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Board index Talking T Gauge Forum 3D Printing for T Gauge

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

Printing service......

Postby dkightley » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:27 pm

Just thinking off the wall here......

I'm considering setting up a 3D printing service through the forum solely for TalkingTGauge forum members who want to print T (and probably Z) models.

I'd print in PLA which is rigid and not at all brittle, and needs no cleaning for painting, etc. There'd need to be a unique set of design rules to work to, as there's dimensional restrictions in FFF printing. Material costs would be negligable...my Baby Deltic loco shell uses 0.82 grammes of plastic, which costs me 3p, I'd need to work out an hourly rate for setting up and printing....and incorporate postage & packing. But I'll be far, far cheaper than other service providers.

Any thoughts or opinions on this idea????
Doug Kightley
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Re: Printing service......

Postby henningz » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:07 am

Sounds good... Thumbs up!

The "set of design rules" would force your customers to deal with 3D software which they probably didn't use until now. Challenge accepted, if you can specify an easy to handle freeware or shareware software solution to comply with those rules. Exact measurements and dimensions to make the custom designs fit to available rolling stock (e.g. motorised chassis) would be helpful.

You've designed hundreds of different buildings for The Bridge and Robins Run. Printing them again for selling would cost you nothing but plastic and a little time for the catalogue pictures. Should still be cheaper than the available environmental scenery at shapeways or Alan's.
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Re: Printing service......

Postby rvn2001 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:14 am

I think I would be happy if you made the designs you've already done available for sale.
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Re: Printing service......

Postby mattd10 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:32 am

I think this is a great idea. The large costs involved is the one thing that puts me off ordering with shapeways.
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Re: Printing service......

Postby martink » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:27 pm

Ditto here - the sheer variety of your buildings is a huge plus. Also, when dealing with Shapeways from downunder, their high postage costs are the real obstacle.
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Re: Printing service......

Postby NeilM » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:51 pm

I like the sound of this, Shapeways do go a bit overboard on postage rates when the parts are so small in this scale.

As to how easy it would be for me to use. That would be really down to two things. Firstly what is the resolution/minimum object size/minimum wall thickness etc. Secondly what file formats would you be able to accept (for me, preferably something that can be output by Google Sketchup, or can be converted from a Sketchup output with free software). So all down to the details really how much use I could make of it.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450
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Re: Printing service......

Postby dkightley » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:42 pm

I've started putting together a design document....however I'm having fun trying not to make it appear too complicated, even though I know the main issue that will cause problems is actually quite simple!!

And, as an aside, today I've finally managed to sort out a way of preparing designs for printing that no longer relies on using NetFabb to process the shape files, either the downloadable version or the cloud version. Both have restrictions on use of the free software/service that limit to non-commercial use, and a license to use them commercially is horendously expensive! This removes the final stumbling block for me to offer 3D printed models for sale. So....as the say....watch this space!
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Re: Printing service......

Postby mattd10 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:20 pm

If you need a test subject then let me know! I can probably find something for you to try and print! :D
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Re: Printing service......

Postby dkightley » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:12 pm

The "set of design rules" would force your customers to deal with 3D software which they probably didn't use until now.

Far from it. You would be able to use exactly the same software as you currently use. The rules purely define the limits of the physical shape of the item for printing...for example the minimum thickness of a thin wall.
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Re: Printing service......

Postby Peterg999 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:10 am

Hi Doug, finally got time to start work on the layout.

I have been trying to find a small "hump back" bridge so that the estate road can cross the single track.

Do you have anything like that?

Thanks

Peter
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