Re: HO scale 3D printed D&RGW gondolas

Tom Madden

---In STMFC@..., <gn2059@...> wrote :
> Tom, are you following this discussion and would you care to comment?
> I hope I haven't mischaracterized your comments. It's been a couple of
> years since we talked about this subject.

Decent looking models. The sidewalls, including the sloped ones, look smooth. Surface detail is nicely done although, as others have noted, the free-standing elements are a bit heavy. The relatively fine detail on the sides suggests that the coarseness of the steps and brake rod is due to material properties and not the print resolution. That is, they would be too fragile if rendered closer to scale. It also looks like he has designed webs connecting the lower portions of the side stakes and the operating rods to the sloped portion of the body, another indication that the material isn't strong enough for such parts to survive much handling if they were made free-standing. A good layout model from the looks of it, though, with some parts represented rather than modeled.

Some 3D printing materials are notoriously unstable, some are brittle, and some are both. But some are neither. Parts made by fused deposition (the hobby-type filament printers and their commercial brethren) and laser-sintered nylon (Shapeways Strong and Flexible material) are ready to use. Those gons don't have the layering associated with FD parts, nor the granular structure of LS parts, but without knowing what material he's using it's hard to comment on long term stability.

The seller has been on eBay since 2002 but has only 56 feedback comments, all positive. Only three of those are as a seller, and those are all quite recent. Looks to be on the up and up. Remember that the journey to ready-to-use 3D printed models is just that - a journey. With many steps along the way. This appears to be one of those steps.

Tom Madden

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