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Thoughts on 3-D Printing?
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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 03:24 am
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Kitbash0n30
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Brian S wrote: What if rather buying a kit you printed out your own kit that to work onWhen 3D printing matures enough to not have layer lines that will become worth consideration.



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 Posted: Mon Aug 14th, 2017 01:14 pm
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bobquincy
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Here is a 3D printed bracket to hold a battery box; audio board; and amplifier in a model that was not designed for any of those:



This opens up modeling opportunities that would be difficult to do any other way.  Sure, I could make the bracket from plastruct or brass but I need multiple copies and 3D printing is the best way to go ($8 each in nylon).



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 Posted: Mon Sep 18th, 2017 07:24 pm
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wahiba
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I have been interested in 3D printing, or additive manufacturing to give the more industrial title since I first saw it at an industrial show over 25 years ago. I though then that there might be domestic potential

However 25 years on there is one very obvious problem.

Firstly decent easy to use software. I understand 3D CAD and I have yet to find and intuitive easy to use package.

Other than model makers what is there to make for the average home? golf tees!!

No one is going to release their existing designs, paid for or otherwise onto the open market as they would never realise the costs.

For decent times on domestic level machines the resolution is not so good.

In all honesty for model railways besides bogies and a few fittings what can you really make at home. I have seen the machines demonstrated at model shows and generally I not seen anything special.

I might treat myself yet, but it would generally be making bits to go onto my computer controlled card cut models.

Personally I think if the software were sorted there might be a bigger take up. Until then it is going to remain a geekish activity at hobby levels.

Industrially though the ability to produce complex parts in one go assures its future. I believe printing wax moulds for lost wax casting is already party of most jet engine manufactuirng facilities. For smaller parts mass printing of wax parts for large production is an obvious next step, if it has not already happened.

It is certainly a technology worth following

David Usher



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 Posted: Fri Sep 22nd, 2017 11:57 pm
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bobquincy
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David,

I agree with your assessment of current 3D CAD software, the learning curve is steep and long.  If I had not spent 10 years working with it on my job I probably would not be designing parts now.  OnShape looks to be easier to use than the "big two" (Creo and SolidWorks) but the cost is high ($100+/month).
As for what can we make and use at home, I use a lot of 3D parts for the models I modify for sale.  Without 3D CAD and Shapeways I could not build and sell these models.  Apart from that I have made some camera parts and one part for an older car, not much.

After reviewing the "best of 2017" home printers it appears my best use would be to make parts for a test fitup before sending the files to Shapeways for printing.  Consumer-level extruder printers have a difficult time making the kind of parts I use (with unsupported overhangs), the downside of Shapeways sintered laser printing is the 10 day or so lead time.  If I can make a test part at home I can be sure the part fits first before ordering the final version.

boB



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 Posted: Sat Sep 23rd, 2017 08:56 pm
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wahiba
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Noticed on Kickstarter that there had been a small vacumn forming machine proposed and funded. This was some time ago but the details are still available. One point in selling the vacumn former was that the former over which the plastic sheet is formed could be a complex shape prepared by a 3D printer.

No sure if this would be much use for small scale model railroading but I think there would be opportunities for larger scales.

It got me thinking how else a 3D printer could be used as a tool source and one is pattern making for small low temperature moulds. 3D printed objects as tools means the long production time is less of an issue, and as a one off modifications to the completed object would seam a reasonable part of the exercise.

David Usher



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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 01:09 pm
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Mr Stumpy
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I've been interested in the 3D thing for some time, just as I was with resin casting before that.  And scratch building out of whatever materials I could find long before that.  But there are a couple of differences between my previous adventures and 3D which have kept me away from 3D: cost and learning curve.
The day may well come when you don't buy a kit, you buy a program to make that model to use on your home 3D Printer.  Of course this future depends upon the cost of that program (it won't be cheap because it allows you to make any number of kits) and if there is anyone left that is willing to actually build anything.
I have a "twenty something" friend who bought a "home" 3D printer a couple of years ago and dabbled with it.  He wanted to make an N scale boxcar shell, so he set everything up and pushed the button.  FAILURE!   The shell just melted as he made it!  He was freaked out!  Knowing I was a long time builder asked me for a suggestion.   
After a few minutes, I suggested that the N shell was so small that each pass of the machine happened before the plastic under it could cool enough to harden.  He should set up his table to print six shells at a time, therefore giving each time to  harden enough before the next pass of the printer head.    He argued that he didn't need six shells, to which I countered "How many warped shells have you made so far?"
He did it my way and it worked excellently.  This young guy knew the technology but had no experience actually making anything, and overlooked the obvious.
I have to wonder what this incident says about the future?
Stumpy Stone in Ohio

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 Posted: Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 07:09 pm
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jtrain
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One thing I found out which might be of interest to some here, libraries are starting to have 3D printers in them. You can bring in your program and print as many models as you like and all you pay for is the filament used to make the model.  For all these little detail parts and pieces that has to be a cost effective solution.  Plus stuff won't get lost in the mail, like our glorious local USPS office does continually.

Our local library has two printers ready to use most days and the university has several for use as well.

But I'd also like to point something out to Stumpy, overlooking the obvious is done everyday by everyone, obviously.  Young or old, it doesn't matter, we've all made rookie mistakes.

--James



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 Posted: Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 07:18 pm
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Si.
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Printers in libraries ! ! !



:thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:



:)



Si.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 09:47 pm
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jtrain
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I'd also like to say that I mean no offense to Stumpy, I'm just tired of hearing about how one specific example somehow represents the entire world.
Printers in libraries, yes Si, I'm liking that too!  Way more economical than buying a printer, an AutoCAD subscription, and doing this all ourselves.
--James



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 10:08 pm
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Mr Stumpy
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Oh, I understand making mistakes!  There isn't enough space on this whole website to relate all the ones I've made over the years!  I'm still living with the one I married 41 years ago! :-)

One of the differences in today's young people which I observed in 28 years working with them in a school system, is that they have little respect for the experience of older people.  Way back when I was in High School, a friend asked me why I tended to spend time with older people.  My answer was simple: "I already know what WE know.  I want to know what THEY know!"

My young friend is a smart and respectful kid, but he is only beginning to learn that he doesn't know everything.  That sometimes EXPERIENCE is a better teacher than anything else.  According to his father, that little example of how to figure out the problem with the N gauge car shell has opened up a whole new world of thought for him.

I'm glad I could help!  After all, if this hobby DOES make it into the future, today's kids will be doing it.  Technology is great, but human thought is still more important in many circumstances.
Stumpy Stone in Ohio ...Certified Grumpy Old Man:old dude:

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