First Ho Scale Print - Would Love Some Seasoned Perspective

Discussion in 'Miniatures and Scale Models' started by jjshebesta, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. jjshebesta
    jjshebesta Member
    I’m producing my first model train print.

    My project is an HO scale model train layout of our family cabin. My mother and stepfather built the cabin but recently had to part with it. Since my stepfather is a model train enthusiast I thought this would be an excellent project to make as a gift and an excuse to begin my 3D printing hobby.

    I am running up against concerns as to:

    A.) Where to dial the wall thickness to avoid warpage (project has interlocking parts) + (currently no reinforcement ribs)
    * Versatile Plastic - 1mm (min - .7)
    * Fine Detail Plastic - .5mm (min - .3)

    B.) How to best calibrate the model economies for cost - because:

    *My desire is to post the kit's modules on Thingiverse and Shapeway - so others can print this model train layout. I know this would warm my stepdad and mother’s heart knowing others are enjoying the cabin they designed. (currently the modules [combined by strues] by my
    estimation will hover around 1,500$ [primarily produced in FUD] - which frankly is far more than I anticipated and seemingly will make for an unappealing purchase for other enthusiasts)

    If you would be willing to offer a little consult it would mean so much!

    Thank you for your time!
    • JJ

    Attached Files:

  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    If you want people with home printers (as in Thingiverse) to be able to print it, you'll have to go thicker than 0.5mm
    My home printer just ignores any wall that is only 0.5mm

    The big thing about the thickness at Shapeways is to also consider how long the part is. I have a model in FDP - a rounded end cylinder with 0.3mm walls.. it was 30mm in diameter, 200mm long. With walls that thin, and no internal supports, it cracked like an egg. Since then, I've never used less than 0.5mm for things that large, but I tend to go on up to 1.0mm. One patron told me that at 1.0mm, FDP directly competes with the strength of injection molding.

    To avoid warping on long sections, you should add some internal supports, even if they're designed to be removed.
    See this model for example:
    It has 0.5mm walls, and those inner supports are 1.0mm

    The thing that's going to hurt on houses like the one you have shown is the support material. If the base of the house is not flat, then it consumes more support material. If you can, I'd split that model horizontally at the foundation, separate off the gazebo, and print it as three pieces. You're still going to pay a lot for support material on the main house (unless you also make the roof a separate piece) but you could reduce the cost for the irregular base on the foundation.