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I am looking to create a model of a  ex-LSWR Type 1 signal box, and the only kit available is the Prototype Models one of Sidmouth Junction, it looks a little "flat" for my liking. And short of scratch building (arghhh!!!) I wondered if I could go down the 3D printing route?

 

What would be the best way to go about this? What software is needed? Is it possible to import photographs to help (few are straight on, however). 

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I believe the Mid Hants Railway used to stock a laser cut kit of Alresford 'box -a type 1- but I think I had the penultimate one. They do, however, stock a (normal) printed kit of the same, though it's currently unobtainable due to the lockdown.

 

As for 3D printed buildings, I use Sketchup personally.

Edited by sem34090
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I'd go with Sketchup too. The latest free one is a web based client, I use the 2017 version which is an aoplication that runs on your PC,  gives you access to the many community developed extensions that are out there to make life easier, including ones specifically for 3D printing such as the .stl exporter and 3D file error checker...

 

It has the ability to import and scale photos and there is a tool that allows you to align the buildings length, height etc with the major axes so you can use photos that aren't straight on. 

 

Check out the official Sketchup channel on youtube for intro videos.  They have several playlists of   learning and tutorial videos.

 

Currently in lockdown they are posting up bi-weekly tutorials, including a Friday one where they live model a subject - so far some of the bigger things they have done include  Big Ben, Tower Bridge,  Notre Dame and Hogwarts main hall  as well as many  smaller things. They go for a couple of hours but are entertaining and I've learned a heap of tricks and tips from watching them.

Edited by monkeysarefun
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I've been using Fusion 360. It's been an interesting learning curve but I now feel like I am getting somewhere. I started this process at the start of lockdown. 

 

The latest creation that I have created can be seen below in both the digital and printed form. Excuse the colours, the PLA was cheap. 

 

1422749469_Screenshot2020-05-06at20_47_34.png.643e7b3a6b880276c9ca190e5aa4ed9b.png

 

IMG_1782.jpeg.35e8e637c1c7b1271eacf2b0ee8b7d42.jpeg

 

 

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Heres one of the things I've built in Sketchup. Trying to find the time to get my printer back up and running so I can print it off.

 

church.jpg.2ebd6c197c8cb668a520b460289ffafb.jpg

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I also use Fusion 360 but unless there are compound curves or significant complexity find that Tinkercad does just as well, certainly for architectural projects.  Here is the Tinkercad design of the base, shell and roof frame based on Stuls station on the RhB - 

 

1608615672_Stulsassydesign(1).png.46331f8200e9dde3982b86e1f4f34cc6.png

 

And the finished product in situ - 1913 version - Redutex roof tiles in case you wondered!

 

IMG_20190721_165431620.jpg.6853ddad8465c3e32e8a02bdfc39df92.jpg

 

And 2013 version - nice thing with CAD is once you have the design, modifying and duplicating is simple - 

 

IMG_20200403_204116195.jpg.9a1db102bc885d70c9278e08bc1d5ecb.jpg

 

Edited by JimFin
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6 hours ago, JimFin said:

I also use Fusion 360 but unless there are compound curves or significant complexity find that Tinkercad does just as well, certainly for architectural projects.  Here is the Tinkercad design of the base, shell and roof frame based on Stuls station on the RhB - 

 

Nice buildings. 

 

I too have used Tinkercad, however I have found on several occasions that you create a model up to a point then Tinkercad refuses to go further without crashing. Most frustrating. It did this on a church model that I created. 

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