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Got a 3D printer for Christmas, Ender 3 v2, so I am trying to create a model of the old family business from the forties.  I have several of the Atlas and MTH forty foot refer cars and my old Lionel Scout Loco.   I'm trying to create the main building, the old main building burned down which is why there are two different ones, from the building group.  The main building is a much too large when scaled to O gauge to fit  my grandsons layout so I had to trim the building a bit.  Old HatcheryHatchery FaceScreen Shot 2021-01-16 at 11.33.54 AMSample JointScreen Shot 2021-01-17 at 9.34.56 AM

My questions for the forum are;

1. I have the front facade done and now am ready to start printing, I Think.  I have designed what I think would be a good joint for splitting the front but would like to verify this with someone a bit more experienced.  The building is a bit over twenty five inches so I'm thinking four or five sections will be required for printing.

2. What would be the best method to glue the sections back together and best hide the seams?

3. The wall is .3 inch thick but I'm thinking I will probably still need to stiffen it up a bit.

4. The bricks on the face are three different colors, Tan, Reddish, and a deeper red.  Suggestions on how to accomplish the painting a decorating.

Any and all suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Old Hatchery
  • Hatchery Face
  • Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 11.33.54 AM
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  • Screen Shot 2021-01-17 at 9.34.56 AM
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Jack

looks like you ae doing a nice job, the .300thickness should be plenty sturdy. If you use PETG filament it will be strong. I have built some structures that had to be done in sections and found a couple of things that worked, one was using a "V" design to align the walls with each other. (if you go into the  "3D Printing Repository" on this forum it has a lot of design ideas and even stl files you can download) The other thing I did for strength and perfect alignment was to incorporate holes in each section to accept a .125 dia styrene rod or tube to go in aprox. .300" deep in each.  I used a good liquid plastic cement after wiping the surfaces with alcohol. I've also used 15 minute epoxy for sections where I needed a lot of strength. If you get the alignment right the seams are pretty easy to hide. Of course all the pins and holes would have to be designed into the walls before printing.

Can't help you on painting those bricks.

tmp pins_1

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1. I use roll pins for pinning items together sometimes when alignment is important. I just design holes on each piece to be joined and the the roll pins do the hard work for me. Otherwise, a groove or something (V shaped, like you did) will work. It probably isn't worth the effort here but I have even printed jigs for parts I make over and over again. Then I use clamps or rubber bands to hold everything together while the glue sets.

2. I like using superglue (cyanocrylate, if that's the right spelling). The gel form is the easiest to work with for me. It holds well. I usually am gluing PLA together. But I have also used Loctite Go2 glue with success (again, on PLA). That stuff takes longer to set but still works well. I use it on bigger jobs.

3. The strength of sections depends more on the orientation of the layer lines in my experience. 0.3 inches should be plenty for this application, regardless of layer lines.

4. I am also at a loss for paint. I would recommend checking out Youtube. There is a community there that makes costume props with 3D printers and they have to paint their creations.

Have you printed anything with the Ender yet? I got a Creality printer about 3 years ago. It's a beast! But it didn't start out that way. It was kind of a pile of crap until I got the bed leveled and printer settings dialed in. I'm not sure if you got through that part or if it's needed on new machines but I would encourage to take deep breaths and work through it. It's worth it. The power to think up something and then make it poof into existence is really fun!

I'm also curious to see how your bricks come out. I couldn't find the video I saw where a guy said printed bricks usually don't come out very well. So he printed a mold and then cast them in resin. It was pretty slick.

Keep us posted!

@BillYo414 posted:

1. I use roll pins for pinning items together sometimes when alignment is important. I just design holes on each piece to be joined and the the roll pins do the hard work for me. Otherwise, a groove or something (V shaped, like you did) will work. It probably isn't worth the effort here but I have even printed jigs for parts I make over and over again. Then I use clamps or rubber bands to hold everything together while the glue sets.

2. I like using superglue (cyanocrylate, if that's the right spelling). The gel form is the easiest to work with for me. It holds well. I usually am gluing PLA together. But I have also used Loctite Go2 glue with success (again, on PLA). That stuff takes longer to set but still works well. I use it on bigger jobs.

3. The strength of sections depends more on the orientation of the layer lines in my experience. 0.3 inches should be plenty for this application, regardless of layer lines.

4. I am also at a loss for paint. I would recommend checking out Youtube. There is a community there that makes costume props with 3D printers and they have to paint their creations.

Have you printed anything with the Ender yet? I got a Creality printer about 3 years ago. It's a beast! But it didn't start out that way. It was kind of a pile of crap until I got the bed leveled and printer settings dialed in. I'm not sure if you got through that part or if it's needed on new machines but I would encourage to take deep breaths and work through it. It's worth it. The power to think up something and then make it poof into existence is really fun!

I'm also curious to see how your bricks come out. I couldn't find the video I saw where a guy said printed bricks usually don't come out very well. So he printed a mold and then cast them in resin. It was pretty slick.

Keep us posted!

You are absolutely correct, the first two weeks I thought this printer was cheap junk.  It took me some time to get the bed level thing down.  A couple of things that I did find on the leveling thing was FIRST replace the springs with something good (got some on amazon that worked) SECOND was to do the bed level thing when it was up to print temperature (Metal changes with temperature) and with the tolerances so tight it seems to make a big different.  After that things stated to level out.

I have printed several bricks, different sizes with different mortar depths.  Also color of filament seems to make differences.  When I get my first sections done I'll try to make some decent pictures and post them.

@sidehack posted:

Jack

looks like you ae doing a nice job, the .300thickness should be plenty sturdy. If you use PETG filament it will be strong. I have built some structures that had to be done in sections and found a couple of things that worked, one was using a "V" design to align the walls with each other. (if you go into the  "3D Printing Repository" on this forum it has a lot of design ideas and even stl files you can download) The other thing I did for strength and perfect alignment was to incorporate holes in each section to accept a .125 dia styrene rod or tube to go in aprox. .300" deep in each.  I used a good liquid plastic cement after wiping the surfaces with alcohol. I've also used 15 minute epoxy for sections where I needed a lot of strength. If you get the alignment right the seams are pretty easy to hide. Of course all the pins and holes would have to be designed into the walls before printing.

Can't help you on painting those bricks.

tmp pins_1

Thanks for the tips.  I saw your design with the dowel joints.  I was going to use that for the joining the building corners.  Another question that comes to mind for long multi section walls.  What kind of finishing do you do, if any, to the joints.  ie. sanding or buffing of some type.

I also got my first 3D printer last month; the same model you got, Jack, the Ender 3 V2.  I had the same thoughts using it my first week...what a disaster!  I had prints turning into fuzz balls, left and right. 

A few things quickly changed my mind.  Watching videos on YouTube greatly helped me to get things moving in the right direction.   From Amazon, I upgraded the factory springs for $10 and I added a Creality BLTouch V3.1 Auto Bed Leveling Sensor Kit for $52.

Since then, I have had a great deal of fun printing some tools and mounts for my GoPro cameras, a cool chess set, and a few baby Yodas (actually his name is Grogu).  Anyways, I will be looking into O gauge train things to print next, so I will definitely check out more of the listings in this "3D Printing Repository" forum.

@Jack B glad you got it working. There are some great upgrades for that machine too. I would really recommend the Octo Print add-in with a webcam. I use The Spaghetti Detective add on for longer prints. But that's probably more info than you need at the moment.

We would love to see some pictures of the bricks! Being able to print bricks would be huge.

Jack the joints maybe touch them with sandpaper but don't remember having any problems. I thought my bricks came out pretty good, you could download one of the samples from the "3D Printing Repository" on this forum to see how you like them.

I did try several printers that my son had a which caused me to buy a Prusa MKS Kit which took 4 days to build. So has logged 72 days of running (that's 1728 hrs run time) with no problems (just make sure the slides stay greased lightly) and today DHL brought another Prusa but this time a Mini, took 8 weeks to get here. Haven't even unpacked it yet but expect good things there.

Here is the hotel I did, 100% printed (except the awning)

Hotel Charles crop_9480

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Last edited by sidehack

If you haven't checked out all3Dp.com, it's a really valuable source of hints, explanations and info about new materials. For instance, Polymax (by Polymaker) is even tougher than ABS, but there are some tricks to working with it and that's where we found them. (Shelf brackets. Who would have thought?) They also have a monthly roundup of the 50 best things to print (some repeat, like the bottle wrenches for those of us with imperfect hands,) or collections of really useful items, or a few small quick prints to learn with.

When we got our first printer, Thingiverse had a few dozen designs. There are so many now that even sorting through them takes a while. The printers are picking up speed and the searches are slowing down!

@Jack B - I have a Creaility Ender 3 Pro.  For detailed work, like your bricks, I would consider a 0.2mm nozzle.  You'll need some patience though.  I use a 0.1mm nozzle often times, but I can tell you it's not for the faint of heart.  I'm thinking you're going to have to lay those walls flat (with the bricks facing up) on the build surface, mainly because of the window openings.  The Ender is also great for sign work.  Here are some quick pic of signage left overs...

Left Over Signage

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  • Left Over Signage
Last edited by A. Wells

Sean,

You’ll get opinions from fans of all makes, but the Ender 3, in any version, is about the most common and customizable. If you’re really nervous about getting started, the Qidi Xmaker Tom got me for my birthday last year is simpler to use and comes with a customized version of the open source Cura software. They have both been reliable and give us decent results. (Occasional spaghetti piles are to be expected and don’t always mean you did anything wrong.)

If you need a very small, very quiet machine, a Monoprice might do the trick despite its small flaws. It’s supposed to have Bluetooth but doesn’t, USB connections don’t work, you need to download projects to an SD card and move files manually. Ours sits here in the bedroom and doesn’t wake us up while it runs. We use only PLA in it, so there are no stinky or dangerous fumes. DaVinci is still producing its printers in many sizes from “you need help to lift this” to little desktop cubes suitable for classroom use. The Ender can be modified to laser engrave, among other possibilities.

There are a lot of sales going on right now. A basic Ender 3 from the company or a reliable reseller will cost you less than $200. No matter which you choose, think about what material you want to use and how much space you have. Ventilation is key if you’re going to print in ABS; besides being smelly, the fumes can have health hazards. Go over to All3dp, read, watch and decide, but don’t be afraid to try it. We surprise ourselves with how often we use ours. Last week I needed a couple of buttons and was grumpily considering how I was going to get them with everything locked down, then looked up at the Monoprice and said “Oh...yeah.” Twenty minutes later, the buttons were printed and installed. The endless possibilities for train parts are great, but having one of these around can make the rest of life easier, too.

Sean,

You’ll get opinions from fans of all makes, but the Ender 3, in any version, is about the most common and customizable. If you’re really nervous about getting started, the Qidi Xmaker Tom got me for my birthday last year is simpler to use and comes with a customized version of the open source Cura software. They have both been reliable and give us decent results. (Occasional spaghetti piles are to be expected and don’t always mean you did anything wrong.)

If you need a very small, very quiet machine, a Monoprice might do the trick despite its small flaws. It’s supposed to have Bluetooth but doesn’t, USB connections don’t work, you need to download projects to an SD card and move files manually. Ours sits here in the bedroom and doesn’t wake us up while it runs. We use only PLA in it, so there are no stinky or dangerous fumes. DaVinci is still producing its printers in many sizes from “you need help to lift this” to little desktop cubes suitable for classroom use. The Ender can be modified to laser engrave, among other possibilities.

There are a lot of sales going on right now. A basic Ender 3 from the company or a reliable reseller will cost you less than $200. No matter which you choose, think about what material you want to use and how much space you have. Ventilation is key if you’re going to print in ABS; besides being smelly, the fumes can have health hazards. Go over to All3dp, read, watch and decide, but don’t be afraid to try it. We surprise ourselves with how often we use ours. Last week I needed a couple of buttons and was grumpily considering how I was going to get them with everything locked down, then looked up at the Monoprice and said “Oh...yeah.” Twenty minutes later, the buttons were printed and installed. The endless possibilities for train parts are great, but having one of these around can make the rest of life easier, too.

It is actually for another project I am doing.  Building a full size Lost in Space Robot.  But some parts I need are hard to get and I could 3D print them as the stl files are already made for them.  I don't mind spending dollars on a super reliable printer that doesn't require constant monkeying around, but I did not want to over simplify what I though it takes to do 3D printing.  I will check out that website.  If the stl files are already made, would I need to learn a lot of software to be able to print?  Or is it as simple as loading the file and you are off.

Thanks so much!

Sean

To weigh in (as someone who has been printing for less than a year, and still learning), you can use a .4mm nozzle to do bricks.  Though you need to balance heat, ambient temp, filament type, and vibrations perfectly.

Almost got the right calibration for my bigger printer, managed to fix the vibration/ghosting shortly after this image was taken (and then the heat bed crapped out so troubleshooting that currently haha)

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@A. Wells posted:

@sidehack - For the Bottling Works Sign, did you use filament for the blue or paint the blue? Anthony

At that time I was using grey PLA , but now I pretty much only use PETG grey or black "Solutech" which I have had great luck with.

The sign was all painted by me.

” Twenty minutes later, the buttons were printed and installed. The endless possibilities for train parts are great, but having one of these around can make the rest of life easier, too.

So right, whenever I see a need or a problem now my brain automatically says "can I 3D print something to help or did someone already do that"

For instance we use those plastic bags with handles in a small kitchen basket which makes it easy to tie it up and get rid of but how do you keep a bag like this held up?

Made a couple of brackets for each side to hold it up open and no more problem.

Had a handle break on a nice can opener, no problem made another and this one will never break.

I know this isn't trains but definitely relevant to the discussion. 

@SandJam STL files can go directly into the slicer. The slicer makes the gcode that the printer uses to make the object. I think that you could totally learn how to use a slicer. There are some really great Youtube channels and websites that go over slicer basics and the 3D printer people here will be able to help you. The slicer is really just manipulating inputs in my opinion. The steeper learning curve is the CAD software in some cases. More powerful CAD programs often are little more difficult to learn but I think most people can figure it out if they are determined or can follow a Youtube tutorial.

I'm not sure how big the parts are that you're talking about but I'll vouch for the Ender 3 as a great machine because of the community surrounding it and the availability of parts and upgrades. I have a CR10S Pro (made by Creality, same as Ender 3) and it's a tank. It's a bigger version of the Ender 3.

@sidehack - FYI: No painting here. That's one skill I don't think I'll ever acquire.  I put a pause in at the right level and switch out the filament to another color.  That's how I got the white and red "sign" above.  For the Neon signs, like the Hotel sign above, I basically print out a separate letter with base and install it into a matching open letter on the main board.

I love 3d printing for my layout! I've had a Prusa MK3S upgrade for about 1.5 years now and its a great machine FWIW.

I definitely use PETG for functional parts, but I stopped using PETG for models and strictly use PLA. CA glue just doesn't work well on PETG and that's my preferred method to assemble. I use Zapagap or whatever else I have laying around. I have also had better success with finishing PLA. For your printer, you will have much more success with PLA.

I always prime my PLA prints before paint. Someone else said it before, line-up pins are a great method to keep things clean for assembly.  In regards to thickness, ,3 is plenty thick. If you want to improve your strength just add a perimeter layer and make sure your infill is reasonable. I use 3 perimeters with a 15-20% infill. Never an issue on stuff I printed over a year ago.

Here is a model I just finished printing before I go to paint and finish. It's a Bungalow from Thingiverse that was designed for HO, but I just scaled up. The roof is 2 pieces and I will just make a jig and glue it together with CA glue.IMG_1251 Working on a functional RR crossing with sound for my son right now.

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@SandJam posted:

Great topic.  I was interested in getting into 3D printing.  Is it difficult for someone with no knowledge?   Whats the best brand printer to get?

Thanks!

I have spoken to a number of folks on this. It's really about what's important to you. If you want something that just works out of the box and is easy with great quality get a Prusa Mini or Prusa MK3S. We use these for prototyping for engineering as well. They work better than our more expensive commercial models half the time. Just my opinion.

@A. Wells posted:

@sidehack - FYI: No painting here. That's one skill I don't think I'll ever acquire.  I put a pause in at the right level and switch out the filament to another color.  That's how I got the white and red "sign" above.  For the Neon signs, like the Hotel sign above, I basically print out a separate letter with base and install it into a matching open letter on the main board.

Nice, I haven't tried that yet but have paused the printing when the filament got too close to the end of the spool, changed filament and it went right back to where it left off without a hitch and finished printing. Some day I'll try switching colors, Thanks for that info

Ray

@sidehack posted:

Mark, that is one of the main reasons I picked Prusa, up and running after 4 days of assembly (I choose to save $200 by building it myself) Now have over 1700 hours of run time with no problems.

I just received the Mini from Prusa but haven't had time to assemble but expect no less performance from this one.

Prusa MK3_5001Prusa Mini_5000

Let me know how you like the mini once you get it together! I have a MMU2 unit sitting in my closet waiting for assembly. Never enough time. They are truly great printers and a great value if you can afford to spend a little bit extra. It's worth it!

@A. Wells posted:

So, no one has mentioned LCD printing.  I have an Elegoo LCD Mars 2 Pro printer still in the box.  Maybe one day soon?

We have thoroughly hijacked this thread haha

But I don't know much about the LCD/resin printers. It my possibly incorrect understanding that resin is a better option for somebody endlessly printing. Otherwise you have to clean up every time you're done printing. I do know that they sure make beautiful prints.

@SandJam posted:

It is actually for another project I am doing.  Building a full size Lost in Space Robot.  But some parts I need are hard to get and I could 3D print them as the stl files are already made for them.

That is awesome.  Probably cheaper than trying to find an original Aurora Robot model    I loved that show as a kid, but after seeing reruns as an adult, I thought it was pretty goofy.  Hard to believe that was prime time entertainment back then.

Brendan

@BillYo414 posted:

But I don't know much about the LCD/resin printers. It my possibly incorrect understanding that resin is a better option for somebody endlessly printing. Otherwise you have to clean up every time you're done printing.

Most of what you read on the Web would lead you to believe that, but it is really a myth. You can leave liquid resin right in the vat for a long time, just so long as you keep it away from UV light, which the covers that all resin printers include will do just fine (especially in a darkened room).  You can also buy extra vats and print covers for them.

I recently left a batch of leftover resin in the machine for around four months and then used it with only a quick stir. It worked just fine.

I am totally sold on resin printers. I just acquired the wonderful new Elegoo Saturn as my second printer.

Last edited by Avanti

After a few days of trial and error with my new Ender 3 V2 last month, I finally got decent prints.  Upgrading the factory, bed springs and getting accurate bed leveling at the operating temperature with the BL Touch that I added were very important steps to take.

I also figured out a quick, light spray of hair spray on the glass bed before manually preheating it, keeps even my smallest prints firmly planted on the glass bed throughout the print.  Some initial prints would come loose of the bed in the middle of the print, causing a spaghetti ball of plastic, ruining the print.

Correct bed temp and nozzle temp are also key to getting good prints.  So far, I use strictly PLA filament, and have found 225 deg C nozzle temp and 75 deg C bed temp work very well for me.

Because of the addition of the hair spray to the glass bed, you have to let each print cool down to near room temp to get them to easily release from the glass bed.  Also, after each print, I use a teaspoon of 70% isopropyl alcohol poured onto the cooled bed and a napkin to clean the bed before doing another print.  

@BillYo414 - I actually need the resin printer to make colored lens for one style of my switch lights. I'm tempted to go ahead and post a thread with my two different styles of switch lights for feedback, but it'll be strange to show one without the lens installed.  I also need it to make the funnel type reflex port for my bass speaker.  None of these things can be made to spec with the filament printer.

@SandJam posted:

It is actually for another project I am doing.  Building a full size Lost in Space Robot.  But some parts I need are hard to get and I could 3D print them as the stl files are already made for them.  I don't mind spending dollars on a super reliable printer that doesn't require constant monkeying around, but I did not want to over simplify what I though it takes to do 3D printing.  I will check out that website.  If the stl files are already made, would I need to learn a lot of software to be able to print?  Or is it as simple as loading the file and you are off.

Thanks so much!

Sean

The .stl files need sliced the first time you use them. Cura handles that. All you need to do is hand the file to the software and click the appropriate buttons to slice, send it to the printer and print, or you can resize, duplicate or edit as you wish. That’s why you may find, say, a picnic table file for HO, but not for O or N. The author figures you’ll size it to suit your layout. Same with the buttons—I had knitted a hat and needed the buttons to hold my mask straps on the hat instead of my ears. The button file was a half-inch across, so I took it up to about an 8nch. You can also print multiples of small items, like fence sections or ties, by duplicating the original. I have a file that makes nine rosary rings at once in about twice the time it would take to make one, because prep and heating take up time.

Yes, hair spray works. So do glue sticks, but only a couple of brands work really well. (Hair spray also locks in loose grass, snow or glitter on a layout so it won’t go all over the place. Grab dollar store extra-extra-hold. It’s water-soluble clear acrylic, after all.)

After a couple of laggy years, home 3D printing is picking up speed like a snowball on a ski slope. I wouldn’t buy the most expensive printer right now because of the speed of advances. An Ender 3, any model, is likely to be a good choice for you because of the ease of upgrades.

@A. Wells you got my attention now. There are a few items I designed for my layout that are also just too small to print with an FDM printer. I could tweak it to print them but a resin printer would spit it out instantly. I intend to ask you guys here to print some and see how they look. But now I'm considering a resin printer for my future!

When 3-D printers will really take off is when there is a camera that's feeds into the printer and takes pictures of all sides of what you want to print. All the figuring are then taken care of. They are on the way and I believe some are available. They will be expensive at first but I paid over a thousand dollars for my first Sony BluRay DVD deck and now they are $45. Also some of HD movies took 15 minutes to load. Don

Jeff, yes and there are printed lines but very small. Easy to sand down. Some sides came out better than other but bolts came out well. If I was to do another one I would make them without bolts and sand them down totally smooth, then at the 3-D decal bolts. The guy that won first place in O scale traction convention bought one of my kits and did that very thing. IMG_3002Don

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@BillYo414 - That's why I typically use 0.2 and 0.1mm nozzles most of the time...I deal in very small scale  I'd like to get a 0.05mm nozzle but haven't been able to obtain one from a reputable source.  The only issue with resin is that the final pieces are not as strong as filament prints.  Supposedly they have new resins now that are supposedly comparable but everyone I talk to says they're still lacking.

Last edited by A. Wells
@sidehack posted:

Jack the joints maybe touch them with sandpaper but don't remember having any problems. I thought my bricks came out pretty good, you could download one of the samples from the "3D Printing Repository" on this forum to see how you like them.

I did try several printers that my son had a which caused me to buy a Prusa MKS Kit which took 4 days to build. So has logged 72 days of running (that's 1728 hrs run time) with no problems (just make sure the slides stay greased lightly) and today DHL brought another Prusa but this time a Mini, took 8 weeks to get here. Haven't even unpacked it yet but expect good things there.

Here is the hotel I did, 100% printed (except the awning)

Hotel Charles crop_9480

Keep us updated on the Mini,  That was my first choice but I decided to cheap out for my first try and learning curve.  I will probably end up putting in an order later this year if all goes well.

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