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Thread: Most adequate 3D Printer for N loco parts and N people

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    Default Most adequate 3D Printer for N loco parts and N people

    I'm considering buying a 3D printer to print N peaople and loco parts, I suppose it must be very acurate in very small objects, hanle the appropriate material but not be extremely expensive. Please recommended one and suggest advantages and disadvantages. Thank you.
    Last edited by trainstrainstrains; 1st Feb 2018 at 04:03 AM.

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    Hate to say it, but thus far I haven't found much that meets my standards for accuracy in the sizes we deal with. The local fab lab has FDM printers (makerbots, I belive) and whilst they are fine for objects like foundations and whatnot, I'd steer well clear of them for smaller objects.

    I use Shapeways for my 3d printing needs; I have not yet tried other vendors.

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    Yeah. Did not want to burst your enthusiasm. But most affordable 3D printers are not yet up to N scale modeling standards.

    Ex: s-l1600.jpg Not that they are all at this level but I have not seen much out there that folks are doing at home with much higher quality. Ebay has quite a few folks trying to auction some pretty mediocre or less stuff. https://www.ebay.com/itm/N-scale-sta...8AAOSwFdtX0Fr5

    We are not that far away. I have seen some resin printing that is finer than Shapeways. The machine is still in the $20,000 range, I believe.
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    The very best most expensive commercial 3d printing BARELY cuts it for n scale stuff, there's really nothing for under 6 figures that comes close sadly.

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    I think laser cutters also play a role in this space and maybe for scratch-building structures, bridges, etc... a cheap laser-cutter may prove to be better than / more useful than a 3D printer. https://all3dp.com/1/laser-cutter-ho...ting-services/

    I do think that a monthly membership at a local maker place is probably more cost effective -- will allow you to use more types of more expensive equipment. The technology is changing so rapidly that your depreciation on equipment or how fast it becomes obsolete (or from another perspective how much better the equipment is that you could get a few months or a year later) is probably more than the monthly materials / membership cost at a place. In other words you are not saving anything by buying something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    I think laser cutters also play a role in this space and maybe for scratch-building structures, bridges, etc... a cheap laser-cutter may prove to be better than / more useful than a 3D printer.
    I am counting on it. Expecting my first laser cutter in near future...
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    Strongly agree with @Mac. I'd love a laser cutter myself but the local maker space ("Fab Lab") has a plethora of tools and equipment that I either don't have space for or wouldn't want to purchase for the few times I'd use.

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    From a professional 3d Artist perspective...

    The terms "affordable" and "high quality" 3d printers don't go together with this technology yet. Until they get more main stream in the marketplace, having cheaper ones that can do the fine details isn't something you can come by. All the ones I know of that can do the fine details start in the 20k range and can easily reach 100k. And even then, I wouldn't use them for details like rivets and other small things in n scale. Places like Shapeways.com is about as cheap as ya can get with the finer details. They use some of the better machines to produce things for clients. IMO its gonna take a good 2-3 years before we start to see the scale in the details get smaller and smaller. Most 3d printers are used for larger scale prototyping. Any 3d printer under 5k isn't gonna cut it to what you want to see in the details.
    Seanifer

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    I don't know guys - I've had my printer for about 5 months now and have had good success with it. Sure, it's not perfect, but with a bit of clean up and some paint, structures come out OK.

    These were all done with a 0.4mm nozzle and 0.8 layer heights. When you get your printer dialed in properly, the results are decent. I have just finished assembling a second printer kit with a 0.2mm nozzle which should give even finer details. Click for a higher res image.

    An arch entrance set that I whipped up in 30 mins of design time:
    print_arch.jpg


    The sandhouse from the CN Spadina Toronto roundhouse. The second reprint of this building didn't have that scar-line down the middle. The roof if beside it, and was glued in place. (can't find the finished product pic but it came out great! Sorry)
    print_sandhouse.jpg

    Wash racks and tower house. Tower house was printed upside down for the roof overhangs, rather than two pieces. The splash guards on the wash racks are 0.5mm thick, about the finest detail that that printer will handle.
    print_washrackdrawging.jpg print_washrack2.jpg print_washrack.jpg


    Gabled roof tests: ( i was experimenting, so pardon the split in the one roof)
    print_gabledroof.jpg



    I've tinkered a bit with bridge structures, pillars, trestle bents, etc. Also, it's be very useful for utility pieces - wire brackets, power supply cases, fascia control panel mounts, etc.

    It really comes down to understanding what your printer can do, how to fine tune it and designing within it's parameters. There's also the consideration of trying to make a flagship building for your layout versus making a number of smaller structures that fill in the scene that you can't find on the market otherwise. The 3-foot rule typically plays into it too.
    Peter

    Layout Depot (share your designs with others): www.LayoutDepot.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbechard View Post
    I don't know guys - I've had my printer for about 5 months now and have had good success with it. Sure, it's not perfect, but with a bit of clean up and some paint, structures come out OK.
    Looks great -- what printer do you have?

    I also think you have been quite smart to leverage the layers to create texture. Noticed that with both the arch (looks great) and the roof... I was thinking that when I saw wood loads for centerbeams -- seems like a perfect place where having layers would be a benefit instead of a problem...

    Did you also print the person under the arch?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbechard View Post
    It really comes down to understanding what your printer can do, how to fine tune it and designing within it's parameters. There's also the consideration of trying to make a flagship building for your layout versus making a number of smaller structures that fill in the scene that you can't find on the market otherwise. The 3-foot rule typically plays into it too.
    That is all to true, but John Tanzillo has been doing amazing things using an inexpensive printer to make components to combine into truly spectacular combinations eg. Union Station, stockyards etc. He has a unique presentation style combining narration and slides:see in particular
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5aqFsV_fyg
    His Channel is here:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6F...fyZSAx6-AM5doQ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Looks great -- what printer do you have?

    I also think you have been quite smart to leverage the layers to create texture. Noticed that with both the arch (looks great) and the roof... I was thinking that when I saw wood loads for centerbeams -- seems like a perfect place where having layers would be a benefit instead of a problem...

    Did you also print the person under the arch?
    I have an JG Aurora A3 - basically a Prusa i3 clone. I chose it for the metal frame for the added rigidity. It often gets poor review online for vertical stability but I have had zero issues with that - I love this machine, to the point I bought a second one. It's a kit, so you'll have to assemble it yourself, but you'll learn a ton about your printer along the way, making it easier to understand what you have to tweak when the time comes.

    Leveraging the layers - absolutely something to keep in mind. I intentionally printed the arch in a specific direction for that purpose.

    I did not print the person under the arch - that's a model power figure. He's there for scale, and stands about 11mm tall.
    Last edited by pbechard; 5th Mar 2018 at 09:27 AM.
    Peter

    Layout Depot (share your designs with others): www.LayoutDepot.com
    My Build Thread: www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?28081-Green-Valley-Railway

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbechard View Post
    It really comes down to understanding what your printer can do, how to fine tune it and designing within it's parameters. There's also the consideration of trying to make a flagship building for your layout versus making a number of smaller structures that fill in the scene that you can't find on the market otherwise. The 3-foot rule typically plays into it too.
    I think this is the key. You don't always need the fine details to create the illusion of reality.

    Shortly after the Flight of the Intruder was released, Model railroader ran an article about how the ( as I recall
    ) n-scale model railroad that was used for all the flight scenes was constructed. Most of the buildings on the layout were just painted wood blocks.

    Any decent 3d printed model will have more features than those wood blocks, and will be just fine as long as you are not doing closeup photographs.

    Paul
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    That is all to true, but John Tanzillo has been doing amazing things using an inexpensive printer to make components to combine into truly spectacular combinations eg. Union Station, stockyards etc. He has a unique presentation style combining narration and slides:see in particular
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5aqFsV_fyg
    His Channel is here:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6F...fyZSAx6-AM5doQ
    Those kind of prints are in my future. Hopefully the results will be as good.
    Peter

    Layout Depot (share your designs with others): www.LayoutDepot.com
    My Build Thread: www.nscale.net/forums/showthread.php?28081-Green-Valley-Railway

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    I'm thinking about buying a DLP printer for my N-scale projects. I'm currently using a Chinese cheap FDM clone for my G-scale stuff and I'm very satisfied. See some examples here:
    http://my-miniature-worlds.blogspot....d-g-scale.html

    There are DLP printers priced below $500. Wanhao D7 or Anycubic Photon (http://www.anycubic3d.com/products/show/1022.html) are some of the examples. They're much more accurate than FDM printers.

    The only problem is - I don't have the space to put another printer in my house

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    Peter, which design program are you using?

    Thanks!
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    Peter, which design program are you using?

    Thanks!
    Hi Gordon - I have been using Tinkercad for the design work but have recently been learning Fusion 360. I foresee that I'll continue to use both tools, depending on the complexity of the project.
    Peter

    Layout Depot (share your designs with others): www.LayoutDepot.com
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