Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Happy Christmas

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, with the warmer months here most of my time has been taken up with outside jobs and not much time for trains. I'm expecting to get another Shapeways order this week. I'm hoping i've solved the bending promblem i've had with the signal mast. There some other goodies in there as well which i will share when they have arrivied. 

Etching, its taken awhile but i think i have found a small suitable pump for the spray tank.  Most of the pumps i've seen for acid have been way to big for what i need. I plan to build the tank in Jan and start etching and than finaly get to lay some rails on those sleepers i laid 2 years ago. Its taken way to long, but thats life. Once ive got the set up right hand laying the track will go quickly.

Well thats it for now, will post some pics of the 3d printed parts when they arrive. I hope everyone has a great Christmas and a Happy new year.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bits and pieces

Well i've done another etch which worked ok. I used ammonium persulphate as the etching solution. I feel this worked better than the other solution i used. The only down side is that i have to heat and keep it at about 70 degrees. Something i will have to work out. I'm thinking of having the solution siting in a small contaner of hot water to keep it warm.  I'm still going to have to make a small spray tank for etching. The dip method just doest cut it for what i want to do.

Got another shapways order, which once again prove to be a miss print again. I'm working with shapeways now to sort out what went wrong. You can see in the photos below that the ones on left are good which i had done earlier this year and the parts on the right are the bad prints. Notice the blur along the straight lines and over print on the parts.

Here some photos of the semaphore signals ive been working one. These are nearly ready for realese. I'm still having problems with the bend in the mast. I think this is been caused by the ladder pulling down on the mast when it is cured in the oven at shapways. Some more testing to be done.

In the ment time still working on other projects as well. I'm about to start on a second Y class diesel.  I've got a new chassis design from Spirit design which will place the loco at the correct height. Now just need to work on my light holder design and put it all together.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Etching away

Well after a few busy weeks leading up to hosting the boys from VNSC over the weekend I finally got around to getting some more etching done. This was the first time I got to use the new brass sheet I bought. I'm using a 1/2 hard sheet. I have a feeling the other brass sheets I was trying to use in other etching were not 1/2 hard, hence the funny results I was getting. I used the same process as before. The end result I was fairly happy with, close to been perfect. I had made a few changes to the design of the plates to make them better. I expanded the gap between the two spike heads so the rail could sit in better and I also made the plates a little bit narrower. In making them narrower I had to delete the small square hole in the design that's next to the spike head.

I'm still not 100% sold on a etching solution yet. The one I used was ok, but does take a while to etch and I believe because of that it rounds of the square edges more. I'm going to give Ammonium persulphate another go. They only draw back is that the solution has to be heated but it may be a small price to pay for a better etch. Sorry no pics this time our camera has gone missing in action.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

What August already

Time is flying again! Ive been doing some more work on the 3D printed signals i'm nearly ready to go into full production. I'm still working on ways to make the moving parts work better. I think i will release non moving ones first, that way people can start to enjoy my signal. I think there will be only a few that will want to try and have moving signals. For now getting the moving parts installed in the final position is still a bit fiddly which im trying to improve on. I've got a few idea just have to see if they will print out ok.

My last print from Shapeways was a bad one. Something happen when i uploaded the file and the items did not print ok. I was also doing a test on the windows and when they came back to me the windows were all filled in. The signal mast had a bend and a twist as well.

Etching, I'm hoping to get back into this sometime this week or next. I'm using some different brass sheets from before that will arrival this week. I think i know what was going wrong in the last lot of testing. Once i get this right i will go into track laying mode. YAY Its been a long wait, but it will be worth it in the end.

Below are some shots take from a friends layouts which is still under construction. The standard of work is very high. Something i hopping to do. The scenery is just brilliant but the work under the bench is just as good. Its a very high tech layout with local panels and also computer interfacing as well and very neat wiring to go with it all.
 Please enjoy. Click the pics to make bigger

Friday, 4 July 2014

July Update

Hi all, life is keeping me busy, but i've had some time to do some modelling. I've had a second run of 3D items which worked out ok. They printed many items on a different axis which resulted in a poor print. This was ok as I had forgot to add many items back onto the signal post while editing the things I need to fix. I now have a 3rd run in the post and hopefully I've got it all right so I can write up instructions and than do a production run.  In the mean time I have been working on other 3d printed objects and also learning more parts to Cubify software program. Recently I've started work on the spray etching tank. I'm hoping this will give me a good enough result to start etching my sleeper plates and than finally start building track, which is very over due. I'm hoping to finish the tank within the next two weeks and ill post some pictures than.

Well I think that's it for now, hopefully I will have good news about my 3d printed signals this week and I look forward to making them available to everyone. Below is a lovely picture of  R 761 in the sunlight. The photo was taken from Steamrail website, which is well worth a visit.

Friday, 9 May 2014

My first 3D print

Well i have got my first 3d print from Shapeways and i'm fairly happy with how it went. There are a few things i need to change i'm always pushing the design rules. A few holes need to be bigger and a couple of items need to be made bigger so they can print.  This is just a quick post just to get some of the photos up. I will do a full review soon. I rushed the paint job, had a few bad brushes and a used a new undercoat. I did't like it so i will go back to my old one. This one was to thick. I wanted to get it reday for a meeting and had very little time this week. As it was only a test piece im not to fussed about it. The signal finial printed in two pieces so i had to glue it back on. Design fault. opppys! Signal lamp has a Nano led in it. Look great when turned on. The rail chair for the turnout im really happy with as well. Anyway here are the pics, more info to come soon. Enjoy

Note The camera picks up the printing layers, but to the eye it had to see them in real life.
Click the pictures to make them bigger
Sorry about the photo placement. I'm still having trouble with the way it is letting place the photos

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

3D Printing Preview

Well as promised here are some screen shots of the 3D printed items i've been working on. The drawings are all at different stages of production.  I use a software program called Cubify Design. Its is fairly easy to use, but it is like learning a new language and there have been some frustrating drawing sessions. Progress is going well and I'm hoping to send off the first test print very soon. Most of the items are very slightly over scale. This really frustrated me, but to make it all work it had to been done. When look back at now its ok, as it all blends in well because they are all slightly over scale so it can't be noticed unless you get the ruler out.  Enjoy

Click on the picture to make bigger

2 Position Semaphore signal
In the stop position

In the proceed position

Showing the whole signal
(note concrete base missing)
There is still more work to been done on the post. The weighted arm and its bracket are still been drawn and also the cable wire wheel also needs to be done. I would like point out there are a few parts that will get printed separately to allow for them to move.

Joint bars

These parts are going to be used to join the rails together.  I was going to etch these at first but i can get far better detail with 3D printing.  I'm not sure if i will do multiple prints of these or do a fret and than cast them. Still thing about this.

Rail brace
This part is used on the turnout to brace the rail on the outside where the point blades are. It will add a nice touch to my turnouts, hopefully.

WSA turnout lever

In the reverse position
 The frame work is not finished yet but I'm hoping these work like a treat. When the yard turnout moves, the lever moves as well, very cool i think. If you haven't noticed i like things to move on my layout. I feel it adds so much to it.

Well i hope you have enjoyed looking at what I've been working on. Hopefully in the next post i will have these parts in my hands!
Any question on 3D printing feel free to email me at bendigonscale@live.com.au


Monday, 10 March 2014

Building the modeling desk Part 2

Well the modelling desk is pretty close to finish now. Just a few minor details need to be done.  The selves went in really nicely and all works well. I just need to add some lights and its all good to go.  I’m really happy with it as has given me heaps of room to do all my modelling.

I recently did another test etch with a different etching solution that i had been reading up on. I’m not happy with the results. It proved to be a very uneven etch and took way to long (20mins). Not all is lost as i got my alignment perfect this time which i was happy about.  With that all happing i wasn’t really sure what to do next, but luckily for me i had a chance to talk to Phil Badger from Badger Bits and he gave me a lesson on how to do. Phil is the guy to talk to about this as he used to teach etching in tafe and has done many etching himself.   He made some great points and i learnt a lot in the 30min chat we had.  So it’s back to the drawing board for a new etching talk which means track work is on the back foot again but hopefully for not long. For some reason I’m really keen to have sleeper plates on my track so i have to get this right before anything else can move along. Very frustrating, but I’m sure the results will pay off with some very nice and once off looking track.

In other news I’ve been working on several different 3D printing parts as well, which are looking very nice. I will post some pics of them later on this month.  I thought of getting the sleeper plates 3d printed, but i need them to be brass as it will conduct the power to the rails.   

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Building the modeling desk Part 1

With our recent house move i needed to make a new modelling desk. I normally have a few projects on the go at once so i need some good working space. When i was making up the design,  i decided to have 3 main sections on the desk. Machining,  Assembly and a drying/holding section. The room the trains are in now has a nice window/ door way area. I wanted to be near a window for the views, but mainly so i can have the window open when working with glue and soldering.  Down below are the materials i used and an outline on how i built it.

Materials used.
4x 1800x 600x 18mm laminated pine sheet (desk & boxes)
3x 1200x 140x 19mm pine plank (upper shelves)
2x 1800x 140x 19mm pine plank (upper shelves)
1x 1200x 184x 19mm pine plank (upper shelves)
1x 1800x 184x 19mm pine plank (upper shelves)
3x 1200x 600x 3mm Mdf sheets ( backing on shelves & boxes)
5x 550mm shelve running kit
100x 25mm timber screws

I first made up the two boxes. These boxes are at each end of the desk. They are 720mm high by 600mm wide and 550 in depth. First i needed  to trim down the laminated pine sheets. I trimmed off 40mm on the sheets. This was down to make a 40mm lip on the desk. I used a power saw and a metal guide bar to get a nice straight line when cutting the wood.  Next was to install the draw runners.  These are very easy to install. I set the centre height i wanted for each draw and than drew a line across the two sides of the draw.  I than screwed in the runners with the supplied screws, using the line as a guide. The boxes were than screwed together using the normal method of using a pilot hole, and counter sinking the screws. A 600x 600mm Mdf sheet was nailed onto the back of the boxes to act as a backing.

Cutting guide
Centre line for shelf runner
Installed runners
Finished boxes
Close up of box

Next was to cut the desk out, this was fairly easy to do. Because i have an angle turn in the desk  i had to get angle right before i made the cut.  One length is 1800mm long and the other side is 1000mm long, both 600mm wide.  Once this was done the desk was screwed down from under the desk through the boxes. I also screwed in a piece of wood to support the join on the desk.
I than made up the upper shelves to go on the 1000m length desk. This was made nearly same way as boxes. I used 140mm wide shelve with a height of 600mm. I used a 184mm wide plank to go top. I plan to add some led lights along the overhang. Work has started on the second shelf and will explain more in part 2.

Half finshed desk
Half finshed desk