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


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.