Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tire shop, 1:87 scale, 3d printed details

I am an avid fan of HO scale vehicles, gas station, and the related buildings and details.  Somehow I decided to design parts for a tire shop.  Since I model 1949, I did it vintage.  I also designed the tools for a modern shop, which is available at, as is the vintage tool assortment.

My dad had one of these in the corner of the garage all the time I was growing up, I don't think it ever got used.

I draw in SketchUp.  The small parts are connected by a sprue, to get them above the minimum size allowable.

I searched the web for pictures of older machines, and this is what I based my balancer on.

And here is the lift I used for a prototype.

The completed set, including jack stands, impact tools, and floor jacks.

I included three sets of wheels, and four sets of tires

Here is what the 3d printed items looked like after washing in soap and water to get off the support residue.  They still need a little scraping with a knife to get some of the support material removed, see here as the white chalky substance. 

After priming.

The priming usually shows up a few more areas that need cleaned.  At some point in the process, one of the jack stands went missing when it broke from the sprue.

With details this fine, only FUD or XFD will work.  I use FUD as it is quite a bit less expensive.  From what I have seen though, XFD is much nicer, I just have not had a project where I could justify the extra cost.

I built a small display box to use as the shop, and test fit the tools around the shop.

The wheel rack on the left was printed on my home printer.

Here is an overall shot of the complete tire shop.  The floor and walls are paper glued to the wood.     I designed both in photoshop.

The signs are images I have picked up over the years, some were cleaned up with photoshop.  The tool panels on the walls were done the same way.

Here is good shot of the tire machine and the back wall of the shop.  

All the tools on the bench, including the vise, were printed as one piece.

I have used the compressor in several scenes, the first time in the small engine repair shop,

Link to the vintage shop on Shapeways: shapeways vintage-tire-shop-stuff

I also offer the vintage shop with an adjustable lift, so the axle supports can be place where needed, so you could put a car up on the lift.  Here is a link to that assortment: shapeways vintage-tire-shop-stuff-with-usable-lift

Link to the modern shop on Shapeways: shapeways modern-tire-shop-stuff  This group has two different lifts.

The wheels, jacks and jack stands came out really well.  The wheel rack will actually be featured in another post, as I did a comparison print of that item, using both the Afinia ( and the M3D to print it.  That will be part of my review of the M3D printer (

The tool box is another item I have used before.

Here is an overall shot of the shop.

Other details I have printed at Shapeways:


Since I have been absent the last couple months, and have 16 draft posts I am working on, I hope to get three posts up over this long weekend.

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