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While waiting for my 3D printer to arrive I have searched, read, downloaded, installed and tested (played with) so much that my head is ready to explode.  One thing that is obvious is that there isn't much O scale available online that is ready-to-print (free or otherwise).  I won't get into scaling here... because, it isn't always lineal and even that may be beyond someone's ability.   Why should parts that are unavailable be continually modeled?  Would it be helpful to *all* if we had a Repository for O scale 3D files to make it easier for everyone to find/upload/download these files?

I will make any of the 3D files I create freely available to all forum members (without having to do so privately) via ftp.  I have quite a bit of storage/backup space (around 20TB) and 2 machines that run 24/7 as well as decent bandwidth... 200MB Up & Down.

opinions please...


Last edited by Dennis-LaRock
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Pretty underwhelming reply to view ratio.   I suppose that the majority of members are probably in my age group (i.e., seniors) and have no interest in 3D printing which is totally understandable.   I am a little surprised that a couple (or, a few) of the younger members did not respond.  I’ll set up the ftp server in the next week or so and see what the future holds.   

It will probably take me a month or so to provide any .stl(s) as I am new to 3D printing and will have to gain some modest level of proficiency before doing so.


I am very interested in what you are saying and totally agree, I've run into the same situation where I have to make most everything myself as there isn't much out there.

are you saying that you will host this FTP site for all forum members (or anyone) to use for up and downloading? 

I've had many requests to make 3D prints for members which I have turned down as that is not what I want to spend time doing, but will give them the STL files that they could print or have printed.

So I have a good list of parts made already and am sure to be designing more that I could share.

Many of my STL files run up to and some well over 100KB

I would recommend not only having STL files available but also STP files in case someone wants to modify a part for their individual needs.

I've found that it is important to be able to find a file once made when the data base can be very large.

Would there be a means to control someone from trying to sell this information that we give freely or do we care?

Like I said, yes I'm in if we have a workable system and database to do this.

Shown is some of the parts that would be available.



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Last edited by sidehack

Ray,  Yes, I'll host it.  I'm fairly good at organizing... and, kind of have that figured out.  I certainly will listen to suggestions... and would be hopeful that y'all kinda help me with the protocol(s).   There are a-holes everywhere... however, I don't really care if someone try's to profit off it ....they'll rot, you know where.  This is really about the hobby and it's enhancement.  I can make the site as tight as you want... passwords, encryption, whatever or, leave it open ...y'all can help me figure out the best practices/approach.


Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

My son's gave me a 3d printer for Christmas last year Since that time, I have printed 1 item...just to see what it can do and the possibilities are endless.  My lack of doing anything further is the absence of files that I want or am willing to pay for.  I did run across one forum member that had done some great things and I asked if I may purchase files so I could build.  That was met with a stern rebuke and a pretty lousy attitude so I just forgot about it.  Due to the lack of files, I considered getting a 3D camera to make my own files...again, not a motivating proposition.  

I will say this, I would gladly consider paying a membership to this site to have access to files without having to worry about royalties or copyright violations.  Additionally, how many of the items we would want to print would be in competition with Forum sponsors?  People, fences, scenic details, out of production engine and/or rolling stock pieces?

Standardization of file formats is another consideration.  

I look forward to joining and subscribing for this purpose.

Some believe that as they have spent time developing models that time has value.  

For those folks, I don't expect them to participate.

This is not a needed source of funding for me. So i have no issues sharing.

However, I don't have a ready easy to find inventory of items. I have maybe hundreds of models that are not well-organized because I was making things on the fly.

Many or a lot of the things I made I don't use because I have revised my designs or layout plans. It's a very iterative design process. So I'd be losing money if I was a manufacturer of Ogauge products.  Gladly I'm not.

Still again I have no issues sharing.

The repository (library) would *not* be a part of the this forum or have *any* relationship with this website whatsoever (unless, the brass at OGR want it to be).  I will host it personally and as a software developer I am *extremely* well versed in copyright.  It probably would not hurt if one was a member or better yet a supporting member...

Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

In answer to Alan's question, and knowing next to nothing about 3D print software, couldn't someone who downloaded an existing file modify it by changing (lengthen or shorten) the escalator size or modifying (increase or decrease) the angle of descent with the proper software?  And here, let me quote Gunrunner John: "No job is so easy as the one you imagine someone else doing."


Dennis, I think it is a great idea and would be very valuable to the community. I haven't gotten a printer yet, but I am very interested and am excited to see what you come up with. I am always happy to see projects on the forum where people are moving in a more DIY direction as it allows for more customization and flexibility. 

To customize a stairway for anyone is where Rhino 6's Grasshopper sub-program comes in. I guess I could have programmed one stair step tread run and riser height that would be sloped at an entered variable angle that then multiplied  to become a series of steps to obtain a variable height floor to floor and extruded to the specified width.  

Enter height, width and slope in Grasshopper and you would create a specific stair model in Rhino 6. Now that I say it out loud it could be fairly easy to do that.

In Rhino, like most other 3D programs, you start with a 2D drawing of a stair and extrude it into 3D. Or take a  curve that twists in 3 space, place a circle at one end and extrude the circle about the curve to create a 3D pipe in three space. The possibilities are endless. 

The win (and fail) of existing sites like thingiverse, is the ability to search and find collections of like things. 

When I think of ftp, I think of old school navigation of a filesystem tree and trying to guess what was really intended by someones file naming convention, and hoping that they included a readme file describing what each file is. Are you planning a front end for the ftp site? 


Yes, I'm as old as an ftp site.  Firstly, this is not a monetary generating endeavor... it is a small group of like minded people who are willing to give their time and money to assist others involved in the hobby they are enthusiastic about.  Secondly, what is the volume of available information?   Thirdly, the progression of the build. 

Initially, things need to be assembled... data, files, descriptions, photographs and videos ...etc.  These materials need to be well organized and properly tagged.  As the materials are uploaded to there respective folders they will also be placed in a database.  Now, is it worth the time and money to build a front end and have it hosted?  Let's assume we have all the materials needed to complete ten (10) 3D printouts (I have not been able to find 10 complete Model RR O-scale 3D printouts in a month of searching... remember *scaled*).   Is that the point at which a GUI is built?  Is it 50, 100?  At the beginning downloading a master list of the available 3D printouts that contains a description and photographs of items available would seem fairly navigable... read the description, look at the photographs and download the file(s).   It's free.

If, we hit an unmanageable number I can write the front end in the language of your choosing (I prefer C)...


Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

I like this idea. I print quite a few things myself. Nothing O gauge yet, but that’s due to the lack of available items. My only thought is, other than the site not working half the time lol, what’s stopping you instead of using your own site from just creating a repository or group on Thingiverse or the like? Not trying to discourage the use of your own in anyway, but just curious is all. 


So far this year my servers have been down just a whisker under 7 hours due to power outages (I live in New Orleans)... not bad for a home setup.  There is nothing *stopping* me from using a group service.  I don't use one... and, I haven't spent any time analyzing the pros/cons of doing so.  You, or anyone interested in this project can certainly set up an account on the service of your choosing and we can beta test it.  If it's adequate... you/them would be providing a great service to and enhancement of the hobby... that, I would wholeheartedly support!  Please, have at it!!!



Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

Dennis, great idea! I am onside 100 percent. Got my Elegoo resin printer about 2 months ago and have been having a blast making mostly scenic parts so far. I have two related threads running in the Scenery category here on the forum.

Most of the items I have printed were downloaded from Thingiverse, and started out as HO, G, 28mm, or 1:10 .stl files. Elegoo's slicer software allows you to scale up or down in all 3 axis, or only one. Its not perfect, but the results are generally pretty good. I have also had good success printing most objects flat on the build platform, without the need for rafts and support fingers.

I have been pushing for  repository site for 3d files and your plan looks like a great idea. Happy to share any files that I have. 


Hi Dennis,

I think this is a great idea.  My son keeps pushing to make more use of the 3D printer that I have.  I originally bought it so that I could recreate draw slides that weren't available for an old metal desk that I use for my train workbench.  Luckily my daughter, who is an engineer, is quite adept at using CAD software to design the slides that I needed.

My son is 26 and living back home since he changed jobs and this location is 40 miles closer to the new job.  While he is here he is helping me with building a pretty large layout.  He has the train bug and is probably one of the few that will keep the hobby going.  He just joined the TCA.

In the meantime, I think he would love to get the 3D printer re-set up and start printing things for use on the layout.  I was telling him about the escalator that Alan built and he was very interested in building something like that.

Let us know if you need any help in setting up the files, etc.


Hey Guys,

I looked into Thingiverse as I have heard that it is a pretty big hub for the 3D printing community. I created an account and uploaded a project I am working on intermittently to design a Railking Husky Stack compatible shipping container. Right now it is just a rectangle with the right dimensions.

The site seems to work pretty well and even generated an image of what the project looks like so far (even if it is not much).

Screenshot [38)

The site allows you to create your own collections which would be a huge benefit as you could name different collections depending on what they hold. For example, I put my shipping container in the "O Gauge Scenery" collection I created.

Screenshot [36)

Here you can see what the collection inside looks like. Another benefit is that there is tracking among the accounts. So, if you posted something I could save it to my collection and it would still have your name attached to it, ensuring credit.

Screenshot [37)

Dennis, you could still create your own system, but that seems like it might be a lot of unnecessary work when there are good out of the box solutions that are free. The only thing is that you likely have to spend time growing the collection. I still think it would be an extremely valuable resource.

Here is the link if you want to check it out for yourself:


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My .02 cents:  Freely available and well operating NOW doesn't mean it will stay that way next year or the years after that.  I can remember plenty of websites and software packages that started out as free, but had to switch to subscription, or pay-for-use, models to keep the lights on and the programs running.

And what happens if somebody contributes something in 2020, sees changes to the operation in 2021, and then decides to remove their contribution in 2022?  Would that be possible?  Legal?  Could intervening users be threatened with a fee to keep what they printed with someone else's files?  And how much of any of these answers depends on Thingverse policies?

So, is it even worth .02 cents?



The same could be said for anyone hosting files. There is no saying how long that the OGR forum will continue support our post (Hopefully a long time). The nice thing about thingiveser is that they are own by stratasys one of the oldest 3D printer manufacturers. The aren’t likely to disappear overnight.

As for legal action any platform could face similar issues. However, the likely hood of that becoming a problem is low. It would take work to find everyone that download your file and then tell them that the file is no longer under creative commons license and that they need to start paying for it. I’m also not sure they would have the legal authority to do that since the user that uploaded the file also agreed to a creative commons license.

My point is thingiveser is a great platform for sharing files.  

While waiting for my 3D printer to arrive I have searched, read, downloaded, installed and tested (played with) so much that my head is ready to explode.  One thing that is obvious is that there isn't much O scale available online that is ready-to-print (free or otherwise).  I won't get into scaling here... because, it isn't always lineal and even that may be beyond someone's ability.   Why should parts that are unavailable be continually modeled?  Would it be helpful to *all* if we had a Repository for O scale 3D files to make it easier for everyone to find/upload/download these files?

I will make any of the 3D files I create freely available to all forum members (without having to do so privately) via ftp.  I have quite a bit of storage/backup space (around 20TB) and 2 machines that run 24/7 as well as decent bandwidth... 200MB Up & Down.

opinions please...


Keep in mind that you can rescale any STL in your slicer to any size you want. I have taken HO models to standard gauge size. I use Ideamaker, you can also resize in different ratios for each axis (X, Y and Z). Just type in the new dimension. You can also slice the model into parts if it's too big to print, then just glue the parts back together. I have done GG1 shells that are 30" long (my printer will do 15")

I have purchased STL's from several modellers that have their stuff on Shapeways (who prints parts). Some of the designers will not even sell a copy of the STL because they are afraid that it will become 'wild' on the internet, available to anyone that wants to print it. They derive a small income everytime Shapeways prints a part.

I probably have 1000 hrs on my CR-1), and anxiously awaiting a large UV cure printer (very fine detail).


@AlanRail posted:

An .stl of my double head signal is on another thread.

Alan, I had a look at your posted .stl file in chitubox; really nice, amazingly realistic. Only question, is there supposed to be a second signal head, or did I miss it? I see only one signal head that looks like the lower of the two, since it has the mitered support post. I would like to try a test print of the file and see what success I have, though ladders and railings are often problematic.



OK... done with the cleanup from a windy weekend... now, onto more important stuff.

I do not disagree or have any issue with using any of the services pro-offered.  Does anyone have an account on one of the services where you can create a group?  If yes, then *invite* me and I/we can upload/download some test data and see how it is organized within that group.

Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

Ray, you are *the man*!  I have to set up the permissions... and, (here we go again) I have to iron the curtains for under my layout/benchwork NOW as my wife is setup and ready now to sew (hem?) them.  You can try a test upload to the 01 Test folder... I can't remember if I left it opened or not...

I'll be back in a while... THANKS!

Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

This is a great subject, it comes at a time when I'm starting to think about 3-D Printing, my only concern right now, is I have no clue where to start, I've been looking at some videos on who has the best unit or their top-5 units but I haven't  found one yet that says this is basically what you need to get started.  Obviously, I have a computer, an I-Mac but what type (s) of software do you need to get started?  I've seen a number of different printers and I don't know what to start out with.  I'm interested in making parts for some of my locomotives that seem to be lacking parts or maybe changing some parts out that are on there but could make the engine look a lot better if it had some more detail parts.  Is there somewhere one could go to find out this information before investing a bunch of money and then finding out that it just may not be for you.  Had that happen a couple of times and would really like to avoid it a 3rd time.  It really seems like it would be very interesting and a lot of fun to do.

Great thread, thanks for starting it.

Last edited by J. Motts


   Thank you for putting up the Repository it will be a great source to those who 3d print train related models.   I visited the site and think it is coming along quite well.  Is there a way to put on the scale of the model posted so that you could then modify to what size is appropriate for you scale trains?   Again thanks for taking on this project.



All of the Contributors are modeling in O scale/gauge which is the original and specific intent/purpose of the Repository.  Firstly, we would like new comers to 3D printing to have *early successes* and not become frustrated, even by adjusting the scale... and secondly, for modellers not to *have* to constantly reinvent the wheel freeing them up for more creative endeavors.   If someone mistakenly (lord knows it could be me... I could even label the scale incorrectly) puts up the wrong scale file please let me or one of the Contributors know and we will deal with it.  I'll add some verbiage to remind folks that it is for O only.

Thanks for the insight!

Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

The main heading states O-Scale, everything under that heading then would be O-Scale, what would be a help in many cases is to put a few dimensions on the part that is in the photo which would let users have a good idea of the size at the start.  For example:

Roof Sign BBA_1

There also might be a word.doc explaining specifics that might be needed to help print the part.


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Last edited by sidehack
@CAPPilot posted:

I'm looking at getting a Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer.  Is this a reasonable printer for our hobby?

I have the Ender 2, works great for our hobby.  I recommend trying some of the freebies at Thingiverse to get a feel for your machine and get it dialed in. I found that heating up the plate again at the end helps when removing the prints.

Rose twist vase was made on rough setting, took less than 1 hour - It's been painted.  The Fractal Pyramid took around 5 hours.



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JEM… and, all considering the purchase of a 3D printer,

Before buying a 3D printer I would suggest signing up with TinkerCad… it is a free, browser-based CAD program with interactive tutorials.  Take your time and go through all the tutorials… then, take the simplest design that you want to create and create it in TinkerCad.  At this point you have spent $0.00

Once completed, you will be in a much better position to decide which 3D printer to purchase... and, you will have a much easier learning curve to the software that comes with your printer and other available CAD offerings.


Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

I printed out an Elevated Track for my City.  I designed all the parts parts for the El and then found the ones for the Passenger Platforms.  Here is the link to my post:  Link to Elevated Post

I used NX to develop the models, exported them to .stl, and then used Simply3D to print them out.  I talked to a professional friend that I know does modeling for his company and he said to use Simply3D to set up the model and to print it out.

OK!  Less than a week in and we have 20+ .slt files in the Repository!

Ray, really, really GREAT JOB!  Thank You!

Testing is basically done (it never really ends) so it's time for anyone who would like to contribute to the Repository to get some files up.  If you would like to contribute please let me know and I will set you up to do so.

Rock On!


Last edited by Dennis-LaRock
@AlanRail posted:

Moving forward I have 2D lasercut prints. some are 3D engraved prints. Also combinations of 3D and 2D prints.

Alan,  If you have interest in putting them in the Repository that would be GREAT!!  If not, that's cool too.  I'll add the folders for them... in a bit ... bit over, Done.


Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

These are for my Track Vacuum Maintenance car; an idea that was first proposed by  LEE WILLIS, kudos to him. I am using the same MooSoo vacuum he did but in a laser-cut car of my own design that fits the shape of the MooSoo.

These are 3D prints of the lighted end inspection dome and the scoop attachment; the 4 smaller scoop looking things are for down lights.

Once I have the car completed I will share the .stl s


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OK... Very nice conversation with Alan (the publisher) and some very good things will be happening with and about this thread going forward... and, fairly quickly.   I'll defer to Alan on making any announcements.  I'm sure the participants of this thread and others will be very pleased.

In the meantime... lets get some .STL(s) UP!!!!!

Rock On!


Last edited by Dennis-LaRock
Working on the Track Vacuum Maintenance car. completed the scoop.
The scoop worked out great see photo of vac in cardboard simulated car. The small brush that comes with the MooSoo can be attached to the scoop in the small holes on the scoop to brush the track loosen debris on the track before vacuuming..
vac scoop1.jpg
The control cage did not work out as much, the cage  was too thin. So I increased the diameters.
Also in my rush to build I tend to laser print everything together.
I forget that real plastic models are in parts for a reason, like ease of painting different colors. hard to do when it's one piece.
See below. so I separated the pieces adding pins and holes.
vac dome and control.JPG
I added video screens to simulate feedback from cameras near the lights(not there). The buttons on the panel  will be very very small.
vac control.JPG
.stls  coming.

Alan,  I had to do a bunch of physical labor from about 6 til noon... and, I was up @2:30am.  The catalog is easy... but, I suck at it.  Just because one can program does not mean one is good at formatting documents!

I hope that the files absolutely pour-in for the foreseeable future.  I did put up a 2D laser, a 3D Engraver and a 2D/3D Combo folder.  It will probably take 50-75 folders before I can get serious about the Directory Tree... I'm doing a little renaming as we go along.  Ray = HERCULES!@!


Great project. Congratulations!

Two pieces of feedback:

1) I can see no way to browse the items short of downloading each model one at a time. The "image" icons don't work for me, and all the files show generic icons, not images of the item. I am on a Mac, and have tried three different browsers (Safari, Brave, and Chrome).

2) It would be nice to be able to tell how many models are in a given folder. I frequently drill down several levels only to discover an empty folder.

Not complaints at all, just constructive feedback.

Thanks for doing this!

The Menards Power Plant smoke stack replacement. I didn't care for the placement or the style of the Menards Power Plant dual chimneys .  This is a two piece stack where one fits on top of the other and can be located anywhere but over the doors.

menards smoke stack

I paint striped mine with alternating colors of white and red.


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Update: 10/19 as of 11:22am... we have been live (sort of) for exactly seven (7) days and have 35 Items that are O-Scale 3D print ready in the Repository!  Just think, at 1 file per day from here on out and we would have almost 400 items in *O-Scale* available and ready for Modelers to print, in a year hence.

Thank the Contributors!!!

Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

Update: 10/24.  At 8:37am we will celebrate our three (3) week birthday!

In that relatively diminutive span of time... 55 O-Scale, 3D readily available and printable items have been contributed to the Repository... and, OGR has graciously has set us up with our own distinct Forum!

Download the Catalog and some .stl(s), add a Topic (ask questions, provide info) on the Forum and join in.  We live to serve!


@AlanRail posted:

As to LASER CUTTERS you need to use .svg files not .stl or .obj  files. Whew!

NOTE: Joanne Fabrics stores in your area may have Glowforge laser cutters for public use; Some of those stores sell Glowforges.

Thanks Alan,

I just went to Joanne's Fabrics.  Their Glowforge Plus is $15.00 per hour to rent plus the cost of the material (Plywood or Acrylic in my case).  The Program they use at this store (Metaire, LA) is *Inkscape*... and, they do sell Glowforge's at this location.

I have about 16 feet of Viaduct I would like to construct... I'll have to do a cost analysis.

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