Back in March 2017 I was in the process of sharing with you my designs for OO Gauge fixed link couplings utilizing the NEM sockets; you can read the post here. However when Shapeways announced their pricing structure change for the FUD and FXD materials this put a pause on the project. Mainly because under the new pricing structure there is a $1 charge per part on top of the material costs etc.
The good news is I have now redesigned the couplings so they can be 3D printed as one piece but can be easily separated. I looked at several different ways to do this but each had its pitfalls. Because all of the exposed parts of the couplings have high detail or are part of my flexible joint, putting a connection back to a sprue would mean a rough area would always be at the point where the coupling was cut off. The other part of the coupling fits into the NEM socket so again any rough areas would prevent the coupling from fitting correctly.
The solution was to add all the couplings to a tie bar with ‘T’ stalks which pass through each coupling, without actually touching it, as shown below.
The ‘T’ head can easily be broken or cut off which lets the coupling fall away from the tie bar.
Although a tie bar could be used at each end of the coupling this proved to be unnecessary as you can see in this actual set of 3D printed couplings below.
I’ve also made some other very small changes or improvements which don’t show up in pictures but should help to make them even better. I plan to do a few last checks with these latest versions and then I’ll be making them available.
I plan to release them in packs of 4,10, 50 and 100. There’ll also be a sample pack which will contain one of each so you can do some testing to see which type you need. This will be affected by the different types and makes of rolling stock you have plus the radius of your curves; tighter curves will need the longer couplings to avoid buffer lock.
I am planning to have them ready for next week, so fingers crossed.
Where was I last week? I had the night off; I didn’t post anything but I was still modelling. I used the time to catch up on some jobs that needed a bit of concentration and I’ll be sharing these with you soon, once I’m finished.
In the meantime if any of you were at the 25th National N Scale Convention in Pittsburgh, hosted by the N Scale Enthusiast, you may have seen some of my work.
One of NSE’s new limited run models is the ‘Navy Gun Barrel Transport Consist‘.
All the pictures are courtesy of the N Scale Architect.
I designed the gun barrel load and all the supporting details which sit on top of the three flat cars made by Micro-Trains. This was a project for the N Scale Architect who assembled and painted all the models for the NSE.
As I said earlier, this model is a limited run and is only available through the NSE website; members of NSE also get a discount. The link below will take you to their shop.
NSE Navy Gun Barrel Transport Consist
The N Scale Enthusiast and the N Scale Architect have fantastic models and kits, so if they are new to you, I recommend having a look.
This week I have the second part of my list for the updated or unaffected models, due to the FUD & FXD pricing structure change by Shapeways. To read more and see the first part of the list from last week click here.
This week I’ve been through all my UP tenders, in all the scales. The following are updated and are ready for purchase: they are either unaffected, have had a price reduction or had a slight price increase which cannot be reduced. Sadly the HO tenders have had a price jump and the O scale tenders have had a bigger price jump although this is mostly because the O scale tenders were originally printed in the Frosted Detail (FD) material which was almost half the price of the FUD. FD is no longer available.
Steam Tenders (N Scale)
UP Water Tender Pre Rebuild (Ex Turbine) Type 1
UP Water Tender Pre Rebuild (Ex Turbine) Type 2
UP Water Tender Pre Rebuild (Ex Turbine) Type 1 & 2
UP Water Tender (Ex Turbine) Type 1&2 – No Trucks
UP Water Tender Pre-Rebuilt (Turbine) Small Parts
UP Water Tender Pre-Rebuilt (Turbine) Ladders
UP Water Tender N Scale 1:160 Jim Adams
UP Water Tender N Scale 1:160 Joe Jordan
UP Water Tenders N Scale 1:160 Jim & Joe
UP Water Tender Ladders (2007-Present)
UP Water Tender Small Parts (2007-Present)
UP Water Tender Spare Trucks 2x N Scale 1:160
UP Water Tender Spare Trucks 4x N Scale 1:160
Steam Tenders (HO Scale)
UP Water Tender HO Scale 1:87 Jim Adams
UP Water Tenders HO Scale 1:87 Jim & Joe
UP Water Tender Spare Trucks 2x HO Scale 1:87
UP Water Tender Spare Trucks 4x HO Scale 1:87
Steam Tenders (O Scale)
UP Water Tender O Scale 1:48 Jim Adams
UP Water Tender O Scale 1:48 Jim & Joe
Next week I’ll be going through all the detail parts and, as I said last week, if you’re considering purchasing any of my models which are not on these lists please feel free to drop me a message and I can confirm if the price is likely to change.
As it’s been a while since I released a new product, and I’m still working through the Shapeways material changes, I thought this week I would finish up a project from a few months ago.
Back in February of this year I shared with you my designs for a 3D printed drawbar for my Yosemite Valley Railroad Log Cars, you can find the post here. The drawbar was fairly simple and the test prints worked well; I just wanted to give them a proper test before I made them available. Well, they’ve now done lots of miles on our modular exhibition layout, ‘Solent Summit’, so I’m happy to make them available; they can be found here. They can be ordered in either white or black. This material stains or paints very well, so if you prefer a different colour I recommend getting the white.
As I said in the original post I had wondered if these would be any use for conventional freight cars. I did some tests using boxcars fitted with N Scale Micro Trains body mounted couplers and right away I ran into a problem with length. As these were designed to replace Z scale couplings the distance between the mounting holes is too small to use with the N Scale screw holes. But I think adding 6mm will do the trick so I will be ordering a test set of longer links soon and I’ll share them with you when they arrive.
If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the last few weeks you’ll know I’ve been working on updating my 3D printed models for my Shapeways shop. This is because Shapeways have had a price structure change which overall has had a positive effect although some models need to be updated. I’d planned on having all the changes done by now but I’ll admit as well as working on the models I’ve also been out enjoying the sunshine, so I’m not quite ready yet!
One interesting development which is on the way from Shapeways is their orientation tool. This will be for their Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) and Frosted Extreme Detail (FXD) plastics and will allow me to set the orientation the model prints in. This will be a huge benefit; although the FUD and FXD don’t suffer from the ‘attached support material’ problems that the other 3D printing materials do, you can still see the difference between a surface which is on the underside compared to the top. This is because support material is still used but as it’s a liquid it’s not permantly attached. By choosing the orientation I can make sure all the best detail is on the top and not face down in the liquid support material. The downside of this will be some models, such as locomotive shells, will be more expensive due to the larger amount of support liquid needed. That’s the reason they are printed upside down in the first place.
I’ll be doing some experiments, once the tool is launched, to see how to make these models more cost effective, and I’ll share my findings with you. As for this week it’s back to the drawing board. Well, mouse and keyboard.