Adventures in 3D printing

How to do it, advice sought and offered.
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RossB
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:53 pm

Adventures in 3D printing

Post by RossB »

Always looking for a new challenge I decided to have a go at 3D printing. To start off with a very brief overview of the process, there are two distinct steps involved; drawing a 3D model and then printing it.

Having no previous experience of 3D drawing, the first step for me was to learn how to create a suitable model to print. Fortunately there are many free drawing packages available all with sizable online communities supporting them. I decided to try Autodesk Fusion 360 and downloaded a free version of the software.

https://www.autodesk.co.uk/products/fusion-360/personal

While there is a steep learning curve, I came across a set of video tutorials on youtube by Carl White which are specifically aimed at 3D drawing for model railways with a view to printing the final drawings. These step by step tutorials start with the basics and build up to full, detailed models.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO6U0E ... Q/featured

Once I'd learnt how to create 3D drawings, the next step was to find a suitable printer. After a bit of research (there are plenty of threads on RMWeb etc) I settled on an AnyCubic Photon S.

https://www.anycubic.com/collections/3d ... 4941119548

The first model I drew was a CR D117 15t Agricultral Implement Wagon as this was similar to a wagon in one of the video tutorials and I had a copy of the CRA drawing.

D117 Implement Wagon.jpg
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For practicing printing I though that a smaller, simpler wagon might be better so I drew a D14 bolster as well (this is a later version of the drawing to what I initially printed below).

D14 Bolster.jpg
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Moving on to the printer itself, here is what comes in the box. I also opted for the wash and cure station which was on special offer at the time. Everything is included to get started.

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I won't go into detail just now on how it all works but here is how a typical print comes out.

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The resin the tray is cured by UV light to build up a 3D model on the build plate. Models are printed upside down and then need cleaning and further curing to finish.

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Unfortunately the transparent green resin which comes with the printer is not the easiest material to photograph! After a few successful prints of the bolster wagon I moved onto the larger D117.

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My current project is a D115 6 wheel van.

D115 Van.jpg
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While it might take quite a bit of time and effort to learn this is a technique which is definitely worth persisting with.

Ross
Jim Summers
Posts: 1190
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:54 pm

Re: Adventures in 3D printing

Post by Jim Summers »

Impressive, Ross.
And what are your New Year Resolutions?

JimS
jasp
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:40 pm

Re: Adventures in 3D printing

Post by jasp »

Great stuff, Ross
Would these be suitable for resin casting for TLM?
Jim P
tony brenchley
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:36 am

Re: Adventures in 3D printing

Post by tony brenchley »

Great work Ross. Does this mark the end of cast resin bodies for TLM? Would it be viable in terms of material costs and your time to produce small batches for sale under the TLM banner?

Tony B
jasp
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:40 pm

Re: Adventures in 3D printing

Post by jasp »

The reason I mentioned resin casting is that it usually takes some considerable time to print with a non-commercial 3D printer, hence asking about using a print as a master for a (resin casting) mould.
Jim P
tony brenchley
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:36 am

Re: Adventures in 3D printing

Post by tony brenchley »

Jim and Ross - I believe Bill Bedford now produces the bodies for his wagon and carriage kits by 3D printing although he must have commercial scale production facilities.

However, I guess the time taken is more limited by the nature of the process rather than the equipment. I am still interested to know if 3D printing would be a viable option for future TLM. I have in mind the mineral bogies and seem to remember Sinclair was experimenting with producing bodies for these by 3D printing.

Tony B
RossB
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:53 pm

Re: Adventures in 3D printing

Post by RossB »

I would say that my New Years Resolutions would be to actually finish off some models Jim!

The models I've printed so far are not up to the same standard as a TLM kit. There is a bit of visible layering but it can be disguised with a bit of weathering. So far I've only used the resin that came with the printer and the default settings but I think better prints should be possible with a bit more experimenting. The 6 wheel van took about 6 and a half hours to print but once its set up and running you can go and do something else.

I have a couple of Bill Bedford's 3D printed kits which while good also suffer from slight layering (as do the Rails of Sheffield/Dapol 3D printed models). There certainly could be scope for a future TLM project.

Ross
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