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I have a part that is no longer produced and I need to print some spares.  I do not have a 3D scanner or CAD software.  It is a relatively simple part I suppose.  It is a door from the K-Line Double Door boxcars K-57XX series.  Is there a place that I can take the sample to and have it scanned to make the appropriate printing file?  I will post a picture shorty.

Thank You

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@Ahitpy posted:

I do not have a 3D scanner or CAD software.

If you’re interested in learning how to use a CAD package, you can sign up for a free 1 year personal license of Autodesk Fusion 360.  After the first year is up, you can renew it for another 1 year term for free (I just did this last week).

I use Fusion to model R/C car parts and export them to STL files so I can print them.  It doesn’t have all the features of a professional package like SolidWorks, but for what I’m doing it works just fine.

@Ahitpy I actually have no experience with a scanner. Please post when you get it! We would love to hear your experiences. I could definitely get some mileage from having one.

@sidehack sometimes I have to make time. But more often than not, I don't have time haha Also, that is very impressive! Did you ever print parts of it? I gotta assume you would need to find yourself metal axles/wheels. But that's beside the point.

@A. Wells I haven't heard of that one. I will have to investigate. It would be great to have a few free programs to recommend.

@A. Wells posted:

That I would throw my two cents into this thread.  I use openSCAD to do CAD work.  It's limited (sometimes hampered) by the language, but you get incredible control over the dimensions and finer detail of the model for the trade-off.

Hmmm....

I have been using FreeCad. The my top priorities are (1) Fully-parametric modeling, so that I can create "meta-models" that can be tweaked via parameter, and (2) be fully-free, with "no strings attached".

I have never tried openSCAD, but it appears that it meets both of these requirements, as well.

FreeCad is incredibly powerful and feature-full. The big downsides, though are (1) it is very complicated and hard to learn; (2) the UI is amateurish, redundant, and changes frequently; and (most seriously) (3) it is very buggy. It is very common for a complex model to suddenly "fall apart" in ways that are difficult to recover from.

I am an experienced programmer, so I often feel like I am trying to bend FreeCad into a programming language, and it doesn't always cooperate. I am wondering if I should throw in the towel and move over to openSCAD.

Any thoughts you or others might have on this topic would be gratefully received.

Thanks.

Ray, is that a fully functional truck?  Did you print one or more and see if it was functional?

I wish, but no this was done way back before I was 3D printing, I was designing dies to forge exotic metals in.  I think I could Convert the parts and pieces to produce solids for STLs but right now no time or interest, but maybe down the road?

@Avanti (Pete) -- If you're an experienced programmer, you may also want to look at Open JSCAD (https://openjscad.org/) as well.  You can do a lot more in terms of defining very complex parts programmatically.  I like openSCAD because I can whip up something very fast.  (I have my own Java Library for making very advanced extrusions following curves from complex 2D paths...think goose neck building lights, but it is very programmatic.  It was also a challenge getting all the math in place for the transforms and, as you might expect, it is incomplete.)

@A. Wells posted

@Avanti (Pete) -- If you're an experienced programmer, you may also want to look at Open JSCAD (https://openjscad.org/) as well.  You can do a lot more in terms of defining very complex parts programmatically.  I like openSCAD because I can whip up something very fast.  (I have my own Java Library for making very advanced extrusions following curves from complex 2D paths...think goose neck building lights, but it is very programmatic.  It was also a challenge getting all the math in place for the transforms and, as you might expect, it is incomplete.)

Well, I really, really hate Javascript, so I think I will pass on that one.

However, I am a big fan of Python, and your suggestion make me wonder if anyone had done Python bindings to openSCAD...  As it turns out, EVERYBODY has. There must be a dozen such projects. Now I am wondering how not to bet on the wrong horse.

This link suggests that SolidPython is the most popular. Any opinion?

@Ahitpy posted:

I've decided to purchase a 3D scanner.  For what I need, that will provide the best choice.  I'll let you know how it goes.

I have a Matter and Form scanner. Works great for organic shapes but there is a learning curve to using it. To me, this would be easier to take a photo and bring it into Fusion360 as a canvas and reverse engineer it with Calipers. It looks like a very simple part?

I find that when you scan you never get a clean model unless you're using some very expensive software for the post-processing.

Glad to see this thread and will follow it closely. Not model train related, but I have a cabin interior for a 1:144 Scale L-1011 airliner plastic model kit that I want to to enlargen to place in a 1:100 scale L-1011 that I want to build.  If anyone can do that for me, I'll gladly pay for the service and ship the pieces to you.

Rounding back a month later... So Ahitpy, were you able to get the part scanned?

Just checking in as I still have a 1:144 Lockheed L-1011 that is screaming to be recreated at the 1:100 scale - more specifically the cabin interior is screaming - as I want to place it inside a 1:100 kit.

20210323_223000

If any OGR'ers can help scan and 3D the cabin interior parts for me let me know.

P.S. - Yes, I used the word "screaming" twice.  Some of you will get the inside joke reference that's within the photo .

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@A. Wells posted:

@Amfleet25124 - Have you considered building your own scanning harness? It might be fun.  Anthony

A. Wells, no I have not.  As much as I would like to learn more about 3D scanning, I don't have the time or space right now for that.  When I do have the time, I use it for other things.  It takes me forever as is just to complete modeling tasks (I have many unstarted and incomplete projects lying around)

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