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Canadian National Railways in N-Scale [message #47508] Thu, 26 April 2012 03:56 UTC Go to next message
avatar jpsmith63  is currently offline jpsmith63
Messages: 6
Registered: February 2012
Go to my shop
Junior Member
Interested in developing N-scale models of Canadian National Railways prototypes in Ontario and would appreciate any techniques and tips re level of detail, etc. that can be printed.

Re: Canadian National Railways in N-Scale [message #47513 is a reply to message #47508 ] Thu, 26 April 2012 09:38 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
Messages: 2032
Registered: August 2008
Go to my shop
Shapie Expert
moderator
Take a look thru my shop.. http://www.shapeways.com/shops/stonysmith You'll see there that many things are possible. I've tended to push the envelope just about as far as it can go, and I'm pleased with the results so far.

For the numbers I'm quoting below, I'm talking about real-world dimensions that are then scaled down 1:160 for N scale.

If you stick to the FUD material, then you can design things down to a minimum thickness of 4 inches with certain exceptions allowed down to 2 inches. Forget about long skinny railings - they need to be supported with cross braces at least every 4 feet.

If a item such as a rivet or rib on a wall does not protrude more than 1 inch, then it can be as small as 1 inch in diameter and still show up. Just be aware that there is a "roughness" issue (talked at length in other forum posts) that sometimes manifests itself.

You also need 1 inch of clearance between parts if you want anything to move, such as hinges, etc. That works well for big industrial items, not so much for residential doors, etc.

Just remember that as a flat panel grows larger (say 10 by 10 feet) then you'll need to make it thicker (nearly 6 inches thick) so that it won't warp during the cleaning process which is done under heat. One option is to provide cross-bracing behind the panel which you then cut away during post-production.

==============
What I do is design everything in decimal feet using real-world dimensions, then as a last step before uploading to Shapeways, I use NetFabb to multiply by 1.385 for Z scale or 1.905 for N scale, which converts from real-world feet down to millimeters for the printer. Don't skimp and use 1.900, because at 20 feet, you'll be a couple of inches short.

[Updated on: Thu, 26 April 2012 09:40 UTC]


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: Canadian National Railways in N-Scale [message #47544 is a reply to message #47513 ] Thu, 26 April 2012 17:46 UTC Go to previous message
avatar jpsmith63  is currently offline jpsmith63
Messages: 6
Registered: February 2012
Go to my shop
Junior Member
Thanks for sharing your expertise! I was not aware of needing to increase thickness as the flat panel grows larger.

I've been constructing the models "full-size" in SketchUp, exporting as .DAE, importing to Meshlab, scaling by 0.00625 then exporting mesh as .STL, which tedious but is working okay.

Jeff

 
   
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