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Model Railway Structures - Model Railway On-Line Shopping. - Other Areas. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 06:37 am
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Wizmacnz
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My online shop Model Railway Structures has now opened on Shapeways web site. http://www.shapeways.com/shops/modelrail


One of the first areas of product made available are various structures for making platform canopies.




Also a few bits of tiny furniture for house interiors.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 11:13 am
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Campaman
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I get a "This page can not be displayed" message



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 11:21 am
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Sol
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and so do I.



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Ron
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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 11:23 am
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Sol
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I know what it is, his link at the top is missing a /

it is http://www.shapeways.com/shops/modelrail



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 11:23 am
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MaxSouthOz
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So do I.

There's probably a typo in the link.

I always click on any I insert to make sure they work.    :thumbs



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 11:24 am
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Now it works.  :thumbs



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 12:30 pm
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Spurno
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Some nice pieces there Peter but unfortunately the wrong scale for me.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 01:10 pm
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Barneybuffer
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Got some quite nice pieces there Peter.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 4th, 2014 06:47 pm
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Wizmacnz
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Hmmn ..I tried to edit my link in the first post to correct my typo ... (shouldn't post so late at night)..... now it doesn't work at all.

 

 

Edit by Sol - it should be all fixed now Peter.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 5th, 2014 02:22 pm
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col.stephens
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Would someone explain to me how this Shapeways works please?  How do you order?  Is it Shapeways who send you the goods, or the designer?  I think they are based in New Zealand.  Does that make the items bought prohibitively expensive to send to the U.K.? (Bearing in mind that customs duty might be charged on delivery if total value is over £18 and V.A.T. (tax) at 20% (?) will always be charged on delivery).

Terry

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 Posted: Thu Mar 6th, 2014 01:24 am
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Wizmacnz
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Hi Terry
There is quite a bit of info on the Shapeways site on how it works and they probably explain it better than I can; however, here goes.

Shapeways are the manufacturer and distributor. They are a 3D printing bureau and currently print in the USA and Holland. You are buying the products from them. 

I design my products and upload a computer file to their website. A cost for the item is automatically generated by them and is built up of a fixed per item price and then a price based on the volume of material that needs to be printed. On top of that I then add a small designers margin (somewhere around 10%, but I round it to avoid really funny prices).  

When you place an order with Shapeways the items ordered are specifically printed for you and then couriered by them to you.

The delivery cost is a fixed price regardless of how many items you purchase. The current cost of delivery for people from the UK is US$ 9.50.  

All prices are exclusive of VAT or any other sales taxes.  I guess that from the UK you therefore have to add 20% VAT as you would for anything else that you purchase within the EU. In New Zealand VAT is not charged on imported goods costing less than NZ$400, so if I buy something from Hattons for example I can buy it at 20% less than you can. The same is true for Shapeways.

I hope this clarifies things.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 6th, 2014 06:15 pm
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col.stephens
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Thanks Peter.  Very useful to know.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Mar 8th, 2014 06:10 am
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Wizmacnz
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I apologise for the fact that this post is cut and pasted from a post on another nameless forum. This forum is my spiritual home and where my layout thread resides, but I'm just so busy at present that I can't spend the time to post a new version here... (well actually I suppose this bit is new).

Today being Saturday, it's the first real chance I have had to put some of my recently arrived Shapeways pieces together. (and take some photographs)


I'm sure I'm a much better designer than I am a builder. I'm in fact one of those modelers that ends up with his fingers glued to the model. The theory is that if I can put this stuff together then anyone can. You'll also soon realise that I'm not much of a photographer either.


 I've assembled the pieces straight as they arrive from the factory so you can see the level of finish that is achieved. I've seen recommendations to use a coffee stirrer to polish the surface or even fine wet and dry. My first assembly though I intend to see what can be achieved with it "as is". I've used thick super glue as the adhesive.


Today I put together a number of the platform canopy components to make a short section of canopy. ( I quickly knocked together a piece of platform to stick it on.)


I made a hole in the card platform with an awl to place the first column.




Then made a hole for the second column, using a spine truss  to check the spacing, and glued the truss to the two columns.




Then glued on a cantilevered end truss




You could stop using 3D printed parts at this point and complete the canopy using card or plasticard, however, if you continue down the 3D printed route, the next step is to add the intermediate trusses.




Although I've photographed them in place, if you are using the glazed roof sections it is actually easier to glue the truss to the roof sections first (they fit neatly between the rooflight frames). This way you can be sure that you have got the trusses spaced accurately. Accurate spacing is not critical if you are not using glazed roofing.


 
The glazed roof panel I selected to use has a representation of a zinc or mineral fibre roof on the upper surface.  Like this one (but with more rooflights).










And has a representation of timber boarding on the interior face.








Ironically the simplest roof panels to design have no rooflights, but as they use more material in production they cost the most.










A small section of plain roof fills in to the end of the cantilever truss. The trusses and roof section sizes are matched so no cutting to length is required.


 

The end gable boarding and valances have yet to arrive from Shapeways.  The first design of valance was rejected by Shapeways because the detail was too fine. Strangely the gable boarding which had the same board dimensions etc, passed through and was printed. Both have been redesigned with wider boards and should be with me on Monday. In the meantime I've stuck the old version onto the end gable.










Finally a couple of pictures of the canopy from low level. All still in white from the factory finish. I'm sure that when painted and lightly weathered the gleaming white will be eliminated and more of the detail will be apparent. I think painting is a job for next Saturday (if the lawns don't grow).




















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 Posted: Sat Mar 8th, 2014 06:16 pm
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Petermac
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They look really good Peter although given the number I'd need, I suspect they'll be a bit too pricey for me by the time shipping, duty and VAT are added.............:roll::roll::roll:



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 Posted: Sat Mar 8th, 2014 09:50 pm
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Wizmacnz
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Hi Peter
The main problem with 3D printing at the moment is the cost charged by the 3D printing bureaus.  I guess if you are within the EU there is no avoiding the dreaded VAT. Postage and packing is a fixed charge of US$9.50 to EU countries , unless you are from a BENELUX  country when it is $6.50.  This is less significant on a larger order, but I guess would put you off buying a single $2 item.

I've tried to focus initially on items that either can't be made by an "average" modeler or are cost competitive with laser cut or castings. The columns and trusses fit this criteria. The roofing sheets have much more material and could be made in a traditional card or plastic manner. I've included them for "completeness" of the system and for modelers who put a cost value on their time (most don't) or those that want a realistic building but would rather be playing trains or focusing their time on another aspect of the hobby. 

As the technology develops and becomes cheaper the decision to make traditionally or print will swing ever more in the direction of 3D print. For example, I know you were making the scalescenes main roof kit. The large arches on that would take me a long while to cut and put together, whereas I could draw them and print them on my home printer, where the cost of material is already low. It wouldn't be commercially viable though to do that on Shapeways. However a curved lattice truss would look more prototypical, use less material, probably making it Shapeways viable and deliver something that a scratchbuilder would take hours and hours to make.

I'm convinced that there will come a point when home printers will become common and the volume of material in an object is no longer a driving factor. When I home print the raw material cost is about 35 pounds a kilo, and you can create an awful lot of product with a kilo of plastic.

So when people can pop down to the high street store and buy a cheap 3d printer they are going to need things to print. At that time I intend to be the provider of downloadable model railway products. The Scalescenes of plastic.

At the moment I am still getting to grips with the technology and the commercial realities of the technology. The items that I model that I think may be "economic" are placed on Shapeways, those that even I can see would be perceived as "too pricey" are held back towards a time when the technology and cost have moved on. I have a cunning system to build platforms and platform edges for example, but it is unsellable at 40 pounds a foot (Shapeways price), but is fine for me to print at home at about 2 pounds a foot. It takes about 3 hours to print, which is no problem to me because I don't have to sit and watch it, but renders it non viable to print and sell to a third party.

Anyway... I didn't intend to ramble on... but I did wan't to take the opportunity to give some background on costs. I'm in this for the "long haul" and certainly don't expect to make any money out of this for several years.



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 Posted: Sat Mar 8th, 2014 10:04 pm
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Hi Peter

I don't know if this will help, or not - but I have a 3D printer nearby to my home here in South Oz.

http://www.3Dprintsa.com.au

He makes a small charge to do the CAD and then a moderate charge per unit.

The cost is comparable to buying off the net.

Here is an example . . .



He made these two little servo brackets for me.  He charged A$15.00 to draw it and A$5.50 each to make them.

He has a scanner, but prefers to draw them when he's making articles with close tolerances.

There might be someone in NZ who could do the same for you?

Cheers



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 Posted: Sat Mar 8th, 2014 10:08 pm
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Petermac
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I understand what you're saying Peter. ;-)  Like all "new" technology, prices are initially high because a) the market is limited to those who'll "give it a whirl" and b) there's not much competition so those at the forefront can have a field day.

I'd absolutely agree that prices will come down as demand increases and the initial capital investment costs are spread over a larger product base.  I shudder to think what the likes of Shapeways must have invested in machinery and currently, it's all front line stuff.

As demand increases, suppliers will come onto the market, machines will become faster and therefore, more "time efficient" - we all know time costs and probably, in the case of 3D printing, more than the plastic does.  I wonder how long it takes Shapeways to print one of your columns and what their hourly rate is for the printer...........:roll::roll:

I'll certainly be keeping an eye on your range.  Interesting that delivery to a Benelux country is cheaper than to the rest of Europe - I wonder why .......:hmm



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 Posted: Sat Mar 8th, 2014 10:28 pm
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Wizmacnz
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Hi Max

Thanks for the info on your local 3D printing company. That is an example of how 3D printing is becoming more accessible to everyone. There are comparable 3D printing people here in NZ. 

I'm having a web-site built that will widen the options from purely the Shapeways route. The idea would be purchase printed item(s) from Shapeways,  or download an electronic copy and print it yourself or take it to a local printer and have them print it for you.

I don't really want to get into  printing objects for sale myself. I think NZ is too far from the major markets to provide reasonable delivery costs. It would also give me a lot of work dealing with orders, packing, posting etc when I really want to spend my efforts designing or even working on my own layout. I'm trying to establish something where my day to day involvement becomes non-critical and I can just sit back and watch the dollars trickle in.



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 Posted: Sat Mar 8th, 2014 11:59 pm
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Wizmacnz wrote: ........................................................................I'm trying to establish something where my day to day involvement becomes non-critical and I can just sit back and watch the dollars trickle in.
Give me a shout when you find it Peter ....................:mutley:mutley:cheers:cheers



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 Posted: Mon Mar 10th, 2014 09:34 am
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Wizmacnz
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Petermac wrote: Give me a shout when you find it Peter ....................:mutley:mutley:cheers:cheers

Well I don't seem to have found it yet :cry: :cry:



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