Author Topic: Is the future plastic?  (Read 654 times)

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Offline MikeWilliams

Is the future plastic?
« on: Aug 29 2020 13:12 »
Not seen any comment about this on here.

https://www.shapeways.com/product/GZ6DCZPA4/gauge-3-812-tender-3000g-body?optionId=157544923&li=marketplace

Shapeways do a 3D solid printed service and one of their customers has upscaled his kit for a Caledonian Railway locomotive to Gauge 3.  For around £500 you get a solid printed plastic body, plus a solid printed plastic chassis.

I'm a luddite, suspicious of all unproven modern materials, but would be interested to hear what more progressive members on here think of the process taken to the extreme of making an entire tender in two pieces, plus wheels and couplings?  It is certainly easy, but is it good?  and is it the future?

Mike

Offline 753

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 29 2020 13:48 »
Mike

There are many members of the G1 Society 3D group who have printers and are making all sorts of vehicles.

 https://groups.io/g/GaugeOne3DCircle/message/1709

I would think a plastic body and underframe would work well for wagons, while plastic bodies for engines are ok but I would like to see metal frames and running gear in all scales
GRS kits use plastic bodies.

Mike

Offline Sleeper Agent

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #2 on: Aug 29 2020 14:06 »
Ah the upscale request was by me.

For the chassis unit as well the total came close to £600 once everything was added on top but I don't think the rigid wheelbase unit will be most people's cup of tea (mostly it's to serve as a guide for making scratch built versions down the line as I'll be aiming to have at least two Caledonian 652 class engines in my line up).

In a nutshell i'm quite happy with the print quality, as in this scale the bumpy White Versatile Plastic is easy enough to sand and file but in terms of design accuracy i've unfortunately noticed quite a few things off, the flair being the biggie. All in all this is a prototype I wouldn't of attempted to scratch build so i'm very happy that Gavin agreed to blow up his 4mm design and even without reinforcing it's pretty strong but i'll be going over some changes with him once i've amended the shortcomings, though despite 828 being well photographed i've struggled to find decent shots of some areas  >:(                                                     

There is a chance he'll be doing a BR 04 in Gauge 3 which I am planning to buy around Black Friday as that is when Shapeways usually offer 10% off (though with the upper limit covered in the fine print it will only be a modest saving). Basically I need to go over the final batch of the prototype with him as he's focused on covering the initial square window batch that famously served on the Wisbech & Upwell but I can keep you lot posted if anyone is interested in a Drewry. His home prints are cheaper and to an excellent quality but the size of his current printer is more suited for his 2mm, 3mm and 4mm customers. That said he has printed some fittings off his designs for me such as a smokebox door and dome so it's worth asking him if you're after any fittings that feature on his full body shells. 

Steve

Offline cabbage

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #3 on: Aug 29 2020 14:57 »
The future IS plastic.... But the problem is what do you define as "Plastic"? My aged RepRap can print to the very (now) modest 50 microns using PLA. Its replacement will be able to print Pocans and Low melting point metals. If the tender above was printed in a sintered metal Pocan -would that make it more or less "politically acceptable"???

The Raptor engine is printed in steel...

regards

ralph

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #4 on: Aug 29 2020 15:23 »
Thanks Steve.  Must admit I can't see anything wrong with the flair, but I'm not a Caley expert.  Will be interested to see more picture when its painted and how you got on with things like bearings.  A Caley engine is on my long term wish list, but it would be a Dunalastair, or Cardean.

Mike

Offline Sleeper Agent

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #5 on: Aug 29 2020 22:37 »
Basically the flair on this print has a curved radius similar to the various L&Y designs but the CR engines had theirs angling out straightly if that makes sense.
https://www.pressreader.com/uk/steam-railway-uk/20161104/282626032245457
The other bits and bobs I can more easily mod or just ignore, especially if I reserve this for an incarnation that had a short livery lifespan as it were but i'll decide on that as it progresses. Money has been pretty tight for a while but if nothing big temps my account across September Slaters wheels will be ordered after that, so I'll then be able to see how well the brakes line up and assess the ride quality.
I don't think Gavin has plans for any other Caledonian engines i'm afraid but he has been known to accept commissions now and then and the excellent 'Caledonian Railway Locomotives The Classic Years' book does contain a General Arrangement along with some notes for the class....I shudder to think what a Cardean would cost to print in G3 though!
Speaking of 3D printing beside the enlarged Gauge 1 Bury that was in the recent Newsletter if anyone is unaware Spitfire does also have a number of parts on his Shapeways store to make an Ogee Neilson.
http://www.westernthunder.co.uk/index.php?threads/spitfires-g3-workbench.6540/page-2
https://www.shapeways.com/shops/spitfire-s-creations?page%5Bnumber%5D=2&page%5Blimit%5D=48&page%5Border%5D=asc

I would think a plastic body and underframe would work well for wagons, while plastic bodies for engines are ok but I would like to see metal frames and running gear in all scales
GRS kits use plastic bodies.

Mike
At the risk of sounding like a spokesman Gavin did offer me the option of blowing up his MR D.305 prototype from around 1882. I mentioned the price would probably be a bit much in G3 once you factor in wheels, brakes, buffers etc but with the floor removed (it's easy to measure out a panel and scribe out a few planks after all) it might viable should it take anyone's fancy.
https://www.shapeways.com/product/JQRBFXEAW/7mm-mr-d305-3-plank-open?optionId=158020087&li=shops

Offline Sleeper Agent

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #6 on: Aug 29 2020 22:49 »
Ah that's the same prototype Mike offers it seems!
https://williamsmodels.co.uk/wagonframe.html
Oh well scratch that then but perhaps if he tackles something else down the road  ;)

Offline hornbeam

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #7 on: Aug 30 2020 07:27 »
A class O4 could be very nice indeed!

Offline Sleeper Agent

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #8 on: Aug 30 2020 10:11 »
Well if you're curious a vid of his 4mm one can be seen here and he'll be doing a few step-by-step tutorials for transforming it into a Ffarquhar Quarry Mavis.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okfvYWbEQNg
https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/106165-scc-sparkshot-custom-creations-04-drewry-diesel-3d-prints-released-d/page/18/#comments
Being honest with the cow catchers and side plates I think a G3 print will come to ruffly £800 once Shapeways plum the additional costs on top so not cheap i'm afraid, so you'll have to weigh that against how long say a would be brass kit would take to complete or the price of a GRS kit (you'll still have to motorise it of course but with a skirt in place power bogie and G gauge conversion possibilities are there). He can also break down his shells into components should anyone be wanting to attempt certain areas themselves in order to save on the total surface area, say the boiler of a loco for example.     

Going back to his wagons briefly Gavin did also tackle a Midland D.229 for the S Society and as far as I can tell no one has recreated it in G3.........though except for some strapping Woodbury Models' D.302/663A looks extremely similar to me, perhaps some aficionados can explain any other differences?
https://www.shapeways.com/product/EZZE3U5ER/7mm-mr-d299-5-plank-open-wsf?optionId=158035099&li=shops
http://www.woodburymodels.co.uk/gauge-3/

Bar for frames I wouldn't even consider bumpy WSF prints in the 4 and 7mm scales personally but like I say with the floor removed imagine the tuff material could be competitive enough and in the G1 & G3 scales it is possible to get in there with files and sandpaper, happy to enquire what a dummy print would ruffly come to if anyone is genuinely interested.

Steve

Offline John Candy

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #9 on: Aug 30 2020 10:25 »
Quote
A class O4 could be very nice indeed!

This is on my "to do" list (as a brass scratch-build) since it is a very useful prototype in its "ROD" format, since the GWR, LNWR and others bought them from the WD after the Great War.

Mine will likely be finished (assuming it gets built!) as a GWR 30XX while the person prompting me to produce the loco will want his as the original GCR class 8K version.

My own view on 3D printing as of the present state of the art (in view of the time and cost involved in the process) is that it may be best employed in producing patterns from which to cast in resin.

The only loco I have so far produced in resin is the 100HP Sentinel, with the patterns being fabricated in the conventional manner (those patterns and moulds now in possession of Mike Williams and being offered by the Gauge 3 Society as a complete RTR loco) but a larger loco has been a possibility under consideration.
3D printing would certainly simplify production of some of the more complex patterns which are used to produce the silicone moulds for casting.

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline John Candy

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #10 on: Aug 30 2020 10:59 »
As an example of how (in large scales such as G3) I see 3D printing as an aid to scratch-building or mould-making (for casting) the two photos illustrate an example of how 3D printing would have saved time (in theory at least).

The smokebox of the LNWR loco was required in triplicate and there are around 200 rivets individually soldered into the brass wrapper of the pattern. Forming, drilling, assembling the pattern took many hours and was "fiddly"work which I didn't want to repeat.    By contrast, casting three copies in resin took less than four hours working time and that included making the moulds.

How long it would have taken to draw the design and print in 3D I have no idea (nor the cost involved) so whether a 3D printed pattern would have been cost-effective is another matter. Obviously, the more castings made from the pattern, the lower the "unit cost" in terms of pattern and mould costs. There is, however, no doubt that casting would be a lot cheaper than having three copies 3D printed.

Regards,
John.







 
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #11 on: Aug 30 2020 13:44 »
I would agree with most of that John, and also wonder whether it would be possible to sand such a shape, avoiding the 200 rivet heads.  I guess it depends on your skill set: fabricate or draw.

Mike

Offline John Candy

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #12 on: Aug 30 2020 15:42 »
Mike,
I don't think the FDM (filament) method would be feasible, even at 20 microns.......it would probably be quicker to
to use conventional production methods than spend hours sanding away the striations.
However, the liquid resin type of printer should produce a smooth result but it is not a pleasant process and not one which I would care to use at home. Washing  the item in acetone (or is it Isopropyl alcohol?)and curing with UV light are, I believe, part of that process. All sounds very messy and potentially hazardous.
Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Sleeper Agent

Re: Is the future plastic?
« Reply #13 on: Oct 05 2020 22:33 »
Will be interested to see more picture when its painted and how you got on with things like bearings.

Mike
Well i've got some 4ft wheels from Slaters now (two spokes short but you'd do well to spot :P ). With them fitted I've had to chisel and sand about a millimetre away for the right buffer height but it wasn't too time consuming and can always put it on the revision list if I order a second chassis unit.


.   
The rigid wheels roll quite nicely on my stretch of track and the tender can cope with my little bit of test wood (ice lolly thickness but about 1/3 as wide) in the way, particularly when the flanges are not struck as well but for proper running think i'll trial a rocking system on the outer axles similar to the units on Walsall Models' kits.
Concerning the bearings the resin is actually quite hard wearing but for millage i've just added steel M6 washers (Select Hardware LTD) from a DIY store.



I thought the excellent Hafixs superglue might come undone during the vigorous filing down of the outer washers in order to achieve some side play but they've held and with a little taper broaching to compensate for the slightly less than perfect alignment the axle turns quite freely :)



By the by hopefully a friend will be upscaling his West Somerset Mineral Railway box tank to G3 for me soonish. Planning to order it on Black Friday to get a slight discount but can keep you lot updated if anyone is interested in the ancient Neilson.

Steve