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Here's the place for discussions about those 3D creations for Tguage...and lets not forget the trials and tribulations of designing and printing.

T-Gauge Houses the easy way.

Postby ivanf » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:23 pm

As I've volunteered to help Doug with buildings for the bridge I thought describe the process.

If anyone is interested in a particular part bit, let me know and I'll expand.

1) the models are based on what can be seen from google maps and street view. We're lucky that a lot of the buildings seem to have been built recently and were designed by an architect on a budget so lots of the buildings are repeated or mirror images. They are all based on the assumption that a garrage door is 7` wide and 6`6 tall... The model is then built to look right based on the proportions of this door.

2) Doug is printing the models, we're going for a simple block design with recesses for doors and windows. Once we've got over figuring out the detail of converting my Blender produced models into something Dougs printer understands, with a bit of luck, progress should be speedy.

3) Doors and windows are screen captured from street view, perspective correction is applied to the image then they are resised to the correct size and printed. So rather than painting window frames and panes etc it's just a case of sticking the bits in.

4) I got a Silhouette Craft Cutter thing recently which is quite a good toy to have kicking around while waiting for a suitable 3d printer to arrive.

This is the first protype...
house-1-1b - Copy.JPG
house-1-1b - Copy.JPG (35.31 KiB) Viewed 4789 times


As you can see I need to be a little more accurate in cutting the windows but it looks like this could be quick way of building the 200 buildings that Doug needs. The top floor are just black squares on a white background the ground floor are from street view. I think this shows that it is worth the effort of screen grabbing the doors/windows. Either way this will give a good result faster than any attempt at painting windows would.

This may not be the best way of using the cutter as it may well be easier and more accurate to cut out the windows by hand.

So I did this...

DSC05679 - Copy.JPG
DSC05679 - Copy.JPG (43.08 KiB) Viewed 4789 times


These are the large windows for my Carlise & Settle line small station. My original plan was to have solid windows with black painted window frames but it's now looking like it might be possible to have clear windows with these cut out from paper and stuck on. May not go for full interior but it would be nice if a spot of interior lighting was visible.

Next step is a slightly rescalled the house and hopefully a more accurate cut for the window.
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Re: T-Gauge Houses the easy way.

Postby NeilM » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:33 am

Like it! That looks to be an excellent way of combining 3d printing and paper printing - the paper printing for the windows provides the level of detail that would be very difficult (if even possible!) to paint by hand, and the 3d printing for the building gives the releif and crisp corners etc that you do not get from a folded printed paper structure. Also removing the need to try and hand paint the small details takes away one of the major reasons that can prevent small models looking as realistic, that of the painting effect resembling the real thing viewed at six inches, rather than the effect of being several feet away that is needed to keep the realism. In the photo it looks like the roof could do with some matt varnish, or a mix of matt with a very small amount of gloss, although that could just be the effect of the lighting used for the photo.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450
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Re: T-Gauge Houses the easy way.

Postby dkightley » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:44 am

This method is something I considered some time ago as an alternative to hand painting....but never tried. Now Ivan has found a way of accurately cutting the pieces out, it looks very much as if its the way to go.

The prototype in the photo is actually an unpainted model with paper inserts that Ivan put in. Sprayed up, the roof will lose the shiny appearance...and the production models will be printed with a higher resolution and will lose most of the rounded edge appearance. Its the difference between a 20 minute print and a one hour print!!
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Re: T-Gauge Houses the easy way.

Postby ivanf » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:47 pm

I didn't know the model could be improved - I thought they looked rather nice as they are. :)
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Re: T-Gauge Houses the easy way.

Postby dkightley » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:14 am

There's always room for improvement. ;)

Here's the final version of this first house....less its windows...and joined by the inevitable coin:
IMG_1574_red.JPG
IMG_1574_red.JPG (77.87 KiB) Viewed 4742 times

Its strange to think that it took 52 minutes to print such a tiny thing!! :shock:
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Re: T-Gauge Houses the easy way.

Postby ivanf » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:30 pm

Looks great!

and 52 minutes * 200 = quite a lot of printing :)

and there's a bridge to print... :shock:
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Re: T-Gauge Houses the easy way.

Postby dkightley » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:04 am

Picking up this thread after a long time.....I thought I'd bring things up to date....

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to buy a Silhouette Cameo cutter...so I could independantly develop the window prints, however I haven't done any work on this....until today!

To get a template to cut the windows from, I started with my 3D software. I duplicated each house three more times and lined them up with a different wall facing the front. I then screen printed against the grid backdrop that happened to be 100mm wide.

The next step was to scale the image so it would print full size at 96 dpi. The grid backdrop was 100mm...and this equated to a width of 378 pixels. Using this factor, I then cut and pasted each wall that had a window and/or door into a single image. (Update for reference.......at 300 dpi the 100mm dimension relates to 1181 pixels, and at 600 dpi, the dimension relates to 2362 pixels)

Using PaintShop Pro I then created a layer with blocks to represent the window door/window shapes, leaving the screen printed images alone. With a third layer holding a registration mark, I was then able to use the software for running the cutter to create two projects..one being a print image to load into the cutter, and the second being the cutting pattern. Ensuring the registration marks are accurately placed....the cutting pattern matches the printed sheet! Simples!!

Sounds complicated....and it was a head scratcher to work out....but here's a shot of the printed sheet with a few windows cut out:
Img_1874_red.jpg
Img_1874_red.jpg (124.3 KiB) Viewed 4333 times


And here's the cut out window pieces in place on the house:
IMG_1872_red.JPG
IMG_1872_red.JPG (55.66 KiB) Viewed 4333 times


Now I have the method.....all I need to do is do the windows for all of the houses. Provided I don't go mad in the process....
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