Desktop 3D printers - Printable Version

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Desktop 3D printers - AF350 - 02-23-2013

Will be getting a 3D printer with in a week or so, it will be a Makerbot Replicator 2

Hope to have some pics of printer and some printed items to show off soon after setting up in the work shop.

Re: Desktop 3D printers - teejay - 02-23-2013

When i was with the guys building the Ebbets Field ballpark we were looking into a 3-D printer for use in future ballpark builds ( although they never materialized ) and I was blown away by them . What we were looking at then was about 15k Eek but that was a year ago . I'm sure pricing has changed .


Re: Desktop 3D printers - AF350 - 02-23-2013

I have been watching the DIY and hardware hackers publications mostly Make: and Wired both neat magazines, Make: has a lot of DIY projects from wood working to electronic stuff.

Anyway the 3D printers I have been following are desk top personel units not the large fancy rapid prototypers. I have been watching the development of rep rap, makerbot, and now the latest personel 3D printer contender from form labs. The Makerbot Replicator 2 is $2199.00 and the Form labs is around $3000.00 Basicly the same idea just different process and different materials.

If the 3D printers are of interest look up Makerbot and Form Labs. The only 2 limits on these typr machines is the build area size and how good one is at working with 3D drawing programs.

Re: Desktop 3D printers - Kev1340 - 02-24-2013

There has been a lot of talk about 3D printers over on the Railwire forum for a year or so, mainly about the resolution of print. I'll be very interested to see how you get on with it.



Re: Desktop 3D printers - nkp_174 - 02-24-2013

My foray into 3D printing trucks (O-scale, but superdetailed with 0.005" tall star details on the journal lids) as been outstanding. Mine have been commercially printed by Shapeways. The resolution is plenty good. I am now under the impression that, at least in the case of Shapeways FUD, that anyone who questions the resolution hasn't actually seen it in person. Even the non-detail plastic (nylon) trucks I had printed are sufficiently well detailed to pass the customary 18" rule on a layout...even if they aren't hanging out in the shadows under a car.

I cannot recall, clearly, anything about the makerbot 2. But I expect that you'll have fun and be able to put it to great use. Mass produced, custom details for your railroad! Congrats!

Re: Desktop 3D printers - AF350 - 02-25-2013

I was thinking I could print up to a 60' rail car in S scale if I do not worry about being overly accurate,====60' in S scale is 11.25" the build area is only 11.2" long Icon_lol

Most likely I would do box car sides, ends, roofs and undersides as individual prints to start out and then branch out to trucks and maybe wheelsets?

Couplers would be an extreamly hard design to come up with 35

Of course I first have to master the 3D drawing software (Blender is the one that may fit the bill).

Makerbot has a link called thingaverse where people upload some of thier creations most are General public use license.

I am going to place the order next Monday as I need to do some other important stuff and prep an area in the work shop for it. They have a 6 week lead time for the delivery so one more week is not going to hurt much and bills come first then the printer Icon_lol

Re: Desktop 3D printers - nkp_174 - 02-25-2013

I've messed around with Blender, but chosen to go the Sketchup route. Both are very expensive Cheers

Re: Desktop 3D printers - nachoman - 02-26-2013

Curious to see what you do with it.

I think the "engineering types" would really get a kick of having something like that. It's one of the great things about this hobby - it attracts many different types of people who approach it from different areas. I've met people who are in the hobby because they just like trains. I've known people who don't really like trains, they just enjoy building things. Others are into operations, others a childhood nostalgia. I am curious if 3-d print technology will attract new types of modelers or builders, or open up new areas for modeling.

I suppose I will always be a hands-on type of builder, no matter how cheap or accessible 3-d printers become.

Re: Desktop 3D printers - AF350 - 02-28-2013

nachoman Wrote:Curious to see what you do with it.

I think the "engineering types" would really get a kick of having something like that.

Guilty as charged Icon_lol While searching for CNC machines and info way back I found PlasmaCam but it could only cut out 2D parts and the cost at the time was $20k so I forgot about that machine once I heard of 3D printing and kept putting off getting a Makerbot printer which was basicly an assemble it your self kinda project, but now the Replicator 2 comes mostly assembled and tested and the price is doable compared to other similar printers. After a 3D Printer the next step would be a 3D Scanner, Just think of taking an item that is out of scale and scan it into a 3D software suite and print a copy in the correct scale, not sure the safety issues involved but think of having custom figures of yourself and other real pepole that have been scanned. There is almost no limits as to the creativity of this not so new technology it has been around 25 years it is just now coming down to a more economical realality.

Re: Desktop 3D printers - nkp_174 - 02-28-2013

123 Catch by Autodesk. It's free. You can download the smart phone app. That's the preferred scanner technology for 3D printing. It takes the photo matching ability of Sketchup, but by adding a few different photos, has automated the process. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

Re: Desktop 3D printers - AF350 - 02-28-2013

nkp_174 Wrote:123 Catch by Autodesk. It's free. You can download the smart phone app. That's the preferred scanner technology for 3D printing. It takes the photo matching ability of Sketchup, but by adding a few different photos, has automated the process. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

Ok, a few questions about autodesk 123 catch, Do you have to use thier print service? Is the stuff you design on your pc or on thier server? I found the pc app as my phone is not a smart phone. Looks interesting may download the pc version a heck of alot cheaper then the next engine setup I was looking at.

Thanks for the tip.

Re: Desktop 3D printers - AF350 - 02-28-2013

uhoh My PC does not have enough ram will have to upgrade, I am about due a new pc anyway, will have to put off a new pc and 3d scanning for awhile can upgrade memory easy enough. Come monday I will order the 3D printer....a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

Re: Desktop 3D printers - nkp_174 - 03-01-2013

Its sister program, 123D Design doesn't work on my computer, so I've not tried 123D Catch. It's Autodesk, which I tend to recall not having an in-house printing facility. I do tend to recall it being linked with others, but when 123D Design did work for me, it saved the customary files on my local hard drive.

Re: Desktop 3D printers - Puddlejumper - 03-02-2013

I have a question... would it possible, or even desirable to you, to be able to scale down prints to other scales? I was thinking you could (if you so desired) print up car sides or ends for sale to the forum members to help defray the cost of the equipment and software. I don't mean take custom orders, but if you were to design, say, a Van Dorn Boxcar end for your S scale boxcar, you would already have the design work done, and I am sure Van Dorn ends would be a desirable part to us HO scalers and I'd buy a set. Just a thought process... perhaps a somewhat selfish one since I won't have access to a 3D printer and am always looking for parts suppliers. LOL.


Re: Desktop 3D printers - AF350 - 03-02-2013

Puddle jumper,

That is a thought I had as I think once you have your design you can scale it up or down with in the limits of the build area. I have to get proficient with with the software before doing anything for others.

I have to get the printer first and then find my way around the software. A lazy round about way would be to scratch build some master parts and then 3D scan them but that takes some $$$$ to set up my computer or even more $$$$ to get the system like the one made by next engine.

My vision is to make trucks, wheelsets?, car sides, end parts, doors, hatches, roof and underside/chassies. And as you asked I can most likely scale them up or down as needed but that is way down the line from now.

Will keep this thread updated often.