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Thread: 3D printing + DIY CAD

  1. #1

    3D printing + DIY CAD

    Is 3D printing finally improving?

    Been reading this incredible thread over on RMweb about this chap 'bmthtrains' fascinating journey learning CAD and progressing from 3D printing average quality rolling stock to very well detailed stock including wagons, coaches, complex PW machinery, locos, etc. He has evolved some incredible 3D tips and tricks. Dayrl's post here today showing the 3D geni in his superb GSV was also striking.

    It's well worth scanning through 'bmthtrains' thread below from the beginning. It's N gauge but the process is the same.

    http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/ind...-plant/page-31

    Are we on the cusp of a big change in the hobby? I've been a firm sceptic myself but not so sure anymore.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Glenderg's Avatar
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    No, we're not. Look at stereo lithography printing, which has been around for years. A machine can cost €100,000,and a print is a couple of grand. Large manufacturers use this process to produce pre production samples you see in magazines. "stereo print"

    It's almost as good as rtr but ribbing can be spotted on it.

    The issue with 3D printing is that it's an additive process, creating layers, and despite the thin layers, still looks like combed toothpaste.

    Look at the reductive processes of starting with a lump and removing the swarf with lasers etc.

    That's where the tech is going now, and should be able to produce perfect parts. From a casting and moulding viewpoint, this should make cottage industries more viable.

    R.
    Irish Railway Models Ltd | The next level in Irish railway modelling
    Finely detailed ready-to-run models in 4mm/OO scale
    www.irishrailwaymodels.com

  3. #3
    Hi Guys

    This is an update about 3D printing from Shapeways:-

    https://www.shapeways.com/forum/t/ro...pricing.80212/

    A number of small 009 producers use them and from what I have seen they are pretty good now.

    That said they are complaining about the price of the prints.

    One thing that Shapeways has or is about to do and that is to allow the designer to place his model in the best axis, I have not use it for a while but, I am told that if you have a boiler for a steam loco it is best to do it as a separate print and to set it out in the Z axis as the print will not then show up ribbing.

    One 009 modeller is thinking about his next kit and producing it in a number of fit together parts using superglue to put it all together, the other answer is also that some parts are worth keeping to in brass sheet, such as cab roofs.

    I admit it is not perfect, but as a new technology it is coming along in leaps and bounds. I have been told that a number of American custom car shops are now printing sections of cars to fit as a replacement section which are already customized and only requiring painting to finish.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenderg View Post
    No, we're not. Look at stereo lithography printing, which has been around for years. A machine can cost 100,000,and a print is a couple of grand. Large manufacturers use this process to produce pre production samples you see in magazines. "stereo print"

    It's almost as good as rtr but ribbing can be spotted on it.

    The issue with 3D printing is that it's an additive process, creating layers, and despite the thin layers, still looks like combed toothpaste.

    Look at the reductive processes of starting with a lump and removing the swarf with lasers etc.

    That's where the tech is going now, and should be able to produce perfect parts. From a casting and moulding viewpoint, this should make cottage industries more viable.
    Hi Richie. Ok, I still doubt 3D could ever compete with the lower costs and quality of injection moulded plastics employed for volume production, but for one offs or very small volumn it does seem to be gradually improving. I've seen some well finished WSF Shapeways models of UK stock that weren't entirely on a different planet to RTR. Recently I've acquired some Shapeways FUD (frosted ultra detail) which surprised me for quality and smoothness bordering in IMP. No evidence of 'tooth paste' effect whatsoever.

    As you know I recently did a 3d loco but it was Shapeways WSF which indeed had some 'tooth paste' effect that I choose to rub down and fill with Halfords grey primer, but the FUD material seems a vastly finer resolution with no evidence of layering, stepping or pitted surface finish. The loco bogie sides I acquired were FUD and were every bit as fine as bachmann IMP ones. Strangly after layers of priming, painting and varnishing it's difficult to see much difference between resin models and 3D WSF/WSFP. FUD is too expensive right now, but for a unique model body (e.g. Mk4 DVT, A class) it might be worth the cost, and if costs ever come down in the future I wonder if 3D may end up having a role replacing resin and in some cases even brass components or some etches?

    I may be interesting in five years time, to look back and see if and how many non-mainstream Irish models may or may not be available as 3D models (presume kit form) ready for painting by markets such as Shapeways, or DIY modellers using various print service providers. For modellers It could be a game changer, or an empemeral technolgy.
    Cheers
    Noel

  5. #5
    This is a perennial thread regarding 3dprinting... I've made a lot of use of it over the last 7 years now, and it is improving. However.. the most economical material for 4mm scale models is White Strong and Flexible... which isn't the best quality material..... FUD and others are, but are not competitive for 4mm scale. Especially so since shapeways changed their pricing structure a year or so back.

    Best technique, as in all modelling!, is to use the most appropriate material for your model. So use overlays, use higher quality materials which will be seen, use brass castings for domes/chimney dome etc... it works for me! and even WSF is useful for some applications on it's own - for 6 wheel chassis, for coupling pockets...This, for instance, is entirely printed in WSF....

    Cheers for now.

    Richard.
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