3D Printing The Right Way Up

In last week’s post I spoke about Shapeways’ ‘Orientation Tool’ for their FUD and FXD materials and my intention to make all my locomotive shells available with this option.  You can read the post here.

My plan was to have both the new orientated models available as ‘Deluxe’ versions and the originals as a cheaper option.  And that’s what I’ve done with the Alco C-855 and C-855B.  However, after working through the other models it became apparent that the price didn’t really change.  By moving the position of parts the price of the model dropped and so the increase caused by using the ‘Orientation Tool’ setting was offset.  So all the other models have simply been converted to have the ‘Orientation Tool’ set for the best quality print by making it print the right way up.

Locomotive shells without the orientation set:

Alco C-855

Alco C-855B

Locomotive shells with the orientation set:

Alco C-855 Deluxe

Alco C-855B Deluxe

Alco C855 Shell Only

Alco C855B Shell Only

Baldwin DT6-6-2000

Baldwin DT6-6-2000 Dummy

Baldwin DT6-6-2000 Shell Only

Baldwin RT-624

Baldwin RT-624 Shell Only

EMD DD35

EMD DD35 Dummy

The new locomotive shells I’m working on will all be set to the best print quality from the start and the models will be designed to make them less expensive in the printer.  So for now the ‘Deluxe’ versions just apply to the large Alco C-855s but maybe this will come in useful with some of the HO scale locomotives I have planned, allowing me to offer differently priced versions.

Getting Things The Right Way Round

3D printing locomotive shells with Shapeways has always been a gamble as regards to the orientation of the shell on the print bed.  Understandably, in order keep the cost of the print sensible, the print ended up on its side or totally upside-down as this is the cheapest way for them to print.  The disadvantage is often the best surface finish would be on the underside of the model.

However back in the beginning of October this year Shapeways added their ‘Orientation Tool’ for the FUD and FXD materials allowing the 3D print orientation to be fixed by the designer; me!  You can read more about the tool on my post here.

My original intention was to immediately set all my locomotive shells to print orientated in such a way as to give the best finish possible.  But this does come at a cost,  especially with large locomotives like my Alco C-855 which has a huge volume of space under the shell.  This space needs to be totally filled with support material in order to print the roof.

After experimenting with different compromises and ideas I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to cut corners; the best has to be available for those who want it but it was unfair to simply push all the prices up to achieve this.  So I have decided to offer both:  prints as they have always been as well as the shells with the orientation which will be set at the higher price.

My new models on Shapeways will be called ‘Deluxe’ and will include the Alco C-855 & C-855B, the EMD DD35 and the Baldwin DT6-6-2000 & RT-624.

Both models will be offered in FUD and FXD materials.  The FXD ‘Deluxe’ will be the ultimate 3D print available.  Hopefully all the models will be available on Shapeways by next week’s post.

As for new locomotive shells designs, well, I may design them differently.  Doing things such as making the roof a separate part would bring the cost down dramatically by reducing the amount of support material needed, but this does raise some stability issues as well as creating a joint which would need to be concealed. However that’s the challenge, and I do have something on the drawing board, but that will have to wait for another post.

A Well Deserved Rest

As you may have read last week, my local club, the Poole & District Model Railway Society, have just had our annual exhibition, and being the Exhibition Manager it has been a busy time for me.  But the show went very well and I think everybody had an enjoyable time.

So this week’s post will simply be to say thankyou to all the visitors, exhibitors, traders and members of my club who worked the show, because it takes all of you to make the exhibition possible. I’m now going to take a few days off.  Next week I should be back to 3D printing projects!

Exhibition Preparation

This week’s post will simply be a quick note about what I have coming up as this is a very busy week for me; just as this week was last year!

The main reason why I’m so busy is this Sunday, the 5th of November, will be the Poole & District Model Railway Society’s annual exhibition held at Poole Grammar School on Gravel Hill.  And this is my second year as the Exhibition Manager.

Again this year we have fifteen exhibition layouts at the show plus P&DMRS’s own layout which is based on Poole. We also have several demos as well as the usual traders to fill all your modeling needs. The full list can be found on the P&DMRS’ website here.

Once all the preparation was done for last year the actual exhibition was great fun so this year I’m really looking forward to it!  So wish me well and I’ll see you on the other side!

Getting in a Bit of a Pickle

Over the last few months it might have seemed that I haven’t really been doing much in the way of 3D printing design.  Well in fact I have; I just couldn’t tell you about it, until now!

The N Scale Architect has commissioned two new N Scale freight cars to accompany their new turn-of-the-century pickling plant kit, pictured below.

This lovely kit has everything you need to build a pickling plant, but how do you move the produce around the layout? The answer comes in two forms.

The 4 Vat Open Car.

And the Enclosed Tank Pickle Car.

Both car kits come complete with a full-color illustrated instruction sheet, photo-etched ladders & stirrups, bronze tie-rods, four 1/4oz car weights, a decal set of your choice and Micro-Trains brake wheel, trucks & body mounted couplers.  Each decal set is inspired by vintage pickling company markings and includes four different road numbers.

The 46′ open 4 vat pickle car follows prototypes made by Thrall, GATC, ACF and other manufacturers from the early 1900s up until the 1950s has four printed sections forming the chassis, vats, roof supports and the roof.

The roof supports are separated before they clip into the chassis.

The 42′ enclosed tank pickle car follows prototypes made by Thrall, GATC, ACF and other manufacturers from the early 1900’s up until the 1950’s and has three printed sections forming the chassis, sides and roof.  All are printed with the best side facing up to get the finest detail.

The etched ladders on both and the sign on the enclosed car are stainless steel.

Both of these new cars are available from the N Scale Architect’s Shapeways shop or through the website.

And that’s not all, there are more cars on the way from myself and the N Scale Architect but you’ll have to wait to see what they are!

A Few Upcoming Exhibitions and Events

This week’s post will be brief as I’m in the middle of the preparations for the Poole and District Model Railroad Society annual exhibition, which will be held on the 5th November 2017. This exhibition will be at the Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset BH17 9JU.  More information can be found here.

Also coming up on the radar is the NMRA (British Region) annual convention which I normally try and give a rundown of the fun stuff going on there, but sadly this year I’m not able to attend.  However, the convention is running from 27th to 29th October at the Derby Conference Center, London Road, Alvaston, Derby DE24 8UX and opens to the public on the 28th if you want to go and have look.

Also that weekend my N Scale group from the Gosport Model Railroad Club will be taking our layout, ‘Solent Summit’, to the Newbury Model Railway Exhibition hosted by the Newbury Model Railway Club.  The exhibition is at St Bartholomew’s School, Andover Rd, Newbury RG14 6JP and you can find out more here.

I do hope that if you’re able to make it, I’ll see you at the exhibition in November.