Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shapeways, Bath fixtures and More stuff, #8

These are all item I adapted for HO scale details and had 3d printed in FUD at  This was a first try for all the bath fixtures and most have issues, but I learned a lot, and hope I can pass some of that knowledge along.  They don't photograph well as they come from shapeways, so I did prime everything, and then after I took the pictures, decided to throw a coat of paint on them and take some more pictures.

The bath tubs came out a little rough, but clean up was easy, however, the legs just came out as bumps, so I must have designed them too small.

I have redrawn the legs, so hopefully they will come out on the reprint.

The sink did not come out too well, one faucet is missing, as is one supply line.  I will be making them larger when I reprint them.

I really like the design on this toilet, just like something a little different.  For those that might be new to my blog, I model 1949, so most of my stuff fits that time period.

This sink had the same problem as the other one, only one faucet printed.  

The group, as it will be for sale on shapeways when they all have been successfully printed.

This is my second try at the welding carts and tank, and they still did not come out perfect, notice one of the handles did not form completely.

This is one of my favorite printed item.  I am just a tool guy at heart. 

More tools and items I designed and 3d printed at shapeways can be seen at these links.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hexagon Gulf Gas station, 3d Printed, part at home, and the fenestration at Shapeways

I have been a fan of Gulf Oil for some time, and have always been intrigued by this odd little gas station.  The Gulf History Historical Society claims this to be the "worlds first drive-in service station". See this link for its complete history:  Very few pictures exist, and the drawings and specifications given don't always match the photos.

I dropped the jpg in to SketchUp and sized it to what I thought was about full size.  Given the perspective of the pictures, it is all just a best guess.   I then drew the building based on those estimated dimensions.  It took several tries to get the right proportions, but I think what I ended up with is acceptable.  

The windows were going to be a problem on my FDM printer.  Because they are so small, I know the quality would be suffice, so I tried to find some that would work from either Tichy or Grandt Line, but to no avail.  I then designed them to be printed at shapeways, at least until I get an SLA printer.  So in sum, I printed the larger pieces on the Afinia, and sent the fenestration parts, the windows and doors, to for printing.  Note the main building is printed in two sections, the bottom brick portion and the top window frame section.  Both were turned upside down for printing to eliminate the need for any support material.

Here is a shot of the roof being printed.  I set the printer to fill with the largest grid, to speed up the printing process and use less material.

After printing the walls, I did a quick test fit, to see how my tabs lined up.  It is amazing how accurate these machines can be, as I did not have to do any trimming for filing. 

The windows from shapeways came out great, but I did have to do a little filing on the window openings to get a smooth fit.  The shapeways product, in this case, their FUD material is acrylic, so it solvent welds to the ABS that I print with.

I had originally planned not to publish this until I had signs installed, but I plan on cutting the signs on a new laser cutter,, and I don't know for sure when it will get here.  I would like to redesign the roof, particularly the edges, but probably won't get to it.  As for the color, I went with the more modern blue that Gulf used, and then the signs will be orange, laser cut out of paper.

If all goes well, my next post will be some small detail parts I had printed at, including toilets, sinks, bath tubs, and some more woodworking tools.

Other 3d printed items that may be of interest:

House using Tichy windows: 

House using windows I printed on the Afinia: 
Other brick buildings:

Other items of interest (fine detail):
Woodworking/Lumberyard tools:
Small Engine repair shop:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chilhowee State Bank, 3d printed in HO scale

Inspired by Terry Lynch and Charlie Post.

Terry Lynch told Charlie who told me about this cool looking bank building in Chilhowee, Missouri. Certainly not a place I would have ever gone without their direction.  There are only two reasons to be in Chilhowee, you were going there, or you are lost, because it is not on the way to anywhere anyone should want to go.

Holly and I took a side trip to beautiful Chilhowee on a recent weekend getaway, just so I could take some pictures of the building.

The lighting wasn't good, but I just need to get some basic sizes down, and a feeling for the details.  It is a great size for a model railroad, obviously a very small building that can fit on any city street.

And yeah, it is still a bank, although it is my understanding that at one time it was a residence.

It sits on a corner, and they have a drive up window on the East side.  

I was not sure what to do with the two small windows that have been filled in, but I went with glass blocks, maybe restrooms?

I started the drawing by importing multiple pictures of the building in to SketchUp, and then sizing them to full scale.  So basically, I just drew a side, while looking at the picture beside it.  I started the drawing while displaying many of my 3d printed items and the Maker Faire at Union Station here in Kansas City.  It was a two day event, but I was able to get this far during those two days.  

I tried to back date the building to what I thought it would have looked like in the 1940's.  I put back in all the windows that have now been filled in, and I put in a period door to match the windows.  If I were to hazard a guess, I would say at this point, I had about 20 hours in the drawing.

Here is a view of just the drawing.  Note the bracing I have drawn in the inside of the building.  This allows me to make the walls fairly thin to speed printing time, yet the bracing adds strength and cuts down on any flexing of the walls.  

To eliminate the need for support material to hold up any overhangs, I broke the building up in to six separate print jobs.  The glass block window are printed out of a different material than the rest of the project, so they are printed by themselves.  

All the 3d printed parts.

Here the main walls are being assembled.  I don't think I have ever used that many clamps at one time before, but it all lined up pretty well.  If I had to do it over again, I would probably use some styrene strips for bracing on the back sides, just to help line the walls up flush with each layer.  

In this primed view, you can see the interior bracing.  I make the thickness of the bracing around the windows the same thickness as the windows, so the thickest part of the window is flush on the inside, making it easy to line them up correctly.

I hand painted this particular building, but one could spray it, and come back and touch up the concrete areas, or, for that matter, paint it anyway you like.

I could not find any commercially available windows that would work for this building, and, if you have seen any of my other buildings, you know that HO scale windows are a really at the edge of what the Afinia will print.  You can see above that I have cleaned out some of the top glass pane areas with a hobby knife to get rid of the rounded corners.  It just takes a few minutes, and it really help the way they look.  For reference purposes, here is a house I did with windows I printed on the Afinia,, and here is one I where I used Tichy windows,

Fully assembled, before I installed a sheet of styrene for the roof.

From the back side, showing the glass block windows.

Completely assemble, only needs glass installed, maybe an interior, since it has those big windows.

As the building stands now, there is a drive up window on the left side in this view.

I used 6x6 styrene downspout, note the the scupper, the funnel at the top is formed in place as part of the 3d printing.  Also, the scupper is hollow, so it look reasonably realistic.

Total print time for all the parts, over 9 hours!

Not a speedy process, but it is hard to beat the detail on the bricks.

If all goes as planned, these will be available as a kit from Show Me Lines in Grandview, MO, or you can contact me direct by leaving a comment on this blog.  Thanks for looking.

Other brick buildings I have 3d printed:

3d printed lap siding structures:

Concrete block structures 3d printed:

I hope to see you next week at one of my clinics at the National Narrow Gauge Convention.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Memphis store front, 3d printed glass block, HO scale

As one of my experiments in making glass blocks, I was looking for prototype buildings to print, and I ran across this picture of a building in Memphis.  This was taken by Katherine of Chicago, and I found the picture on her flickr account.  I thought this looked like a challenge in many respects.

 The first order of business was to draw up a reasonable representation.  In this case, just for fun, I colored in the drawing.  

Then I exploded the drawing in to printable pieces.  In this case, I will use clear plastic for the glass block, and the natural ABS I generally use on the rest of the building front.  I printed the top concrete section as a separate piece to make it easier to install the marble overlay, and easier to paint.

I was also concerned about which orientation would yield the best print quality.  This is a screen shot of the printer software, and you can see that I oriented the top section upside down on the right, and laying on its back on the left.  Since it was a short print time, so I just printed it both ways, and then used the one that looked the best.  FWIW, the one on its back had the better detail.

For the marble I downloaded a picture for marble from one of the many images on the Internet, and sized it to a scale that I felt looked reasonable.  I did this in PowerPoint, and printed it out on photo paper.  I used the line function in PowerPoint to make the lines to denote the different marble panels, although most are actually different individual images, adjusted to fit, one pixel at a time.  I did many test prints and adjustments to get it to fit the space available.  

 I sealed the paper, front and back, with a clear gloss, then glued it in place using Aleene's Tacky Glue.  I use it for an amazing array of projects.  I should have taken some progress pictures, but I forgot.  The clear plastic is ABS, as it the natural used on the rest of the structure, so the 3d printed parts are solvent welded together with Methylene Chloride.

This is HO scale, so only about 3" wide.

Other prototype structures that I have 3d printed can be seen at these links: