That is really cool. I watched a show on PBS the other night about a 3D printed copy of the Austrian "ice man" which surely classifies as large scale. Amazing work, when it was painted up, the "model" looked exactly like the real thing! So, yes, that railcar is truly great, I'm sold on the advantages of 3D printing, I have a nice open coach that I would have spent hours building. All I had to do is paint it, add trucks & passengers, and it was done!
I'm VERY impressed.
I've only ever seen a couple of 3D printers running before (at the B&H camera superstore in NYC in September) and they must have been ones for lower fidelity than the one used for that model, because the 'prints' they made frankly weren't that smooth and/or detailed.
The time is coming when modelers like us will have to have 3D printers of our own, the way most of us eventually realized we needed computers and 2D printers/scanners in our homes to assist us with the hobby and other things. I'm convinced that buying detail parts will no longer be possible and that you'll be paying for the files to make your own instead.
The first time I saw something on 3D printing on TV that showed what one of them could make, I thought it was a joke.
As shown in another thread, here is my 3D printed open coach. Check out the cool slatted seats. This model was made with a nylon type material and has been outside for long periods of time. I am very proud of this one, it was produced by Tom Bell and Shapeways. Just amazing work being done these days.
Lee...It's the finishing of the surface of the model that needs somework. There are several ways to do it. The raw material when it comes off the machine does look a bit odd but patience..good priming and painting does the trick.