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Noel

3D printing + DIY CAD

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Is 3D printing finally improving?

 

Been reading this incredible thread over on RMweb about this chap 'bmthtrains' fascinating journey learning CAD and progressing from 3D printing average quality rolling stock to very well detailed stock including wagons, coaches, complex PW machinery, locos, etc. He has evolved some incredible 3D tips and tricks. Dayrl's post here today showing the 3D geni in his superb GSV was also striking.

 

It's well worth scanning through 'bmthtrains' thread below from the beginning. It's N gauge but the process is the same.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/61710-3d-printed-n-gauge-pendolino-and-on-track-plant/page-31

 

Are we on the cusp of a big change in the hobby? I've been a firm sceptic myself but not so sure anymore.

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No, we're not. Look at stereo lithography printing, which has been around for years. A machine can cost €100,000,and a print is a couple of grand. Large manufacturers use this process to produce pre production samples you see in magazines. "stereo print"

 

It's almost as good as rtr but ribbing can be spotted on it.

 

The issue with 3D printing is that it's an additive process, creating layers, and despite the thin layers, still looks like combed toothpaste.

 

Look at the reductive processes of starting with a lump and removing the swarf with lasers etc.

 

That's where the tech is going now, and should be able to produce perfect parts. From a casting and moulding viewpoint, this should make cottage industries more viable.

 

R.

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Hi Guys

 

This is an update about 3D printing from Shapeways:-

 

https://www.shapeways.com/forum/t/road-to-major-fud-improvements-starts-with-repricing.80212/

 

A number of small 009 producers use them and from what I have seen they are pretty good now.

 

That said they are complaining about the price of the prints.

 

One thing that Shapeways has or is about to do and that is to allow the designer to place his model in the best axis, I have not use it for a while but, I am told that if you have a boiler for a steam loco it is best to do it as a separate print and to set it out in the Z axis as the print will not then show up ribbing.

 

One 009 modeller is thinking about his next kit and producing it in a number of fit together parts using superglue to put it all together, the other answer is also that some parts are worth keeping to in brass sheet, such as cab roofs.

 

I admit it is not perfect, but as a new technology it is coming along in leaps and bounds. I have been told that a number of American custom car shops are now printing sections of cars to fit as a replacement section which are already customized and only requiring painting to finish.

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No, we're not. Look at stereo lithography printing, which has been around for years. A machine can cost €100,000,and a print is a couple of grand. Large manufacturers use this process to produce pre production samples you see in magazines. "stereo print"

 

It's almost as good as rtr but ribbing can be spotted on it.

 

The issue with 3D printing is that it's an additive process, creating layers, and despite the thin layers, still looks like combed toothpaste.

 

Look at the reductive processes of starting with a lump and removing the swarf with lasers etc.

 

That's where the tech is going now, and should be able to produce perfect parts. From a casting and moulding viewpoint, this should make cottage industries more viable.

 

Hi Richie. Ok, I still doubt 3D could ever compete with the lower costs and quality of injection moulded plastics employed for volume production, but for one offs or very small volumn it does seem to be gradually improving. I've seen some well finished WSF Shapeways models of UK stock that weren't entirely on a different planet to RTR. Recently I've acquired some Shapeways FUD (frosted ultra detail) which surprised me for quality and smoothness bordering in IMP. No evidence of 'tooth paste' effect whatsoever.

 

As you know I recently did a 3d loco but it was Shapeways WSF which indeed had some 'tooth paste' effect that I choose to rub down and fill with Halfords grey primer, but the FUD material seems a vastly finer resolution with no evidence of layering, stepping or pitted surface finish. The loco bogie sides I acquired were FUD and were every bit as fine as bachmann IMP ones. Strangly after layers of priming, painting and varnishing it's difficult to see much difference between resin models and 3D WSF/WSFP. FUD is too expensive right now, but for a unique model body (e.g. Mk4 DVT, A class) it might be worth the cost, and if costs ever come down in the future I wonder if 3D may end up having a role replacing resin and in some cases even brass components or some etches?

 

I may be interesting in five years time, to look back and see if and how many non-mainstream Irish models may or may not be available as 3D models (presume kit form) ready for painting by markets such as Shapeways, or DIY modellers using various print service providers. For modellers It could be a game changer, or an empemeral technolgy.

Cheers

Noel

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This is a perennial thread regarding 3dprinting... I've made a lot of use of it over the last 7 years now, and it is improving. However.. the most economical material for 4mm scale models is White Strong and Flexible... which isn't the best quality material..... FUD and others are, but are not competitive for 4mm scale. Especially so since shapeways changed their pricing structure a year or so back.

 

Best technique, as in all modelling!, is to use the most appropriate material for your model. So use overlays, use higher quality materials which will be seen, use brass castings for domes/chimney dome etc... it works for me! and even WSF is useful for some applications on it's own - for 6 wheel chassis, for coupling pockets...This, for instance, is entirely printed in WSF....

 

Cheers for now.

 

Richard.

W1 247 2.JPG

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This is an area that is piquing my interest at the moment. 

I follow this guy on Youtube & he recently demonstrated a DLP (Digital Light Processing) 3D printer

 

 

The results look excellent, however the size of model being produced would be quite small - not an issue if you were to make a series of parts and assemble as a kit afterwards.  

This printer appears to be selling for less than €500 which (for those of us who remember) was the cost of inkjet printers not so long ago!  Like inkjet though, it appears the resin is where the cost is c.€ 75 per litre which may make things a little expensive.

It may not be the quality of RTR tooling, however for small and rarer items, this is starting to look a little more economic.

 

Ken

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From what I have read recently, a kilo of resin might seem expensive, but tiny models weighing only a few grammes each means it should go a long way.

Mastering CAD remains the biggest challenge, I think. Fine if you already know how, but could take a while to learn. Maybe local adult education classes might help?

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Posted (edited)

42ft Container flat in FUD. 3D print technology is continuously evolving and seems to have a viable use for one off unique models that are not available RTR.  Its expensive but can be worth it. Materials such as FUD rival injection moulded plastic for quality if not cost. If you have CAD skills its a very useful tool.

Below CIE 42ft container flat designed by Neil over on RMweb (Myner Models) and printed by Shapeways using FUD (Frosted Ultra Detail). The detail is stunning, everything on this model is part of the print, brake wheels, brake pipes, vacuum pipes, coupling hooks, etc, no bits were added on afterwards.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/VHDMTBHW3/cie-42ft-ly-container-flat-wagon-round-buff?optionId=65000132&li=ostatus

IMG_6081.jpg

 

Edited by Noel
typo
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8 hours ago, David Holman said:

From what I have read recently, a kilo of resin might seem expensive, but tiny models weighing only a few grammes each means it should go a long way.

Mastering CAD remains the biggest challenge, I think. Fine if you already know how, but could take a while to learn. Maybe local adult education classes might help?

 

David, mastering CAD is a process, like everything else. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by simply trying. I wouldn't say I am an expert but I have used it, in many forms for years and work in both 2d and 3d. I haven't used it much recently but in the past have used it do design 3d roofing models for students training for our Carpentry skills competitions, in the UK, Europe and at World Level.

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Posted (edited)

Close up of one of Neil's 3D FUD prints.  The detail and finish is stunning.  I'm going to add lead weight to the underside of the bogies to ensure these will run ok unladen on all of my track work. It seems a shame to hide this open structure with container loads. I know IRM will be releasing their 42ft later this year but I had to have one of these for now. :)

IMG_6087.jpg

Edited by Noel
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Chunkier than the real thing, but surprisingly smooth finish 👍

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, BosKonay said:

Chunkier than the real thing, but surprisingly smooth finish 👍

In honest reality they most probably cost significantly more to buy than your RTR version will, but still need to be finished with paint, decals, bogies and couplings. But I had to "collect" at least one as an example of some outstanding Irish 3D work. True cost for one unpainted was 25+13+7+3 = €48 (wagon print, bogie inc wheels, postage, couplings) which I'm fairly sure is a lot more than IRM's may be standalone (i.e. without container load). Ok if you were doing say 7 of them the postage would be the same binging the unit cost down to €42 but that's unfinished without a box and not very heavy!

But it does show what can be achieved with 3D in FUD.

IMG_6090.jpg

IMG_6088.jpg

Edited by Noel
lexdysia again
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I agree Noel, the tech is coming on well, and I can loosley confirm, without giving much away that the 'blank' flats with die-cast chassis, etc, from IRM will cost a 2 digit percentage less than your cost above.

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A question to all you 3D-ers.....

This is a medium I know little or nothing about, hence the question: suppose I was to provide someone with a drawing of a coach, let's say, or even a loco, as a one-off job. Using best quality available materials, what sort of cost is it to produce one or two items?

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48 minutes ago, BosKonay said:

 the tech is coming on well

Things will progress, if the market is there. Some of us will remember how poor the early jet printers were.

And, who would have watched this and expected to fly the Atlantic in a pressurised jet airliner fifty years later?

the-wright-brothers-9781476728742_hr1.jp

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BosKonay said:

I agree Noel, the tech is coming on well, and I can loosley confirm, without giving much away that the 'blank' flats with die-cast chassis, etc, from IRM will cost a 2 digit percentage less than your cost above.

:tumbsup:

I'm looking forward to them

Edited by Noel
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1 hour ago, jhb171achill said:

A question to all you 3D-ers.....

This is a medium I know little or nothing about, hence the question: suppose I was to provide someone with a drawing of a coach, let's say, or even a loco, as a one-off job. Using best quality available materials, what sort of cost is it to produce one or two items?

Hi JHB, 

Essentially, you'd need to commission a CAD tech with 3D printing experience to produce the item in a CAD format suitable for printing. For a coach say,  you are probably looking at €2000 or so in time / cost for that bit.

Then, upload to shapeways or a similar service, and you'd probably pay between 60-100 euro per print, assuming high end materials, and a moderate number of parts and size of parts.

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Thanks for that,  Boskonay... so only feasible if the buyer can do all the design stuff themselves....

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I reckon it's feasible for short run items, say 25-50 items. 

On that bases, a coach, for example would work out at (best case) 100-150 euro a coach (bearing in mind you'd still need bogies, assembly, etc).

 

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Hi JHB

I do stuff like that- drawings to cad, cut stuff out, make moulds to cast more, but time is the problem! A man gave me a box of kits to build n paint- I think you know him! so cannot look at anything major for years, but do pm me and let me know what you thinking.....

Eoin

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8 hours ago, Broithe said:

Things will progress, if the market is there. Some of us will remember how poor the early jet printers were.

And, who would have watched this and expected to fly the Atlantic in a pressurised jet airliner fifty years later?

Hi Borithe

Add 2 years to the 50- a French man in America flew his- well it actually looked like a boat, 2 years before the W Brothers. I reckon the record books didn't credit him because he wasn't true American- if there is such a thing😗 (not including the Indians in that)

Eoin

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2 hours ago, murrayec said:

Hi Borithe

Add 2 years to the 50- a French man in America flew his- well it actually looked like a boat, 2 years before the W Brothers. I reckon the record books didn't credit him because he wasn't true American- if there is such a thing😗 (not including the Indians in that)

Eoin

It's all part of a "process" - the Wright aircraft couldn't take off under its own power, it needed the falling weight catapult.

Where the 'start' is is often not definitive.

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6 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

Thanks for that,  Boskonay... so only feasible if the buyer can do all the design stuff themselves....

I have a lot of experience with 2D CAD as I use for work (the real work!), and downloaded the full version of AutoCAD on trial to try the 3D version.  The commands are generally the same with the addition of stretching or providing depth to shapes.  In a few hours this evening, I have come up with this as a first project.

 

444955741_495ClassDrawing2.thumb.jpg.8b94bbc12e68acf05d2287409b8c550f.jpg

 

141148355_495ClassDrawing1.thumb.jpg.e8e5ee0bc28c9dfff3e425b213574a41.jpg

 

Looks basic enough so far, however it is possible to build up the elements in stages and bring them together.  Boiler elements are dark grey, tank and chimney are light grey, cab elements are mid green, and by chance the footplate is in eau de nil.  By doing it this way, it will be possible to deconstruct the model into component parts and print as a kit and assemble as one would a standard kit - it would be necessary to provide some additional material to line up parts etc.  However given the size of this thing, it probably could be printed as a single unit.

 

As to the costs - the eye watering bit is the cost of AutoCAD (€260 per month!), the DLP printer noted above is c. € 500 and resin is about €75 per litre.

 

I terms of turning out models, what would make life much easier would be proper dimensioned drawings of the prototype (perhaps IE could help here?) which would reduce drawing time.  At present, I'm trying to measure from an existing model, which is not really an accurate way of doing things!

 

If I can convince the accountant that my CAD package is out of date and I need to upgrade, "there may be trouble ahead".

(oo00OO...now why would an engineering company need a 3D printer?.....)

 

Answers on a post card to the usual address....

 

Ken

 

 

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12 hours ago, murrayec said:

Hi Borithe

Add 2 years to the 50- a French man in America flew his- well it actually looked like a boat, 2 years before the W Brothers. I reckon the record books didn't credit him because he wasn't true American- if there is such a thing😗 (not including the Indians in that)

Eoin

It looks like several inventors were looking along the same lines at the time, in New Zealand its claimed that Richard Pearse a Timaru (South Island) farmer achieved powered flight about 12 months before the Wright Brothers. Much of Pearse's equipment was dumped in the  farm rubbish dump and exhumed after his death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pearse

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121162972_WagonFraming.jpg.7fcd479882545fc4d421a0d4d68a4920.jpg

I originally planned to use 3D modelling techniques to produce the JM Design Tin Vans rather than as etched brass and whitemetal kits. 

I prepared this about 6 years ago though never got round to producing a 3D print. The basic idea is to use the print as a master for casting in brass or whitemetal.

A number of local companies offer a resin casting services, using rubber moulds produced from 3D models. This avoids the layering effect with traditional 3D printing. At the time I was quoted around $800.00 for a mould for a coach body with a mould life of approx 30 uses.

In the end I released the models as brass and whitemetal kits, due to the comparitivly higher costs associated with 3D printing or resin casting considering the potential level of demand and to achieve an acceptable standard of finish. 

In general JM Design covers its distribution and production costs but not its design or overhead costs.

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Posted (edited)

Getting the hang of this 3D CAD.

 

Progress to date.

 

788198027_495ClassDrawing1.thumb.jpg.22bd2b2919dbe96a938aa68754e59204.jpg1844338109_495ClassDrawing2.thumb.jpg.6473178998070cbd196603348a12ea6c.jpg

 

102498517_495ClassDrawing3.thumb.jpg.fc74f747dcd7935dab84b2631039d88b.jpg

Few more bits and pieces, and we may have model to print!!

Edited by KMCE
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Ken

That is a brilliant looking model. i hope it prints out well for you.

Have you got a chassis in mind for it?

MikeO

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Hello MikeO,

 

I am planning on using the High Level Pug Chassis - http://173.254.28.51/~highlev3/chris/Pages/pugpage.html

I will need to make some mods to this kit to allow for the 21mm, as it only allows for the 18.83mm P4.  It may simply be spacers between the wheels and chassis and build chassis as per the kit, or introduce new cross-members in the kit to build out for the 21mm.  It may be simpler to use spacers.

The 3D model is nearing completion, and I may put it out to Shapeways to get their call on whether it will work and costs etc.

 

Ken

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Hi KMCE, good to meet with you yesterday at the Bray Wheelers gig

I could recommend a few spacers here if you need some?  :disco:

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Well......

 

Model went to Shapeways for printing. 

The system wouldn't accept the buffers, as the edge was too thin for their printers, so just left it with blank buffer beams - I can always add buffers later.

€ 58 lighter and 12 days later, a model was delivered to the door!!

20180619_180639.thumb.jpg.215164471de3fc3ab02b782ce44252cf.jpg

 

Cab roof and back were printed separately to allow me to provide detail with out the keyhole surgery!!

 

20180619_224708.thumb.jpg.c5a4ad03b4b4d1713b2026182f74ab64.jpg20180619_224720.thumb.jpg.4d3a369891ff770eae3188e2eb1eed0b.jpg20180619_224855.thumb.jpg.7a84584a6b6c3d06c5734eb3154fa212.jpg

 

Now the erudite among you might have noticed the the buffer beam is incomplete / broken, and the chimney appears to have been printed inside the smoke box!  So a friendly chat with Shapeways will be needed to see what happened.  They are not major issues, but other details appear to be good, so what's with these two errors?

 

As for detail, rivets on the tank body did not render, however on the smoke box face and cab made the grade.  It appears fine detail will render on flat surfaces, but not on curved shapes.   A light coat of primer may help to raise more detail, as it is a little difficult to see the detail given the material its printed in.  

 

All in all, pleased with the result for the effort put in.  Let see how this looks with some paint and sitting on a chassis.   I may start a separate thread on the build of 495 rather than continuing here as the discussion has moved on from 3D printing.

 

More soon......

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Quick update:

 

Dropped a note to Shapeways pointing out the broken parts on the model, and in fairness to them they responded quickly.

 

1737679257_Shapewaysre-order.JPG.e62bea7652cc06b2ec7358d07cd42bf6.JPG

 

In fairness, you cannot complain with that level of service - I'm very impressed.

 

Looking forward to take two!!

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Re-printed model arrived.

 

Printed properly this time

 

20180705_212213.thumb.jpg.0c0c07d9debc14707bff9e7485b0cf06.jpg

 

Now on with the build!!

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