Love the concept! Hoping to make a neat gift

Discussion in 'Newcomers Lounge' started by kepardue, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. kepardue
    kepardue New Member
    I've been looking at Shapeways for a while, and I've got a bit of experience with Blender. More recently I've been learning Cheetah3D for the Mac. I've been enjoying the breath of fresh air that the interface brings compared to Blender.

    My Dad is a model railroad fan and has a decent sized HO scale layout. As a project to help me learn Cheetah, I'm hoping to model my parents' house, have it turned into a physical model by Shapeways, assemble and paint it and present it to my Dad as a birthday present. His birthday isn't until August, so I've got plenty of time to work through learning curve.

    I do have a couple of questions for those more experienced...

    I believe that their house which is, I believe, some 40-50 feet long would work well within the limits of the Shapeways size limit when scaled down to the 1:87 HO Scale.

    Am I correct in assuming that the house should be modeled as a number of separate pieces? Each of the walls, plus a base and roof?

    How detailed can the model be? Ideally, I'd like to have reliefs where the door is and for the grooves of the siding so that the texture will show up even afer they've been painted.

    Related to the above, I see that some of the materials feature a .2mm detail. This seems like it would be plenty, but is this material strong enough to serve for a model railroad building?

    I've seen several folks that have done model railroad parts and buildings, any pointers for the design from you guys (best ways for the pieces to fit together, recommended adhesive, limitations with putting LED lights in the inside, etc.) would be much appreciated!
  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    You will need to learn a new number as your best friend... 3.43 inches. That is what the 1mm thickness requirement maps out to in HO. Anything thinner than that can't be printed. Fortunately, that is a fairly small number. I have been modelling in Z, and my limit is 9 inches. That keeps me from doing fine detail such as window glazing, etc.. You will have better luck in HO, but you are also going to have higher costs due to the larger print volumes.

    With Shapeways, there's no requirement that you print separate peices. You could just print the whole building as one single peice. But, you can also chose to print the peices separately.. which would make for much easier painting and post processing.

    Yes, both the WSF and WD/BD/TD materials are strong enough for model railroad use.. WSF in particular is nice and sturdy, but it's going to give you a "stucco" type finish.. it will require a fair amount of work if you want it smooth.

    As to the 0.2mm details.. they "work", but be careful. Take a look at the attached picture. Assume both blocks are 0.2mm tall and 0.2mm wide on the top. One thing I have found is that the yellow block has a tendency to break during cleaning, but the red block is much less likely to break. In other postings here in the forums, you'll see this referred to as Chamfers & Fillets.

  3. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    I wanted to provide a small update about strength.. This partly belongs in the It Arrived! thread...

    Attached is a photo of a bridge I printed at Shapeways in Alumide. It is 2mm thick, and is now firmly attached to my train layout with Liquid Nails. My layout is only 30x36 inches, and weighs some 15 pounds.

    In an extremely un-scientific test, I can completely support one side of the layout by pulling up on the underside of the bridge, and I have no indication that that it'll break or tear. That's at least 7.5 pounds it can support, more than enough to not be considered 'fragile'.

    Ballasted Bridge.jpg