Hi, new to 3D Printing and Inquiring if it can do what I need...

Discussion in 'Newcomers Lounge' started by kleaverjr, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. kleaverjr
    kleaverjr New Member

    Before I begin investing great amounts of time into such a venture, I would like to ask those who have used this if what I would like to accomplish will work.

    First some quick background. I am a model railroder who models in HO Scale. There is an existing (RARE) model of a New York Central 19000 Series Caboose that was made by a particular manufacturer in plastic. This kit is no longer avaialble, and has been very difficult to find on "the market" (like on ebay) I know because of copyright law, I can use that model as the "prototype" for recreating more of them. But I also have a blueprint copy of original blueprints of the 19000 caboose. So if I scan the blueprints into a CAD program, and use the exiting model as a reference guide, can Shapeways create a working HO Model because I need more of them!

    Thanks for any feedback!

    Ken L.
    Pennsylvania & Allegheny Railroad, Circa 1953
  2. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    Hi Ken,

    Welcome to Shapeways!

    Regarding your railroad model, if the original plastic kit is copyright/design right(ed) and the owner active, you may have issues IF you sell the model, you'd be ok if you were having it made for your own personal use though (and to be sure it might be worth doing some digging and asking someone in the legal field of copyright law)

    As for scanning in 2D drawings to make a 3D model, yes that should be possible with the right software, but alas, I don't know which.

    My method would be to scan in and convert to a 2D dxf file, then to arrange the various 2D files in a 3D program to create a shell of the model. My method would invlove a lot of manual work tidying things up.

    Any other fellow Shapies have any input to help Ken out?


    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  3. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    All models are copies, as long as you don't make the same copy as someone else, you will likely be alright.
    This doesn't really work, old drawing are usually not crisp enough to get clean scans from, you end up spending more time trying to clean the dxf than you take to make the 3D drawing. There are two approaches. The first is to take a photocopy of your paper drawing and mark it up with all the dimensions of components that you think you will need, then draw directly in your 3D software from your dimensions. The second approach is to scan the drawing and import the raster scan directly into your 3D software. you can then trace it into 3D.
    The first approach is more tedious, but the second requires more confidence in your 3D skills.

  4. kleaverjr
    kleaverjr New Member
    The existing HO model is only for reference. Though that model has some inaccuracies that the model I would produce would be corrected. So i'm wondering, since the existing model is based on a prototype, if i were able to scan it so it can create a 3D rendering, and correct the inaccuracies, since this wouldn't be for commerical purposes (i.e. selling it) I could then produce the accurate model. Does that sound plausible?

    The trick will be finding a place that can do 3D scanning and having what is scanned inputed into a CAD format

    Ken L
  5. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    Reproducing for yourself would not be an issue, offering it for sale might be.

    If you can take some decent all-around pictures of the model, you might be able to get a point cloud/mesh via http://www.my3dscanner.com/

    Failing that, you'd be looking at some serious kit to scan an HO scale model.

    If you have the blueprints of the original, I'd be happy to help you out creating a 3D model suitable for 3D printing.

  6. kleaverjr
    kleaverjr New Member
    ... how much per model would it cost. Is there a way to get a rough idea before I spend too much time proceeding down this path. The model is of a HO Scale caboose. About 1.125" wide, no more than 2.5" tall, and about 4" long. I mean if the end product is going to cost more than $50 per unit, then it is beyond my budget.

    Ken L
  7. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    Pricing is done by the volume of material used, you can get an overview of all the materials on the Materials Comparison Sheet. The volume used for your model would depend on the wall thicknesses, but I'm guestimating at the size you want it would more $50. You could get a more accurate idea by measuring the surface area of the model (in mm), multiplying by wall thickness & dividing by 1000 to get cubic centimeters.

    Hi Ken,

    Our company, 3D Scan Services, LLC, can scan your object and provide a 3D CAD model in STL or many other formats. You can then use the STL file for 3D printing. Please visit our website if you are interested: <a href="http://3dscanservices.com" target="_blank"></a>. Go to the "request a quote" page and submit a photo of your object and will send you a firm price quote. We scan many small objects and can produce an STL file for as little as $100. We also do all kinds of reverse engineering, but that often isn't necessary for 3D printing purposes. Thank you and good luck.

    Mike Black
  9. kleaverjr
    kleaverjr New Member
    Thanks for the reply! Quick question, is the fee mentioned a one time fee per "object" that is, once the file is created for that fee, then many copies can be made?

    I apologize for not following up on this. Some other projects have gotten placed on the front burner, and this one has been put on "simmer" and pushed to the back! I hope to focus on it soon!

    Ken L
    Yes, Ken. It is a one time fee for our service. You can make as many copies of the CAD file as you want.

  11. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    In simple words, YES an HO caboose is going to cost more than $50.

    You are going to want as smooth and detail of a surface as possible, and FUD or FD are the smoothest materials available.

    A 38' caboose, 10' wide and 12' tall would be 133mm x 35mm x 42mm in HO scale. At 1/2mm thick, a simple rectangular box of that size will be ~12cm3 of material.

    That translates to $33 in FD and $46 in FUD... without adding all kinds of details to make it worthy of putting on the rails.

    The trouble is.. 1/2mm walls on something that large might be too fragile. If you were to make the walls 1.0mm thick .. the FD price would jump to $60 and FUD would go to $86
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011