No. When STL file opens the object plops vertically onto the virtual build surface. You the have XYZ positioning control and the 360 degree rotation control in all three axes. If the object is beyond the Mars’ print envelope it will tell you. If you move a part of the object out of the print range that part will turn red. The reason for all this flexibility is there are many ways to set all this up, from printing flat on the platen to all the various angles. You may have to change the angle to accommodate overhang problems. 


as to the lighting why not print long fluorescent tube enclosures and insert small LEDS inside then hang them down.

Myles, Sorry my question wasn't very clear.  What I meant to ask was, when printing multiple objects is possible, does software ask how many your want to print and then auto arrange for best fit within the build envelope? Some slicing software i have looked at does this after initial orientation and addition of support structure is complete.




No you must arrange the objects and duplicate them. My software will let you mirror and re-scale them as well.

Also the software will tell you if you have placed the object outside the print volume or if objects are overlapping; AND if there are unsupported or issues with the print.

Alan I can't remember what slicer I was looking at in Autodesk Fusion 360 and I am unable to open the software to check now due a graphics problem with my computer.

What software are you using to prepare STL files for printing?



SGMRET, no it doesn't do that. It leaves a lot to the user. I will say that my tests with 2 up, 3 up and 6 up all worked. Their rafts merged together. I finished printing all 6 smoke jacks, trimmed one tonight and then just placed one of the flared receivers to check fit. It's a loose slip fit and will work fine with thick CA. In this view you can clearly see the eyelids. I had to add a bit of Bondic to a little ragged edge of the cone. It was an easy fix. The color of the bell is due to being left under the curing lights all day. I forgot to take it out and it really got cooked. Still works, but it does get more brittle. It's a non-load-bearing part which helps.

EH Smoke Jack Assem

I also experimented with just printing some thin rings that will hold the fan screen on the AC units. The print worked great!. I added the screen to one to see how it would work. I wasn't really sure if this would work. The rings are only about 1/32" thick, but the resin is tough and they are correctly sized. Since they were so low, the print took 40 minutes.

EH Screen Rings

Here's the ring and the screen, untrimmed.

EH AC Screen Guard

I picked up the airplane model today. It's not base metal, it's solid cast brass. Ergo it will be solderable with conventional means. It weighs a ton, and the upper wing is completely separated from the lower and all the struts are separated and loose. I'll need to jig the wings to hold them in place to do all the soldering. My commission is substantial so it's worth the effort.

Next post will be on Monday. Sorry to have you wait for more good stuff.


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Myles, You really have got a handle on this new printer. I'm impressed at how fast you've advanced in the operational characteristics of this device. Keep up the the excellent work and thanks for taking the time to post.



the slicer is built into FormLabs  PREFORM program. I think it's a variation of Blender

Alan and Myles

Thank you both for answering my questions. I have ordered the ELEGOO MARS printer and I am looking forward to start printing some more prints for my signals. I hope I'm up to the challenge. LOL


I should get a finder's fee...

Happy Monday! Our Philly friends were here from Thursday thru yesterday. We visited the Heaven Hill major Bourbon production facility, the Bernheim Distillery (named after I.W.Bernheim, the father of the modern bourbon industry). It was eye opening for them. I've already been there. That picture that I used to model my distillery was still on the lobby wall, and, surprisingly, the model I built for them was sitting in the same lobby. They moved it from the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, during the multi-million dollar expansion. They didn't want it to get damaged. It was fun seeing it there and the lead supervisor, who gave us the tour, was quite interested in the model and how I built it.

Today I got back to work. Took a step forward and then one backwards. I prepared all the previously grown parts (I'm no longer calling it printing) and got them ready for painting. I cleaned up the flange rings and marked their location by holding the stacks up to the roof and marking one of them. I then used the surface gauge to scribe this location on all the stacks. I had to very lightly relieve the i.d. of the flange rings. The printer is so accurate that since I used the o.d. of the stack as the i.d. of the ring in drawing them in SketchUp, they were an interference fit. I used a diamond coated burr in the Dremel to just shave a few thou. It was now a sliding fit. I put them into position and used some thin CA to hold them there forever.

EH Stack Ring Marking

To paint the stacks I drilled a 2 X 4 with 1/4" drill and inserted dowels of the same size and then hung the stacks onto the dowels. I attached the bells to masking tape loops for painting. I put the HVAC assemblies onto masking loops too. Then when I went to pick up the cardboard all three broke free of the tape and hit the concrete in the basement. They were only holding by the very small bottom of their feet. Things came apart! While the cured resin is brittle, it's no where near as brittle as the CA is. One had both vent units pop off, another had one. One leg fractured and the leg frame broke in two and came off. I fixed all this. But one had a leg break off including the angle braces. I chose to grow another one. That's just finishing up downstairs as I'm writing this. Nice thing about growing your own parts; break something, grow another one.

I took all this outside and first primed everything and then shot the HVACs with Tamiya Bare Metal Silver. I used red oxide for the stack parts. I'm going to over coat these with Tamiya Dark Iron by airbrush and then lightly sand back to expose some of the "rusty red" underneath. 

The back unit is sitting without legs. I'll do them separately tomorrow. This was the gray primer coat. Below them are the rings that will hold on the guard screen.

EH ACs Primed

Stack bells go on underneath after the stacks are in the roof.

EH Stack Bells Primed

Here's the stacks. The flange rings really added to them. The nuts and bolts both on the bottom and sides really worked out well. Those flanges would have been much harder to make by hand. I could turn them and then drill and add the bolt details. Growing them is easier.

EH Stacks Primed

I also painted the inside of the access doors one coat of the Corel Blue and will do the outsides tomorrow. 

While all this was drying I started messing around with the aircraft restoration. I weighed the two parts. The fuselage and short wings weighed 20.6 pounds and the main wing, nacelles and tail section weighed a whopping 28.4 pounds. Together it will weigh almost 50 pounds. It's a beast. I picked up the threaded rod, nuts and washers at Lowe's. I'm making the fixturing out of these. They threw me a curve. I ordered 10 pieces of 3/8 X 12" threaded rod so I wouldn't have to cut the steel. I went today to pick up the order and they tell me the threaded rod was cancelled since they didn't have any. What?!  So they got me two pieces of 24" three pieces of 36" meaning I have to hacksaw or abrasive cut them to my length. I don't have a metal cutting bandsaw… yet.

I've been working literally for days trying to capture the geometry of the 567's blower outlet manifold. Besides having the egg crate ribs on its surface it has an angular/curved back that has been a real bugger in getting SketchUp to shape it correctly and then make sure it's solid. I'm getting really close… I've said this before. Growing parts changes the equation from crafting to drawing. It's still not right… I'm thinking of another approach.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 11.32.31 PM




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I'm still struggling with that air manifold. Every time I think I've nailed it, I haven't. I can get the geometry close, but then I find that it's not a solid and therefore, will not print. I keep going at it. 

I got into the shop at about 2:00 today and thought I had a lot of time, but then a call from my nephew in L.A. with a car buying question, and then a call from my son with another car buying question and I blew over an hour and half of work time. That said, I did get some stuff done.

Overnight, the printer grew another set of legs for the broken ones. If no one knew what I was talking about, that sentence could easily be misunderstood. I then painted that set bare metal and, at the same time, painted the other side of the entry doors. It's the same Coral Blue as the trusses. Not glued in. When the landscaping is run up to the building foundation, the door will be at ground level.

EH Door Color

I noted that I wanted to paint the lighting cabling so it was less obtrusive. I was going to spray this too, and the then realized that it would use a ton of masking tape and that costs $$$ too.  I mixed up a color using artists tube acrylics and nailed the color. It was green, blue, yellow and white. Probably didn't need the yellow since it simply mixed with the blue and made more green. Regardless, it was quick and after brush painting a couple of coats the wires receded into the background a bit. It will even be more hidden when those bright lights are lit.

EH Circuit Paint

I airbrushed the stacks with Tamiya Dark Iron along with the bells and then when dry, turned the bells over and painted their interior matte NATO Black. I did have a 3/4" spade bit with which to drill the holes in the roof. I measured and noted location and drilled the six holes. The flanges covered any irregularities perfectly. Each stack is centered over the tracks at both ends.

EH Stack Placement 2

I'm going to simulate "Durolast" white vinyl membrane roofing so I bought some white duct tape to do the trick. I will coat the entire roof with some sanding sealer first to give it a better surface for the tape's adhesive. This is a modern building so a membrane roof is in order. I don't know about the machine shop roof. I will have to check with my roofing proetege and see what he recommends.

All the HVAC units are now built and overall painted. I still have to paint the inside of the fan housing and put on the grills. I need to find a more secure way of fastening these units to the roof. The legs offer very little surface area for gluing. Also, I would think there would be ducting from the units into the building. It's that ducting that will provide a better connection. I draw it up and grow some. The stacks are almost too short for the guy wires… One of the truly great things about growing your own parts is if you break one, you just wait a day and another grows for you exactly like the one you screwed up. That's pretty darn cool!

EH Stack Placement

I also bought paint stripper and paint for the S-38 restoration. It thought about scraping off all the old paint, but using stripper seemed like a better idea. I need to start with bare metal and work backwards. Paint over that crappy paint doesn't make any sense. When I do a restoration, it's really a restoration.


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If you want, can you send me by mail drawings (even the .skp file, it would be better), photos, all you have for this part you don't manage to find the right shape. As I also work on SKETCHUP, I will try to help you.

Mail in my profile

jpv in France

Thanks guys,

JPV, I most certainly will, and please, when you solve it, tell me how you did it so I can learn. I have the most trouble with SU when doing contours.

Here are the roller door prints. I realized when going to sleep last night that I didn't hollow them out and was wasting a lot of $$$ resin. I just re-drew it to rectify this and am printing the 3rd one now. Some of the itty-bitsy details like the chain drive and sprockets didn't form really well. I've also modified the drawing to get this better. It doesn't matter, but I'm using each iteration as a learning point.

EH Roller Door Prints 1st batch


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Last edited by Trainman2001

Jean Pat has received the 567 blower drawing files so it won't be long now for me to get that 567 done. Meanwhile, work still continues on all the engine house particulars. I printed all three of the faux roller door mechanisms. I corrected some problems with the first two by hollowing out the last, and supporting some of the tiny details that weren't growing correctly. Doesn't matter, invisible in the end...

Finished up the HVAC units and painted the details and weathered the track bumpers. Put a coat of sanding sealer on the roof upper surface in preparation for receiving its membrane roofing.

The HVAC units needed something more to connect them to the roof other than those spindly legs. I wanted to make a simple box that would sit below and serve as the ductwork leading to the interior and also provide a substantial gluing surface to the roof. I thought about scratch-building them out of styrene. Then I did a quick work/$$$ analysis in my head and decided to grow them instead. It took just a few minutes to measure the height and draw it up in SU. The first two are just coming off the machine now. I was able to grow them 2-up on the machine.

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 7.04.16 PM

The parts grew in a little over 2 hours. I just went down and got them, and they fit perfectly. Two more are growing now as I write this. This capability continues to amaze me. I wondered how I was able to build without it. On this unit, the duct was a little high. I'll glue on the duct and then sand it until everything touches at the same time.

EH HVAC Duct Position

Here are the first two ducts. I made them hollow and fairly thin and they used only about 12 cents of resin for each one.


I learned something about the machine today. After printing the first two roller door assemblies, I started to print the next two, but decided that making them solid was wasting resin. I stopped the print and went upstairs and redrew the part, saved it on the thumb drive and then loaded the new program on the machine and pressed start. It went to the bottom and started making strange noises and the drive was moving up and down. I thought the stepper motor was failing and was very bummed out. After messing with it and seeing that it was unable to move and was acting like it was slipping, I paused it and went to manual and raised the platen and the stepper worked perfectly. Then it hit me. The aborted print had already started building up layers on the platen, when the platen was trying to go to the zero (start) position with the new print, it was being blocked by the resin that was solidified on the platen. It was trying to push past it, but couldn't. I removed the platen, scraped off the remnants of the old print, and started it again. It worked perfectly. Not only that, but I apparently didn't mess up the FEP release surface since the next roller door mech came out just fine as did the duct print that followed. The machine seems to be protected from being jammed and it didn't do any damage. Good design! I took the opportunity to lube the lead screw using some special gear lube I bought at the York Show a few years ago.

Here's the three roller doors after priming. I haven't decided what final color I'm going to use. Possibly white with a  yellow control cabinet. I may go with that Coral Blue. I kind of like it.

EH Roller Door Paint

I masked all the remaining HVAC units and the bumpers for the black detail painting. Lots and lots of masking for a very little amount of paint.

EH Masking for Black Paint

After the black, as before, I picked out the fan blades with chrome silver. I then added the protection screen (bridal tulle) and glued the ring to the body. Instead of attempting to stretch the tulle over the fan and glue the ring on top as I did with the first one, I reversed the process. I stretched the tulle flat and taped it down, applied pressure sensitive adhesive to the ring and when dry, stuck it to the tulle. Then with a brand new #11 blade trimmed the ring and its tulle out of the rest. 

EH HVAC Screen Build

This technique worked well. I then used medium CA on the exposed top edge of the fan housing, applied some accelerator to the ring and brought them together. I dry brushed silver on the tulle to make it look metallic. I also added some wash to the HVAC units concentrating on the underside of the big louvers. These are done and ready to go on the roof once it's been covered.


That particular version of tulle is really useful for us O'scalers. It's perfect for grills and chain link fencing.

Here's a bumper just after the wash has been put on.

EH Bumper Weathering before Clean

Here's the same bumper after using a Q-tip lightly soaked in Iso Alcohol to remove and redistribute the excess.

EH Bumper Weathering

I then picked out the NBW detail with a fine brush with chrome silver first and, when dry, some Vallejo Dark Flesh to simulate some corrosion. That's a great rust color, BTW. These are ready to install.

EH Bumpers Comp

I used a water-based sanding sealer to coat the top surface of the roof so the duct tape with stay put. I said yesterday that I'm going to try and simulate a Durolast Vinyl Membrane roofing which is quite widely used in industrial applications and its white. I'm thinking that I need some drain scuppers to take rainwater off the roof. In big roofs like this they located in various places leading to collection pipes that run into the foundation. I've already got two pipes carrying the lighting wires down.

I'm quickly reaching the point where I have to start building the gantry. I need to put the main rails into the building first. I'm going to use the actual as-built distance between the two to determine the length of the main gantry rails. I'm thinking of using some small track screws to hold the rail into position until the epoxy cures. I'm going to have to schlepp the whole deal back into the shop in order to do this accurately. On the layout, the engine house sits pretty high and I have to stand on a stool to be able to easily reach over its walls. My layout is 42" high and the almost a foot tall, putting the top of the wall at 54". I really don't like carrying it back and forth since it's more delicate now the the windows are installed.

I have to finish the machine shop roof. I need to install the lights and put some material on it. It's a shallow slope so shingles are out. I suppose it could be membrane too. I have to seal it first.







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Last edited by Trainman2001

Those AC units look fantastic. I love the bolt detail on the bumpers. The results you are getting with that printer is amazing. But the printer only does what the artist behind it designs. Nice job, Myles.

Myles,  I agree with Pat, it's amazing what your achieving with the new printer. Just think how much time you would have saved on your electric sub-station project. However, we would not have had the benefit of seeing your fabrication methods.


Myles, super great work, we, Your Tennessee/Kentucky Friends are planning a trip on Friday the 23rd to visit the Roundhouse hobby shop, wold like to visit you to. We are amazed at your great craftsmanship, we have questions.. I sent you an email. Leapin Larry.  

Thanks guys for understanding just what this thing does for the hobbyist.

I believe we are home… just give me a heads up to straighten the mayhem and make sure the trains are running. Engine house should be almost finished by then.

Speaking of engine house, multi-faceted work day today. Finished the main roof, electrified the machine shop roof, grew the main wheel truck for the gantry crane, painted the roller door mechanisms. In other words, busy. And I knocked over the Sikorsky's wing and separated the tail structure from it. Not a show stopper, it's just one for thing to solder. I'm convinced that the hardest part of that job is going to be stripping all the paint so I have native surfaces upon which to work. Any torch work near the old paint will make a mess with charred paint. Can't repaint over old paint either.

I cleaned up the remaining two duct pieces and then glued them all to the HVAC units with medium CA. The resin really likes CA and cures quickly and strongly. I laid out the location of all four HVAC units and marked where the duct would go. I then started paving the roof with 3M White Duct Tape. I cut out the openings for the stacks and also removed the tape where the duct would be so the duct would be stuck to native substrate and not tape.

EH HVAC roof Prep

I didn't lay down any guidelines for the tape; just made sure that my overlaps were parallel over their whole length. When done I had a pristine white surface that hid a lot of the ugly stuff. The tape was just translucent enough that I could see the layout lines below when cutting the duct holes.

EH Main Roof Membrane

To mount the HVACs I used those handy contact cement gel strips. Once they stick they don't let go. And having the surface sealed made it very adhesive friendly. I used two strips, one of each of the long duct sides and then pressed it to the surface in the rectangle. I had made sure that the duct and the legs were one the same level with some careful surface sanding after gluing on the duct. They hold good enough that you can almost pick up the entire roof by the HVAC, but I wouldn't recommend it. The unit may come apart.

EH HVAC Fastening Scheme

I glued the stacks in with Testor's Canopy Cement. It's a milky water-based adhesive that dries clear and sticks to plastic. After drying, the stacks are well-adhered. I took the completed roof into the shop to get it out of way and took these pics.

EH Main Roof Comp 1

The HVACs are a scale 12 feet from the roof edge. I put the big vent intakes towards the middle so they wouldn't suck up any of the fumes coming out of the vent stacks. 

EH Main Roof Comp 2

I first painted the machine shop ceiling with artists tube white acrylic with one coat, wired the LEDs and adhered them to the roof and then went back and did a second coat including the wiring. I held the wiring to the roof with hot glue. I put a Euro-style connecting terminal strip so the roof can be completely removed just like I did with the main roof. Again I used a CL2N3 LED driver chip to manage current so I don't have to worry about what applied voltage I'm going to use on that end of the layout. I didn't paint the LED driver. It gets warm and paint would insulate it.

EH Mach Shop Wiring

Tested the lighting. I wish I had one more of those LED strips, because it's a little bit underlit (according my standards.) This picture was taken with the room lights off so it looks pretty bright. I'm going to have a lot of cool stuff in there and I want it to be seen.

EH Mach Shop Lights On 1EH Mach Shop Roof Lights

I brought the engine house back into the shop. The next step would be nearly impossible up in the air as I discussed in yesterday's post. I wanted to try and use the small screws to stabilize the main rail girder while it would be curing. I tested it on the top buttress pieces since they were much easier to drill and drive. I used a 1/32" drill to start the holes. The heads of these screws aren't that broad so while they held, they weren't particularly strong. I then measured the spacing on the actual buttresses further down the wall and installed the back screws without the girder being in the way. I did break one carbide drill and decided to use a high-speed steel drill instead since they're more forgiving. I got one back row in place and started putting in the clamping screw in the front. I actually thought that the screws themselves could hold, but it really wasn't secure enough. I'll go back to my original idea of using the screws to stabilize and let the epoxy do the grunt work. It kind of hard to see what's going on in this picture and it was a pain in the butt to do it. Getting the screwdriver on that back screw was taxing in many ways. It was too close for my normal bifocals and too far away for the Optivisor. So I had to bend way over the wall and my back didn't like that. I ended up putting on my LED headlight too so I could see the slot. That's why I had to bring it into the shop.

EH Gantry Rail Fixing Test

I sprayed the roller door apparatus with that nice Coral Blue. I'll pick out the equipment cabinet with yellow tomorrow.

And finally, woke up this morning drawing the main wheel truck for the gantry in my head. Up until a month ago I wasn't sure how to fabricate it. I was thinking about folding and soldering brass, using all styrene, and then comes the Machine. I already had the drawing as part of the gantry download from the SketchUp 3D Warehouse. As usual, it needed work. 

EH Main Truck SU image

The drawing had a ton of reversed faces in the motor/gearbox model. I had to spend almost a half hour just cleaning that up. I opened up the inside and added some bracing to keep it straight, and then I added the 1/16" through-bearing holes and the cute little bearing blocks on the outside. I added fasteners to these and to the motor brackets.

EH Main Truck SU Image Bottom

And here's the result. The only thing that's sub-par is the motor fins on one of them. The Resin is pretty soft and I probably was too ham-fisted when cutting off the supports. But I'll use it since it's basically invisible in the engine house ceiling… of course. These grew when I was working on other stuff and when we went out to dinner. When we returned, it was done. I cleaned them up, hardened them a bit and then just spritzed them with Tamiya primer to show the details. They'll be yellow with red motors. You can't see the bolts and nuts without magnification, but they're there. I know it. 

EH Gantry Main Truck

I went through the holes with a 1/16" drill just to clear them out. They'll support a 1/16" brass axle. I'm going to turn the wheels on the lathe out of aluminum. The gantry will have resin, laser cut, fabricated styrene and turned metal… a truly multi-media project. I grew the part with it pitched up 45 degree and then rolled 45 degrees. There were lots of supports and only one little corner of one of the bumpers didn't form perfectly. I'm getting pretty good at this stuff. It's nice to be able to predict success. Careful review of the STL image and then watching the slicing animation quickly shows you whether something is amiss. On the STL, if there's a reversed face, it is just not there. On the slicer, it shows up as a black hole. Reversed faces in SU are a light green color vs. white for a correctly oriented face. This is done with the colors and textures turned off.

Once I get the gantry rails fixed, I can measure their span across the entire space and use that to begin fabrication of the gantry girders.


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Beautiful work, Myles. If you are not happy with the machine shop lighting, I suggest you take the time to fix it. With all the attention to detail in this project, don't let a little thing light lighting be the thing you regret every time you look at the model.

Oh… you are so right Pat. You know me too well. I awoke this morning thinking about adding some surface mount LEDs around the perimeter. Shouldn't be a problem and I'll feel better about it. It's why I keep posting all these years. I need the moral support. I'm also going to regrow the part with the damaged fins. The nice thing about this process is if you mung something up, you can just grow another. Like a Skink and its tail.

Trainman2001 posted:

Oh… you are so right Pat. You know me too well. I awoke this morning thinking about adding some surface mount LEDs around the perimeter.

Just brainstorming:
Maybe you could take the opportunity to introduce some variability in the lighting--perhaps a couple of freestanding floodlights in certain interior areas.

IMO, one of the errors we tend to make is to make the interior lighting of large structures too uniform. The real world often isn't like that. (it drives me crazy when every window in a big, multi-room structure is lighted identically.)

Last edited by Avanti

Most factory lighting is pretty uniform, but lots of machine tools have local task lighting too. I'll think about it. The other thing for you detail hounds that I didn't do in the machine shop is provide any prototypical roof support system. The roof right now is an unsupported flat piece of painted MDF. Not very realistic. I went to great lengths to make the main roof believable, but have fallen short on the machine shop. From the outside, you won't be able to view it. Interior pics will show the deficiency. Not sure I'm going to do anything about it. I've got a plane to restore.

Today was a pretty good day. It started by getting back to growing a scale Bridgeport vertical milling machine. I had originally tried this in my "early years" using the printer and it was a total disaster. I figured the drawing was wrong and set about to redraw the entire thing. I didn't finish that. In the interim, I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't with growing parts. I decided to look at the original drawing again and see what's what. It turns out that it was actually pretty good, but there were a ton of reversed faces all over the place. It just took an hour or so of careful turning, looking, reversing, rinse and repeat. I then sent it to the slicer and took a look at it. The handwheels, while they would resolve, were so thin as to be impossible to removed from the supports. I enlarged about 1.5 times and it worked. Here's the SketchUp image. Notice that there are no light green areas, meaning the faces are facing in the proper direction.

Machine Shop Bridgeport SU

And here's what it looked like in the slicer. Notice there is no support on the table elevating screw coming up from the base. This little detail did not print, so I'm going to go back and watch the slicing animation again. Not a big deal when you see how minuscule this beauty is. I may grow another. I was a 5 hour and 40 minute job. 

Machine Shop Bridgeport Slicer

The results which I just retrieved are awesome, in that they inspire awe. You can't see it, but the lead screw under the table is actually there. Also, the power conduit from the motor head to the switch box is separate from the machine. There's a tiny bit of support left on the hand wheels, but I'm afraid to touch them. I lost the spindle elevating hand wheel when detaching the supports. I didn't make that oversize and should have. If I do another, I'll change that.

Machine Tools Bridgeport 1

This gives me new found confidence to find other machines on SketchUp and just fix what's not right and grow them. If I primed it, the details would be much easier to see, but I don't do that kind of stuff at night.

Machine Tools Bridgeport 2

The Machine was humming away growing that while I was doing other stuff. I got both gantry rails into the engine house. My strategy of using the small screws to hold it down while the epoxy cured worked perfectly. I used 6 minute epoxy so I had to work fast getting the outside screws in to hold the girder down. I tightened the inside screws so the girder flange just slipped under it. I then put down the epoxy, slid in the girder, drilled the outside pilot holes and put in the screws. These screws are so small I needed a tweezers to hold them. My screwdriver was behaving badly and, after inspection, it needed sharpening. After squaring its edge and truing up the flats, it worked much better. I stopped drilling the holes with a pin vise and move my Dremel flexishaft over to engine house and hung it on the portable hanger and drilled them under power. Much faster and I needed speed since the epoxy set up so fast.

EH Gantry Rail AttachEH Gantry Rails Install

Then I did another cool thing. I decided to grow the gantry main truck wheels instead of turning them on the lathe. I measured the actual distance across the truck and when back to the original drawing. I modified the wheels to fit perfect with a couple thou clearance. They printed in 40 minutes. I made 10 at once, but needed 8. Good thing. Two broke loose from their supports and ended up sticking to the FEP sheet. I carefully scraped them off without damaging the film. They even had correctly sized holes in them. The wheels were sized to fit the .100" Atlas rail head width.

EH Main Truck Wheels

I mounted the wheels into the trucks using the 1/16" brass, and they looked terrific. Note, I did regrow the one with the messy motor. I positioned it differently in the machine so supports wouldn't be right into the side of the motor. Every job is a learning experience.

EH Main Truck CompEH Main Truck Wheels install

The resin is pretty tough so they won't break down. It's not going to move anyway, but I made sure they do roll.

I was now able to place them on the tracks and get an "as-built" measure that I'll use to size the gantry proper. I had to get the entire job to this point to get this measure before I could build the gantry.

EH Gantry Dimension

Last thing I did… Pat… was to add more lighting to the machine shop. I did wake up this morning thinking about it. You can tell my life is very, very low stress, that my waking thoughts are "how to get more light into my model machine shop." I went back to my tried and true copper foil tape and surface mount LEDs. These are warm white and the LED strips are cool white so the overall lighting should be interesting from a white balance point of view. They're also more powerful as you can see in this image.

EH Mach Shop Added Lighting

I put the building back on the layout and tied the main building lighting into a polarized terminal block that I had at the extreme end of the layout. The lights worked, but they were not full brightness. The line has some incandescent lights on it including the water tower, coaling tower and sanding station. The voltage drop was too much for the LEDs to get their full share. I'm going to have to spring for an LED power supply to get enough juice to do the job.

So, all in all, it was a great day to end the week. Every day, the Elegoo continues to amaze me. I just rearranged the shop to move it to one of my higher work stations. I was getting tired of having to go into a squat to read the control panel. I'm going to get an ultrasonic cleaner that was suggested by Shawn, and needed a bigger work space for all this cool stuff. Since this thing is working every day (and night) it deserves a dedicated space. It's the first time I rearranged stuff since I built the shop 10 years ago.

I might have told this tale before, but it's worth repeating. My iPhone 7's lightening connectors were losing contact. The power connector wasn't too bad, but the dongle for the headphones was awful. I had squirted it with IPA in an airbrush thinking that the contacts were dirty, but it didn't work. Finally broke down and took it to the Apple store, fully ready to be told that I needed a new phone. I had researched how to replace that connector, but it entailed disemboweling the entire phone down to the CPU. It also meant destroying the water-tight seal that needed to be rebuilt. All in all it was a pain in the butt.

So this very nice young lady heard my dilemma and said, "I'll fix it right now!" She took out a little screwdriver out of her pocket, turned the phone glass-side down, and fiddled with it for a little bit and says, "Done!". IT WAS LINT!

I keep my phone in a dedicated pocket away from Kleenex and such, but that doesn't matter. It gets lint. It was beginning to happen again. Today I cleaned it out myself. You turn the phone upside down when you do it so you won't be scraping the contacts. It took a little bit of work with an occasional blow out of the debris with the airbrush. Now it's all clean. 

The lint packs into the back of the connector and prevent the plugs from fully seating. The power cable is a slightly longer plug with longer contacts so its less affected by this. But the aftermarket dongles have a shorter contact and when they can't seat all the way in, start losing contact. Easy fix and saved me $800 for new phone.


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Last edited by Trainman2001

The latest parts are overwhelming!!!  Fabulous!

I discovered the lint problem with my iPhone 6s about a year ago.  On mine, no power adapter cables I had would get it to charge.  Then it dawned on me to look in the port.  You guessed it, lint.  I picked the hard to get specks with a pin.  Now I just give it a puff of air every so often.

Last edited by Mark Boyce

Really great work on all this engine house!

The second attempt for the "strange part" might be ready this evening (I hope!!)


Last edited by jpv69

Thanks Jean Pat! Mark, the phone now locks on the connectors like crazy.

Happy Monday!

Worked on drawing and growing machines all weekend. I'm having a particular probable with hand wheels. They're often supported all around and sometimes buried in a forrest of other supports. The act of using the flush cutters creates enough shock that the wheel separates from the model. I'm solving the problem by eliminating them from the machine and growing them as a separate item to be installed as a 2nd operation. I did a different lathe, a bigger one, and while I added size to the levers (130% enlarged), I forgot to thicken the very thin chip pan. The support ends were thicker than the pan and when they were cut the pan fell apart. I rebuilt it using styrene. This happened on the bench grinder and the horizontal band saw. Some I'll use as is, but others I'll do over.

EH MS 1st Machine 2

This was shot through the window. It's the first machine on the floor. The light coming in makes it look almost real.

EH MS 1st Machine

Those levers are 130% bigger than the original drawing. Imagine how thin they would be. You can see the damaged chip pan. The front looks like it was metal and actually dented.

EH MS Big Lathe repaired Chip Pan

After detail painting it comes to life. There's no longitudinal feed hand wheel, but I'll reinstall one. That's a real piece of 1/16" drill rod in the chuck. The hollow spindle was in fact, hollow. It was slightly undersize so I opened it up and put the rod through. Next time, I'm going to put bare metal foil on the ways and other sliding surfaces instead of the Molotow Chrome pen.

EH MS Big Lathe

The band saw too had a sheet metal pan that fell apart and the blade, even though I thickened it, needed more work.

EH MS Power Band Saw

EH MS Machines Trials

I'm including workpieces and cutters on later modifications. The tool bit broke (probably took too heavy of a cut). You can see in this image how the hand wheel is buried in the forrest of supports and why they get broken when cutting the supports away.

Milling Machine with Workpiece print

The lathe too has a work piece. Unfortunately, the drawing I used was the wrong version and had the bed not connected to the headstock. I scrapped this print and will grow another. I had thickened the tailstock locking lever and it did survive. If you look closely you can see the gap. The idea of having a workpiece worked!

Lathe With Work Print

I drew my own larger radial drill press and as I started writing my post it's now on the Machine. I used a picture and one dimension to get the proportions close. The only 3D Warehouse item I used is the motor. I stopped writing the post for a while and all the earlier images disappeared from the inventory list so I just had to reload them. This site times out...

First, here's the original.

Radial Drill Image

And my drawing, The only part I downloaded was the motor. I left off some minor details, but the flavor is there.

Radial Drill SU Image

The Slicing setup: It was a bear to cut this out of the support network, but it really works.

Radial Drill Print Setup

And lastly, the grown part which I just cleaned up a bit. The hand wheels were tentative, so I immediately added some Bondic behind each reinforcing the hubs and then cured them in the UV box. Results were gratifying. The T-slots in work table are terrific. I had hollowed out the vertical column to reduce resin use. The was a pretty good output and just a tad more cleaning and it will be ready for paint. I'm going to use foil for the column and the running rails. You can't see it well, but I used jamb nuts and hex nuts to hold down the column. The only print failures I'm having now are design issues with thin cross sections. I'm getting pretty good at getting everything printed.

EH MS Radial Drill

The last thing I did this afternoon was start putting on the packing strips to the filler pieces that will go between the engine house rails. I needed 0.060" on one side of the piece to raise it so it was equal to the rail lower flange and the staples that Ross uses to hold their rails in place. With the packing, the fillers sit nice and flat. I finished three and have three more to do. I'll paint them the same gray as the floor color. I'm using 0.060" X .125" styrene strips for the packing held with thick CA. I spray the plastic part with accelerator and put the CA on the MDF strip. It cures fast enough so I don't need any clamping. I had to splice the strips together since Rail Scale's size limit is 24" and the engine house is just a tad over 40"

EH Filler Strips Packing

Here's the first set in place to check for fit. I probably didn't need so much space for a flange way, but with big O-gauge flanges you always need more clearance. When painted it will have the effect I want, especially after the grime and grease are added.

EH Filler Strips Fit

They have to sit low enough so the middle rail is fully accessible. If I were to build this project on a new railroad, I would have removed the center rail and added a taught copper wire to provide current. I would do this so I could add inspection pits underneath each. But these rails were solidly glued in and I didn't want to disturb anything.

Tomorrow I'll finish the strips, and start building the gantry, all the while growing more machines. I'm going to draw a wheel lathe, and maybe a vertical turret lathe, besides the more normal equipment. I have some welding units (gas and MIG), a welding table, and some work bench units. I have to add storage units and then draw up some hand tools, junk, metal supply racks and parts bins, etc. etc. This is a long-term project that can be done while I'm working on other things.



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I was looking at some resins on Amazon today and saw one that might be worth investigating. It's a flexible and high impact resistant resin called "Tenacious" by Siraya Tech. I don't know if it's compatible with Elegoo resins or not. It can be used full strength or as an additive to other Mfgr's resins and might help prevent breaking problems with fragile features.




look at the FormLabs website.  they have information on building stuff that is likely very helpful to your Elegoo printer because the printing methods are similar and of course the laws of printing "physics" are the same. FormLabs has done a lot of testing and their experience has been put in many of their posts on their site.

Also take a look at their print program PreForm. you can put your models into it and use their model checker to see if there are potential issues with the print such as cupping or missing supports.

Wow! The results on the machines are amazing. This project is going to look fantastic when finished.


Have you tried using a Dremel tool with a cutting bit or cutoff wheel to remove the supports?  It might put less stress on the small parts.



Thanks for the input. Maybe you or someone more familiar with resin printing than me should start a 3D printing topic rather than distract from Myles' build.


I don't mind the commenting about the 3D tech. I'm in such a learning mode that any input is greatly appreciated. Today was another day of punch list items. I got the filler strips built and painted. Primed the radial drill press… looks very good. Printed out an entire run of hand wheels, but they're still too fragile and need thickening. I'll check with the Elegoo folks about using other resins with their system. I can't imagine why it wouldn't work if it solidifies at 405nm, but I need to be sure. Making it less brittle would be very helpful. I regrew the Bridgeport and the smaller lathe and both look great although I haven't de-supported them (new word..). I made the name sign for the front of the engine house, and had a visit from my oldest, and now tall, dark, handsome and heading to the University of Illinois Engineering next week. He was camp counselor all summer and was in charge of boating. He did well and has grown up to be a terrific young man.

First the radial. After painting I noticed that open notch up top. I put a hole up through the column to reduce resin volume and may have gone just a wee bit too high. I will patch that with some Bondic. My grandson, who is familiar with 3D printing, was very impressed with what I'm doing. I like to impress my grandson.

EH MS Radial Primed

Here's the hand wheel print. I used a light support scheme, but I may try a different approach for another run. I printed these horizontally. I may try angling them for the next trial, after I thicken some of the most fragile.

EH MS Hand Wheels

I grew a lot and it was a good choice since the failure rate was quite high. For the really fragile ones, I resorted to putting Bondic on first and then clipping them out of the structure. I would remove the entire support group first and then, using a black piece of paper to add contrast, carefully clipped the supports from the hand wheel, one at a time.

EH MS Hand Wheels Trimmed

I painted the strips outside after finishing the gluing job. I then tried them on for size in the engine house. I still have to weather them before permanently gluing them down. I'm either going to use contact cement dots or silicone caulk/adhesive. I don't want to use a brittle cement and it's a highly irregular surface I'm gluing to with both styrene and MDF on wood.

EH Status With Bumpers

My son's wife's sister's kid (Nephew by marriage) is autistic and had developed a love for air conditioning systems. Don't ask me why, but he's 6 and wants to be an HVAC technician. I got a special request to build on of my engine house units for him. I was told that I would make him a very happy kid. I like to make kids happy since I'm am basically one. So the printer is running downstairs making the main box. I can't almost build them in my sleep. It will take a 24 hour cycle of printing to produce all five parts. We're heading to my son's home in September where my younger granddaughter has the lead role in a adult performance of Matilda. I'll bring the HVAC unit with me.

Rail Scale laser cut the "PENNSYLVANIA & PACIFIC RR MAIN SHOPS" signage for me on self-stick laser board. I didn't want to stick them directly onto the building due to the slight texture to the paint. Instead, I stuck them to a piece of clear styrene through which I could see my graphic as a guide. As it turns out, the letters are bigger than I thought and I had to made another image. The clear styrene sheet was a just a tad too short for the graphic lettering, but then when I laid it out I found that the letters, although taller than my graphic, were narrower. After careful placement and kerning, I got a decent looking sign. I painted it with engine house color and this will be adhered to the engine house using either pressure sensitive adhesive, double sided tape, hot glue, or some other multi-media adhesive. I could even use the 3M 99 high-strength spray adhesive.

I put a straight edge under the lettering to ensure it was in line. I had to print the Corel image out on tiled pages and taped them together at an angle which account for why the right side disappears below the ruler's edge.

EH Name Build\

Here's the signage before paint. A little note about typography. Notice how when you set type spacing is not fixed. Letters with lots of white space around them are situated closer to other letters. Letters with straight sides are set a bit further apart. and letters like the "V" and "A" are actually nestled together.

EH Name on Clear Styrene

I sprayed the lettering and it's now drying well overnight. I will paint the letters themselves a contrasting color, probably black.

EH Name Painted

I wanted to add some details to the entry doors. I was going to print some crash bars for the interior. When I went back to my original engine house drawing, and pulled out the doors to look at them, I realized they were complete with all kinds of good hardware, inside and out, including crash bars and closure devices. Therefore, I decided to print the whole deal. I measured my scratchbuilt doors and sized the SketchUp doors to be the same size. Here they are in the slicer. I'll print them tomorrow. All three doors fit on the Machine at once. I fattened some of the parts and went about reversing any reversed faces. There always are. It will be interesting to see how they come out.

EH Doors Slice

I'm also thinking about what kind of exterior lighting is going to be needed. Each train entrance should be lit, plus a light over each entry door. I'm also planning on lighting the sign. I may leave the lettering body color and using up lighting to bring out the relief. I'm going to design and print a nice trim light fixture sized for the little surface mount LEDS.

I'd really like to have the engine house operation by next Thursday when four or five guys come for a visit. 


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With the groundbreaking detail of the machines and other interior details combined with your usual masterful structural work, this build is honestly going to be the first example of a whole new category of model.

Your chance mention of making the sign in the context of 3-D printing caused it to dawn on me that there is a huge potential for using these printing techniques for producing signage. Making high quality signs is one of the hardest modeling tasks, at least for me. It looks to me that applying the techniques that you have been teaching us to sign making could be a killer technique. One could imagine many different approaches, such as (a) printing the whole sign as a single object; (b) printing each letter separately; (c) printing stencils; (d) making negative plates for gravure or pad printing....

Since I am free-associating tonight, your mention of illuminating the sign makes me wonder how effective the transparent resin might work as a light pipe. If one could easily produce such pipes, it would have all kinds of modeling applications. Lionel used some very elaborate light pipes--the one in the bay window caboose comes to mind.   Just a thought.

Last edited by Avanti

different resins require different power settings and movement speed on the printer's laser. the resins do not work the same with same settings.

clear resin uses less laser power than a more opaque  gray resin. the printer should adjust these settings when you tell it which  resin you are using,


I may have given the wrong impression. The sign letters are laser cut out of laser board with an adhesion backing. They're not 3D printed, but you're making me think that it could be. Interesting...

Alan, the Elegoo is an LCD Mask system that shines UV light through a hi-res LCD screen capturing the image of each layer in either opaque black or clear letting the light through to expose. Regardless, different resins will require different exposure times and possibly thickness adjustments. I'm going to check with the manufacturer about using different resins with differing properties. I know Elegoo sells a whole line of different colors. I'm sticking with the transparent for now, but am intrigued by the thought of mixing some more flexible material in to reduce brittleness.

My ultrasonic cleaner is arriving any day now. The Simple Green detergent already came. In addition to cleaning 3D parts, I'm anxious to try it on cleaning air brush parts. Has anyone got any experience using an ultrasonic cleaner on air brushes? I especially like the thought that it will clean internal passages where physical methods can't reach. I've already gotten several conflicting opinions on using this tool for 3D resin parts cleaning. Some use it after Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) dip, others don't use the alcohol at all. I'm going to use the IPA first to remove the bulk of the uncured resin and use the Ultrasonic to clean off what's left.

Trainman2001 posted:

I may have given the wrong impression. The sign letters are laser cut out of laser board with an adhesion backing. They're not 3D printed, but you're making me think that it could be. Interesting...

Yes, I understood you. That was my point: Your coincidental mentioning the laser-cut signage in the context of 3-D printing caused my wandering mind to realize the potential here.  

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