Re: CAD library (Some thoughts)

Rod Miller

I wonder if standards and RPs on this would be appropriate
for the NMRA to address. Consider where DCC might be if it
were not standardized.

NMRA haters please refrain from venting.

I asked Charlie Getz, NMRA President, if the NMRA would be
interested in this as a project. His response was yes but
it won't work if no one volunteers to help. So if there is
consensus that this warrants consideration, are any of you
interested in volunteering? If so, please let Charlie know
at: pres at hq d o t nmra dot o r g



On 8/14/14, 8:37 PM, Richard Brennan [STMFC] wrote:
At 06:38 AM 8/14/2014, 'Al and Patricia
Westerfield' [S wrote:
Has anyone considered setting standards for
model railroad rapid prototyping? Here are some thoughts on the subject.
Way overdue! Ok - Some thoughts:

Select a simple CAD program for use of everyone on the list.
Noooooo!!! We do NOT need to select the CAD
program... only the exchangeable file type(s).
Possible choice would be a "mesh" file format; like .STL, .PLY, or .OBJ.

Establish a library of designs that can be
plugged into different prototypes � example:
reefer door hinges, rivets, scribing.
e.g. As a start; all the stuff in the GrandtLine,
PSC and similar parts catalogs.
However... with unlimited variation
possible, the constraints imposed by 'close but not quite' parts go away.

How about metadata? Maybe in an XML format...
with source information: measured in the field
from car No. xxxxxx; scaled from photo; derived from plans; etc...

In my dreams, GrandtLine would someday accept
bulk orders as STEP-files for CNC-cutting molds for styrene parts on-demand...
and PSC would offer 3D-to-Wax-to-Brass
printing+investment casting services over the web. <<sigh>>

Set up a system of free and for-profit downloads.
Free: Certainly!
For-profit: I doubt it...
AFAIK there is no DRM (Digital Rights
Management) capability on anything so intrinsically 'editable'
Additionally, if I modify the file to decrease
the head size on one rivet... now is it MY design... or Yours?

Establish standards for quality and material with perhaps qualified vendors.
Establish standards for thicknesses of major parts so kitbashing is simpler.
..because our Hobby has such a good track record
in setting relevant standards, updating, and enforcing them????
This really a downstream production issue... You
tend to get what you pay for, and technology
progress keeps the value increasing.

Sell downloads for major parts such as roofs and ends.
Well.. People do sell public domain stuff all the time;
So I guess selling canned designs is possible,
even if they are readily available elsewhere.
The user value found in the design is
small... the value of a perfect part out the end of the process is large.

Can we foresee the day of the local 'Starbucks 3D print Bureau'...
"Would you like a Vente Latte while that Deco End prints?..."

There are so many opportunities here I‘ve
only scratched the surface. Anyone want to add some ideas? � Al Westerfield
I believe it's ALL YOUR fault ( least partially),
For leading us onto that long, steep, slippery slope of:
W-A-N-T M-O-R-E A-C-C-U-R-A-T-E M-O-D-E-LS !!!


Richard Brennan - San Leandro CA

Posted by: Richard Brennan <>
Rod Miller
Custom 2-rail O Scale Models: Drives, | O Scale West / S West
Repairs, Steam Loco Building, More | 2015 Meet is Feb 5 - 7 |

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