Model Train Thread

Discussion in 'Miniatures and Scale Models' started by stonysmith, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    This thread is for general discussion of topics related to Model Train items.

    On the rail, near the rail, far from the rail, or even on the other side of the tracks is fair game.

    For my own part, I got started at Shapeways because I need houses for my layout.
    A friend then asked if I could build a Taconite Ore car for him, and as they say "The rest is History".
    Four hundred models in my shop later, and I still need some more houses for my layout.
    I guess you could say I got distracted. <grin>

    The biggest hurdles I face are surface finish and those pesky wall thickness requirements.. both topics of which have been well aired elsewhere.
    SpoilyBear likes this.
  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    Oh, heck no.. I'm not letting them off that easily.. we need the ability to print working motors "in situ".. INSIDE the models, with wheel wipers, coils, contacts, and all the rest, all in ONE print.<GRIN>

    And, add some color while they're at it. <GRIN>
  3. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    I've printed wheels that work quite well from WSF

    Cue cruel close up photo



    These are 9mm gauge for O9

  4. MitchellJetten
    MitchellJetten Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Will anyone be ordering some Full Color Plastic trains?

    I ordered 2 trains in 1:220
    Interested to see what kind of post production is possible on these models, maybe a nice matte lacquer will get a kind of finished product :)
    SpoilyBear likes this.
  5. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    I wonder what it would be like for doing model buildings in ? The slightly rough texture is less of a problem there.

    Sadly I can't try this myself as the software I use is mechanically based and has no facility t add color information.

  6. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    I am already setting up a couple of my models so that I can test-print them in FCP.
    My first guess is that the resolution of the color will be no better than what we currently get on FCS.
    Most of my models are at 1:220 scale - it is nearly impossible to do accurately sized brickwork, because of the low image resolution.
    But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try <grin>
    southernnscale and SpoilyBear like this.
  7. coaster
    coaster Well-Known Member
    Hi Oscar,neat stuff,what scale is it?
  8. seriaforma
    seriaforma Well-Known Member
  9. bobquincy
    bobquincy Member
    I haven't printed any designs for trains yet but monorails should qualify. My N scale radio control monorail started with a machined chassis and after hours at a milling machine I looked for a better way. With 3D printing the chassis can include details I could never machine and they can be made faster and at less cost! The body shell is currently a purchased item but that will be modeled in 3D later.

    Those are 1/2" squares on the cutting mat! :)

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  10. dcyale
    dcyale Well-Known Member
    Hey- is anyone else going to be at the Amherst Hobby Show in January? I'll be there with my club (not as an exhibitor) and I'd love to day hello with fellow 3D model railroad modelers.

    Dave Yale
  11. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    West Springfield MA is a bit far from Dallas. :( Wish we could meet up...

    I'll be attending the Dallas Train Show in Plano, TX January 17-18, 2015
  12. bobquincy
    bobquincy Member
    A "World's Greatest Hobby" show is coming to Raleigh NC 17-18 January, I hope to get to the show.
    SpoilyBear likes this.
  13. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    I ran into this interesting explanation by Richard Feynman of how a train stays on a track and thought of you guys. :) I'm sure most of you already knew this, but for those that didn't it'll be interesting. :D
  14. MadAsU
    MadAsU Well-Known Member
    I have just uploaded a number of HO scale items for platforms - bench, trolley, lights and luggage - as well as some water tanks.

    I am not a modeller myself, but enjoy working on my Dad's with him. It is also very interesting being able to do the 3D models of 'large in real life' items.

    If I could ever find the time, I would love to do a locomotive shell - the ones on here are very impressive.
  15. cherokeeblade
    cherokeeblade Active Member
    Pretty cool I been working on a similar project. I all ready got the track and supports done. Thanks to Hawkgames. Now a working chassis. Like you trying to design it by hand is a pain. I to think 3d printing it out will be the best way to go. Got plenty of bodies done to work with the ideal. In fact one of my friends has design the monorail concept around a game. and now selling it as part of scenery. Even though it just a static display.
    It look like from what I can tell from your planning on it to run on a plastic strip also with one side being positive and the other negative.
    Now are using the front two rollers as your contacts and pulling wheels and then the under belly having roller bearings to ride the slit to reduce friction. If you like to see or play with the design. You can order one from dropzone commander website look for mono rail it a static display only but that what I'm working off of for now.
    To me who has a N-scale Sci-fi train layout Yah so it steam punk some say also. But adding a better monorail system then Habit trail tubes and train tracks in side them look way cooler. Keep up on the project love to see how it turns out when finished.
  16. bobquincy
    bobquincy Member
    I looked at the HawkGames monorail, it is pretty cool and I would like a nice steampunk monorail but it is going to be about $70. It's a maybe... It looks like a resin model and will need to be hollowed out to fit a running chassis. For now I am using Disney toy spring-powered monorails for my shells, they are about $5 each but require some work to remove the mechanisms.

    Shapeways has been printing my chassis for about 3 years, the latest one is the third revision. My models use "BPRC" as the model railroaders call it, Battery Powered Radio Control. The amount of work to run metal strips on both sides of the beam and to get the train to reliably pick up the power seemed like much more trouble than installing a battery and radio receiver. The 150 mAH battery is good for over an hour of running and the battery can be changed in less than a minute.

    My beam is made from either vinyl "lumber" (from Home Depot) or Celtec, planed and sanded to 5.0 mm thick. 20 mm tall looks about right and the supports are 3/8" PVC with caps from Shapeways. Beam connectors are from Shapeways also. For each car there are two rollers on each side of the beam to help keep the monorail upright, while two larger wheels ride on top of the beam (one driven by the motor in the powered unit).

    There are some photos and drawings of my monorails on my website:
    I have built four running sets (sold two) and am working on another for myself. One included about 40' of beam, curved to fit into an already designed layout.

    There is a Japanese N scale monorail model, Fujimi Type 1000: 121167368840.html
    I had two 3D chassis printed and motorized the model but it was just for a test as I am not really interested in Japanese monorails.
    Thinking of Japanese models, this one is too hard to resist and I am planning to build a model of it. This about as steampunk as real trains get: corn-x-rapit.html

    Let me know how your model is turning out, I am always interested in what other monorail enthusiasts are doing!

  17. he6agon
    he6agon Well-Known Member
    I've been active on Shapeways since around the first of the year. I got started after it came up among a coworker how in the old days locomotive engineers had brass reversers and now we just use these cheap plastic reversers. We thought it would be cool to have a reverser that could be fitted to a beer tap handle, so I worked up the design in AutoCAD and here I am.

    When I am not operating locomotives at my job, I'm working on HO scale railroad models. Since joining here I've found that 3D printing is the way (or soon will be as the technology improves) to execute many of the ideas I have that would be too difficult or even impossible to scratchbuild. Even better is the fact that I can add more than one to the cart and make the part available to other model railroaders.

    I must confess I've been one of those prototype modelers who complains that certain models aren't available. I've long wished for certain models to be available in HO scale but I realize that some of them are simply too rare or too specialized for any of the established model train manufacturers to bother with. So to fill that void I have recently been on a tear designing the models I'd like to have. Some of them might be a little too expensive to be practical yet, and several of the tiny details have to be beefed up to pass the minimum design criteria, but I'm confident that 3D printing is the way to have those rare models that we may never see otherwise.
    MrOGDEN and SpoilyBear like this.
  18. dcyale
    dcyale Well-Known Member
    Welcome. My "prototype" work has been limited to an elseco heater for a New Haven locomotive, but looking at your models I can see you are already filling a niche that 3D printing makes practical. I have a set of Canadian Northern switch stands that I was asked to make that sell slowly, but steadily, allowing fans of that railroad to achieve a correct look.

    Just like the model railroading hobby itself, the 3D printing aspect has room for many different interests, and it's nice to see another-

    Dave Yale

  19. MadAsU
    MadAsU Well-Known Member
    Great to see lots of train modellers on here! Has anyone got any tips for reaching the target audience?

    Most of my models are generic in that they would work on lots of layouts, but some are more specific to the australian market.
  20. he6agon
    he6agon Well-Known Member
    Reaching our target market is a great subject to discuss. I have shared some of my ideas and enthusiasm for 3D printing on some discussion forums. I think forums that cater to the specific subset of railway modeling your models fit in are your best bet.

    I'm just getting started so I don't have too much to share of actual successfully printed products, but that's slowly changing. As these models go from idea to 3D model to tangible model that you can photograph or show others in person, doubters become believers. I think that's the biggest hurdle to be overcome: that this technology is good enough to use for scale models, that the blocky, stepped edges are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

    The other issue is cost. To properly execute models that can look at home with injection molded or resin cast models, the only material to use is FUD. An HO scale car printed in FUD is expensive! My designs require the user to supply couplers, trucks, and other detail parts such as grabs, ladders, air hoses, etc. By the time all these parts are added and the model is painted and decaled, the model approaches $150 to $200. It's not reasonable to expect the average modeler - or even many dedicated modelers - to spend that much on what amounts to a craftsman kit. But I'm confident the cost will come down in time.
    SpoilyBear likes this.