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With the rise of these new 3D printers, I have personally seen first-hand what they're capable of. It takes a lot of time to both draw the parts you want, and for the machine to fabricate, but I see great uses in model railroading.

 

They work like inkjet printers, melting plastic and shooting it out the nozzle into a pattern you program like a CNC machine. With sizes of 9x9x9 (inches) for home use designs, you could easily fabricate rough models and dremel it into a finished product. Its almost a hard nylon after it's been processed, but some machines support different material that can be painted.

 

Scratch build that building, engine, or car you always wanted.

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I got a Micro Mark catalog a couple of days ago. They have a 3D printer kit for $724.95. Typical assembly time 30 hours. It's interesting. If I was younger, and the eyes, and brain were better I'd probably get one along with that mini lathe and milling machine. But that ship has sailed for me. This one will do 7 7/8 x 7 7/8 x 7 7/8. Layers less than .010"

All this talk about 3D printing, and it's a technology that isn't even on my radar screen.  Perhaps it's a sign of age, but I have neither the time, interest, nor desire to produce my own products with 3D-printer technology.    I'll leave that for other folks to tinker with, as I'm more than content to purchase products that have all the detail I need from today's major importers.

 

David

Last edited by Rocky Mountaineer

I saw the "overhyped" article and that wasn't actually what he said. He was merely cautioning that the printing is only a part of a much larger process with many aspects, and that progress may come in tiny steps (although most of the steps this year have been pretty darned big if you ask me.)

 

When we looked at those beautiful night layout shots, and we noticed the stiff pose of the figures, we all had the same thought: how long before someone scans live actors and prints them in natural poses? At this rate, we can have Rich leaning out the window or Hot Water checking the fire.

Originally Posted by mike.caruso:
Originally Posted by shawn:

"The father of 3D printing says it’s overhyped". .

 

Tell that to this guy!  

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...ident-134100020.html

 

- Mike

3D printing is ideal for one-off high cost items, not so useful for 10,000 of a low cost item.  They seem to have found a home in rapid prototyping where the cost is secondary to getting an accurate model so you can evaluate fit, form, and function.

 

Another point is for those examples that are posted, they didn't do them on a $1,000 desktop 3D printer, but rather on a $20,000-30,000 machine.

 

I think the breakthrough needs to be made in the area of producing the design of the model, any reasonably complicated item will take a lot of CAD work to create the print image.

 

You can practice for "the future" by learning to build your own 3D-printable models in your computer.

 

If you manage to get good at it but still can't quite swing a good enough printer, there are businesses who have made the investment in high-end printers who can print your design files for you (Shapeways, for example)

 

If I were to explore that tactic, I'd look at making some O-scale passenger car seats that could be reproduced with rubber molds so I could inexpensively turn out a few hundred copies to outfit the passenger cars I have from the "silhouette strip" era. (and then sell additional copies to folks who chose not to take the initiative

 

---PCJ

You don't even need a printer. Shapeways - http://www.shapeways.com/ - has plenty of O scale / On30 / On3 parts available. Some reasonable, some not so much.

 

It has tremendous potential. In Z scale, for example, 3D printed loco designs are available that fit on a common drive. Dozens of previously unavailable engines are now within grasp. Plenty of detail parts in other scales are being designed as well.

 

I think 3D printing will have a huge impact on the future of our hobby.

I have an M3D printer on order.  I contributed to their Kickstarter campaign and I should be receiving it early 2015.  I'm already thinking about what I might do first and an easy and needed product might be the K-Line Shay extended drawbar.    I know nothing about 3D Cad but my daughter is a civil engineer and proficient in Solidworks.  She going to get lots of calls from me.

 

This is going to be fun!  

Last edited by Chris Lord

I also have a 3D printer on order and it distorted my summer budget but I paid only low money for a 8" build cube area and resolution at .1mm which equates to 0.0039" call it .004. That's pretty small resolution.

It has heated build plate and uses PLA or ABS plastic in a standard size.

Check out the Solidoodle Press.

Note, I made an early order so I got it for a major discount.

 

UnclePeteRR;

You need at the minimum; top, side, front and back pictures at high res.

A scanner with which to port them into a computer if they are not digital

A 3D CAD program that allows you to build over a backdrop you import

If the CAD program does not output .stl files you need a conversion program.

OR

A 3D scanner, those cost more than the printers if I recall correctly.

 

However, you may find the figures or files you need at the places listed in this thread. I have one figure of correct size but it's a fantasy wizard.

Last edited by Russell
Originally Posted by Russell:

I also have a 3D printer on order and it distorted my summer budget but I paid only low money for a 8" build cube area and resolution at .1mm which equates to 0.0039" call it .004. That's pretty small resolution.

It has heated build plate and uses PLA or ABS plastic in a standard size.

Check out the Solidoodle Press.

Note, I made an early order so I got it for a major discount.

 

(follows link)

 

$449 is with or without the discount? 

 

That's not much different than a typical command-equipped diesel.

I think I need to start resume learning some 3D stuff (eyes his copy of Google Sketchup*)

 

---PCJ

*(there is a plugin available that allows it to export .STL files needed for printing)

Originally Posted by Russell:
...You need at the minimum; top, side, front and back pictures at high res.

A scanner with which to port them into a computer if they are not digital

A 3D CAD program that allows you to build over a backdrop you import

If the CAD program does not output .stl files you need a conversion program...

I've been told that some of the 3D scanning options can be temperamental and not consistently reliable.  It was not specified if this problem was software or hardware related.

 

IMHO 3D printing has tremendous potential in so many diverse industries.  The current bio-medical 3D printing research studies are an amazingly "WOW!" application that possibly can benefit so many people.

 

From an O gauge industry standpoint, since Lionel is currently using 3D printers to design products and some parts, I would hope that Lionel would create and sell their version of K-Line's 0-31 2-truck Shay locomotive coupler bracket/guide to be used on the recent Lionel 2 truck Legacy Shays.

Originally Posted by ptalar:

Look at the first comment in the link at the bottom of the article on 3D printing.  Apparently somebody is already making 3D Ogauge railroad track.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/bus...ng-shaped-technology

 


Close--it's scale models of a specific type of tie plate used by an obscure 1800's railway. But yeah.

 

I'm considering attending Maker Faire in NYC this weekend. There are supposed to be demonstations of 3D scanning as well as printing (among other technological gee-whizzery). I have an obscure MPC part for a bottom-end loco that hasn't been made since the early 1980's. Maybe I can get someone to scan it as a demonstation...and someone else to print it

 

---PCJ

Originally Posted by BetaNuSigmaPhi:
Originally Posted by leikec:

One of the cool things down the road in 3d printing is that you don't need to sell 10000 low cost copies--you can sell 10000 low cost copies of the printing file.

 

 

 

Jeff C

...until the file is copied illigally and distributed unauthorized, like movies and music today...

Which doesn't make the technology any less cool. 

 

Jeff C

 

 

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