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                                       progress report - chairs in the output
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81st message | this message only posted: 15 Dec 2018 05:44
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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I won't be posting any pics of my printing "workspace" :)
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82nd message | this message only posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:57
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Andrew Barrowman wrote: I won't be posting any pics of my printing "workspace" :)My printing workspace won't look like that photo for long. :)

I can report some success. These sleepers have been given a top skin to hide the knobbly surface - I stopped after one and a half sleepers to see the difference:





It was done using the 0.6mm nozzle and added only about one minute to the print time per sleeper.

That's a cruel enlargement (5.8mm wide sleepers), but it's very much smoother -- the difference is quite noticeable at normal layout-viewing distance.

I created an extra 0.05mm (2 thou) layer of polymer, 100% filled, and extruded it over the top of the previous layer without actually changing the Z position of the nozzle.

The result is that it has filled the voids in the surface, but also spilled over the edges a fraction and created a rough top edge on the sleeper. I can probably fix that by removing the outer shell wall from the layer. There is no change in the measured thickness of the sleeper.

It's time these sleepers gained some chairs. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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83rd message | this message only posted: 15 Dec 2018 21:48
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Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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You wouldn't believe the large number of parts, could take me at least a week to put it all together if I 'm lucky!
Stephen Freeman wrote: Hi,

No my interest is only chairs at the moment, I have a different solution for gauges.


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84th message | this message only posted: 15 Dec 2018 22:07
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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi Stephen,

A before and after picture of your printer build would be good :)

Have fun

Rob


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85th message | this message only posted: 15 Dec 2018 23:30
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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Martin,

I count at least 12 books on your little shelf that are also in my collection and that includes the Ilford Manual of Photography of course :) Oh, messing about in the darkroom, that takes me back.

Rob


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86th message | this message only posted: 15 Dec 2018 23:49
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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I must admit when I started trying to print turnout bases I had little confidence that it was going to work at all. I bought my first printer on a whim and the track idea came later. Now I'm convinced it really is quite practical, even with the long print times. The one thing that surprises me slightly is that very few people have jumped on it, but each to his/her own.


I think there are two reasons , one, is that 3D printing is a minority sport amongst railway modellers and two, track building is even a more minority sport and is already fairly well catered for by specialist suppliers and long stablished processes

PS I have an Ender 3 , ( an i3 clone )
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87th message | this message only posted: 16 Dec 2018 01:07
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: I count at least 12 books on your little shelf that are also in my collection and that includes the Ilford Manual of Photography of course :) Oh, messing about in the darkroom, that takes me back.Hi Rob,

Yes, I can smell the fixer now. Remember changing bags? :)

The house is full of books. I don't know how the Ilford manual got on that shelf, it should be on the photography shelf. I've just checked inside the cover -- purchased Aug 1969, which by coincidence is the exact same date as those slate quarry pics.

Your eyes must be better/younger than mine if you can read the book titles, or are you just recognising the covers? Next time I can't find a book, I'll ask you if you know where it is. :)

I did have to do quite a lot of clearing to make space for the BIBO -- it won't look like that for long.

cheers,

Martin.

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88th message | this message only posted: 16 Dec 2018 01:38
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Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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madscientist wrote: I think there are two reasons , one, is that 3D printing is a minority sport amongst railway modellers and two, track building is even a more minority sport and is already fairly well catered for by specialist suppliers and long stablished processes

PS I have an Ender 3 , ( an i3 clone )
That sounds about right. If I ever get around to completing a decent part of a layout with printed track it might get more attention, but I don't really care either way. Meanwhile printing operations are suspended here. Our daughters are arriving on the 27th with three young gents who will be extremely disappointed if there are no trains running on grampa's railway. I have at least managed to lay a gigantic dumbbell loop on the baseboard. Trouble is I keep playing with all the locos and rolling stock that's been sitting around in boxes for years :)

"Oooo! Look at this one. Wonder when I bought that?"

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89th message | this message only posted: 16 Dec 2018 18:25
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Stephen Freeman
Sandbach, United Kingdom



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Hi
Photo of finished/nearly finished not a problem but I'm not about to take it all apart for a photo! I can however show you the empty box :D

I do feel that it will be best to make the control box connectable rather than fully permanently connected as it will be a bit unwieldy otherwise. I do have more nuts and bolts left over than I appear to need but of course am one short of a specific size :(.  I will have to see if I have any spare in the garage.

It will probably take me the rest of the coming week at least to get it fully usable.

The fun will start when I try to actually use it!

Rob Manchester wrote:
Hi StephenA before and after picture of your printer build would be good :)

Have fun

Rob


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90th message | this message only posted: 17 Dec 2018 02:28
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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The first chairs! These are 7mm scale. They don't look too bad at normal viewing distance:



But not so good when zoomed in:



Perhaps I should have started with Gauge 3. :)

With Peco gauge 0 rail:



Don't look so close! This is what they would look like on a layout:



And this is what they were intended to look like: :)



It's clear how the underscale Peco rail has prevented a proper key shape. That's code 124 -- it should be code 131 for BS-95R in 7mm scale.

Andy, you were right. Attempting to do one chair at a time got too hot, and turned into a melted blob. The software knew it was happening, and moved away for a few seconds pause between each layer, but to not much effect. So it's back to the normal sliced whole method. Whoever invented it obviously knew what they were doing.

On the other hand, in 0 gauge 2 timbers-worth of chairs at a time is the most than can be done without risking the other nozzle damaging the tops of the chairs.

This is the PLA+ polymer. It is indeed tough, it needed some brute force to thread the rail. I will adjust the dimensions for the next try. I'm also going to try ordinary PLA, I think it's probably a bit less chewy and might give better detail.

One thing I do know is that the polymer is deposited so slowly to create these chairs, that it is spending too long hot in the nozzle. I recognize the same effects from injection moulding when travel through the heater barrel is too slow. It may need to be purged from the nozzle into the cess after every few layers. It would be wasteful, but the actual polymer volume is very low.

cheers,

Martin.  

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91st message | this message only posted: 17 Dec 2018 14:32
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Stephen Freeman
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Hi,
I think I have finished putting it together now and have taken a photo, which I will upload as soon as I can, bit of a delay as I am doing a much needed backup at the moment. I did end up with some surplus hardware (nuts and bolts) but was short of some non-essential bolts. Now to order to some filament.
Stephen Freeman wrote: Hi
Photo of finished/nearly finished not a problem but I'm not about to take it all apart for a photo! I can however show you the empty box :D

I do feel that it will be best to make the control box connectable rather than fully permanently connected as it will be a bit unwieldy otherwise. I do have more nuts and bolts left over than I appear to need but of course am one short of a specific size :(.  I will have to see if I have any spare in the garage.

It will probably take me the rest of the coming week at least to get it fully usable.

The fun will start when I try to actually use it!

Rob Manchester wrote:
Hi StephenA before and after picture of your printer build would be good :)

Have fun

Rob



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92nd message | this message only posted: 17 Dec 2018 20:08
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Trevor Walling
United Kingdom

 

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Hello Martin,
                 Are the chairs actually printed onto the sleepers or are they glued on after printing?
Here are some images of prints done by MERG member Bob Gledhill in 4mm.He the did the sleeper bases and chairs separate then glues them together. The print files are available for download by members along with quite a lot of information. Perhaps it might be helpful for you to contact him?
Regards.
Trevor.


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93rd message | this message only posted: 17 Dec 2018 20:09
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Trevor Walling
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Hello,
 Here is another image.


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94th message | this message only posted: 17 Dec 2018 20:11
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from:
Trevor Walling
United Kingdom

 

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Here is an image of various chairs

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95th message | this message only posted: 17 Dec 2018 22:24
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Trevor Walling wrote: Hello Martin,
                 Are the chairs actually printed onto the sleepers or are the glued on after printing?
Hi Trevor,

Sorry I haven't properly explained what I'm doing.

The chairs are 3D printed onto the timbers. The machine first prints a timber and then prints the chairs onto it, all in one go.

At least that is the theory. At present I'm still experimenting with bits of the programs which control the printer, called G-CODE. I'm experimenting with plain track because it is simpler, but in the end most users will be mainly interested in pointwork (flexi-track is readily available for plain track in most gauges).

I don't actually want any track myself. What I want to do is to create functions in Templot which anyone can use to create the files for 3D printing. Either for their own printer, or to send to commercial companies for printing.

It's a complex subject, and the only way I can develop those files is to play about with a printer and try things.

The intention is to create 3D printed track bases to help with track building. That might be any or all of:

1. fully-chaired track bases into which rail is threaded.

2. mostly-chaired track bases which have some chairs missing, to be glued on during construction. That makes construction a lot easier, especially for slips and tandems, etc.

3. track bases which have only the inner half of each chair on them, to align and gauge the rails. The outer half to be glued on after the rail is in place. That avoids threading rail into chairs and makes construction very much easier. My hunch is that could be basis of a workable track-building system.

4. track bases without chairs which have instead a slot or pip or some other means to locate separate chairs. The base could be home-printed (the easier bit to print), with the matching chairs (the difficult bit) sent for commercial printing, or using injection-moulded chairs (C&L, Exactoscale, etc.).

5. chairs printed directly onto some other timbers, such as plywood or limewood.

6. a system in which the rail is also 3D printed, for battery operation, or which can have a metal conductive cap fitted onto the rails. Andy has been experimenting with such ideas.

Thanks for the pics of 3D printed track, there are some more pics in Andy's long topic:

  http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=2734&forum_id=6

All this stuff would be vastly better if injection-moulded rather than 3D printed. But that is a very expensive process, and can only ever provide a limited range of fixed trackwork items which can be produced in quantity, such as the range of P4 straight turnout kits from Exactoscale.

3D printing can instead be used at home for one-off bespoke trackwork, such as the track layouts created in Templot. Everything from a basic curved turnout on any radius, to complex junctions, in any gauge or scale.

Home printing can also be exactly matched to the rail section in use, avoiding some of the reported problems in threading the currently available rail into commercial chairs.

There is not much sense in printing plain bases without any chairs at all, because that can be achieved much better and very much quicker and cheaper by the traditional method of sticking timbers on a 2D printed paper template.



To create this test piece



I used a printer with two nozzles, currently installed as large (0.6mm dia extrusion) and small (0.2mm dia extrusion). The large one prints the timbers at reasonable speed. It is currently loaded with green polymer (showing blue in the pics). The small nozzle is loaded with brown polymer and then prints the chairs onto them (very slowly). In the end I would probably use brown for both, but using two colours makes it easier to see what is happening.

It is necessary to use a small nozzle in order to create finer detail. The difference in nozzle size is greater than it first appears, because it is the area of the nozzle opening which counts. So the ratio between the two nozzles is 2^2 : 6^2 = 4:36 = 1:9. In other words the large nozzle is effectively 9 times larger than the small nozzle. I may have overdone the difference there. I may find that using 0.3mm and 0.5mm nozzles is more sensible (9:25 or 1:2.8). Most home printers have a single 0.4mm nozzle.

I have a long way to go. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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96th message | this message only posted: 18 Dec 2018 03:51
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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When I took the first test print off the printer yesterday, I confess to being quite disappointed. I was well aware that filament-printed detail could never be a patch on injection moulding, and that home filament printing can't match other 3D printing methods such as cured resin. But I was hoping for something a bit better than I was seeing.

So I started thinking about the many printing settings which I might need to change. Looking at the chairs again today, I'm not so sure.

I don't really believe that the chairs could have improved with keeping for 24 hours, but it is not impossible. I do know that injection moulded parts shrink after injection, and continue to shrink for days or weeks afterwards, unless moulded at very high pressures. These chairs were moulded at zero pressure, so it's quite likely that they would shrink and change quite a lot with time.

Close-up photography can be so cruel to models, so I thought I would set up something more akin to normal layout viewing distance and photos. This is 7mm/ft scale:



I changed to grey-scale to hide the coloured sleepers. The track in the background is ordinary Peco 0 gauge flexible. It seems to me that when painted and ballasted, the 3D printed version would not be too obviously inferior. This is the same test piece as before, I haven't done anything to it.

Even in what would be regarded as a close-up shot, it doesn't look too bad:



So today I'm feeling more hopeful. This is of course 7mm, and many will be looking for 4mm scale, a much greater challenge. But this at least looks promising.

cheers,

Martin.

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97th message | this message only posted: 18 Dec 2018 07:18
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Andrew Barrowman
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Don't give up Martin. You just need to tweak some of the variables to clean up the chairs a bit. Without knowing exactly what your code is doing I can't really advise, but I'm sure the print could be a lot cleaner than that. If you get stuck send me the G-code and I'll try to help.

The viewing distance thing is interesting. When I post high magnification shots of my chairs people tend to be put off by the visible layers in the print. In practice no one will even be able to discern the layers at a normal viewing distance, even less so after ballasting and painting.

That's what I was saying about putting printed track into a real layout. It will look just as good as injection molded track and if you don't spill the beans and reveal that it's printed, nobody will be any the wiser.

Model railways owe just as much to theater (probably a lot more) than they do to engineering.

Keep plugging away!
Andy
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Trevor Walling
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Hello Martin,
              I agree with Andrew that it takes quite a bit of experimentation to achieve the optimum finish on prints. From what I have seen from others no two printers are the same and each user takes quite a few tries to optimize what they print. The quality of finish achieved has improved immensely since the earlier days of 3D printing such as this.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RepRap_project

Regards.:)


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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Hi Martin,

Well done for getting to the printing stage with the timbers and chairs. I wasn't happy that your efforts looked as they did just like yourself. I agree with your opinion that in a layout situation the track may not be subject to the same scrutiny as in your close up photos but, from my modelling perspective, I choose 7mm scale for some subjects to allow greater detail to be included in trackwork, buildings and rolling stock. Due to the compact dimensions of the layouts and the proximity of the operating position the chairs have got to look rather better than the examples you produced or I would stick with current injection moulded components. A club building a 30x12 layout for exhibition with wide sweeping curves would be a different kettle of fish and with a little more tweaking of the settings you are on the right track(!) :)

I have a Shapeways order arriving tomorrow. Shall I spray some of the chairs and post the pics ?

Rob


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Martin Wynne
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Rob Manchester wrote: I have a Shapeways order arriving tomorrow. Shall I spray some of the chairs and post the pics ?Hi Rob,

Yes please. Or just a permanent-ink felt-tip marker over them.

I've come to the conclusion that I have made a wrong turn in going for the PLA+ polymer. The web site does actually say that it is suitable for larger models rather than fine detail.

I went for it because I thought I would need the extra strength and flexibility for threading rail. I think I was too hasty.

I'm now convinced that the chairs improve with keeping. I've been looking back at a few test print chairs I made a fortnight ago when setting up the machine, using the original translucent PLA (I inked over them to see the detail). They were made using the default settings using the standard 0.4mm nozzle. They are now looking much better than I remember them at the time, and much better than the ones made in brown PLA+ this week.

But more importantly they are now much stronger. I tried threading rail in them straight off the printer, and they simply fell apart. The chair jaws would crumble away, and could be broken off easily with fingers. A fortnight later, I have only a couple left to try, but I now can't budge them with fingers. To remove the chair jaws would require a cutting tool of some sort. Clearly some form of slow chemical process is taking place after printing -- over to the polymer chemists to explain. Could the solvent in the ink be a factor?

Whatever, I have now ordered some brown ordinary PLA, and will try again when it arrives (hopefully before Christmas).

Looking at the web sites, there seems to be a minefield of different filament suppliers and prices, all claiming to be superior to any other. I'm hoping that I don't have to try every one to find the best for our purpose. :?

cheers,

Martin.

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101st message | this message only posted: 19 Dec 2018 02:40
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Martin Wynne
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Rob Manchester wrote: "Biodegradable polymer" ? Does that imply printed items have a limited life-span or it is so long in the future we don't need to worry.Hi Rob,

See:

 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/environmental-impact-of-corn-based-plastics/

"Although it does biodegrade, it does so very slowly. According to Elizabeth Royte, writing in Smithsonian, PLA may well break down into its constituent parts (carbon dioxide and water) within three months in a "controlled composting environment", that is, an industrial composting facility heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and fed a steady diet of digestive microbes. But it will take far longer in a compost bin or in a landfill packed so tightly that no light and little oxygen are available to assist in the process. Indeed, analysts estimate that a PLA bottle could take anywhere from 100 to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill."

cheers,

Martin.

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102nd message | this message only posted: 19 Dec 2018 16:12
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Stephen Freeman
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I am hoping to be experimenting myself before too long, just need to get up to date with a few projects that need finishing off. I now have some ABS and PLA to try out.
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Rob Manchester
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Hi Martin,

Thanks for the info on the biodegradeable polymer.

The chair pics will have to wait. UPS messed up on the delivery by claiming there was nobody in at the delivery address despite the fact I have been 10 yards from the door all day :( I will post them when I retrieve the package.

Rob


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Stephen Freeman
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I sympathise, you could try leaving a note on the door to knock harder. I presume you now have a trip to their drop-off shop to collect.
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Rob Manchester
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Thanks Stephen. Yes package collected from the drop-off shop this morning. The delivery driver will be shot for being lazy...... :D
Rob


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Martin Wynne wrote: Rob Manchester wrote: I have a Shapeways order arriving tomorrow Thursday. Shall I spray some of the chairs and post the pics ?Hi Rob,

Yes please. Or just a permanent-ink felt-tip marker over them.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin,

A quick pic of some painted 7mm scale chairs. In the middle we have 4 3D crossing chairs and 4 3D check rail chairs. Round the outside are Exactoscale and C&L samples.



Sorry about the depth of field being a bit shallow - the camera is not too well at the moment.

Rob

P.S. The Shapeways chairs are printed in what they call 'Smooth Fine Detail Plastic'



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Martin Wynne
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Rob Manchester wrote:A quick pic of some painted 7mm scale chairs. In the middle we have 4 3D crossing chairs and 4 3D check rail chairs. Round the outside are Exactoscale and C&L samples.

P.S. The Shapeways chairs are printed in what they call 'Smooth Fine Detail Plastic'
Hi Rob,

Many thanks for those. They look great. When Shapeways say "printed plastic" do they mean from filament, or some other process? Or cured from resin?

Here's the latest from me (7mm, Peco rail):



Getting a bit better, but not comparable with Shapeways. This is PLA rather than PLA+, printed at a lower temperature* with the fans full blast. And afterwards popped in the freezer for an hour.

*180C on the dial, but I have no idea how well calibrated the machine's thermistors might be, or even how well the two extruders are thermally matched.

This was exactly the same GCODE as before (ex Cura). My next step is to try other slicing software, and I also want to try generating the GCODE directly from Templot. There's no way it will work first time, but the great thing with doing it directly is that everything is adjustable, varying layer thicknesses, speeds, temperatures and nozzle pressures for different parts of the model if it helps.

cheers,

Martin. 

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Rob Manchester
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Hi Martin,

Fine Detail plastic from Shapeways. There seems to be several out of dates pages on the site made more confusing by the fact they changed the names a while back.

One thing I hadn't noticed before with the two makes of moulded chairs was the difference in the keys. The six 3-bolt running chairs in my pic are by both C&L and Exactoscale. The keys in the C&L ones stick out of the chair jaws a long way and are quite skinny in cross section - the Exactoscale ones are shorter and fatter and actually fill the web of the rail meaning they hold it more firmly. The 4-bolt chairs are all Exactoscale ones as they were all I had to hand. The base of the C&L chairs tends to bend as Peco rail is threaded sometimes even fracturing. The Exactoscale ones don't but are still easy to thread onto the rail. The Shapeways ones fit the Peco rail fine although it is obvious that they are more likely to break if care isn't taken to smooth the rail ends and offer it up squarely to the chair.

Your chairs are looking better. We will have to hope you get snowed in for Christmas to give you some more time on the project :D

Rob


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Rob Manchester wrote: Martin Wynne wrote: Rob Manchester wrote: I have a Shapeways order arriving tomorrow Thursday. Shall I spray some of the chairs and post the pics ?Hi Rob,

Yes please. Or just a permanent-ink felt-tip marker over them.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin,

A quick pic of some painted 7mm scale chairs. In the middle we have 4 3D crossing chairs and 4 3D check rail chairs. Round the outside are Exactoscale and C&L samples.



Sorry about the depth of field being a bit shallow - the camera is not too well at the moment.

Rob

P.S. The Shapeways chairs are printed in what they call 'Smooth Fine Detail Plastic'


Nice chairs :-D And you seem to have a lighter touch with the spray can than I do (which isn't hard, I suspect). The trouble with designing your own chairs is that you can become unsatisfied with the existing commercial offerings, and end up designing all of the types of chairs …. or is that just me?

I spent most of yesterday, whilst IT was updating my work laptop to Windows 10, looking into home SLA/DLP printers... Hopefully by the time I'm finished with the fiddle yard, the prices might have come down, and that's the route I'm going to take...

Oh and our UPS man does exactly the same when he is too busy, pretends to have been, and comes back another day when he is less busy. The manager at the depot admitted this, and apologised, but it still happens.

Richard

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Jim Guthrie
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richard_t wrote:
I spent most of yesterday, whilst IT was updating my work laptop to Windows 10, looking into home SLA/DLP printers... Hopefully by the time I'm finished with the fiddle yard, the prices might have come down, and that's the route I'm going to take...


Richard,

I've just got my hands on a DLP printier - a Phrozen Shuffle - and I've been following the progress on this thread with interest now that I am,  like Martin,  a recent entrant to the 3D printing world.

I'm getting on quite well with it but I am learning a lot of the ins and outs of the process - like what supports,  how many, and where and the advantages of adjusting the axes to get the best results.  So far I've only done parts like wagon springs,  axleboxes and buffer stocks,  the main hold-up being me getting my brain around Fusion 360. :D

I think you would get very good prints of chairs in DLP and you might have to experiment with different resins to get the best results.  At the moment I'm working with Phrozen grey ABS and that does seem quite strong but there is quite a wide range of choice.   However,  with the size of the diode screen in the Shuffle,  I don't think I would attempt what Martin is doing in 7mm scale.  I might be able to do similar in 4mm but the envelope of the Shuffle might mean that I would have to do it vertically to get a decent length of track base.  The Shuffle's sizes are X = 65mm, Y = 120mm and Z = 200mm.    There is a larger size - the Shuffle XL where the X and Y axes are almost double and there is talk of yet another larger version next year with the X/Y axes being about A4 size.





Here are a couple of pictures of S scale wagon axleboxes and springs printed from files given to me by Justin Newitt of Rumney models.  The quality is excellent.

Jim.

[EDIT]   I meant to add that these prints are not quick.  Typically I am printing files for betwee one and three hours for a height of about 10mm.  The main criteria for print duration is the thickness of the layers and the height of the print.    The area of the print is not a factor - I could print one chair or one hundred in the same time if the height of both prints was the same.

Jim.

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Rob Manchester
Manchester



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Richard,
The 'lighter touch' you refer to ( thanks ) is due to the use of an Iwata airbrush with MIG or Vallejo acrylics rather than a spray can :). It means I can spray inside too without coating every flat surface of the room with overspray......
Rob


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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Latest effort. Changed to Slic3r instead of Cura to do the slicing -- a bit better I think:




Normal viewing:




Abnormal viewing:




Next I want to try 6.61mm/ft scale, for a better match for the 95lb REA chair and key to the underscale Peco rail. (It's code 124 -- should be code 131 for BS-95R bullhead at 7mm/ft.)

cheers.

Martin.

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Hello Martin,
         It may be a good idea to try a different filament for the chairs just to make sure the results are not due to a bad reel of filament.
Regards.
Trevor :)

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Andrew Barrowman
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Martin Wynne wrote: Latest effort. Changed to Slic3r instead of Cura to do the slicing -- a bit better I think:




Normal viewing:




Abnormal viewing:




Next I want to try 6.61mm/ft scale, for a better match for the 95lb REA chair and key to the underscale Peco rail. (It's code 124 -- should be code 131 for BS-95R bullhead at 7mm/ft.)

cheers.

Martin.
There you go!

Slap some paint on them and nobody will be able to tell they were not injection molded.

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Martin Wynne
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Trevor Walling wrote: It may be a good idea to try a different filament for the chairs just to make sure the results are not due to a bad reel of filament.Thanks Trevor,

I have in fact already tried two different polymers from different suppliers, ordinary PLA and toughened flexible PLA+.

At some stage I also want to try ABS and maybe others.

But I also want to retain some flexibility which is why I went for PLA+. For example, if only the inner half-chair and the rail seat is printed on the timber, a separate outer half-chair could be fixed in place after the rail is in place against and under the inner jaw. This avoids any tricky threading of bent rails through the chairs.

If the outer half-chair is printed (or maybe obtained from Shapeways) in a flexible polymer, it could locate down into a recess in the timber and snap into place as the key snaps past and under the rail head. There might also be some undercut snap in the timber location. The join in the chair base would be close to the rail foot and go unnoticed after painting. Some penetrating cyano would lock the whole thing solid if necessary.

I have lots of ideas to try, once I have the confidence to set up all the parameters on the printer to obtain precise flash-free results.

cheers,

Martin. 

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Martin Wynne
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Andrew Barrowman wrote:There you go!

Slap some paint on them and nobody will be able to tell they were not injection moulded.
Thanks Andy.

Yes, I was quite pleased with them. What I don't know yet, is whether this is near the limit of what can be expected from a home filament printer, or whether I still have a long way to go to get the best out of it. Have you tried anything in 7mm scale for comparison? I shall be interested to see what Stephen comes up with when he gets his printer going.

cheers,

Martin.

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Martin Wynne wrote: Andrew Barrowman wrote:There you go!

Slap some paint on them and nobody will be able to tell they were not injection moulded.
Thanks Andy.

Yes, I was quite pleased with them. What I don't know yet, is whether this is near the limit of what can be expected from a home filament printer, or whether I still have a long way to go to get the best out of it. Have you tried anything in 7mm scale for comparison? I shall be interested to see what Stephen comes up with when he gets his printer going.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin,

I have not tried to print 7mm chairs but based on my efforts I would say you are approaching the limits. Further adjustments might be more to do with optimizing the process for strength, speed, time etc.

When things are a bit less hectic here I'll take a shot at some 7mm chairs for comparison, but that will not happen for a couple of weeks.

It probably doesn't make much sense at 00/H0 scales, but at larger scales you could just print 2.5D turnout templates. The chairs would be 3D but the timbers would be very thin, almost like paper. The templates would be glued on to plywood timbers. It's a bit like putting timbers on a template only the other way round.

The advantage is that all the correct chairs would fall into place at the correct gauge. No mucking about with gauges. Just slide the rails in and go (OK, that might be a slight over-simplification :) )

Looks great! Keep going.

Andy



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Martin Wynne
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Andrew Barrowman wrote:It probably doesn't make much sense at 00/H0 scales, but at larger scales you could just print 2.5D turnout templates. The chairs would be 3D but the timbers would be very thin, almost like paper. The templates would be glued on to plywood timbers. It's a bit like putting timbers on a template only the other way round.Hi Andy,

Yes, I have already been thinking about printing the chairs directly onto ply timbers.

Since I found that the PLA+ polymer (but not ordinary PLA) will print directly onto the glass without any adhesive, I had another idea. If a suitable bulldozer attachment was fitted onto the extruder head, the timbers could be printed one at a time and be bulldozed off the bed after printing. That way the printer could run continuously to print all the timbers for a large pointwork complex in one go, the timbers to be attached to a paper template in the usual way. I noticed that the diagonal infill lines are visible on the underside of the timber. So with a bit of G-code an identifying mark could be printed into them.

The bulldozer flap thingy needs to be sprung or weighted down into position, and be pushed back up against the bed while printing.

cheers,

Martin.   

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richard_t
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Jim Guthrie wrote: richard_t wrote:
I spent most of yesterday, whilst IT was updating my work laptop to Windows 10, looking into home SLA/DLP printers... Hopefully by the time I'm finished with the fiddle yard, the prices might have come down, and that's the route I'm going to take...


Richard,

I've just got my hands on a DLP printier - a Phrozen Shuffle - and I've been following the progress on this thread with interest now that I am,  like Martin,  a recent entrant to the 3D printing world.

I'm getting on quite well with it but I am learning a lot of the ins and outs of the process - like what supports,  how many, and where and the advantages of adjusting the axes to get the best results.  So far I've only done parts like wagon springs,  axleboxes and buffer stocks,  the main hold-up being me getting my brain around Fusion 360. :D

I think you would get very good prints of chairs in DLP and you might have to experiment with different resins to get the best results.  At the moment I'm working with Phrozen grey ABS and that does seem quite strong but there is quite a wide range of choice.   However,  with the size of the diode screen in the Shuffle,  I don't think I would attempt what Martin is doing in 7mm scale.  I might be able to do similar in 4mm but the envelope of the Shuffle might mean that I would have to do it vertically to get a decent length of track base.  The Shuffle's sizes are X = 65mm, Y = 120mm and Z = 200mm.    There is a larger size - the Shuffle XL where the X and Y axes are almost double and there is talk of yet another larger version next year with the X/Y axes being about A4 size.

Jim.

Hi Jim 
I've been following your work on WT (indeed it was your work in the garden that encouraged me to join...) But I didn't twig that it was a DLP printer.

I agree about Fusion 360 and it may be worse as I'm used to Autodesk Inventor which is very much like Fusion except when it isn't... Unfortunately I've lost access to Inventor when my subscription expired.

Keep up the good work - I'm definitely following with interest.

Richard

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Jim Guthrie
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richard_t wrote: I've been following your work on WT (indeed it was your work in the garden that encouraged me to join...)Richard,

Unfortunately,  no work has been done on the garden layout this year.  A bad encounter at an MOT test with a modern,  low mileage diesel cost me a fortune to get it through the emission tests,  so no disposable income available for the next move which would have been the tracklaying.  I've now changed to a petrol car - about a month after that MOT - so there should be a reasonable amount of disposable income for next year. :D

Jim.


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