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As the Walthers Blast Furnace is no longer available, I've designed a free, modular, 3D printable model kit

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  • Member since
    April 2023
  • 3 posts
As the Walthers Blast Furnace is no longer available, I've designed a free, modular, 3D printable model kit
Posted by CASE WESTERN on Monday, April 10, 2023 1:14 PM

I've been out of the hobby for years. But imagine my shock and horror upon the discovery that Walthers had discontinued the HO/N gauge Cornerstone Blast Furnace model kit.

So here's my answer: 

https://www.printables.com/model/443132-187-blast-furnace-model-kit

Apologies that it seems like a ton of parts, but most are details and can be printed as desired. I'd still suggest building one component at a time, as per the colour-coded diagrams in the imgur link below.

There's still some missing components, but the intention is to be a foundation to build upon, with greater emphasis on modularity than the original. After all, if you want more stoves, furnaces, or smokestacks, now you actually can - for pennies in material, rather than shelling out $200+ for an additional kit. 

Either way, I hope at least one or two steel modellers find some value here, and that the scarcity of the original kit can be mitigated somewhat in keeping this niche of the hobby alive.

 

8x10 color glossy photos, etc

 

https://imgur.com/a/2PADpcu

 

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 12:35 AM

Hi CASE WESTERN,

Welcome to the forums!               Welcome

Here is a clickable link to the website:

https://www.printables.com/model/443132-187-blast-furnace-model-kit

The structure looks impressive to say the least! Somebody has spent a lot of time to create all of that.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by CASE WESTERN on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 12:48 PM

Hey, thanks Dave!

I appreciate the kind words. 

It was an off-and-on project for a few months, and there's still some changes I'd like to make and components I'd like to add, all under the same link.

 

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 6:46 PM

It is an impressive kit.  Not having a 3D printer, is this best printed with a resin printer?  How long does it take to print?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by CASE WESTERN on Wednesday, April 12, 2023 2:44 PM

I only have a regular FDM/PLA printer (a cheap Ender 3), so that's what it's been designed for.

The default scaling is HO, but as long as the parts fit on the bed, there's no reason why you couldn't print it in resin, and see the higher quality those machines offer.

PLA print times are going to depend on the scale and print settings. 

The furnace itself is the largest component, and with standard Cura settings it should take about 10-11 hours. The next largest are the stoves, at about 4 hours each. 

All the smaller bits can be printed in batches, and print pretty quick.

The two furnace upper A frames, for example, will take about 15 minutes or so. Four vented roof frames are about 30 minutes. All the columns in one go are about two hours. 

 

I haven't timed the whole thing out, but a few days to a week of casual printing is a reasonable estimate. It's a big structure, but thankfully it's mostly open air lol

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Posted by ronpetrich on Friday, June 2, 2023 9:17 PM

I have been thinking about investing in a 3D printer, specifically the Bambu P1P. How difficult is it to scale a print file from HO to n scale?

Ron

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Posted by PM Railfan on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 2:12 AM

@ronpetrich)

Difficulty scaling objects = Easy as click and drag. Do this in your slicing software or even better in design software. Slicers are fine for scaling, design software can do a better job.

 

 

Clear Ahead!

PMR

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Posted by caldreamer on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 6:43 AM

I model in N scale, but have an HO scale Walthers blast furnace in my steel mill. In N scale it is 287 feet tall which is about right for a blast furnace and it towers over all other buildings including the Walthers EAF and my scratch built BOF.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 9:39 AM

If I were just starting out in the hobby or even starting a new layout I would definitely invest in a 3D printer but given how far along I am on my current layout, I couldn't cost justify it. I would get too little use from it. 

I wouldn't give up on the Walthers blast furnace. They have a history of reissuing kits several years after retiring them. I'm not sure why they do this but I have seen it happen numerous times. 

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Posted by wrench567 on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 7:31 PM

   Even though the kit is no longer available. I can imagine that some sort of lawsuit could come from Walthers for some sort of copy infringement. They have been known for things like that. Maybe if there were enough changes to the pattern you may squeak by. I'm sorry if I rained on your parade. Before posting the program, you should look into it.

      Pete.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 7:56 PM

wrench567
Maybe if there were enough changes to the pattern you may squeak by

There's a lot of differences.

Secondly, the Walthers design is generic enough that that you'd pretty much hit exactly what they designed if you tried to design a blast furance kit and never seen Walthers kit in the first place.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 11:18 AM

I thought there were two versions of the Walthers Blast Furnace.

One for "The Works", and another for "Ashland Steel".

Or were they just the same kit?

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 12:11 PM

I believe there were minimal differences between the The Works and Ashland releases.  The packaging was updated and little else.  

They're big expensive kits with somewhat limited appeal due to their size, so it isn't a surprise that Walthers doesn't keep them in their general rotation of Cornerstone kits like the New River Mining. I recall seeing older The Works kits still sitting on the shelves years after their earlier run and after the Ashland Steel run.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 12:25 PM

wrench567
Even though the kit is no longer available. I can imagine that some sort of lawsuit could come from Walthers for some sort of copy infringement. They have been known for things like that. Maybe if there were enough changes to the pattern you may squeak by. I'm sorry if I rained on your parade. Before posting the program, you should look into it.

I doubt very much that Walthers would consider it an infringement, as their blast furnace was comparatively small.
Some years ago, I began scratchbuilding a blast furnace, using blueprints from my employer.  It was the largest of the five that the company had in service, and would have been at least three feet tall with the downcomers.  I built it on a 9' square of hardboard, but soon realised that it would be much larger than just the furnace, and eventually scrapped the partially-built furnace and the structure that surrounded it.

A few photos...

...this is a view of part of the real one...

...and part of the model...

...and a partial view of the double-track skip...

When I realised how big that it was going to be, I decided to abandon the project.  There are some basswood roof trusses kicking around, but the only other useable part left was one of the two overhead cranes, each of which worked in separate wings of the structure.
I decided to re-purpose it for yard use behind the locomotive shop in Lowbanks...

The real furnace #5 was de-commisioned earlier this year, using a large amount of dynamite.

Wayne

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 2:17 PM

doctorwayne
The real furnace #5 was de-commisioned earlier this year, using a large amount of dynamite.

Ah, the big bang theory.

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 8:34 PM

    Never underestimate a litigious society. More than a decade ago I wanted to scratch build a jaw crusher load to go with my gravel plant module. I could have easily measured one from my job, but instead emailed the engineering department of a manufacturer. I explained what I was doing and just wanted rudimentary drawings of the largest model they made. About a week later got a reply that it was not possible for a few reasons. Number one was protection of patents applied for. And number two was that a diecast company already was licensed with the company. It would be a breach of that contract if they assisted with my plan. I made one anyway and was strapped to a depressed center flat car. Sadly it was stolen at a train show while I was out shopping. When I returned to the modules it was gone and no one saw anything.

     Pete.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 11:14 PM

wrench567
Never underestimate a litigious society.

After the absolute disaster that was Games-Workshop vs. Chapterhouse Studios, I seriously doubt any hobby manufacturer will be suing over copyright infringement around plastic models for a long time.

Games-Workshop has not filed a suit since (over ten years), and eventually abandoned their flagship product because of the case.

If Games-Workshop could not win over Space Marine Shoulder Pads (their own creation), then I would seriously doubt Walthers would have any chance claiming an industrial building style is their property.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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    February 2008
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Posted by NittanyLion on Thursday, June 8, 2023 11:55 AM

wrench567
Never underestimate a litigious society.

But none of what you mentioned exist here. There's no patents to protect and no licensing to protect.  What this fellow did here is make a fairly generic version of a blast furnace that doesn't actually duplicate the Walther's own generic blast furnace anyhow.

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, June 8, 2023 12:26 PM

NittanyLion
There's no patents to protect and no licensing to protect.  What this fellow did here is make a fairly generic version of a blast furnace that doesn't actually duplicate the Walther's own generic blast furnace anyhow.

I agree.  In my opinion any concerns about litigation are a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing.

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