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Monday, February 03, 2014

Boulevard Streetlamp / Line Poles

Attempting To Build A Working Combination Streetlamp / Linepole!

 Well here it is, a fresh 3D print from i.Materialize. But this is only the beginning. This print can't be used on the layout because one: I believe the "Prime Gray" material would be too brittle for the tensions of the overhead, and two: I want these lamps to light up. So this fella will be the "master". A rubber mold will be made from this print that all the other lamps will be cast from. But I digress...

As detailed in a previous post, each of the 6 streets feature distinct line poles. The 1920s era street pictured above is to have Boulevard streetlamps that double as line poles. Right now I have temporary wooden poles that are planted beyond the sidewalks until the streetlamp locations and hole size to be drilled in the sidewalks are determined. But for now, the temp poles are fouling where the building are going to be placed. So these lamps have become the priority project.

 San Diego didn't have these kind of poles but our neighbor to the North was kind of fond of them. The Pacific Electric sported these kind of poles in a few cities. This one was in Long Beach.

The San Diego Electric Railway attached their overhead directly to the adjacent buildings, thus clearing the streets of unsightly linepoles. But I don't want to attempt to deal with attaching the overhead of my layout to model buildings. So I thought I would try modeling these Boulevard Lamp Post / Line Poles (I really wish I knew what these were called!) instead. Besides, they look cool! 

Years ago I fabricated a couple of these lampposts out of brass. But they were very difficult to build and highly time consuming. There are so many small parts that trying to solder one part melts the joints of the other parts. Frustrating. So the project languished until either my soldering skills improved, or I thought of a better way of building these, or some sort of miracle happened.

Well wouldn't you know? A miracle happened! In the form of 3D Printing! Building this lamp with a 3D program is WAY easier than building it with brass. And a lot faster. I modeled this with 3DS Max.

My lamp design is a hybrid of San Diego style Boulevard steetlamps and the Los Angeles linepole streetlamps.

I'm pleased with how the print turned out. The lamp had to be designed with the 1mm minimum thicknesses required for 3D Printing. But I believe the level of detail is just right for HO scale.

Now comes making a silicone mold from this lamp. This will be a new adventure for me. Yes sir! This will be a new adventure!