Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rapid Prototyping

While trying to work out an effective way to represent the detail around some track work, fellow Proto87 modeler, Rene' Gourley, suggested rapid prototyping (i.e., 3D printing).

So I provided some VR drawings and Rene' reproduced the heal section of the points in 3D electronic space, shrunk, meshed and had some trial copies printed by Shapeways.

The initial design featured a 'floor' that continues below the sleepers. However, Rene' printed a second version that looks a little closer to RTR track (i.e. with the webbing).

The local Vancouver Proto87 group met at my place last week and we decide to see how it worked and looked. As you can see, the Code 55 rail is laid directly over it. (Note that the final version will use dropper to operate the points - not the copper clad method).

Rene has been undertaking the same for his layout. As can seen, he has had a trial printed for the 'v' section (16mm gauge), which includes the check rails, with the rail slotting in against it. It will be noted that a different material has been used, which results in crisper detail.