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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-21-2020 05:24 AM
bmwr71 fellers, the guy I used to work with just delivered my printed locomotive parts (he was in full conformist face mask and stayed away from me like i was a cobra). He claimed he had to do a big favor for the guy that printed it at the hacker/maker club and I was afraid to ask what that was when he spoke of how I couldn't afford to pay for his time for what he did in return for getting my parts printed (gotta love a martyr who died for you). So I was charged $30 for the plastic. PETG was used. The parts are nice and smooth and are bagged and labeled..

I did not look at the files when I sent them to this guy. I was surprised how many pieces were made for this small locomotive. To me it seemed that it would be made of like maybe 8 or 10 big pieces. It is a bunch of small pieces. Will try to find time in the winter to build it and that might really happen if Santa's elves come to stay for a while and work for free. Love to think that winter is a time to stay indoors and do projects, but in reality it is just a time to wear more clothes. At least the humidity will be low enough to shoot matte clear with no fear of fogging.

I had thought that perhaps one would be able to make some molds and cast parts to make more locomotives, but there are just too many parts. Supposedly took 10 hours to print it. Was told I need to come and learn to use their printers and print some more if I want more. Again. Santa's elves probably will need to find the hours to waste.

08-20-2020 10:35 PM
mapper55 The original STL files (inside the zip) are a bunch of sub-assemblies that would need to be put together to make the finished locomotive. The PDF in the zip file doesn't appear to include pictures but I think they are just pictures of the individual parts. The pictures in the linked MyMiniFactory page shows some of the problems I have had with 3D printing large scale trains. Look at the top of the cab in the last photo. It is very difficult to get a smooth finish without a lot of work or a very expensive printer.
08-17-2020 10:08 AM
Scott Victorian, those models look great. Have they been printed as a whole model, or sub-assemblies?
07-18-2020 10:08 PM
David Leech David,
Welcome to MLS.
As always, your 3D models are so impressive.
How wonderful 3D modelling and printing is for creating such masterpieces, and have people like yourself who have been able to make it all work for themselves.
Well done.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
07-18-2020 02:39 PM
bmwr71 I saw where that guy also has files to print some cars, crates, drums, and track on that site. The cars have buffers, so must be European, but a little saw work would fix that.

07-18-2020 12:11 PM
Pete Thornton
PS I couldn't work out how to embed pics in this forum.
You've done the hard part - attaching a photo. Go and edit your post in 'advanced' mode, right click on the attachment link and 'copy link location', then use the "insert image" icon (yellow box with hills in it) and paste the link. Like this:

07-18-2020 05:40 AM
Victorian I thought you might be interested in my experience as a data point. I build models in G1 and occasionally G3 of early prototypes that, mostly, haven't been modelled before using contemporary sources. I use SLS Nylon and the models are built in one piece, apart from moving parts and details. The nylon material is extremely robust and suitable for complete boiler, frame, footplate and chimney as a single component with 1mm wall thickness - like an eggshell, but very strong.

One reason for the one piece technique is that nylon doesn't take glue! These are working models, frequently run at shows (remember those?) and have survived numerous escape attempts involving diving to the floor, ety.. One even had a full size lifebelt (don't ask how this happened!) fall on it with modest damage, where a traditional brass model would have been stove in.

The limiting factor with these models is surface finish, which in SLS nylon is a granulation similar to 200 grit glass paper. However, this does fill with multiple thin aerosol coats (the aerosol car paint takes very well to the slightly porous texture of the nylon) and is acceptable for surfaces like smokeboxes. For high quality finishes I use photo paper and now ink jet printed vinyl which conveniently takes care of lining and lettering in many cases.

Note that wheels are always SLS Nylon with no issues of eccentricity and adequate strength, even with very early prototypes. All the models are tender drive to leave the locomotive free for working motion, all made in Nylon with a ruling thickness again of 1mm, and all use a low voltage helical drive powered by a single cell phone battery. The only metal components are carrying axles which are too flimsy at 1/8" diameter, although crank axles are always printed.

The oldest models are approaching 10 yrs and show no sign of 'creep', distortion, or material degradation. Left unpainted, the material does yellow over a number of years, which may suggest chemical changes and embrittlement, but so far no deterioration in mechanical properties has been noted. I built these models to outlast me (!).

SLS is not yet a home printing technology and so most of the models are printed by Shapeways. Other printing houses offer SLS but tend to go quiet when they see the size and complexity of the models. This is an expensive way to produce a model locomotive, although overall, and accepting the surface finish issues, ends up at a price point not too different to other types of kit. For me, it was the only way to get a significant roster of largely forgotten and rarely modelled mid-Victorian prototypes.

Hope that's of interest and best regards, David Viewing

PS I couldn't work out how to embed pics in this forum. If someone can help me out with this, I'll be happy to illustrate the above! I have been able to attach an image showing a brace of 'Sharpies' in 10mm scale G1: 'Odin' is a model of the Danish Railway Museum's brand new operating replica, and 'Sphynx' (apparently in icing sugar, but actually nylon) is built from an original drawing (in exquisite detail) in DK Clark's 'Railway Machinery', published 1855.
07-17-2020 05:36 AM
Scott I have used Shapeways in the past - with varying results. Some projects have been great (anything cast metal) while some have been average wise. I have found Shapeways is getting pricey so the manufacturing costs do eat into a limited budget. The website is not as user friendly as it once was and gets a tad annoying. Delivery to Australia is soooo slow - slower now thanks to a pandemic.

I have used Facfox, they are more cost effective and ship faster. Facfox can cut, print, fold, bend, cnc and cast in a wide of materials. i.materialise is another printing group that I'll be trying shortly.

Have a look and compare, speak to others that have used the services and compare notes. Work within the limits of your own skills (I'm always improving mine), the limits of programs and the limits of manufacturing. The scene is improving at a rate of knots and the results are getting a higher standard all the time - for all scales.

Also try your local area for Makerlabs / Fablabs - it's free or very very low cost and a good way to use the technology while developing your railway.
07-17-2020 03:18 AM
bmwr71 I emailed a guy I used to work with that was one of those computer nerd, like try to make Comadore computers do modern things years after they were obsolete kind of guys. He told me he belongs to a "hacker" club in town where one can go use a variety of 3d printers and other things like laser cutters. He said non-members could go and use the machinery as long as none of the members decided they didn't like the person. Said the only cost would be the plastic and don't have to buy it from them. Sooooo, if I can ever find time......., it will be mine.

07-16-2020 08:42 AM
Nick Jr I received a drawing of the piece and price agreed upon before any printing is done. LiG
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