High-tech modeling for garden railroaders

8696 views
32 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
High-tech modeling for garden railroaders
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, February 19, 2016 8:57 AM

We are excited to announce a new, online-only feature for our registered users: High-tech modeling for garden railroaders! Contributor Steve Berneberg will guide you through using 3D printing, whether you own a 3D printer or not. 

Please post your comments and questions here. We welcome your feedback.

Part 1: Introduction and overview

Part 2: Using SolidWorks software and designing a window

Part 3: An overview of 3D printers

Part 4: Tips and tricks and a tie plate STL file

Part 5: A walk-through of SCAD software

Part 6: How to use SketchUp software to make a four-pane door

Part 7: Make a building sign

Part 8: Using a professional printing service, tips on getting the best results from your printer

Part 9: Design and build a railroad signal (part 1 of 2)

Part 10: Design and build a railroad signal (part 2 of 2)

Part 11: Build a scale retaining wall

Part 12:  Make fire hydrants and learn more about the limitations of your printer

Part 13: Start building a modern-style water tower

Part 14: Build the middle section of a modern-style water tower

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 9 posts
Posted by Steven on Saturday, March 05, 2016 12:59 AM

[quote user="Rene Schweitzer"]

We are excited to announce a new, online-only feature for our registered users: High-tech modeling for garden railroaders! Contributor Steve Berneberg will guide you through using 3D printing, whether you own a 3D printer or not. 

Please post your comments and questions here. We welcome your feedback.

Part 1: Introduction and overview

 

Welcome all to the High Tech modeling.  I have been 3D printing for years, own my own printer, and have used a wide variety of others.  The price is coming down quickly on some quality printers.  It is still not as easy as hooking up your typical printer.  If you have questions, I will be happy to answer; if I can.  If not, I know plenty of people in the industry that probably can answer the most difficult question.  Probably the hardest part is making the model.  Hopefully in the next few articles I can show you modeling programs (free for downloading) and how to use them.

I also used many other tools like laser cutters, 3D scanners, cnc mills, cnc lathes and other fancy tools.  I am also build robots for fun and industrial applications.  Perhaps later I will show you how I applied what I know about Robots to my G and 1/5 scale layouts.

If anyone has anything to add, I am always interested in others solve problems that face the rail yard.

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 1 posts
Posted by HC Wogger on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:18 AM
Great intro, looking forward to future articles.
  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • 14 posts
Posted by StarDust39 on Saturday, June 04, 2016 8:08 PM

Hi Rene,

Thanks very much for your help to get us oldtimers into 21st century modeling. I have successfully launched some very simple signs on Shapeways but have totally failed in several attempts to do anything more complex, even the attached window. Do you have a suggestion on how I might get a Shapeways compatible file made of this window?

Thanks,
David Palmeter

WindowA

  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • 14 posts
Posted by StarDust39 on Saturday, June 04, 2016 8:14 PM
Sorry, Steven. I am even confused about who does what. I look forward to your comments. David Palmeter
  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: Florida, USA
  • 100 posts
Posted by Narrowgauge on Sunday, June 05, 2016 8:14 PM

David,

 

You will need to find someone with a 'solid modeling package' like SketchUp http://www.sketchup.com/download to develop a solid model, then convert it to an STL file. With a little download time and practice, you could do this on your own. There are plenty of 'How-To' videos on YouTube to aid in your learning.

 

There are also some folks who can do the entire process for you - generat the model, generate the STL, and produce the 3D printed part. These folks will most likely charge for their services though.

 

Bob C. 

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 9 posts
Posted by Steven on Monday, June 06, 2016 12:51 PM

The commenter is correct.  You can do this in sketchup or if you want I would be more than happy to do it for you.  I do however, use SolidWorks which will not transfer to sketchup, or openSCAD or TinkerCAD...I could go on.  There are several intermediate files that people use to transfer between CAD programs; sometimes they work, sometimes they do not.

I use SolidWorks because I have used it for years.  Does not mean there are better modeling programs out there; just that I am familiar with it and can get the model done really fast using the programs that I know.  I could do it in openSCAD but that would take about a day.  In SolidWorks I can do this in about fifteen minutes.  So if you like, I would be more than happy to do it for you.  By the way, I am currently modeling a TP56 locomotive using SolidWorks and using a laser cutter to cut it out.  Got the base done.  Would be more than happy to share it with the world.

sberneberg@spatialapplications.com

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 9 posts
Posted by Steven on Monday, June 06, 2016 1:46 PM

I am looking at your drawing and I do not know the exact location of the 2.4"R.  I am sure it is in the middle of the width of the window, but not sure how "high" it is inside the window.

Also the cross member inside the window: that is going to need support material when it is printed which is possible, but if you drop the member down to meet the bottom of the frame it will be easier to printer.  No support material is needed and cleanup is easier.  I usually glue my window glass to the back frame so I do not need a piece of glass that is perfectly sized.

  • Member since
    October, 2013
  • 9 posts
Posted by martan3d on Tuesday, June 07, 2016 8:13 AM

Another 3D program that doesn't get much mention but is very powerful is Blender. This is a free solid modeling program that I personally use to do 3D people figures for printing with, but it will do almost anything. It does have a bit of a learning curve but is very well supported in terms of tutorials and Youtube videos. You might want to check it out-

https://www.blender.org/

  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • 14 posts
Posted by StarDust39 on Tuesday, June 07, 2016 10:52 AM
Thanks to all for your comments. Steven, I am looking forward to the sample window. And yes, I would be very interested in a thread on your TP56 locomotive. Far beyond my skill level (and patience level) but always fascinating to follow a project like that. David
  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, August 26, 2016 11:08 AM

Part 4 is now live and has been added to the list.

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, October 21, 2016 10:27 AM

Part 5 is now live and has been added to the list. If you have a topic you'd like to see covered, please let us know. Author Steve Berneberg checks this thread and can reply.

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • 101 posts
Posted by Dick Friedman on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 1:16 PM
You might look at "Tinkercad.com" for quick and easy design of 3D projects for your garden railway. It is on the web, free, and designed for today's 4th grade reading level, so old folks like us can (usually) figure it out. I've been making garden rr stuff for a little over a year, including doors, windows, signs (really easy with Tinkercad beta), car loads, draw bars, fire hydrants, and so on. 3D may not be THE wave of the future, but it certainly is A wave of the future.
  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 9 posts
Posted by Steven on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 9:34 PM

Tinkercad is a very good program.  I know lots of people using it and you are correct, the younger generation latches right on to it.  While 3D printing is not a fad, it is just a tool that one can use.  I find somethings are better made with a laser cutter, bandsaw or just a plain old utility knife.  Pick the right tool for the job.  I hope you are finding this useful.

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:23 AM

Bumping--added part 6. Part 7 goes live on Feb 24 (tomorrow!)

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, April 28, 2017 1:36 PM

We're up to part 8 now!

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • 14 posts
Posted by StarDust39 on Friday, April 28, 2017 2:56 PM

Hello Steven,

I am enjoying the 3D printing series, just read Number 8. I still doubt that I will get my own printer but knowing more about the process will help with future designs. Also, I need to apologize to you and the group for not following up on the RBRBB industrial building window project.

Steven

Not only did you do a great job on the 30 plus windows I needed, but I appreciate you driving from California to central Indiana to see how they looked. Cool It was an excellent visit chatting and running trains on a perfect September afternoon.

Thanks again for your help!!

David

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • 101 posts
Posted by Dick Friedman on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 1:23 PM

Here is a partially finished 3D print of a craftsman bungalow.  I designed it in Tinkercad, divided it into buildable parts (my printer can't print anything this big).   Pictures are on SVGRS Facebook page.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 9 posts
Posted by Steven on Thursday, May 04, 2017 11:54 PM

Dick Friedman

Here is a partially finished 3D print of a craftsman bungalow.  I designed it in Tinkercad, divided it into buildable parts (my printer can't print anything this big).   Pictures are on SVGRS Facebook page.

 

 

[quote user="Dick Friedman"]

Here is a partially finished 3D print of a craftsman bungalow.  I designed it in Tinkercad, divided it into buildable parts (my printer can't print anything this big).   Pictures are on SVGRS Facebook page.

 

 Building looks good.  I have not attempted full buildings, just the windows doors and accessories.
  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, June 23, 2017 10:59 AM

Part 9 has been added--check it out!

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, August 25, 2017 10:56 AM

Part 10 is now live!

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, October 27, 2017 10:12 AM

New article (#11) is available! Check it out.

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 11:42 AM

Another new article is available, #12!

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, February 23, 2018 1:12 PM

Part 13 is now live--start building a water tower.

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:51 AM

Part #14 has been added to the list.

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    May, 2018
  • 1 posts
Posted by EMDave on Monday, May 07, 2018 4:42 PM

It would be nice if there was a way we could post/share .stl files via Garden Railroading mag.   Dave

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 9 posts
Posted by Steven on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 6:51 PM

I agree with you.  I hate to pass the buck, but you will have to talk to Rene and Marc.  They are the decision makers.  However, in the future, I will be doing EVERYTHING in www.onshape.com.  You can signup for free and using the search feature search for my name.  All the files will be there.  You can use my files directly or you can copy those files and modify.  I should have a better explantion  by the October issue.

  • Member since
    April, 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,556 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 11:06 AM

Hello all,

As a magazine, we are not equipped to host/exchange files in that way. However, we are conversing with Mr. Berneberg about how to do this more efficiently. There are file sharing sites out there. Stay tuned.

Rene Schweitzer

Garden Railways and Classic Toy Trains

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • 101 posts
Posted by Dick Friedman on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 11:13 AM

As long as we realize that .st. and .obj files will not be manipulated on GR's web page, I don't see that they are any different than PDF or jpg files.  We would just download the file we want into our 3D design program.  My shareable 3D files are all on Tinkercad, btw.

Tags: 3D files , obj , stl
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: YYC, CANADA
  • 53 posts
Posted by rbrr on Saturday, May 19, 2018 2:43 PM

"... was a way we could post/share .stl files via Garden Railroading mag..."

Liability issues !

If a file is compromised somewhere, be it initial sys created or elsewhere in the process.

Granted not being familair with file sizes ... exchange email addys to subsequently share files.

 

3D with a lot more vectoring (?),   maybe a loooot larger than cst vinyl files !?

doug c

 

"G-gauge may not Rule, But it GROWS on Ya !! " djc'99

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Garden Railways magazine. Please view our privacy policy