Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Printed Wagon: Take 2

So having learnt a number of lessons from printing the simple wagon underframe I immediately set to work on improving the model and then ordered another test print. Here you can see the artist's impression (i.e. a nice rendering of the model) as well as the printed item (with it's fittings) which arrived yesterday.

For a first attempt at printing an entire wagon I'm really happy with the result; for example, the wheels fit perfectly in this version, as do the couplings into the NEM pockets, and while the printing process I chose to use (i.e. the cheapest one) doesn't allow for very fine detail the planks and bolts etc. are very well defined and haven't merged into one another. There are, however, a number of things I will need to tweak or add:
  • This model was printed before I'd figured out the brake gear so doesn't have any brakes at all.
  • I forgot to add any doors, so unloading cargo would be tricky!
  • Whilst the couplings fit perfectly into the NEM pockets, the pockets themselves are in danger of breaking off when you fit the couplings so I need to strengthen the way the pockets attach to the underframe.
  • I miscalculated the width of the planks when building the model, so while there are seven side planks the printed item is only as tall as a five plank wagon.
  • The buffers should be circular when viewed end on, but have ended up as vertical ovals. I think this is because I modelled them as a sphere which I crushed down almost flat, which resulted in the edges being quite thin. I'm guessing that when printed the vertical edges didn't bond properly. I'll probably fix this by modelling them as a thin cylinder.
Fortunately I don't think any of these changes should be too difficult, so I'm still hopeful that in the not so distant future I'll be able to show you a complete, and more importantly, useful model wagon.

1 comment:

  1. I think that I am more blown away by this technique than anything else I can think of recently. Printing a model! Truly amazing.