Hi, I’m Dave.
I was interested in Model Railroading as a teen-ager, building a 4×8 layout and even a Fine Scale Miniatures Backwoods Roundhouse kit that was payment from my Mom for helping paint the house one summer. Eventually life took over and I stepped away from the hobby, but a couple years ago I began to have a little free time and now I’m back.
I was looking for some interior detail items for some buildings. I found some really nice cast metal parts, but nothing I considered affordable. I had been hearing about 3D printing and I began to wonder. I downloaded a program called Sketchup, added a bunch of plug-ins so it had extra features, found various other software programs, and eventually uploaded a design to a company called Shapeways. About two weeks later I had my first chair in my hands. I was amazed. Although I can’t find a picture, here’s a computer render:
I look back at that first chair and it seems so crude now, but it was the first step in a process that has resulted in what people tell me are some pretty good models. I have been able to offer things that traditional manufactures can’t, and at a price point that makes them as cheap or in many cases cheaper than other offerings in the market. 3D printing doesn’t rely on large numbers of sales, so low volume items are practical. In this blog I’ll relate some of the design process, and some of the end results. My newer chairs are somewhat better (That’s the top of a Quarter you see in the photo):
Although I do sell my models on my shop at Shapeways, this blog is more discussion about the process, the possibilities and the limitations this technology presents to Model Railroading in particular, and all hobbies in general.
I think it was my amazement at all the great castings in the Fine Scale Miniatures kit that still drives my satisfaction when I create a 3D model design today, and sadly I find that I’m a better 3D modeler than model railroader.
Anyone have a FSM roundhouse kit for sale?