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rovex

Johnsons Building Supplies

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Hi all

 

Having had some success with designing items for my layout and having these printed by Shapeways, Andy Y has agreed that I can publicise a little business venture I am considering.

 

As some of you may know Shapeways allows people to sell their designs through their website, and indeed several fellow RMwebbers are doing this already.

 

I have decided to try and create a selection of scratchbuilding aids for structure modellers. I have long been disappointed at the range of items available, for example church or gothic windows. I know of only one white metal version available and that is distinctly uninspiring. The laser cut versions I have seen advertised have been much better but distinctly flat. Also so many of the whitemetal items provided by one particular supplier are architecturally very dubious!

 

I am currently considering the following:

 

gothic accessories such as:

 

1      windows of varying sizes, suitable for churches etc.

 

2      doorways along the same lines

 

3      gothic style bay windows and oriels,

 

4      spires for the tops of buttresses.

 

5      balustrades

 

Georgian and Victorian

 

6      door cases of varying designs

 

7      window surrounds

 

8      balustrades and pediments

 

9      columns (ionic, doric etc) - corinthian is currently beyond my abilities.

 

I intend to spend some time over the Christmas period drawing up some designs, which I shall be posting on here along with the printed results. I don't expect to be able to give up the day job.

 

If anyone has any ideas for other things they have been searching for and unable to find or which would be of general use, please feel free to post away.

 

regards

 

Dean

 

 

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Ok first few ideas. These show some designs for ionic and doric columns that I have drawn up. The ionic column has been done in both plain and fluted.

 

The designs are 100mm tall but can be scaled up or down as needed. Alright classical columns may not be in great demand but you tell me who else does them?

 

post-7075-0-50816000-1419201476.jpg

 

because sketch up shows every line - this one does not "photo" well

 

post-7075-0-88977900-1419201482.jpg

 

but here's a close up of the capital showing the fluting

 

post-7075-0-48552900-1419201486_thumb.jpg

 

and without flutes

 

post-7075-0-20206400-1419201492_thumb.jpg

 

And doric. - I managed to get some of the lines to hide for this "shot"

 

Dean

 

 

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Another doodle is this design for a cast iron clock to grace any park or Victorian high street (particularly it seems here in Birmingham). Its about 100mm high and is intended to be fitted with the scale link clock faces (although no doubt paper ones would just as well. Some scale link fretwork would also not go a miss but isn't essential

 

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post-7075-0-44171600-1419364909_thumb.jpg

 

regards

 

Dean

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Looking good!  Just so you know, you can turn off the lines in the 'styles' menu.  I find it useful for taking images of fiddly shapes, such as bodies with lots of rivets in, so that they aren't just black blobs from the lines.

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Hi Guys

 

I started this thread way back when and then got bogged down trying to do Gothic windows and struggling somewhat. Ended up throwing up my arms in despair.

 

Anyway its about time I resurrected it and got on with things.

 

A thought that occurred to me was "shopfronts". My idea, as a starting point, is to design a range of shopfronts to fit the Scale Scenes low relief shops, so they would be interchangeable between the various tops and give greater range and also a bit more relief and would allow people to have the more ornate Victorian style fronts that can still be found in many of our towns and cities.

 

Another thought was to make ones into which the Langley brass etches could be fitted.

 

They could also be used as a scratch building aid.

 

Dean

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not sure. I started a range of modular sectons to build terraces houses or shops, and not much interest. People seem to look on 3D printing for locos , and rolling stock. I think that if you have to build something many consider 3D printing too expensive. I agree to a certain point, so am thinking of complete buildings. Also intersting items like that clock tower might be popular. My model of a spiral staircase seems to atract attention.

3D printing has a big advantage over some resin models and that is weight, or more like lack of it. Might not be a problem for permanent layouts but keeping weight down is important for portable ones.

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I think what you could be offering could be of benefit to many who scratchbuild. There is a great gap in this market. Laser cutting has improved it and things like various windows and doors are easily available, I have often thought about doing something similar to compliment a range of planned card kits that I was once thinking of producing, but never really find the time to complete.

 

If you could get the pricing right and the items right, you could be on to a winner.

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Dean

 

A choice of decent standard windows would be a great boon to many modellers, unless its been done already would be at sizes to fit into card kits which would widen the appeal to kit builders as well as scratch builders. The (decent) kits I have seen only have one or two the same in each pack, where a terraced house would have 4 or 6.

 

The Gothic style for both churches, warehouses, schools and other buildings would also benefit from multiple windows of the same size, The trick with 3D printing is making them available at acceptable prices. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into the design, but unless buyers can be tempted to buy in reasonable numbers neither party benefits. Modelu seem to have cracked the pricing, so it can be done.

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Thanks John

 

I tend to find, as others have, that bulking things together tends to be cheaper then printing single items, for example when I put my ground signals onto a sprue, http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/110891-gwr-ground-signals/, the cost did not increase significantly.

 

Also, of course, the material used has an impact. Sometimes the finer material is needed because of the level of detail, or as I was thinking in relation to shopfronts a smooth surface is more prototypical. Sometimes a coarser material is more fitting, particularly if wanting a surface that equates to a stone or rendered finish.

 

Anyway I feel more inspired to crack on with this, my only problem now is that the computer is in the conservatory which in the current climate is like working in the fridge

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Dean

 

Many small businesses (even a few big businesses) have started with a simple idea produced from home, its the basic formula (what they want at an affordable price) which is difficult, then sometimes not expanding too fast, or having too grand an idea.  Good luck

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I think that one of the biggest gaps in the market for 4mm buildings is the typical 1930s onwards 'council house' as per the defunct PME kit.....

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=44188

 

Loads of variations on a theme and even if it was a 'frontage/rear' kit I know I'd be interested....simple built in huge numbers and lacking in the ready to plonk ranges.

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I have been drawing up various parts for the station building at Aylesbury most of the parts will be laser cut but cupula, portico and booking hall doorway will be 3D printed. Also see my thread I have also drawn up rainwater pipe brackets.

 

The software I use is Autodesk Fusion 360 which is a free 3D programme and allows you to render the images designed.

 

David

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Edited by David Bigcheeseplant
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I think that one of the biggest gaps in the market for 4mm buildings is the typical 1930s onwards 'council house' as per the defunct PME kit.....

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=44188

 

Loads of variations on a theme and even if it was a 'frontage/rear' kit I know I'd be interested....simple built in huge numbers and lacking in the ready to plonk ranges.

the Dapol kit is a pretty good version of the classic semi detached council house.

Going for the more complex/ornate buildingsis a possibly a better option as people think those are more difficult to build themselves. .

Don't limit yourself to 4mm/ft scale, other scales are an even better option. One reason I am persuing British HO .

 

Bespoke work is one area I am looking at. 3D printingis a good alternative to the traditionalally prodfesionally build model buildings, and should not work out any more expensive. Advantage is that it can be done in differenr scales, and when someone sees it in model reality they might want a model of it themselves.

 

I just googled Autodesk Fusion 360 and it does not look  free for most people. Like much software it is free or cheaper for students but looks like it has to be paid for if you use it commercially.

Edited by rue_d_etropal

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Fusion 360 is free, you can use it for hobby use. Put it this way I have never paid for it and only downloaded it about three months ago. It is cloud based and can be used on both Windows and Apple.

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I just googled Autodesk Fusion 360 and it does not look  free for most people. Like much software it is free or cheaper for students but looks like it has to be paid for if you use it commercially.

 

Even Sketchup is not free for commercial use, but many still use it thinking that its fine to do so. What ever you use, just be careful.

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Even Sketchup is not free for commercial use, but many still use it thinking that its fine to do so. What ever you use, just be careful.

seem to remember seeing that when I was first looking around. Was recommended the package I use(not free, but is only one payment up front), and as far as I know I can use it for commercial stuff. I would keep away from any package that you have to in effect rent by paying an annual fee.

There is no such thing as absolutely free software. You end up paying something at some time. One reason why many are free for educational use, as once bitten(ie you are using the software and are happy with it) then you are more likely to buy it later.

On the other hand, many companies would be wary about stiring the water, as they use a lot of free software. Rock the boat and everyone gets wet.

 

As long as you stay small scale(not the models!) then there should be no problem that does not mean it might emerge later on. Remember the issues relating to photo ownership online a couple of years back. Lots of grey areas, but if one person is using fully paid for software, and then if someone else tries to compete by using unauthorised software, then expect someone to grumble.

When scanning gets even better, or your designs find their way into someone else's computer, then it might be more difficult to prove ownership.

 

Just wish my software did work on Apple though, as I have been tempted to move that way.

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the Dapol kit is a pretty good version of the classic semi detached council house.

Going for the more complex/ornate buildingsis a possibly a better option as people think those are more difficult to build themselves. .

Don't limit yourself to 4mm/ft scale, other scales are an even better option. One reason I am persuing British HO .

 

 

Completely devoid of relief........ Full rendered  was common in some places, not others, also somewhat dated to say the least.

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the Dapol kit is a pretty good version of the classic semi detached council house.

 

- except for the window frames, which, unless they have refined the old Airfix ones, are very thick. Produce a set of attractive replacements and you might be onto something!

Edited by phil_sutters

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- except for the window frames, which, unless they have refined the old Airfix ones, are very thick. Produce a set of attractive replacements and you might be onto something!

3D printing would struggle to produce ultra thin window frames(which are strong enough), but it wouldbe a good project for someone with a home printer to see if it was possible.  Easier just to file them down if if bothers you. I have done a few replacements for Hornby Dublo windows, and can't get them as thin, sochanged design slightly. Alsodone some to fit the HD metal buildingswhich make a whole lot of difference.

If someone was able to produce windows with glazing integral, then that would be a big step forward. However thinthe window bars are, if the glazing is not in line it will never be perfect. The glazing area in council house type windows is quite big.

It might be possible to use a 2D printer on transparent plastic(overhead projector type), I did try this years ago, but the ink comes out a bit transparent, and you can not print white. Decal paper and a printer that can print white might be an option.

Edited by rue_d_etropal

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Right once again my own lethargy has got in the way not only of any decent modelling but also of doing anything about this idea I had some years ago.

 

Anyway intent on getting on with some modelling I've been designing some things for an upgrade to a model of the Leeds Empire theatre I made for my last layout.

 

And inspired by that I have come up with some ideas for chimney pots. The designs are shown in the photos. All are based on standard designs and are reasonably accurately scaled. Looking at Shapeways I should able to sell these at £10 (plus VAT) for a pack of 20 of one type. I'm thinking of printing these as fine detail plastic. And this time I am going to do it.

710078865_chimneytypes.jpg.53ea82d06db8f7738f4440899e0e7d5e.jpg

Not shown are the smaller crown type chimneys (known as Queen and Bishop), the one in the sketch is known as a King.

 

Its surprising just how large some chimney pots are.

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On 01/01/2017 at 23:27, rue_d_etropal said:

seem to remember seeing that when I was first looking around. Was recommended the package I use(not free, but is only one payment up front), and as far as I know I can use it for commercial stuff. I would keep away from any package that you have to in effect rent by paying an annual fee.

There is no such thing as absolutely free software. You end up paying something at some time. One reason why many are free for educational use, as once bitten(ie you are using the software and are happy with it) then you are more likely to buy it later.

On the other hand, many companies would be wary about stiring the water, as they use a lot of free software. Rock the boat and everyone gets wet.

 

As long as you stay small scale(not the models!) then there should be no problem that does not mean it might emerge later on. Remember the issues relating to photo ownership online a couple of years back. Lots of grey areas, but if one person is using fully paid for software, and then if someone else tries to compete by using unauthorised software, then expect someone to grumble.

When scanning gets even better, or your designs find their way into someone else's computer, then it might be more difficult to prove ownership.

 

Just wish my software did work on Apple though, as I have been tempted to move that way.

There's plenty of FREE software out there, most is not very good, but some are excellent. The most common one is Open Office, I have been using that a long time and not one penny has been asked for. Open Office Word is as good as Microsoft Word and will take Microsoft Word files into it with no problems.

Autodesk Fusion 360 can be got free, providing you are not using it for commercial purposes. You have to register first then you can download the 30 Day trial, you then have to sign in to get a year license, for a individual "modeller". Or 3 years for a student. It doesn't say what happens after the time period is up.

I just had a look around the website to see if I could see what Autodesk Fusion 360 was like to use, but to me it just seemed it was aimed more at professional designers rather people just starting out with new 3D printers. So I decided against signing up and getting the license for it. I have lots of software downloaded, which seemed great and would do what I thought it would do. But the practice of using it turned out to be so long winded, that any advantages were soon lost and I ended going back to either old software or another one that was more easier to use, or had more features. Nearly all of them had a small payment to them. The worst software in this bracket has to be video editing software and I have a stack of these and not one can make a 4.3 picture appear on a 16:9 TV without it being stretched out, then revert back to a full 16:9 picture on the same disc! 

 

Being that 3d designing software has been designed for designers to use, therefore more complicated than it needs to be. At the moment I don't think I could design a rectangle 3mm thick and 50mm long by 20mm wide, in less than a two weeks using any of the software! At the moment there is a market for people who can use the software to design things for printing. And the rest of us "morons" like me to download it. And print it out. However even if we are prepared to pay the designer for these most of us would like not to. Nevertheless some of the designers are not that interested in getting paid fees and offer the designs free. So it becomes more problematic to prevent any designer getting ripped off, especially when someone is offering the same thing free! 

From what I have seen of Shapeways there is little future in the company in offering 3d printing of plastic items. The price of the printers and what they can do is falling all the time. I don't know if the offer the service of offering files used on 3D printers (for a fee) so that a user can print out the items themselves. However for the time being that is what they should be doing. From what I could see they are not offering any files for home printing.  And I can only see a limited market for those who want to send them drawings to convert them to files for printing on home machines.     

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3 hours ago, Graham1960 said:

 

From what I have seen of Shapeways there is little future in the company in offering 3d printing of plastic items. The price of the printers and what they can do is falling all the time. I don't know if the offer the service of offering files used on 3D printers (for a fee) so that a user can print out the items themselves. However for the time being that is what they should be doing. From what I could see they are not offering any files for home printing.  And I can only see a limited market for those who want to send them drawings to convert them to files for printing on home machines.     

 

There are already many 3d marketplace sites where you can either purchase or download free 3D files  created by the community. Some are aimed at professionals such as turbosquid.com and can be quite pricey, others such as cgitrader, myminifactory  and thingverse are more reasonable - and often have free files or request a small donation. 

 

Given the uptake of cheap resin printers like the photon and Duplicator D7 which are capable of insane detail they are a much more reasonable way to buy smaller items, especially if multiples are required.

Edited by monkeysarefun

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11 hours ago, monkeysarefun said:

 

There are already many 3d marketplace sites where you can either purchase or download free 3D files  created by the community. Some are aimed at professionals such as turbosquid.com and can be quite pricey, others such as cgitrader, myminifactory  and thingverse are more reasonable - and often have free files or request a small donation. 

 

Given the uptake of cheap resin printers like the photon and Duplicator D7 which are capable of insane detail they are a much more reasonable way to buy smaller items, especially if multiples are required.

What I was expressing there is the dodgy trading ground for Shapeways to be in. With loads of printers on the market which are getting better and cheaper every week, to only offer 3d printing is a crazy road to take. As you point out loads of companies are offering the files only, therefore are in direct competition with Shapeways. The company could end like Sony with the Beatamax Video Recorder if they are not careful.

Don't rule out PLA type printers. If they can get the quality issue sorted they will kill the market in resin printers. Nobody likes dealing in messy chemicals unless you have to have. Everyone thought that Plasma would take over the TV's market! You can't say that now. As far as I can tell it will only take a few adjustments or a small development to get the PLA and ABS coming out as fine as a Resin one. As soon as that happens bye Resin Printer!   

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17 hours ago, Graham1960 said:

Being that 3d designing software has been designed for designers to use, therefore more complicated than it needs to be. At the moment I don't think I could design a rectangle 3mm thick and 50mm long by 20mm wide, in less than a two weeks using any of the software!

I think we are forgetting some basics when it come to 3D printing and surrounding issues - main one being horses for courses.

 

Fusion360 and many of these packages are for professional use and do require a fair effort in learning the skills to use them for anything beyond basics - but there are good basic packages such as Tinkercad https://www.tinkercad.com/ where I think you could design your rectangle very quickly and develop some skills to produce reasonable results for basic shapes - the trick is then how to build the model you want out of geometric shapes. Its not necessarily the software complexity, its the model you are designing. So - a switch box is quite easy, Rectangles, triangles and not much more. Shown in N, HO, O and G scales.

 

1718487201_SwitchBox.png.811203ee5653f602d0a898515c46b4b7.png

 

If you want to model the compound curves on the front of a modern locomotive - you probably need a lot of training and skill development!

 

Equally - why spend a huge effort in designing and printing items where there are simpler solutions or better commercial components to use IN CONJUNCTION with 3D printing. Taking model buildings for an example, complex tile textures and shapes take a lot of effort to both design and print. In this instance products from the range such as Redutex http://tienda.redutex.com/en/12-textures (and I am sure other similar suppliers) will be superior to any home produced item. Its also very easy to cut to shape with a pair of scissors and stick on as it is self adhesive.

 

IMG_20190624_123423045.jpg.79fec2557aa9cc252f4eacfec04772cd.jpgIMG_20190624_123437754.jpg.607b3ca0c9cfaea43c313b7b75ff8789.jpg

 

These view of a 3D printed Swiss chapel show how Tinkercad can create some complex shapes, including the onion belfry but then using other more appropriate techniques where appropriate.

 

2 hours ago, Graham1960 said:

Don't rule out PLA type printers. If they can get the quality issue sorted they will kill the market in resin printers. Nobody likes dealing in messy chemicals unless you have to have. 

.

On that subject, one bit of a correction but important one, PLA is simply one kind of material you can use in a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printer- and honestly Graham1960, not being pedantic - but one of the current and future developments is the range of material you can use in FDM printers. The chapel above had the walls printed with "Layabrick" which is a composite of ground chalk and PLA which gives a lovely texture for walls and stonework, the windows and doors use Woodfilament which again is a composite of 20% wood fibre and PLA but gives a lovely grained texture that can be stained rather than painted.  I have even used Carbon Fibre composite on a snow plough blade. I think future materials designed for FDM printers will improve the print resolution limits for a hobby printer as the chemical structures and thermal responsiveness improves. 

 

Generally I am a bit concerned that on the subject of 3D printing - and laser cutting - we are in danger of getting hung up on single tool solutions when we would be better looking hard at the range of options available and combining tools and materials best suited for the job. It reminds me of NASA spending millions on developing a pen to operate in zero gravity when the Russian solution was to use a pencil.

 

Is it worth spending a lot of time and effort to design and 3D print a buffer when  machined brass ones have been around for as long as modelling and will almost certainly look - and perform - better.

 

On 24/06/2019 at 21:41, rovex said:

 

 

And inspired by that I have come up with some ideas for chimney pots. The designs are shown in the photos. All are based on standard designs and are reasonably accurately scaled. Looking at Shapeways I should able to sell these at £10 (plus VAT) for a pack of 20 of one type. I'm thinking of printing these as fine detail plastic. And this time I am going to do it.

 

 

I wish Rovex every success with his venture as I do think there is a market place for components others cannot readily produce themselves, but do hope he will address one of my concerns with Shapeways and that is is to publish photographs of the finished models not just a CAD representation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by JimFin
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36 minutes ago, JimFin said:

 

I wish Rovex every success with his venture as I do think there is a market place for components others cannot readily produce themselves, but do hope he will address one of my concerns with Shapeways and that is is to publish photographs of the finished models not just a CAD representation.

 

 

Whilst I agree in principle with this point I can understand some sellers on Shapeways cannot print every file in every scale for the purposes of photography. Most of the small range of items I offer are variations around a basic coach bodyshell, where only the window sizes, spacing, and layout vary. I have tested the basic file and printed enough items to be able to show the key variations in photos, without having to print the whole range which would set me back about £700 upfront! That overcomes the problem caused by one designer (nowhere on RMWeb) who can knock out a detailed and accurate file in about 24 hours, offer it on Shapeways, only to discover a minor but material error in the drawing after people have placed orders.

 

As well as choosing materials, and the printing system, to suit the files, I have always tried to ensure that my design will fit a commercially available chassis and reuse components from a donor vehicle with that chassis. I accept that some people offer models on Shapeways as scratchbuilding aids, with the buyer finding his/her own solution to getting, say an EMU, up and running. I am sure that there is a place in the market for that style of product, provided it will print to an acceptable standard, and that the scratch-aid nature is clear in the shop description.

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