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I'm thinking about a 3D printing...
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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 03:21 am
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jtrain
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The thought just occurred to me that while 3D printing might not be able to compete with the prices offered in the mainstream sections of the hobby, this technology is much more affordable for those of us who wish to model in narrow gauge and in weird scales, which typically include higher prices due to the smaller markets. You don't even need a 3D printer to make products as there are websites like Shapeways that will print in a variety of plastics.

Imagine that you need a trestle which is on a curve and has a grade to it.  Doing the math is one thing, actually building it is a completely different story!  Instead of scratch building, the trestle could be printed in sections and then glued together on the layout.  In the meantime, there would be more time for Freerails.

The same situation can be applied to specific prototypes, or modeling prototype buildings.

So what do you guys think of 3D printing?

--James

Last edited on Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 03:23 am by jtrain



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 04:29 am
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pipopak
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If you factor the time and cost of doing your own 3Ds probably is (a lot) more expensive than, say. Shapeways. You have to design (time) or buy ($) a file and then print it ($). Then clean it up. Maybe a single exotic piece would be worth it, but in my humble opinion not for me.
I still prefer to cut my own stripwood and do my trestle the old fashioned way.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and nobody owns the truth.

Jose, firmly entrenched in the Old Ages and refusing to progress.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 11:04 am
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Bob D
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What has kept me from buying a 3D printer is having to learn/understand the design software.

I've played around with a couple of the freebie programs, but I can't seem to master the concept. I used to be a draftsman (1969-1976) and can draw an object on paper, but I don't know if I can simply scan a drawing I create and feed the data from the scanned image into the 3D printer.

I think a 3D printer would be great for things like small, detail parts like boxcar doors (I have quite a few boxcars with the wrong type door on them for the RR I model), truck sideframes, boxcar ends and roofs.

It would be cool to make small details to complete a scene/diorama. Instead of searching the internet, driving to the LHS (local hobby shop) or waiting for the next train show to come to town in hopes of finding the exact piece you're looking for, you obtain a drawing or file and spool up the 3D printer.

I think getting the piece you have in mind from inside your brain to the print bed is the main obstacle (for me).

BobD.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 11:49 am
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W C Greene
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Weird scales? 3D printing? Shapeways? Some years back, Tom Bell (teebee) designed this cool open coach and got it made by Shapeways.  Tom even took the time to "re do" a couple of things that wouldn't work for the process. And the price was very reasonable. Here's how she looked upon receipt, slatted bench seats, fully detailed, and made from a Nylon material which can withstand being outdoors in the hot Texas sun! All I needed to do is build an underframe and paint it. I was/am impressed with this. How long do you think it would take me to scratchbuild something this intricate? Hours, days, a damn long time.
From what I understand, this could be run in any scale from N to what I have-1:35n2.

Impressed? What do you think? Yes, I would do it again.

                                  Woodie



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 12:06 pm
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Bob D
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Cool beans Woodie :moose::moose:

I know it took about 6-8 hours for Bill Lane to make 6 of these O-scale (left image) vents:




And now the company that made the boxcar these were suppose to go on is out of business :bang:

BobD.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 01:16 pm
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fallen
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There is quite a lot of activity on the other side of the pond, much but not all of it centred around Shapeways. Tom Bell's range is quite extensive now.

Narrow Planet also have a growing range of kits and components mainly in 009 (4mm scale on 9mm gauge track)
http://www.narrowplanet.co.uk

As do CWR
http://www.cwrailways.com

There is a really useful discussion of 3D printing of model railway items here
http://www.madge00n3.co.uk/3DPrinting/3d01.htm

Frank

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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 01:42 pm
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Bob D
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I just downloaded Sketchup and Blender...talk about trying to learn a foreign language [whack].

I did make a rectangular box :glad:, now trying to add ribs on it to make a boxcar door :dope:

BobD



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 02:29 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi James,
It really is a case of "horses for courses". 3D-printing does some things very well and other things not so well. The costs of some 3D-printers available for home use are now down to the sub-$1000 dollar level. Your choices in filaments and layer thickness on these "domestic" machines are not as good as the commercial machines which cost up to 100 times more.

For us, 3D-printing has enabled us to do inside-bearing skip frames with good detail and customised for our specific needs at an acceptable (to us) cost, see below


For your trestle example, you will be limited by the size of the printer bed.

Commercial outfits such as Shapeways charge by volume as well as the amount and type of filament used. In a lot of cases you also cannot specify which way you want something printed form a supplier. if the orientation is wrong you might wind up with the layer across your beams than preferentially along them.

Check out some of your local higher education facilities. Quite often they are looking for projects for their students in manufacturing to or similar that represent a "real application" rather than a theoretical exercise.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 02:43 pm
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oztrainz
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For Bob D
Locally there is a combined 3D scanner printer available for about A$1500.

So how many boxcar door do you need? If you had a correct door on another boxcar, you scan that door, save the that part of the image and then can print your new door for the other boxcar. I'm not sure what filament this machine uses but it probably would go close to giving you an "acceptable" door.

Another trick would be to get a plan (Carbuilder's Cyclopedia from a library or similar) showing your door, photocopy the relevant page, scan that into 2D then import the 2D image and add the 3rd dimension in your drafting programs,

The aim is to get the technology to work for you ;)



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 03:04 pm
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Bob D
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John,

I'm looking at 8-10 doors right now. I have doors like what I want, and could probably get them from Atlas, but making them myself would be too cool.

I've got an App on my Ipad that takes me to a lot of 3D printing sites and news. Some of the new printers sound promising and are under $1k.

M3D has a new version of their Micro 3D printer ($500) out, Hictop has their DIY printer PRUSA I3 MK2 ($700), and even Dremel has their Dremel Idea Builder 3D ($950) out now.

Amazon shows a lot more at good prices.

BobD.

Last edited on Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 03:08 pm by Bob D



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