Skip to main content

When I first considered buying a printer I was leaning toward  PLA even though it looks like the resin printer does better detail. Mostly what I want to print would be building details like meters and maybe some interior details. Buying this stuff from shapeways would far exceed the cost of a printer and printing materials when you add in shipping. What I see here on the forum appears to be only resin printers. I don't look at the layout through a magnifying glass. What I read tells me I might not want to deal with resin just to see rivets. What made you choose which printer you bought ?

Thanks

Original Post

this whole building was designed and printed (every piece) with PLA, plenty strong enough for this as long as it doesn't get too hot or it may droop but for my purposes is very good, I did use plenty of reinforcement just in case, I didn't have much clean up work either. However for parts that need strength even in higher temperatures and or outside I use PETG filament.

The details shown pallets, barrels, hoist, loading dock, transformers and silo even the roof drains are all printed in PLA

IMG_8140Berkshire Brewing done_2IMG_8363IMG_8176

Attachments

Images (4)
  • IMG_8140
  • Berkshire Brewing done_2
  • IMG_8363
  • IMG_8176
Last edited by sidehack

for Flat pieces with a surface texture like the brick wall you showed PLA is great. I have used a PLA MakerBot Cupcake 3D printer.

I don't do a lot of large flat pieces on my FormLabs 2, I use my GlowForge 45W laser cutter instead which is a lot faster.

For small quick resin prints or test prints  I use an EleGoo Mars which is very inexpensive to use.

 

As to strength make a 2" x 2" x 2"-  1/16"  inch thick hollow box with your PLA printer; then put the bottom in a vise and see how easy it is to pull up and break apart along the horizontal layer the top part.

A break apart along print layers wont happen with a 3D FL2 resin printer

Last edited by AlanRail

Reviving this thread, and maybe it’s out of line, but Creality has its Ender3 printers on special. They’re not a forum sponsor, so I won’t do a direct link, but you’ll find it. They’re about $190, do PLA, ABS, PPU, and if you get the metal nozzle, metal filament printing. They ship free from LA, and we really like the print quality on the one we got with the tax refund. Our old XYZ taught us a lot and made a lot of entertaining layout debris (picnic tables, barrels, small buildings...) but it’s worn out and needs a new motherboard.

If you haven’t seen any printed objects since back in the beginning, the new ones will really surprise you.

Reviving this thread, and maybe it’s out of line, but Creality has its Ender3 printers on special. They’re not a forum sponsor, so I won’t do a direct link, but you’ll find it. They’re about $190, do PLA, ABS, PPU, and if you get the metal nozzle, metal filament printing. They ship free from LA, and we really like the print quality on the one we got with the tax refund. Our old XYZ taught us a lot and made a lot of entertaining layout debris (picnic tables, barrels, small buildings...) but it’s worn out and needs a new motherboard.

If you haven’t seen any printed objects since back in the beginning, the new ones will really surprise you.

I agree that Ender3 is a very good printer for the money and a lot of quality parts can be produced on printer now a days as compared to years past. I'm using a Prusa MK3 which I've had no problem with in over 1,100 hours run time but also paid a lot more for it.

One of my latest projects is the hotel and elevated track arches as well as the wall to the left.

Attachments

Images (1)
  • mceclip0
Last edited by Rich Melvin

I just picked up a 3D printer about 2 weeks ago, I ended up going with the Ender 3 Pro I figured for the price why not it's something to start learning and playing around with. Long behold a week later I bought a 3 truck MTH Shay and unbeknownst to me the rear tender top plate was cracked, wedge into place and failing apart. So of course the moment I moved the top plate it busted like egg shells, so I call MTH attempting a real long shot here on this one to see if they had any nut nope not available and with their current situation I knew it wasn't happening. So it's crash course 101 here, downloaded MatterControl ver 2 and went to work  learning the program, printer and what to do, after a day this is what I came up with. Man I can see this just getting better over time and becoming more useful.

 IMG_9656IMG_9659IMG_9660IMG_9663

Attachments

Images (4)
  • IMG_9656
  • IMG_9659
  • IMG_9660
  • IMG_9663
Last edited by Hotpressmugs

This truly an interesting thread, you all have produced some terrific parts and I can see where it would be more economical to be able to print your own parts when needed.  Now you have me thinking it would be a good idea to get a 3D printer.  I'm going to check them out and see which one my pocket book can afford.  I will keep an eye on this thread for sure.  Everyone stay safe and healthy.

3D printing seems like a good way to get unique parts.    However, my issue, where do you get the computer model to drive the printer?     I am somewhat computer literate and I could hook up the printer and get it started.    However, I am not a draftsman.    I don't know how to use Autocad which is a basic drafting tool, and none of the higher end stuff.   

I am also guessing that the software to create the computer model does not come with the printer,    I assume  you have to buy it separately and there are better or worse versions depending on what  you spend.    then what is the learning curve to get working with the software?      I assume say if  you want to print the train phone equipment box for a PRR RS3, you need a drawing of the box, with all details, and you have redraw that into the software program and put in as much detail, ie rivetts, bolts, hinges, handles etc that  you want.

So my thinking is that obtaining the printer is the easier side of starting to do this and obtaining and learning the computer programming is the more difficult part.   Is this true?

The model I picked up came with a sd card for the printer drivers and software to do prints. However I googled and did some research and found a free software called Mattercontrol V2 more to my liking. I installed it on the pc a few days before my printer arrived and just basically start screwing around with shapes and how to manipulate them.  In addition there a quite a bit of youtube tutorials that you can watch as well. There is a learning curve, but that is all part of the fun IMHO. Biggest curve for me is everything is measured in mm in the software, so I have a bookmark to a conversion page where I convert inches to mm.

While I no longer model in O ( went back to HO), I took the 3d printer plunge in January and ordered a Prusa Mini FFF (or FDM if you prefer) printer.  To date, I have only printed in PLA. I finally got the printer in late May, and took a week off in June to get it put together (not much to do on a Prusa mini), and learn how to download files, slice them, and print them.  Then I started on a project that I thought was a good project to expose me to the 3D design portion, so I am designing and printing a model of Kankakee River bridge for a fellow modeler / round robin operating group friend.   

I have a blog going on Model Railroad Hobbyist on my experience with learning 3D printing, so if you want to give it a look, feel free to check out this link:

https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/39866

I'll be doing an update soon since I have finalized the design on the bridge, and I've done some other simple projects by downloading files from Thingiverse. 

The biggest hurdle for me has been learning Fusion 360 to generate my own 3D drawings.

Jump in and start learning.  I've thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far. 

Regards,

Jerry

 

 

prrjim said "However, I am not a draftsman."

I was back in the 70s and I've tried to do CAD work on my computer using various free 3D programs, couldn't get anywhere with them.  It's a lot different than drawing with pencil/paper.  That's the only thing keeping me from getting a 3D printer, well that and I'm almost 70 and just don't have the desire anymore.  I would like to make a 3D printed Vanderbilt tender though.

Last edited by Bob Delbridge

prrjim, yes a 3D printer can be very helpful in many ways but am glad you are coming to the realization that you will need a 3D model that can be cut in slices usually using a separate slicing program to do that sometimes supplied with the printer or you can get your own. The Ender3 printer seems to be a good buy.  You can also download models that someone else made but then you are very limited and it might be cheaper if you wanted them you could buy them already printed. If you are serious about wanting to do this you will need to get a hold of some type of CAD software which you will have to learn how to make 3D models (not just prints). There is a learning curve but it can be done. Be aware that there is also a learning curve to use the 3D printer but not as much as the CAD part.  I started building CAD models in 1987 on those big main frame computers and then went to the personal computer software. You are right, getting a printer and learning it's operation is the easy part. 

I would recommend the Fusion 360 software which I believe you can still get free as a hobbyist but be prepared to spend many hours learning it and honing your skills by starting with simple parts and working up to the more complex.

https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/personal

I have Autodesk PowerShape software which I used in my job that I bought which would be overkill for what you want to do. 

This is one of the latest models I printed also the building on the right.

I do not do model making or printing for anyone but Email me any time if I can answer a question

IMG_9493rev

Attachments

Images (1)
  • IMG_9493rev

prrjim said "However, I am not a draftsman."

I was back in the 70s and I've tried to do CAD work on my computer using various free 3D programs, couldn't get anywhere with them.  It's a lot different than drawing with pencil/paper.  That's the only thing keeping me from getting a 3D printer, well that and I'm almost 70 and just don't have the desire anymore.  I would like to make a 3D printed Vanderbilt tender though.

Bob, I think there still is plenty of time, I'd say go for it, it's a hobby in a hobby.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×