Printing Model Railway Cars?  

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PrusaPrinters profile
(@prusaprinters-profile)
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Hi
Well I am a Fan of Model Railway Cards but sadly the are often damn expensive. 100€ -  150€ each and I dont talk about an Locomotive....
Does anyone successfully print a Car Shell who could have a flat surface outside?

Well I think about Vacuum Forming the sides and bend then down when the get cooler maybe re heating with a heat gun and glue the fron and back from the inside.
So does anyone here tough about an semi professional setup?

Posted : 06/04/2021 3:09 pm
Diem
 Diem
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PrusaPrinters profile
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I am interesting to print the "Waggon 2000" : https://www.bahnbilder.de/bild/oesterreich~personenwagen~waggon-2000/225912/ist-das-etwa-ein-vorlaeufer-des.html

Posted : 06/04/2021 7:20 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
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I've printed a clone of the Lionel 64 series boxcar, a clone of the Lionel O scale gondola, and a self-drafted O scale flatcar holding two Bobcat-style diggers.

There are several flat surfaces on these.

In fact, I selected the Prusa I3 because I could print the pieces for the 64 series boxcar.

(The two white car prints are the draft proof-of-concept prints and not finished products.)

I've also done many model RR buildings and accessories, some of which are in the 'Awesome Prints Hall Of Fame' section here.

 

Posted : 07/04/2021 8:09 pm
StanHD
(@stanhd)
Active Member

Have a look on thingiverse.com and search "OS Railway". @Depronized the creator of this system has provided models and also tutorials in Fusion 360 including one to create a Railway Car. I have printed a complete O Gauge "Trainset" using the provided designs and now some of my own variants. Well worth a look.

Posted : 08/04/2021 5:01 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
Posted by: @stanhd

Have a look on thingiverse.com and search "OS Railway". @Depronized the creator of this system has provided models and also tutorials in Fusion 360 including one to create a Railway Car. I have printed a complete O Gauge "Trainset" using the provided designs and now some of my own variants. Well worth a look.

I've seen his designs (at least I assume he is a 'he').  😉  One of my some-day projects is to use one of his designs to do a hopper car for a defunct regional railroad for which no commercial O scale cars exist (Chicago Minneapolis and Omaha Railway - 'The Omaha Road') but I will probably use my own chassis instead of his, as it directly mounts the standard Lionel metal trucks and couplers, which are commonly available at train shows.

Anybody else print model RR cars and accessories?  Let's see some photos please now that we have a thread for it!

This post was modified 1 week ago by jsw
Posted : 08/04/2021 5:30 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
Posted by: @stanhd

Have a look on thingiverse.com and search "OS Railway". @Depronized the creator of this system has provided models and also tutorials in Fusion 360 including one to create a Railway Car.

I just took a look out of curiosity. I have to admit, I was not expecting a wifi-connected locomotive!

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 08/04/2021 5:48 pm
StanHD
(@stanhd)
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Posted by: @bobstro
Posted by: @stanhd

Have a look on thingiverse.com and search "OS Railway". @Depronized the creator of this system has provided models and also tutorials in Fusion 360 including one to create a Railway Car.

I just took a look out of curiosity. I have to admit, I was not expecting a wifi-connected locomotive!)

Yes, pretty cool. I power mine with LiPo batteries as a legacy from my RC planes and heli days. You can use a mobile phone or much better 3d print a remote utilising similar cheap electronics as used in the locos. They last for ages even on small 1500 mAh batteries. The other bonus is there are no power requirements for the tracks so you can run more than one loco on the same line. (Can also be a bad idea 😣) The smaller loco in the above pictures is based on the motor bogie from the large loco but adapted for my own design. (In other words, clever stuff by Depronised, fun stuff by me!) I set out to make it all for the Grand Kids for when we are allowed to have them over again. ........... might let them have a go ....... maybe 😉 .

Posted : 08/04/2021 6:48 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
Posted by: @bobstro

I just took a look out of curiosity. I have to admit, I was not expecting a wifi-connected locomotive!

As Stan said, many contemporary model RR fans are going with various schemes to avoid track power and to use various handheld devices as the human interface as opposed to transformer-based throttles.

Although I'm a hardcore techie, most of my stuff is postwar O scale and I use 'Conventional' power and control for the most part, which is low-voltage AC, speed controlled by voltage, pulsed DC for effects.  I do use DC for the switches and some accessories for better 'snap' with lower voltage and I use a few Raspberry Pis to control some accessories and lighting.

For example, most 'flats' (building facades) have all windows lit continuously.  I'm converting several of these to have windows lit almost at random, to better simulate normal living patterns.  I also have this 'thing' for certain real-world behavior of signals that many model accessories do not do, such as the lights at the crossing beginning to flash before the gate lowers, the green aspect on a block signal extinguishing before the red aspect lights, as opposed to an immediate switch as done on most model rr accessories.

The subway portion (below) is completely pi-controlled and stops at each station (two underground, one elevated) and waits a semi-random time for passengers to alight and embark. etc.

Yes, I have a few 'novelty' items (something 'serious' model rr fans often scoff at), such as the bubbling water tower, something I admired as a kid but never had, and one of the latest, a smoking burning dumpster (below), which has flickering red and yellow LEDs and looks very much like a real fire.  😉

One longer term project I've been working on is a method to add true speed regulation to conventional control, without modifying the locomotives.

This post was modified 1 week ago by jsw
Posted : 08/04/2021 7:41 pm
StanHD liked
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

Nice to see tech make it's way into fun stuff. Once you're not dependent on the rails for power, it must open up a lot of possibilities.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 08/04/2021 10:03 pm
PrusaPrinters profile
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Hmm are the Models in H0 (1:87)?
I am intent to print some Passenger Cars (when I finally assembled the Printer 😴 ).

 

So the Sites are flat and need to be smooth. What kind of Source does everyone use? I want to make everything in scale.
Does anyone here scan the Railcar befor Model them in 3D?

Posted : 09/04/2021 1:53 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member
Posted by: @prusaprinters-profile

Hmm are the Models in H0 (1:87)?
I am intent to print some Passenger Cars (when I finally assembled the Printer 😴 ).

So the Sites are flat and need to be smooth. What kind of Source does everyone use? I want to make everything in scale.
Does anyone here scan the Railcar befor Model them in 3D?

The ones I do are in O scale, roughly 1:48 of life size.  However, you can scale most anything, car body wise, to any size you like.  The chassis and the fittings that hold the trucks may be a bit tricky in different scales, in order to get them to swivel and track properly when pulled by a locomotive.

I've acquired some of the sources from the 'usual suspect' 3d print sites.  Most of these tend to be done for HO, but it's almost trivial to rescale them for O.

Some of them, including most of the buildings, are my own drafting.  I base them loosely on real-life buildings and other structures and do the drafting from photos.  An example of a building is shown below, and the building it was loosely based upon might be obvious to quite a few of you.  😉  (Hint: look at the time on the clock.)  😉

The buildings in the row of 'flats' (building facades) below were loosely based on some on the Bowery just north of Canal in Manhattan, as shown in the Google screenshot below.

Some items, however, just do not scale well for model railroads.  I did a model of what are known as 'digester eggs', a high-tech waste processing facility, and if they were to true scale they would have towered above everything, as they do in real life, but on a model railroad they need to be more realistically scaled.  (below)  Ditto for the wind turbine (below) as it would have towered over the mountain if printed to actual scale.

When I thought of doing the boxcar clone, I thought of scanning a sample, as I'm a member of our local 'makerspace' and can book time on a Next Engine 3d scanner and have taken a course in how to use it to capture real-world items.  However, I found it easier and actually less time-consuming to simply draft it using an existing Lionel 6464 series car and calipers to get the detail dimensions correct.

Now if I were doing models of the European Railjet passenger cars shown above, I would do them in sections, using registration pins to make everything fit just so.  I would probably do the sides flat on the build plate and use snap-in windows of so-called clear or translucent-opaque PETg or ABS for the window panes.  It looks like the chassis portions will be a bit tricky, requiring either pieces or MMU and possibly needing soluble supports to make them printable without artifacts.  I would probably use low-brightness incandescent lamps or LEDs with a regulator for interior illumination.

That's how I would probably do it, anyway.

This post was modified 1 week ago by jsw
Posted : 09/04/2021 3:03 pm
bobstro and StanHD liked
JW_O_Scale
(@jw_o_scale)
Active Member

In answer to the initial question regarding printing flat sides, I have had more success recently than in the previous 2 years. I model 2 Rail O Scale and began developing a comprehensive kit for reproducing the old Walther's Waffle Box Car about 2 years ago. When Prusa upgraded the software and introduced Ironing, I learned how to utilize that capability. I can now achieve results that rival injection molded models. On my work bench is an Ortner 100 Ton Hopper and have had good results of course with vertically printed sides. I have my scratch built Ortner in brass to compare it to. I still prefer scratch building in brass for some types of equipment particularly if I am trying to achieve a certain realism. Currently, I have almost completed a engineering effort to replicate the CB&Q Caboose/Waycar in a basic kit as well as a comprehensive kit for modelers. I have the original All Nation reference models, the ones before there were any castings developed for it and the original CB&Q RR Engineering Department blueprints which I own. The world of 3D printing keeps opening up for me so many possibilities. The opposite of smoothing is textured surfaces which has been really challenging but here again ironing has really given way to achieving unexpected realism. So another example of smoothing as applied to component parts are the way filaments gives me options. On the Burlington Route Waycar and my research on roofs from photos and such on CGW or C&NW it would appear there was the use of felt or tar paper as a barrier since in their day these were made of wood. Consequently, I used FLEX and laminated that onto the roof including over the cupola roof. I used ironing once again and depending on the size and direction of the print I was able to see a visible texture that made total sense in terms of realism that never occurred to me beforehand. Same thing on my journey to print the best diaphragms possible with FLEX. This week ColorFabb VarioTPU came in and it is kind of spongy. Thus, experimentation is part of the joy so I am hoping spongy means it springs back and does not compress. So the moral of my story here regarding this technology is a kit once done is never really finished. It seems one can keep improving with every print or with feedback from other modelers and the end result is fun. I created the entire fan shroud or flared radiator from scratch for the Lionel SD70ACe and with ironing to smooth those lines it looks very satisfactory. And, this is why I support Prusa Research for their innovative work and 24x7 hours support when needed. I should note though, from my efforts to print a whole body or shell has been less than satisfactory to my eye. Printing sub components gives me much more flexibility and my Waffle kit has many more pieces to assemble than the original kit. However, the details are much better once put together.

John Wubbel...
Posted : 11/04/2021 5:17 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
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John (and all) it's great to have other model RR fans participating here.  I find that model railroading and 3d printing go hand in hand.  I first saw a working 3d printer at the Denver train show a number of years ago and I realized that it could be used to do things such as the buildings and other structures which were not available commercially or prohibitively priced if available.  A fellow club member suggested that I join a local 'makerspace' and all of my first prints were done on machines there.  I ordered the MK3S kit (fortunately, just before Covid hit the fan, thus little delay) when all three of the 'good' printers in the 3d lab were down all at once due to parts issues, and there was a huge waiting list for time when one or more would be running again.

I've been very impressed with the 'ironing' function in the new PrusaSlicer, although I have not used it for anything major.  I did use it for one print of my clone of the Lionel 364C control switch and it worked well.  I've also tried that function on Cura, and did not like what it produced.

If you would consider releasing the waffle boxcar model, I would definitely add that to my print-it list.

I agree that railcars come out better when printed in pieces.  I've found too many of the models from the 'usual suspect' sites drafted in one piece and difficult to print, or else requiring a large amount of support material.

Posted : 11/04/2021 9:28 pm
JW_O_Scale
(@jw_o_scale)
Active Member

Hi JSW,

Thank you for your comments. I do not want to release any of my kits or parts as open source just yet, but I can impart my knowledge on occasion as I learn new techniques. I purchased the All Nation Line business and we are in the process of reviving the business to stand it back up for the O Scale 2 Rail hobby. Consequently, we have many hours of engineering and print testing invested in parts and kits so the funds derived from our work such as the box car are being put back into the business. I think along with the tooling and dies, once we finish the triage work of analyzing all the documentation and inventory, we will be in a better position to share some of our technology. For example, I am of the opinion not all filament categories like PLA are the same. While the specifications are standard, I notice the behavior differs on certain parts and it is probably due to the color pigments in the polymer. If I print what is a wood car side using the the Prusa Silver it Irons out perfect and then print the same gcode using the purple red, it loses some resolution or tends to skip spots in the ironing process. I think it might be as a result of intermittent nozzle flow. But, that is one problem under our investigation.

I am assisting the Denver EC with putting on the O Scale National 2021 Convention in Denver this June. You should check us out at: https://oscalenational.com

I think the makerspace(s) is an ideal venue to introduce model railroading to a new audience as it is so enjoyable and fun to make things.

One thing I am doing is digitizing a lot of documents from All Nation for model railroader reference. I have about 30 blueprints that were drafted by Lenoir which I think no one knew existed. So I am hanging these on my website allnationline.com or putting them to DVD . O Scale has a rich history to share with newcomers.

Best Regards,

John

John Wubbel...
Posted : 13/04/2021 4:48 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member

One question about the Oscalenation convention.

Is this only for two-railers, or just O scale without regard to number of rails?

Posted : 14/04/2021 12:37 am
JW_O_Scale
(@jw_o_scale)
Active Member

I posed your question to the Executive Committee at this evenings workshop and the chairman said the following:

"Everything is geared for 2 rail  O scale and its Proto48 and narrow gauge varieties. That said, we do expect many vendors to have rolling stock that is easily converted to 3-rail, and scenery and buildings that can cross over. Plus, 20 of the convention cars will be available in 3-rail. A number of the clinics will also appeal to modelers in general."

Of course everyone is welcome, it is not an exclusive event or venue. The comradery or the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability with fellow model railroaders regardless of the genre I think is what a convention is all about.  You may want to view a promotional video

I am not sure yet about the clinics if there will be 3D printing. I do know one of the track guys prints in wax and produces all kinds of parts, for track work with high resolution detailed brass castings. He maybe giving a clinic but not sure of the commitments yet.

John 

John Wubbel...
Posted : 14/04/2021 4:15 am
PrusaPrinters profile
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Maybe that kind of LED String is power full enough to be used as ceiling light in a H0 Model:

Posted : 15/04/2021 4:02 pm
JW_O_Scale
(@jw_o_scale)
Active Member

Another application for getting flat surfaces using ironing is if you want to produce window panes or glazing for your models. The most success I have had has been with ColorFabb HT. You will not get a perfectly transparent window like acetate, but a translucent pane is not necessarily bad depending on the type of realism you want to achieve. Now another modeler like my work for a All Nation 3 rail NW2 as it apparently had some unsightly mechanicals in the cab. So it was just enough to hide the interior yet still look like real windows. If you model the detail of a cab interior you would probably prefer a clear acetate window. For my F3 or F7 engines, I like the portal windows to look a little dirty with a light on the inside for night operation. The HT windows does the trick. Without the ironing on the HT print or any other clear filament for that matter, there is to much line work visible.

John

John Wubbel...
Posted : 16/04/2021 7:53 pm
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Noble Member

Thanks for checking on the conference, but unfortunately that leaves me out because I'm totally conventional O three-rail.

That LED Spaghetti looks interesting.  I can envision a number of applications for it.  I will need to look into it more.

I have not tried ironing yet for window panes, but I probably will when I have more to print.  The windows I've done look acceptable from a distance, but I would like a bit more of a smooth quality to them.

One of the ladies at the local makerspace had some good luck smoothing the so-called transparent ABS for some pieces, none of them model RR related, by stroking them with a very soft brush dipped in acetone.  These pieces looked like kind of milky chandelier prisms.  Not transparent, but better than what I've been getting.  I noticed that the Hatchbox so-called transparent ABS is now again in stock, after being unavailable for about a year, so I grabbed one while it's still available.

Posted : 17/04/2021 7:54 am
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