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Monday, November 19, 2012

Leaning Tower of PE

Drilled her from behind and shoved a rod up in her, that straightened her out real nicely.

This warping seems to be inherent with 3D printing. Two different 3D printing companies, exact same warp. So I've got to see what I can do about it.

I laid a pair of pliers on the post and left it overnight to gently persuade it back into alignment. This actually straightened out the tower long enough to drill out the post:

The tower was modeled with a hollow post for a conduit for the wires for the lighting. But I had to widen it out a bit so that I could fit a brass rod up through there. I could actually feel the tip of the drill bit making its way up the fragile post, so I kept pressure on it so I could feel if the bit threatened to dig through the side.

 The brass tube fits nice and snug. It will help provide the strength and straightness as well as a conduit for one of the wires and act as the return (ground) for the other polarity.

Ready for some paint now that it is standing straight and tall. Yes sir! Standing straight and tall!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Junction Tower 3D Print from i.materialize

Made adjustments to the dimentions and now the tower is correct for H.O. scale!

Here is how the tower looks straight from the printers. Some cleaning up is required.

This time I had the tower printed at i.materialize. Their "Primer Gray" isn't quite as rough as Shapeways "White Detail". There is still a texture, but ya got to be pretty close to see it. We'll see how noticeable it is after its been painted.

And there is that warping again! Exactly the same as the Shapeways model. I don't know if there is anyway around it. A few readers of this blog suggested printing only the cabin and base and use either a brass or plastic rod for the post. The post scales out to almost an 1/8th inch, so that is a very doable idea.

Okay, I'm off to the workbench to fiddle around with this model some more and we'll see what can be done with it. Yes sir! We'll see what can be done with it!


Monday, November 05, 2012

Junction Tower 3d Print from Shapeways

It's here! All the way from the Netherlands, My first 3D Print!

I don't remember the last time I felt this excited about finding a package left by UPS. Lets tear it open!

Whoops! I goofed on the dimensions. This is actually the right size for O Scale, not HO. No wonder is cost so much! Despite that flub though, this is very exciting. I've built hundreds of objects in the computer over my 20 year career, but this is the first time I've actually held one in my hand. The detail is all there, and it smells exactly like dirt! But unfortunately, as you can see, the post is warped. And I'm not sure why this happens or how to prevent it with future prints. Maybe the smaller (HO scale) size will eliminate that.

Here you can see the texture inherent in the layering process of 3D printing. This model was printed with Shapeways "White Detail" material.  Costs twice as much but it has a better finish than "White, Strong, and Flexible".

Okay, I've scaled the 3D drawings to the correct scale, and made some adjustments. There is a 1mm minimum thickness requirement, so I had to thicken up some of the details. This time I sent it off to Volkmars weapon of choice: i.materialize in Belgium. So we'll see what materializes. Yes sir! We'll see what materializes!