Looking for suggestions on a 3D printer and also where to find files to print I am thinking brick and stone walls. I am looking at a Dremel Digilab 3D40 Flex 3D Printer an would be interested in features I should make sure I get with the printer.

 

Original Post

What kind of parts are you going to produce. If they're fairly large and you can accept the inevitable layer lines produced by a string printer (AKA Filament Deposition Machine = FDM) then go with a good FDM. They have huge price ranges, but you need something that would reproduce at 100 microns all day long.

However, if you're thinking about detail parts for 1:48, then you'll need to get into resin printing. It's an entirely different concept with differing issues. They are now available for less than $300 that produce parts in 10 to 50 micron ranges. I've been printing at 40 microns and it's quite satisfactory to reproduce ridiculously small details. That said, it's a **** of a learning curve and it throws you curves along the way.

Here's a primer I wrote on resin printing that fills in some (not all) the blanks. Forgive me… the pictures are not imbedded in the document since it was sent to our modeling club for publication in their newsletter. You'll have to be patient and match up the images with the text.

 

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Last edited by Trainman2001

I have been able to produce scenic parts such as fences, walls, small generators and lots of other pieces.  I have an Anet A-8 which I purchased and assembled for about $170.  I am not a programmer and have to resort to finding models on sites such as Thingsverse.  Some have to be either enlarged or reduced in size for O gauge printing. I use a plastic, PLA, which is moderately strong and able to be painted.  It's  a fun project and produces reasonable results for my purpose.  I have also been able to produce some items for use around the house. 

Good Luck

Marty

Keep in mind the time involved in printing your own stuff. I have a Creality ender 3 that's been running pretty much 24 hours non-stop for 3 days to print a Dunlop tire bridge to go over a Carrera slot car track. Somewhere around the middle of the bridge printing I found one online for $20 plus shipping. I don't know about resin printers but filament printers are slow.

joe

Sully posted:

Looking for suggestions on a 3D printer and also where to find files to print I am thinking brick and stone walls. I am looking at a Dremel Digilab 3D40 Flex 3D Printer an would be interested in features I should make sure I get with the printer.

 

Rich there are many options out there for you to look at. I would suggest that being a beginner you might start with an inexpensive printer like 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod...E8Q2EC13QZD379ARZYG1  this inexpensive Ender that works quite good for what it does

or a very good company Prusa is now making a MINI for 349 which is comparable to their 800 unit which I use. (has a flexible bed which makes it much easier to remove the prints when done)

https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/3d...EEAQYASABEgLxzPD_BwE

the Prusa can print 50 microns which is ok for most railroad parts except the very small details.

If you do purchase one and still can't do the design part of it I can give you STL files that you would need to print with. For example I have brick samples etc.

To prove that this will do the job I designed and built this complete structure with all details and printed them.

As far as detail was able to make the roof drains and gutters with no problem.

I have run this printer over 900 hours since I put the kit together with only keeping the slide rails lightly greased. It's been a great printer.

BTW, Trainman2001 does a great job with his printer, I can't help you with that but he is the expert who would answer your questions.

IMG_8124IMG_8144IMG_8148IMG_8279

Right now am building a large hotel and elevated track in front of it

IMG_8642Construction_36

Ray

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Last edited by sidehack

I would not use a 3D printer to print flats.

I use a laser cutter that cuts, scores and engraves on flat surfaces, much faster

AlanHN

AlanRail posted:

I would not use a 3D printer to print flats.

I use a laser cutter that cuts, scores and engraves on flat surfaces, much faster

I'm not sure I agree in all cases. As long as the pieces are small enough to print flat against the build plate, resin printing of flats is quite fast and inexpensive, and it afford the ability to include many complex details (millwork, corbels, doorknobs, etc) that can't be done with laser cutters.

--pete

 

 

My heart is warm with the friends I make, 

And better friends I'll not be knowing;

Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

No matter where it's going.

                        Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

One of the benefits of 3D printing is you can add features like holes in any angle or even horizontal which I use a lot to be able to pin various sections together with near perfect alignment as the holes are all put in by CAD. This was critical for gluing these girders together also used for walls and many other shapes.

IMG_8678IMG_8677

My wife had the handle of the can opener break, great can opener poorly designed handle. Within 2 hours had a redesigned handle printed and in operation because I was able to 3D print it.IMG_8667

Also have made many jigs and fixtures as need.

There is so much you can do and are only limited by your imagination.

 

 

Ray

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Pete

Ray's work on his building are fantastic. No question. But tube printers and even a resin printers are slow. Also, thin flats on an resin printer can warp and the strength in the z-direction of a tube print is weak.  No so with a 45w laser cutter because the base material is either wood or acrylic ( or leather or metal (engraving only)). The laser cuts, scores and engraves (mine does 3D engraves) and is very fast.

A laser cutter is a subtraction process where a resin or tube printer is an additive one. Additive processes have to create the base material before they can print a design onto it. That makes them slower. 

AlanHN

AlanRail posted:

A laser cutter is a subtraction process where a resin or tube printer is an additive one. Additive processes have to create the base material before they can print a design onto it. That makes them slower. 

Hi Allen,

Well, we can argue all day. The correct conclusion, I think, will be "it depends". I agree with you if we are talking about FDM. But, when it comes to speed, don't forget that a resin printer's speed is totally insensitive to complexity, so who would win a race depends critically on the design. I am pretty sure that with a sufficiently-complex pattern, a resin printer will win with a thin object that can be printed flat. Certainly the difference will be small either way.  As for warping, it can be an issue with a naive design, but with proper technique, it can be avoided. And, as I say, you can do many things with resin that you can't do with a cutter.

There are many cases in which a laser cutter is great, but don't discount 3D just because the third dimension is shallow.

--pete

 

 

My heart is warm with the friends I make, 

And better friends I'll not be knowing;

Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

No matter where it's going.

                        Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

Last edited by Avanti

Try producing this on a laser cutter. This is one half of an EMD 567 will all the cylinders and bearings. It will form a complete "naked" engine. The crank and the oil pan is just finishing downstairs now, and the other block half will be printed tomorrow. I have some amazing stuff done on a laser cutter and I'd like to have one of those too. What limits me is a) price and b) the need to vent the smoke. Resin printing has produced some amazing things for me. 

IMG_6101

The challenge is producing the drawings and then arranging the part for printing to minimize cleanup and damage to delicate areas. The crank has the flywheel on one end and a timing gear on the other all in O'gauge.

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Not easily on a Laser cutter. However, I am trying some new cuts using "living hinges." The living hinges cuts into flat stock allowing for curve bends from 2D to 3D.

Trying to create some concrete highway piers that have a curve at each end.

Pile-Bent-Pier

AlanHN

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Last edited by AlanRail

Thanks All for your interaction.

Trainman2001 thanks for the information it was pretty enlightening.  You are my 3D hero

Ray the elevated line is interesting to me.  I like the idea of being able to precisely add pins it seems it would make it stronger and a more precise design. The building you completed

  1. how long did it take to print?
  2. what is an approximate cost? 
  3. Did you do the design or did you get the file somewhere? 
  4. Is there a repository for O gauge items?

 

Alan If using a laser cutter I would also need to buy stock material correct ? Like if I wanted a tunnel Entrance I would need to buy or print some material that looks like a wall. With Ray's buildings I would need to find some type of material that looks like bricks or can I get sheet plastic and etch the brick design on it?

Rich

Materials can be purchased from GlowForge  the laser cutter manufacturer. Each sheet is precut to fit the machine and has a small label with a barcode that is read by one of the cutters cameras to set up the proper laser power and speed for that material. OR you can find other materials from a list with those cutter instructions to set and save your own laser speed and power settings..

The same is true for the FormLabs resin printers. They too sell various resins in cartridges that have barcodes to tell the printer how to use the laser on that resin effectively to make the 3D item, 

 

With Ray's buildings I would need to find some type of material that looks like bricks or can I get sheet plastic and etch the brick design on it?

No, Ray created the bricks and brick texture with his printer. Neat huh!!

AlanHN

Last edited by AlanRail

Sully, I've done 2 buildings a brewery complete and now finishing a front only of a large hotel.

The first building Berkshire Brewing done_2

took quite a while because I had just purchased the printer so had a learning curve for that then made many test prints to see what could actually be printed for making structures.

This is a wall section 10 pieces make this IMG_8124

When I had a good understanding of how I needed to design the pieces I started to do the designs on a CAD system. Then print each piece which varied in time from 30 min up to 4 hours but once it's printing I could go on to design the next part. There very many parts involved because I tried to do 100% 3D printing for this and other than a couple windows (because I already had them) was able to make everything all inside tanks etc. and pallets, barrels, roof sign and water tank, roof details and even roof drains. By designing it myself I was able to incorporate a V interlock for the walls for better alignment and 1/8" pins for gluing other parts. (I used "divide and Conquer") The number of STL files I made were over one hundred so this first major project took many many hours, but it wasn't just making something it was testing and learning the best way to do it. The hotel front that I am working on now took much less time to design, however still a lot of time on the printer but again I'm still designing etc. while the printer is running.

As far as cost: already had CAD software, bought 3D printer $800 (this was a Prusa kit that I had to put together) came with one roll of PLA filament, used probably 2 rolls (they cost anywhere from 20-30 dollars each), you could probably add the cost of electricity as there are many running hours.

I do all my own designing rather than use other existing files which could be done if you find something you like however you may need to scale to fit your needs.

I don't know much about file sharing sites but there are several.

I don't share my files on any sites or sell them but do share sample files to any OGR members to help them with initial designs. Some parts like a power supply adapter etc. I have put on this site to share.

This is the project I am now working on:

IMG_8712IMG_8674

The arches were designed to be 6 pieces, 4 pieces make the body, in order to make a channel design on a 3D printer had to split in halves and the feet slide over the bottoms to be able to adjust for variable heights.

That's about all I can think right now but let me know if you have any other questions.

One other thing is that I purchased what I thought was a very good printer (although there are better more expensive ones as well as more affordable ones that do a good job)  and as of now am coming up on 1,000 hours of run time with no break downs and the only maintenance was keeping the steel slides lightly greased.

Ray

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Last edited by sidehack

I have been thinking about the possibility of getting into 3D printing.  What are your thoughts on Prusa mini? Also software applications, CAD etc.  I prefer the iMac world but I also run windows 10 pro in VMware fusion.  I like the Prusa with the wired Ethernet as most of my house is hardwired gigabit +.  I do have wireless but try to keep it to a minimum and isolated.

Sidehack, I love your trestles/girders.  

Before you jump into this you might want to look at some design software and some websites like Thingaverse for stl. printing files I've spent hours searching for O gauge/scale items to print. There's very little availble. I bought the printer and then started looking for things to print. That's probably backwards since you might want to look at what files are available for free or low cost. I'm sure a lot of people here breeze right thru the learning process with CAD and 3D software but I'm not one of them. I'm struggling with trying to learn to use supposedly simple software like Tinkercad.  I've got my 12 year old granddaughter learning some desigh software so maybe she can show me how to use it.

I've found more free things to print for the slot car setup than the RR layout. Maybe if there was a topic here where Stl.files were posted it would be a worthwile investment for those of us who struggle with the software learning process. For me so far it's been just another toy and I probably should have stuck with Shapeways already made stuff.

joe

I use Rhino 6 for the 3D prints and Coreldraw for 2D prints.

Tinkercad was  the first program I used for 3D prints. I think it was a bad choice because the design/create process is not like the ones used in the better CAD programs.

Coreldraw I have used since its inception. But it has changed in many ways I don't like to complete with Illustrator.

AlanHN

The 3D resin or tube printer print in layers so you need a program to slice your print so that the laser or tube nozzle can either harden the resin or direct the heated tube of plastic to create the slice for each layer. Each layer is as thick as the printer can manage measured in microns.

Because the print is accurate to microns if you have parts that must connect you must make the connections slightly smaller so that they can fit together.

For a cutter you need either a raster or vector or both based drawing so that the laser can cut, score or engrave. 

For inlays the cutters laser cuts accurately as well but the laser beam cut has a thickness to it that makes inlay pieces fit perfectly without reducing the sizes unlike the resin or tube printers.

 

 

AlanHN

Jack, I think you are looking in the right direction, the Prusa mini is supposed to be very good able to do much of the things that mine will do but for a much better price. Prusa is a very good company so far. And for software Autodesk Fusion seems to be a good choice.

Joe I agree and was thinking the same, someday I'm sure there will either be a place on here or offsite yet still tied to OGR where you could find parts and pull off the STL files similar to "Thingeverse".

And CAD is not that bad to learn, start small and work up building more skills as you go, Producing a 3D model in CAD would be your goal, once that is done the 3D printing isn't that complex, it's just setting up a process. 

 

Ray

I ordered a Prusa Mini and should be receiving it in April.  I'm not in that big of a hurry to receive it, and the delay is allowing them to fully implement improvements found with the initial run.  Prusa appears to be a great company, with great support.  I'll get to find out first hand. 

My hobby is model railroading, not 3D printing, and I want my first experiences with 3D printing to be pleasurable, not frustrating.  That is why I opted for the Prusa Mini.  I want to find out first hand what is possible with an FDM printer, and want to start working again with 3D design software.  I also have the hobby license to Autodesk Fusion, and now just need the time to become conversant with it.  I have been playing a bit with TinkerCad, and have a couple of blocking loads already done in it for open top loads, specifically for tractors, and road graders.  My goal is to do the bulk of the blocking patterns I need with my 3D printer, and if the resolution isn't fine enough, I'll go the route of Shapeways until I'm comfortable enough to do the resin printer route.  When I do that, I'll opt to spend the extra money, and get the Prusa SL1, with the wash and cure system.

I want my 3D printing to be a compliment to my model railroading, not have a hobby of building, maintaining, and improving 3D printers.  Not enough hours in the day, especially while I'm still gainfully employed, as opposed to retired.

Regards,

Jerry

 

Jerry.....totally agree, even though retired I don't want to be making knicknacks or rebuilding printers etc. I want to be able to make what I need or want including the fixtures sometimes to make constructing easier.

I hope all goes well with you and believe it will just seeing your commitment. If I can help anyway in the future all you need do is ask.

Ray

gnnpnut posted:

I ordered a Prusa Mini and should be receiving it in April.  I'm not in that big of a hurry to receive it, and the delay is allowing them to fully implement improvements found with the initial run.  Prusa appears to be a great company, with great support.  I'll get to find out first hand. 

My hobby is model railroading, not 3D printing, and I want my first experiences with 3D printing to be pleasurable, not frustrating.  That is why I opted for the Prusa Mini.  I want to find out first hand what is possible with an FDM printer, and want to start working again with 3D design software.  I also have the hobby license to Autodesk Fusion, and now just need the time to become conversant with it.  I have been playing a bit with TinkerCad, and have a couple of blocking loads already done in it for open top loads, specifically for tractors, and road graders.  My goal is to do the bulk of the blocking patterns I need with my 3D printer, and if the resolution isn't fine enough, I'll go the route of Shapeways until I'm comfortable enough to do the resin printer route.  When I do that, I'll opt to spend the extra money, and get the Prusa SL1, with the wash and cure system.

I want my 3D printing to be a compliment to my model railroading, not have a hobby of building, maintaining, and improving 3D printers.  Not enough hours in the day, especially while I'm still gainfully employed, as opposed to retired.

Regards,

Jerry

 

Hello Jerry,  I hear you loud and clear.  I have 2 Creality Ender 3 printers and they do ok, but they do not have the quality parts of the Prusa printers.  I have upgraded several parts on both Ender 3's to improve printing.   

Trains and DC Power Forever...WooWoo

dobermann posted:

Before you jump into this you might want to look at some design software and some websites like Thingaverse for stl. printing files I've spent hours searching for O gauge/scale items to print. There's very little availble. I bought the printer and then started looking for things to print. That's probably backwards since you might want to look at what files are available for free or low cost. I'm sure a lot of people here breeze right thru the learning process with CAD and 3D software but I'm not one of them. I'm struggling with trying to learn to use supposedly simple software like Tinkercad.  I've got my 12 year old granddaughter learning some desigh software so maybe she can show me how to use it.

I've found more free things to print for the slot car setup than the RR layout. Maybe if there was a topic here where Stl.files were posted it would be a worthwile investment for those of us who struggle with the software learning process. For me so far it's been just another toy and I probably should have stuck with Shapeways already made stuff.

joe

Yes I hear you.  I have used Thingiverse to find STL files for various projects, but I have found very little for O scale railroad items.    

Trains and DC Power Forever...WooWoo

Great thread!  I am an exception to the rule as I have all three devices available to me.  What's the 3rd you say, it's CNC milling.  I have MakerBot, a FS40 laser, and a 48x96 ShopBot CNC.  NONE of them can do all of the things you have been talking about easily.  I do my walls with CNC, I sometimes do my doors and windows with the laser, and of course the smaller parts are 3d.  I seem to use the 3d mostly for large quantities of the same part.  Having said that I just recently 3d printed an entire ON30 hopper car?  It Took forever but that time was less than driving to my local hobby shop (120 miles) to buy one!    With the prices of desktop cnc machines coming down, its a tool we just might be seeing more of in the model shops.  Russ

ON30 stock car done on CNC

3D printed ON30 hopper

Pieces cnc cut for Chama Coal tower - O scale

The tower model - O scale

3d printed goodies

Last edited by ChiloquinRuss

This is just a tease, but I am in the middle of a project to recreate and expand the Super-O track system using a resin printer:

top2track back1Super-O 3D print - 9

Here is a printed half-O72 curve next to a real O36 piece:

Super-O 3D print - 13

--pete

 

 

My heart is warm with the friends I make, 

And better friends I'll not be knowing;

Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

No matter where it's going.

                        Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

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sidehack posted:

Sully, I've done 2 buildings a brewery complete and now finishing a front only of a large hotel.

The first building Berkshire Brewing done_2

took quite a while because I had just purchased the printer so had a learning curve for that then made many test prints to see what could actually be printed for making structures.

This is a wall section 10 pieces make this IMG_8124

When I had a good understanding of how I needed to design the pieces I started to do the designs on a CAD system. Then print each piece which varied in time from 30 min up to 4 hours but once it's printing I could go on to design the next part. There very many parts involved because I tried to do 100% 3D printing for this and other than a couple windows (because I already had them) was able to make everything all inside tanks etc. and pallets, barrels, roof sign and water tank, roof details and even roof drains. By designing it myself I was able to incorporate a V interlock for the walls for better alignment and 1/8" pins for gluing other parts. (I used "divide and Conquer") The number of STL files I made were over one hundred so this first major project took many many hours, but it wasn't just making something it was testing and learning the best way to do it. The hotel front that I am working on now took much less time to design, however still a lot of time on the printer but again I'm still designing etc. while the printer is running.

As far as cost: already had CAD software, bought 3D printer $800 (this was a Prusa kit that I had to put together) came with one roll of PLA filament, used probably 2 rolls (they cost anywhere from 20-30 dollars each), you could probably add the cost of electricity as there are many running hours.

I do all my own designing rather than use other existing files which could be done if you find something you like however you may need to scale to fit your needs.

I don't know much about file sharing sites but there are several.

I don't share my files on any sites or sell them but do share sample files to any OGR members to help them with initial designs. Some parts like a power supply adapter etc. I have put on this site to share.

This is the project I am now working on:

IMG_8712IMG_8674

The arches were designed to be 6 pieces, 4 pieces make the body, in order to make a channel design on a 3D printer had to split in halves and the feet slide over the bottoms to be able to adjust for variable heights.

That's about all I can think right now but let me know if you have any other questions.

One other thing is that I purchased what I thought was a very good printer (although there are better more expensive ones as well as more affordable ones that do a good job)  and as of now am coming up on 1,000 hours of run time with no break downs and the only maintenance was keeping the steel slides lightly greased.

If you don’t mind, what do you use for CAD software and what would you expect for a learning curve.  I am reasonably versed in technical software applications but 3D printing hardware is a new animal.  Thinking of a mini but the CAD is a major piece of the puzzle 

sidehack posted:

Jack, I think you are looking in the right direction, the Prusa mini is supposed to be very good able to do much of the things that mine will do but for a much better price. Prusa is a very good company so far. And for software Autodesk Fusion seems to be a good choice.

Joe I agree and was thinking the same, someday I'm sure there will either be a place on here or offsite yet still tied to OGR where you could find parts and pull off the STL files similar to "Thingeverse".

And CAD is not that bad to learn, start small and work up building more skills as you go, Producing a 3D model in CAD would be your goal, once that is done the 3D printing isn't that complex, it's just setting up a process. 

 

Thank you. The tool is the printer and the driver (that make the tool worthwhile) is the software.  I’m not starting a business, I’m working on a hobby for my enjoyment.

CHILOQUINRUSS, you have the right idea use the best tool to produce the part needed. Of course it’s nice to have those tools. BTW great parts you are making.

Pete, great idea the Super-O track system and follow through, I am very impressed with your accomplishments

Joe, I agree with you on enjoying the hobby and I think you may also find that after you are producing your own models from a CAD system and then seeing them come to life on your layout when printed may even enhance your hobby enjoyment.

I have the advantage of knowing CAD as that is what I did starting on a mainframe in 1987 and then in the 90’s on to personal computers so after 33 years I got pretty good at it and ended up purchasing the software my company used knowing I wanted to use it after I retired. I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy this one as it is overkill for I’m doing now and I think it was around $8,000. But now there are many very good software packages you can get that are very inexpensive.

Ray

Thank you all for the information I am currently researching and will purchase the Prusa Mini.  I plan on starting with things like Benches, Shipping Crates, Fire Hydrants, maybe a Telephone booth or two before I start to work into buildings, Beams, Girder bridges etc.  

I want to thank you all for putting your experience out there for us to share.  I hope this thread continues as there is a lot of knowledge in this group.  I cannot wait to see some of the things I can make and if they turn out I may even share pictures.

Again thank you all for the education.

Sully

You might want to take a look at the Formlabs website. There's a lot of information on resin printing that applies to all resin printers not just theirs.

AlanHN

Sometimes you can find objects on Thingiverse that you can scale.  Full size items you can scale down to O gauge and there is a fair amount of HO scale objects that you can double to O scale.

sidehack posted:
Sully posted:

Looking for suggestions on a 3D printer and also where to find files to print I am thinking brick and stone walls. I am looking at a Dremel Digilab 3D40 Flex 3D Printer an would be interested in features I should make sure I get with the printer.

 

Rich there are many options out there for you to look at. I would suggest that being a beginner you might start with an inexpensive printer like 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod...E8Q2EC13QZD379ARZYG1  this inexpensive Ender that works quite good for what it does

or a very good company Prusa is now making a MINI for 349 which is comparable to their 800 unit which I use. (has a flexible bed which makes it much easier to remove the prints when done)

https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/3d...EEAQYASABEgLxzPD_BwE

the Prusa can print 50 microns which is ok for most railroad parts except the very small details.

If you do purchase one and still can't do the design part of it I can give you STL files that you would need to print with. For example I have brick samples etc.

To prove that this will do the job I designed and built this complete structure with all details and printed them.

As far as detail was able to make the roof drains and gutters with no problem.

I have run this printer over 900 hours since I put the kit together with only keeping the slide rails lightly greased. It's been a great printer.

BTW, Trainman2001 does a great job with his printer, I can't help you with that but he is the expert who would answer your questions.

IMG_8124IMG_8144IMG_8148IMG_8279

Right now am building a large hotel and elevated track in front of it

IMG_8642Construction_36

Ray,

I have started trying creating a building with Fusion 360 that I hope to 3D print.  Thing are moving along but I could use some advice/suggestions for creating a realistic masonry face.  The front is a brick facade and the other three walls are standard cement block.  Also some suggestions for adding the window frames and doors.  Attached are a couple of close ups to give you an idea of the look I'm trying to get.  I'm in line for a Prusa Mini in a few months.

 

Thanks,

Jack

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