Small scale manufacturing

Bill Lane


I was just checking in here when I saw this topic which was tied to "you are
going to be able to make it all yourself soon". Even if a suitable 3D
printer became affordable (you would have to define affordable on an
individual basis) you would need to be able to do the designing in some
CAD/Solidworks program which has a **massive** learning curve. I would call
myself an advanced beginner in Solidworks.

None of the current bells and whistles "isn't that neat" RP materials
produce detail and smooth enough surfaces in a **single print** on ALL
planes that are going to be acceptable for model railroad applications. You
have to pick the most shown face and go with that for the best detail. If
other faces are important that has to be a separate 3D produced part that is
assembled to became your master pattern. Rounded or angled items can have
stepping issues. You would think that .002 thick layers are not noticeable
until you try & make an air tank!

Sorry but I don't see this changing drastically in the next few years. Since
making my own parts for the past 5 years the advancement has been to take
.0005 off of the layering. That is it. And that resolution comes at a
premium price to get an item produced.

I have found a rather awesome urethane caster. It is his full time gig. Even
if I knew him on a personal level I just could not see me asking him to show
me or anyone else how to cast urethane. I am not even interested in
learning. I enjoy the designing the most.

The only way I could see the co-op idea as being viable is if your current
plastic car manufacturers share their parts designs as freeware. For any
individual to have to design any item to give it to the co-op is probably
not going to happen on any large scale.

Thank You,
Bill Lane

Modeling the Mighty Pennsy & PRSL in 1957 in S Scale since 1988

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