scale :roll: Locos would not be powered, but the T gauge motor chassis could be fitted in a wagon or coach.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com


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