Building rolling stock using a 3D printer

L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
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23
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Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Evening all,
Query for you; has anyone used a 3D printer for rolling stock? If you have, what have you printed, what printer did you use and who supplied the programming software?

Obviously there will be a fairly steep learning curve but with the cost of quality rolling stock (coaches), is it a viable route to consider?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,976
858
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Evening all,
Query for you; has anyone used a 3D printer for rolling stock? If you have, what have you printed, what printer did you use and who supplied the programming software?

Obviously there will be a fairly steep learning curve but with the cost of quality rolling stock (coaches), is it a viable route to consider?
Think there have been some threads on the subject in here. However if you really want the full monty someone has been writing in the Gauge 1 Society Magazine for a few issues now on the very subject in excruciating detail.
 
R

Railway42

LGB, Radio Control Model Boat, Electronics
28 Feb 2013
417
3
Cheddar
Yes I have done some printing. The printer i have is a Creality Ender 3 with Ultimaker Cura. Search Thingiverse for 3D LGB items to print this site is very useful until you learn a design your own. An easy software is Tinkercad by Autodesk. I have printed a track cleaning loco, part from Thingiverse the loco and part my design the cleaner.
IMAG0845.jpg
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
65
23
69
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Yes I have done some printing. The printer i have is a Creality Ender 3 with Ultimaker Cura. Search Thingiverse for 3D LGB items to print this site is very useful until you learn a design your own. An easy software is Tinkercad by Autodesk. I have printed a track cleaning loco, part from Thingiverse the loco and part my design the cleaner. View attachment 260733
Thank you, certainly worth further investigation.
Les.
 
FurkaSOCal

FurkaSOCal

Registered
26 Dec 2017
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San Diego
Tinkercad is by far the best program to start with. It's free and very easy to use. I have used it primarily for scenery items but am in the process of designing rolling stock. A friend and I also have a Swiss Glacier Express locomotive in the works using Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is the more expanded payware version of tinkercad.
 
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musket the dog

musket the dog

Model railways, 00, 009 and G. Kayaking, remote co
31 Oct 2009
511
4
Leicester
nlrr.webs.com
There's no reason why you couldn't as long as you design the parts to the characteristics of the material. For example plastic will cool at different rates depending on its thickness and at which point the material in that area will begin to set. So long flat things tend to warp unless properly supported, thick sections will become slightly concave.

I've used it mainly for detailing parts on G scale stuff; domes, smokebox doors, funnels etc. I have successfully made an LGB type motorblock and moving parts such as pistons and connecting rods. In OO and OO9 I've built chassis and bodies with minimum fuss. There's a chap who turns up with the Gauge 1 society at a lot of the shows who has whole trains of 3D printed 1840's standard gauge stock. The reason I've never used it whole items of G scale stock is that it has often seemed a lot cheaper, easier and quicker to model bulk of them from something else. Even where I have designed the whole thing in CAD first. There's the added benefit that you don't have to do as much prep work to the surface too.

I've done all my printing through Shapeways and 3D Print UK which have a number of materials available and several design guides. I'm currently researching into buying my own machine, Creality seem to be delivering the most bang for your buck at the moment. I have put off buying my own so far as the technology available in home printers (and the price for a unit) is changing so rapidly. All my design at home is done in Autodesk as I received a free license when I was a student.

As with all manufactured items, its success will depend a lot upon the design. Be prepared to sink a lot of hours into thoroughly learning a CAD program before you commit to a printer if you want to print your own designs.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Ricky has pretty well nailed the issues above, I think the Gauge 1 Trains he talks about are by one of the guys that has been writing about 3d Cad in the G1MRA Journal but I quote his relevant point below:-

Be prepared to sink a lot of hours into thoroughly learning a CAD program

and that gentlemen is the rub of it all for me, those hours can and are spent on making stuff from scratch. That is a solution for me but others who are perhaps reticent or unable to try scratch building or bashing may well be happy to invest time and money in 3D. If you do then perhaps you could share some of your successes in hardware to others in the forum.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
65
23
69
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Thanks for all of your comments.

'Be prepared to sink a lot of hours into thoroughly learning a CAD program'

I think the above comment from Ricky and echoed by Dunnyrail nails it; I don't really want to invest long hours into learning another discipline to the detriment of my other interests.
Still, it seemed like a good idea at the time.


Les.
 
David1226

David1226

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24 Oct 2009
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Abingdon, Oxfordshire
To echo some of the comments above, over the years I have spent long hours scratch building and kit bashing to produce unique models that have given me tremendous satisfaction. I accept that not everyone has the skill and/or patience for this, but I cannot image the same sense of satisfaction in pressing a button to print a model. Then pressing the button 1,000 time more and producing a 1,000 identical models.

151106.jpg


David
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
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From what I read, the satisfaction is creating the 3d design to get it right and print it right, and then sharing for free with others. Some good satisfaction there and how nice to share.

Lots of facets to the hobby.

As an aside, you need an expensive printer to get good surface quality, and even then finishing and sanding and filling is needed. Things do not pop out of a 3d printer with the finish of an injection mold.

Greg
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
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Royston
I agree with Greg, the amount of rubbing down required can be a problem. In a few years, there's bound to be a different, improved method
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
24,632
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Tamworth, Staffs.
I agree with Greg, the amount of rubbing down required can be a problem. In a few years, there's bound to be a different, improved method
Resin printers give a lot better results.. How soon the prices will become more 'amateur friendly' remains to be seen?

Presently, for hobbyist use, the sizes you can print are limited.
The process is quite messy, in comparison to a deposition printer.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,976
858
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Resin printers give a lot better results.. How soon the prices will become more 'amateur friendly' remains to be seen?

Presently, for hobbyist use, the sizes you can print are limited.
The process is quite messy, in comparison to a deposition printer.
Resin Printing that is a new one on me, lots of help on youtube but as you say Phil messy is the issue. What I never found out after a quick look round, though having been involved with casting resin I assume the process is quicker and results ready sooner? Certainly the Printers are a reasonable cost. But and here is the big but, you still need to learn and get to grips with 3D Cad, also the big issue with the deposition Printing process.
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
900
30
South Australia
I use a UP Mini 2 printer which is portable and has worked very well for me. I do all my own drawings using Autocad 123D Design. This program is an upgrade of Tinkercad which adds extrusion, fillets, chamfers, etc which are very useful for rolling stock. A couple of my locos are attached.

My suggestions are:
  1. Use ready to run mechanisms whenever possible.
  2. Don't blindly use 3D printing for everything. If you have flat surfaces such as diesel cab sides or steam tenders then build them in styrene or get them laser cut in mdf or acrylic. If you have a non-tapered boiler then find a piece of plastic pipe.
  3. The orientation of the model on the printer is very important and can save a lot of rubbing down and cleaning up. The most visible surfaces should be vertical.
I find that time spent drawing a model is very pleasant after a days work and a great alternative to watching TV.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
Class 500.JPG MyYx.jpg
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
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104
Tinkercad is by far the best program to start with. It's free and very easy to use. I have used it primarily for scenery items but am in the process of designing rolling stock. A friend and I also have a Swiss Glacier Express locomotive in the works using Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is the more expanded payware version of tinkercad.
You can use 'Fusion 360' without paying for it if you earn under a certain amount professionally.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
24,632
923
Tamworth, Staffs.
A couple of my locos are attached.
Peter,

What has happened to the small diesel, which was on your website, back-end of last year?

PhilP.
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
900
30
South Australia
Peter,

What has happened to the small diesel, which was on your website, back-end of last year?

PhilP.
We produced a batch of Baldwin 0-4-0 cane diesels and sold them all but financially it proved to be not worthwhile. They were a combination of laser cut MDF and 3D printed components. It was an interesting exercise but we won't do it again. As is often said....we should stick to what we are good at ....soundcards.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound