I’ve written several blogs about things I think would make great models, but I’ve never built any of them….
Well, the tool van on the Kirklees Light Railway has won me over and I’m going to make an O9 (On18) model based on it.
I thought I would try 3D design and printing for this model. In the past I’ve struggled with 3D design software but someone suggested TinkerCad. It’s software designed for children… and, yes, it works for me 🙂 True, it has a few quirks but the tutorials are very useful and it’s easy to get started. The design is shown at the top of the blog.
My FDM 3D printer gives visible ‘layers’ in the final object. I decided to print the model as flat parts to see if this would reduce the ‘layering’. It took a few hours to print and it was fascinating to see the pieces slowly being built up. Here’s the print on the print bed.
Printing flat parts wasn’t without it’s drawbacks. The upper surfaces of the pieces have visible lines.
The edge of each piece is called the ‘wall’ and this is fairly smooth. The centre of each piece is called ‘infill’. This is printed more quickly, and the lines are where the printer has printed the ‘infill’. I tried a few different print settings but I wasn’t able to remove the lines completely.
(Thinking about it now, it may be possible to increase the wall thickness to remove or reduce these lines. I didn’t try that, but I will).
In contrast the surfaces that were touching the bed are pretty smooth. My plan is to use these as the visible, outside, sides of the van.
My 3D printer isn’t great at fine detailing, so I decided not to try to print any fine details 🙂
Instead, I added some extra detail made from plasticard and plastic sections. It’s easy to stick the plasticard to the PLA with high viscosity super glue.
It’s not complete, but it’s been fun so far. I’m pleased I’ve been able to do some 3D design. Even if it is simple rectangles with holes in – it’s further than I’ve got before! Plus it’s fun to chop up plasticard and add the details.
Next step will be to see if the parts fit together 🙂