3D pantograph mold making

Andy Carlson

I wish to be clear--I do not think that old-school 3D mold making is better than CNC. I am simply saying that 3D mold making has made some great model parts and has no need to be viewed as not worthy of fine toolmaking.

In then decades since Athearn switched from Blue Box zinc outside axle bearing blomberg diesel trucks there has been dozens of HO blomberg trucks arrive on the market, and I would not be surprised to learn that ALL of them were made from CNC tech. Yet the folks who have earned high praise for their diesel locomotive builds are nearly unaminous in their preferring the Athearn styrene inside axle bearing blomberg diesel truck. And as I mentioned yesterday, that truck's tooling was made with 3D pantographed toolmaking and remains to the present the best such truck side frame in the hobby.

To me the better CNC tools are using high quality digital scanning which allows the makers to avoid repeating those horrible Dreadnaught ends from the past which resulted from simplified data points placed into the CNC programs. We all remember seeing Dreadnaught ends with breaking steps in the swells' slopes. Those problems go beyond fixing with tool stoneing.

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

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