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3D Printed HO scale buildings

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 3:14 PM

Thanks, I'm also using a standard 0.4 mm nozzle   You can get a narrower profile by lifting the inital z layer higher so the filament deposits taller.  But you want to actually see window frames so I don't hesitate to go wider than a half millimeter.   Another reason is prior to painting I use a propane torch to clean up the model of any burrs or strings.  The heat may potentially melt or deform thin pieces.  

I model this stuff in real world size so the printer seems fine with window frame components as long as they are 2 inches thick in real life.  If I model a wrought iron fence for example, I'll make 2 inch pickets which will print as 1 single deposition line.  

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 10:01 PM

I've been picking back up on projects now that the days are getting shorter and my basement which was flooding has finished major waterproofing work and is staying dry. 

The towers...there's 2 are 99.9% done and I'll be showing those soon. 

In the meantime, I didnt want to keep the printer idle and got this smaller project designed and printed in about a week. It's inspired by a building located at 758 West North Ave, in Chicago.  Not an exact copy, but close enough where I could just copy and paste facade modules in sketchup and get to printing.  It's about 7" long x 6" wide and 8.5" tall to the chimney tops and the walls were one solid print with the roof piece separate.  Used about a half roll of PLA so this was a $9 project. 

I'm actually a lot further ahead than what is shown.  Building is already mostly painted, windows are ready to install and I already have the interior 3d printed which includes an ornate central staircase with decorative iron railings.  Entire interior will be lit. 

One thing I would change in the future is maybe go a step smaller in the brick module sizes.  I did real size bricks for the Detroit life, but that took eternity to print.  Doubled the size of the bricks for this and there's definitely clear definition, but just a bit large.  I'll maybe print real life brick sizes at 4" tall by 10 inches long as a compromise in the next model.

What I like is this building could serve a variety of uses.  An auditorium, library, city or county building.  

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, October 7, 2021 6:59 AM

NorthsideChi

It's inspired by a building located at 758 West North Ave, in Chicago.  Not an exact copy, but close enough where I could just copy and paste facade modules in sketchup and get to printing. 

NorthsideChi, I hope you don't mind. I am posting a photo of 758 West North Ave, in Chicago. Your replica is certainly "close enough".  Well done.

Rich

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Posted by Tin Can II on Thursday, October 7, 2021 11:41 AM

Absolutely stunning work.  The interiors and the lighting add so much realism that it is literally mind boggling.  Thank you for sharing.

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, October 9, 2021 12:43 PM

Great work.

I've been contemplating 3d printing for about 15 years. I know I need it for the detail work I am planning. Just recently I've considered printing sxtructures. My layout eras is 1895 so I figure I'll have to do a lor of design work. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 11:48 AM

Thanks!  Looking forward to showing more.  3d printing certainly helps create buildings of certain eras.  Especially helpful creating complex pieces like corner turrets and bay windows. Not far from the North Ave example above is Armitage Ave at the CTA station with a ton of 19th century architecture. I'd like to create all of it.  

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 6:18 PM

Looking forward to more photos of your work.  Yes

Rich

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 10:17 PM

Alright, the auditorium building is about 97% finished.  Just need to outfit the ground floor a bit more and then it's done.  This was a pretty fast build considering the interior is one of the more detailed I've created

Apologies to anyone who may not see the images as my storage website is www- instead of www. and some browsers may not read that in the address.

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, October 28, 2021 5:41 AM

Absolutely gorgeous. Outstanding workmanship.  Yes

Rich

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, October 28, 2021 9:35 AM

richhotrain

Absolutely gorgeous. Outstanding workmanship.  Yes

Rich

 
I heartily agree, but I'd be hesitant to put a structure like that on my layout, as it would make everything else look like it was built by a blind man with no hands. 
 
Stunning results!  BowBowBow
 
Wayne
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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, October 28, 2021 12:52 PM

Magnificent. If I were starting a new layout now, I would invest in a 3-D printer because I see so much potential as you have demonstrated. As it is, I just don't have room for many more structures as I am nearing completion on my almost 20 year old layout and have no plans to ever start another. Now if reincarnation is a thing, maybe in my next life I'll buy one, but there's just not that much I could do with one in this life. 

I don't know that much about 3-D printing but is seems to me you could make a few bucks by selling the files for those structures to others with 3-D printers. Is there any reason you couldn't do that? I would bet there would be a market for it. 

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Thursday, October 28, 2021 2:48 PM

That's an eventual possibility. Planning to rent space in the near future for a print farm and permanent large scale layout. 

Right now it's just competing for space in the common area of my basement with other residents, that makes it difficult to scale up projects.   

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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, October 28, 2021 3:42 PM

NorthsideChi

That's an eventual possibility. Planning to rent space in the near future for a print farm and permanent large scale layout. 

Right now it's just competing for space in the common area of my basement with other residents, that makes it difficult to scale up projects.   

 

How easy/difficult would it be just to sell the print files. Could it just be sent as an e-mail attachment or is there more to it than that?

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Thursday, October 28, 2021 4:18 PM

I would sell the .stl file in that case.  There's plenty of online services that can be used.  The buyer would then use a slicer program of their choice to prepare the file in a format compatible with their printer.  The model above would just be 3 files.  Wall shells.  Roof. Fire escape/skylight/windows.  It would take a week to print everything for the above model.  Obviously it would print while you are at work or sleeping.  But would only take 2 hours at most to patiently assemble.  

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Posted by Colorado Ray on Thursday, October 28, 2021 8:11 PM

The interior detail is amazing.  The recessed walls, paneling, stairs, railings, et. al. are stunning.  I can't imagine how you have the patience to prepare the 3D model.  Your work is in a league of its own.

Ray

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Posted by Calcifer on Sunday, October 31, 2021 11:30 AM

Can you recommend a good sketchup tutorial? I'm trying to build an N scale version of the B&O Grand Central Station. Perhaps this approach will work.

Those are killer models. I love the different colors of brick and stone. And it's always nice to find another Northsider. 

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Monday, November 1, 2021 11:59 PM

Calcifer

Can you recommend a good sketchup tutorial? I'm trying to build an N scale version of the B&O Grand Central Station. Perhaps this approach will work.

Those are killer models. I love the different colors of brick and stone. And it's always nice to find another Northsider. 

 

Below is a link to a channel on youtube that has a bunch of videos that will help with getting to know the different tools and functions. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFBi30B8oBGrl48RdxgIiRA

That logic can then be applied to building models.  I started using sketchup in college and then found myself using it professionally.  The software hasn't changed much from 2005.  So the skills of using it remain stagnant for over a decade.  I re-use alot of module pieces, especially brick walls, windows and arches that are somewhat like lego bricks stacked.  

So the Baltimore Ohio Station in Chicago might only require just 10% of the building be modeled.  You'll notice a lot of repeating facade components that would be stacked over and over to comprise the larger structure.

I haven't experimented with printing anyting N scale.  I know the Prusa MK3s can pull off some great tolerances.  The layer height can print a real life scaled object at a half an inch high with a horizontal width of 1.75" at one filament dimension in HO scale. So at N scale, you can pull off window frames at close to their real size by almost doubling the dimensions above.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 2:00 AM

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 Calcifer on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 11:39 AM

Thank you so much for your reply. And thank you both for the link.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 4:51 PM

Calcifer

Can you recommend a good sketchup tutorial? I'm trying to build an N scale version of the B&O Grand Central Station. Perhaps this approach will work.

I hope that you will keep us posted on on your progress with the B&O Grand Central Station. That was always one of my favorites and an absolute travesty when the City of Chicago tore it down unceremoniously instead of granting it National Landmark status.

Rich

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 9:40 PM

I think some of you may have seen Custom Model Railroad's version of the B&O station.  Wasn't a kit because it's massive but I own 9 of their kits and they are fun to put together.  

So the latest I have to show is outfitting the interior of a DPM modular structure.  I built this model back in 2017.  Pre-printer days, I'd use styrene to make walls and floors.  I still do that, but will populate the interiors with printed furniture.  I'll do a mix of both for this.  

While watching the other night's World Series Game, I knocked out this model of a sandwhich shop and printed it overnight, then assembled it on my lunch break.  Already on the 2nd model tonight which will be a Walgreens or CVS to the left of the sandwhich shop.

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 10:02 PM

NorthsideChi

I think some of you may have seen Custom Model Railroad's version of the B&O station.  Wasn't a kit because it's massive but I own 9 of their kits and they are fun to put together.  

That B&O Grand Central Station model is literally and figuratively priceless. It was custom built over a 6 month period for a single customer. Check it out at https://www.custommodelrailroads.com/cmr-train-customstructures.html

It is a masterpiece.

Rich

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 9:56 AM

Yep, it was fun seeing their progress images.  They have a laser cutter to make the bricks etched into sheets of acrylic.  So the shell of the building is much faster to print.  I know this because I used a laser cutter back in college in the early 2000's. I don't think much has changed other than the equipment has gotten much more affordable.  You can get a decent machine for about $2900.  Couple that with a $700 printer and you have a full on model shop to build any structure you want.  The up front cost is a lot, but this equipment will pay itself off in just a couple years.  Particularly 3D prints since the feedstock is so cheap 

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Posted by NorthsideChi on Monday, November 22, 2021 5:53 PM

Alright had some major progress to post but I now see why some of you said you couldnt see pictures.  Links need to be https.  Used to have flickr 10 years ago.  Is that properly formatted on flickr? I'll sign up for an account and edit the thread so previous ones show up.  

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Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 9:37 AM

A bing search brought up this collection of images of the actual station that you can scroll through. 

b&o grand central station chicago - Bing images

Looks like the model is a very faithful reproduction

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