Over the summer, community manager Ruud van den Muijzenberg and I traveled across Europe visiting RC car events. One of the best things about these trips was the incredibly cool people we met along the way. To our delight, many of them were already using Shapeways 3D printed parts on their RC cars.
In this second of our Driver Profiles, we talk to Kenny Mok, whom we met at the IconicRC Revival meeting in Grantham, England in July. Kenny has been a Shapeways customer for a while and runs 3D printed parts on multiple cars in his fleet.
Name: Kenny Mok
From: London, UK
Profession: IT Consultant
Hobbies: 1:1 cars, Fishkeeping, Football, Karaoke and Eating
Years in RC: 2
First RC Car: Tamiya TA01 Alfa-Romeo 155 DTM
A couple of weeks before we went to England for IconicRC Revival, we announced that we were going to join the event on IconicRC’s Facebook group. We were welcomed with lots of replies of people showing off their 3D printed RC car parts.
One of those people was Kenny, who showed us his ORB Racing FF210, a very unique and almost fully 3D printed front wheel drive buggy that we actually featured in the magazine earlier this year. He was clearly very excited to show off the cars he had built, and even challenged our community manager Ruud van den Muijzenberg to a race!
When we finally met at IconicRC, Kenny told us he has only been in the RC car racing hobby for about 2 years. After looking up information on drones and quadcopters, he stumbled across a group of RC-car-loving enthusiasts, IconicRC. Kenny initially thought that racing RC cars was a dead hobby, but soon realized it is very much alive and active. He found a group of great people in IconicRC, who race from club level to pro.
Kenny added, “When I was a kid, I was never able to afford hobby RC cars. But being older, like the most of us, I am now able to relive my childhood once again and buy the cars I dreamed of as a kid.”
When we asked Kenny about his experience at the event, he told us,
“Revival 2017 was my first ever Revival. It was simply awesome! From the smell of fried bacon and grilled onions emanating from the campsite to the enthusiastic chattering of conversation with fellow racers, I soon forgot that there was actually racing involved. I met people from all over the world. Some had travelled quite far (Holland, Germany) and it was great to share views and experiences with everyone. The show of beautiful vintage cars was just simply sublime. Oh, and the racing was fun! This will surely be a regular event for me and a lot of other fellow enthusiasts. I thoroughly recommend this to all RC vintage enthusiasts, I would even go so far to class this as the vintage racing event of the year!”
Kenny races a very special 3D printed buggy. The ORB Racing FF210 is an almost fully custom-made front -wheel-drive buggy that features many parts 3D printed at Shapeways. In the picture above you can see the special commemorative edition FF210 that was built by Paul Dijkstra, ORB Racing’s designer and Shapeways community member. Paul created this model to celebrate the FF210’s racing success in 2017.
Kenny likes the FF210 so much this is actually his second one. The FF210 is special because it is the only modern front-wheel-drive buggy in existence. And being front-wheel-drive makes it very competitive on low-grip and wet surfaces compared to regular buggies. With England being a very rainy and wet country, Kenny’s FF210 should feel right at home.
As cool as it is, the FF210 is of no use at the vintage-focused Revival as it’s too modern. Luckily Kenny brought a whole fleet of cars (painted his signature white) to race at the Revival in multiple classes. Just like the car we raced on sunday at the same event, Kenny also races a vintage Tamiya Top Force featuring 3D printed parts designed by ORB Racing. Besides developing their own FF car, ORB Racing also offer a lot of 3D printed replacement parts that are otherwise very hard to find and often expensive if available at all.
“The fact that I can now have 3D printed replacement parts which feel just as strong as the originals is a real lifesaver for collectors and racers of now obsolete cars,” Kenny told us, reflecting the driving force behind many RC car drivers’ use of 3D printed parts.
“I also use Shapeways printed parts from JConcepts on my modern Yokomo YZ2 buggies. Shapeways really opens the world up to designers where beforehand, production costs would have meant it was impossible for their designs to become a reality. Now it’s just a matter of uploading your file and having the design 3D printed at a very reasonable price. The public’s trust in 3D parts is growing as the materials used have become stronger. At the moment, only replacement parts are made for certain cars. I would love to see a whole car built from 3D printing, i.e. a Shapeways-branded car package!”
2017 was a great year of racing for Kenny, who even organized, for the first time, his own event: Super Off Roader at Surrey and Hants Radio Controlled Car Club. Kenny has big plans for next year too, with the IconicRC Revival being the main event. But there are plenty more races on the calendar, like the IconicRC Cup and the highly anticipated Schumacher Challenge.
Kenny told us that even though he will try to better his race performance at upcoming events, meeting fellow RC enthusiasts means more than the results. So if you happen to go out to a race next year, look out for Kenny and his fleet of white RC cars and go have a chat!