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3D Printed N Gauge Pendolino and On Track Plant

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Looking forward to some more :) Excellent work....

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You know, I only just started reading this thread because I'm interested in the whole 3d printing thing.

 

I saw David's efforts at creating the Pendolino drawings and thought what a great job.

 

Then the images of the prototypes and was disappointed by the poor finishes,

yes, the larger than life photo's made it look much worse than they would have at 1:1 but still ...

 

Read on to the later pages and there is such awesome detail in these finished items.

 

Small and reasonable 3D print technology is just about hitting consumer level now.

 

Soon with a bit of work we'll be able to create whatever model variants we want at a not too crazy cost.

 

If I had any CAD skills I could already be making lots of items myself ( I have access to a DaVinci 3D printer that can print small stuff in ABS)

I have made custom items on it but it's beyond me right now to do more complex items.

 

With 3d object capture technology on the scene it will make it even easier.

 

David's skills and perseverance are commendable and I wish him success,

it would need to be something very special to me to put in so much work.

 

It's exciting though, to think we are at the start of an era where individual models may be just a few hundred clicks away.

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It's been far too long since I updated this thread - my 'other' modelmaking has been taking up all of my time. 

 

Thankfully, my 3D prints are still selling strongly - surprisingly so, to be perfectly honest, and my facebook followers continue to grow in numbers. With a little bit more time on my hands lately, I've been working on another portion of the HOBC train, this time the VM 80 vacuum wagon. Its an expensive wagon given the volume of material involved (I try to thin them down as much as is structurally possible), but I have to say it looks great on its own, running behind a class 70 or similar...

 

Interestingly, Shapeways' prices aren't shifting downward as everyone has been expecting, so I am exploring other options for the future. With a fleet of 3D printers in the Uni studio to play with, the Form 1+ looks quite promising, and I think switching to one of these could enable me to cut the retail price of these wagons by at least 50%. 

 

This would then place 3D printed wagons in a price bracket that is cheaper than RTR...will this be the game changer for the hobby that 3D printing has for several years been promising?

 

David

 

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Interestingly, Shapeways' prices aren't shifting downward as everyone has been expecting, so I am exploring other options for the future. With a fleet of 3D printers in the Uni studio to play with, the Form 1+ looks quite promising, and I think switching to one of these could enable me to cut the retail price of these wagons by at least 50%. 

 

This would then place 3D printed wagons in a price bracket that is cheaper than RTR...will this be the game changer for the hobby that 3D printing has for several years been promising?

 

 

Wow, that would be impressive. As someone who currently dabbles in 3D printing, it is very hard to miss the enormous potential that it has for our hobby although it is unfortunately limited by cost to N gauge (let alone larger scales) as it stands. Reducing the prices to below RTR  as well as the on going improvements in surface quality, would be a massive step forwards in the popularisation of 3D printing.

Edited by m0rris

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Sorry if this is egg-sucking but one thing to watch out with if you get into printing your own is to make sure you have a very good idea of how much of your time it takes to print a model.

I had several people asking me about using my B9 to print models for sale.  At first glance a print time of a few hours on the machine made this look quite viable. However, when I sat down and worked out sensible estimates for my time to do:

  • Set up
  • Machine maintenance
  • Cleaning the printer after printing
  • Cleaning the model
  • Post-curing
  • P&P

And then I thought about how much extra time I would need if a print fails (which they do from time to time).

 

Considering all of this and even putting a pretty low value on my time it quickly became clear that the asking price would have been no better than ordering from Shapeways.  This was before their recent price changes though.

 

I suspect that someone with your skills will have thought this through anyway but if not it might be worth speaking to someone who uses the machine regularly so that you can get a realistic estimate of how much of your time it will soak up.

Edited by Rabs

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I agree with Rabs. I was nearly cheated by 2 gentlemen once in a similar case. They only boasted about their print quality and time. But they took too many short-cuts. Luckily I was able to see a test sample first. It was ########. So I was saved in the nick of time.

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Thanks for the advice, but that's already factored in, as is a depreciation of the initial investment of buying the machine. I'm surrounded by 3D printers and their owners on a daily basis and its interesting to hear the different ways people are accounting for their time.

 

There could be significant cost savings by moving away from Shapeways, including the consolidation of P&P - currently a customer pays £10 to Shapeways for the print, and if they buy the wheels, decals etc from me, I have to cover postage costs again.

 

My main aim is to get the retail price down to a level where more people can afford them, part of this will come from lower material costs, and partly from process changes. The benefit of having your own printer is being able to put them to work efficiently - just as Shapeways does for themselves.

 

Nothing decided yet, but looking at the quality of prints coming off the Form1+ and the length of time it's taking, the numbers seem to stack up favourably.

 

David

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I'd love to see results from those home printers

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Hello David,

 

I think that if you were to print the items yourself there are potential benefits to you and your customers beyond just a reduction in price:

 

*  You could orientate each print to give the optimum quality for that particular item

 

*  By ensuring print quality you will increase consumer confidence in your items

 

*  Your website will become a proper "one-stop shop" and speaking as a consumer I much prefer to buy a single, complete kit rather than have to scratch around here and there for parts. It's one of the reasons why one of my first acts when I took on the NGS kits in 2004 was to add decals.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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I'm looking forward to the day when I have my own printer, and I can download a file from the internet and print it myself. That will remove a lot of the problems mentioned above at a stroke.

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That certainly sounds promising David. I've often hovered over the "buy" button on many of your models, but slightly put off by the prices (totally understand why though) and the likelihood that I'll mess them up anyway! I'd probably order most of your models if prices fell! The HOBC looks fantastic.

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David,

 

Very impressive models, but I see your "real modelling" has rightly taken most of your time. If you produce models of this quality in you graduate life you will be successful.

 

Orders for your items will follow once, like many of us, the funds become available.

 

Keep living the dream

 

George

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Late finding this topic/thread, food for thought on a proposed OO Leicester Central station front, pity you cant just scan a photo in.

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Most of the models seem to have dropped massively in price with Shapeways FUD repricing. Suddenly a set of 5 MRAs in N compares well with current rtr prices.

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Shapeways recently implimented a pricing restructure for FUD and FXD, some items thus automatically reduced in price and others increased.

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Hi all,

 

Yes prices have dropped spectacularly really - the HOBC had £100 fall off its printing costs, while some single wagons have basically halved in price. Long overdue in my opinion.

 

David

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Hmmm, always been tempted by a rail grinder, at £50 I fear one will accidentally fall in my shopping basket next time there's free shipping!

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I've just flicked through this topic; impressive what you've achieved. What CAD software do you use? I use a free SolidWorks version I've been able to get hold of but its very limited. So far I've only been able to create simple tools like railers. 

 

I notice the frequent topic of the price. Personally, I print my designs at home with an Ender 3 Printer (https://www.creality3donline.com/creality-ender-3-3d-printer_p0019.htm). You can buy them cheaper elsewhere; I paid £165 for mine. But when you consider I've already made about £80 or so back on that by selling my railers on eBay, its a sound investment. 

 

I did manage to print this very basic 45mm gauge loco:

All in, this cost me about £20 but the printing was only about £3-4. 

 

Quality isn't as good as Shapeways, etc. but its good enough if you sand it down a little here and there. 

 

My next project was to build a FNA(?) nuclear flask wagon but I can't seem to find any rough dimensions anywhere; any recommendations? I think that's the correct name but someone might wish to correct me. 

 

Excellent work though

Mitchell

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