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3D printed 1:76 Austin Maestro - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2011 03:37 pm
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Burkitt
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While I was waiting for my N scale 95 stock to arrive from Shapeways, I started on another 3D printing project.
For more complicated designs I realised I needed to learn a more advanced CAD program than Sketchup, and after some research decided to have a go at Blender. Like Sketchup it is free to download, but it allows much more complex shapes to be created quite easily.
As a first project in Blender I chose to do an Austin Maestro, prompted by a suggestion from Jim S-W.



This is the first print of the Maestro from Shapeways, which arrived yesterday. The model can be printed in either Frosted Detail material or the slightly better Frosted Ultra Detail. I've ordered the Frosted Detail version first on the basis that if it works in that material, it will definitely work in Frosted Ultra Detail.




The model consists of the body, chassis, wheels, headlamps and tail lamps as separate pieces.




3D printing means the interior can include a details like the steering wheel and open headrests.




It has printed very well, though of course it will benefit from some careful sanding and painting to smooth the surface.




For the photos I have done a dry run assembly without any glue, and haven't put the lights in place to avoid any chance of losing them.












I have also done the CAD designs for the version of the Maestro with metal bumpers...




...and for the Maestro van, though I haven't ordered prints either of these models yet.




I am also working on N scale versions of the models.

Paul

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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2011 06:05 pm
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ddolfelin
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Exciting.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2011 07:06 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Will 3D printing eventually affect the "brands" Paul?

It looks like we could produce our own rolling stock.

How much skill is needed to master the preparation?



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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2011 07:36 pm
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Burkitt
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Thanks Ddolfelin and Max.

How much skill is needed to master the preparation?

The design in CAD is quite tricky, especially to create a model that will work for 3D printing. However it does have the advantage that you can keep on working at a CAD model until it looks right without any outlay of cash, mistakes are easy to undo rather than having to give up and start again.


Will 3D printing eventually affect the "brands" Paul?

It looks like we could produce our own rolling stock.



At the moment I think it is approaching being on the same level as resin casting and etching, a technique useful to individual modellers or small businesses to produce models for themselves, as kits, or to order.

The barriers to rivalling mass produced RTR are:

Price - high detail materials are quite expensive to print at the moment, and the nature of scale means this particularly affects OO models and larger.

Finishing - 3D printed models require careful finishing, and of course painting, placing them in the kit market not RTR.

Mechanisms - printing a working electric motor, driveshaft, wheels, pickups etc is simply beyond the current technologies.

However steps are being made towards resolving all these issues. The main factor in the price if 3D printing the is cost of machine time, not materials, so as it becomes more developed and economies of scale kick in, costs should fall. Resolution is also affected by machine time, so should improve as costs fall. Full colour printing is already available for low resolution models in sandstone. Various metals can also be 3D printed, though they are far from being at the stage where electric motors etc are possible.

With these areas in mind, I expect that 3D printed items will be in serious competition with mass produced RTR within the next ten years or so.

Paul

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 Posted: Tue Dec 13th, 2011 08:27 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Thanks, Paul.  It might be an interesting subject for one of our club days next year.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2011 02:01 pm
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Petermac
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I have absolutey no idea how this system works Paul but the end results look stunning.  Do you get a "proof" from them for further modification or is it a case "that's what you sent us, that's what you'll pay for" ?  I ask because I recall you did several mods to the tube stock.

Incidentally, we have a blender but it won't build Maestros - either with or without metal bumpers !!! ;-)



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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2011 02:04 pm
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I like your by-line Max. :cheers

My new aftershave smells like breadcrumbs - the birds love it.  :roll::roll:



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 Posted: Wed Dec 14th, 2011 08:43 pm
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Burkitt
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Peter, it's basically the latter option - it's up to the designer to make sure it's right before placing the order.
As you say, with the 95 stock I ordered a first print of one car, then added extra detail to the underframe before ordering a four-car set, and paid in full for both orders.

That said, they do check that the model complies with all the design rules, both automatically when you upload and manually before printing, to check that it will print successfully.
Shapeways will also do free reprints of there is a problem with the print quality, for example they reprinted two of my tube cars which were banana shaped on the first attempt.

Paul

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 Posted: Thu Dec 15th, 2011 06:17 pm
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Hi Martin,

I have seen that before and I am just as amazed the second time of viewing as I was the first time. Absolutely incredible.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 18th, 2011 11:58 am
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I'm not sure that video's entirely accurate - with just laser scanning, the mechanism of the wrench wouldn't be functional when printed. There mush have been some CAD work they skipped over.

This video from Shapeways shows their process from design to delivery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQoTro9WfbQ


I've given the car a first coat of paint, which helps show the areas that need more sanding, and shows the shape better in photos.



I'm using the car to test Halfords paints on printed models, and if they work well will use them on the 95 stock train.



For the body I'm using white primer and for the interior grey, to best match the intended final colours.



Unfortunately, the steering wheel fell off while I was cleaning the model. I'll have to include a replacement in my next order, and perhaps add a spare into the model on Shapeways.


Paul

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2011 07:35 am
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ddolfelin
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Not stickable, Paul?



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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2011 09:10 am
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Burkitt
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Would be, if it hadn't disappeared down the plughole.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2011 11:47 am
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ddolfelin
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I'm pleased I'm not the only one with those experiences!



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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2011 04:11 pm
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Burkitt
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One of the perils of modelling, along with screws on the carpet!

With a few more coats of paint the rough surface of the plastic has been mostly smoothed out.





After a bit of sanding it should be ready for the coloured paint - I'm planning on bright red.

Paul

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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2011 10:10 pm
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Petermac
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Do you work under a magnifying glass Paul ?  How on earth do you see something that small well enough to sand it smooth ? :shock:



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 Posted: Tue Dec 20th, 2011 11:32 pm
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Burkitt
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No magnifying glass, but I do use a very bright sunlight-imitation lamp, which makes modelling much easier on the eyes than squinting in the relative gloom of normal indoor lighting.

Paul

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2011 12:22 am
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Burkitt
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The Maestro has now been painted in bright boy-racer red, using a spraycan from Halfords.







Once it's had a full 24 hours to dry I can start painting the interior and the various external details.

Paul

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2011 08:22 am
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ddolfelin
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... and investigating the U bend!

Nice job, Paul.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2011 08:49 am
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A very interesting project and the results so far look impressive. Is the dimpled effect due to the plastic or the initial coat of spray paint, or a bit of both. You appear to have dealt with it well though through the layers of paint. How will you complete the glazed areas? Will that be done using the same process?

Bob

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 Posted: Thu Dec 22nd, 2011 10:45 am
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Burkitt
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Thanks ddolfelin and Novice.

I think the dimpled effect was a combination of the rough surface of the plastic before sanding, and the primer paint. These photos show up on screen about twice the size of the real model, and were taken under very bright light, which also exaggerates the roughness a bit.

For the glazing I plan to use transparent plastic sheet glued on the inside of the body. It's only about 0.5mm thick around the window frames so it should look fairly close to flush.

Paul

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