Sunday, October 18, 2015

M3D Printer #3, Concrete Blocks in HO scale

For a lumber yard diorama, fsm-barnstead-lumber-ho-scale, I 3d printed several details at Shapeways, including pallets of concrete blocks and some individual concrete blocks.

As you can see, they came out fantastic, all be it, a little expensive, as Shapeways is not cheap.  

I tried printing something similar on my Afinia printer, but with it's software limitations, it will not allow one to print walls any thinner than about .020" thick.  I was able to do O scale block that look pretty good.  As noted in my previous post regarding the M3D printer, it will print smaller wall thicknesses than the Afinia.  If you print them very tall or without lots of support, they will fail, which is why the Afinia software ignores walls that thin.  

Since a concrete block is not very tall, and with all the bracing built right into the block, I thought maybe it could be printed in HO scale on the M3D.  While certainly no where near as fine as the blocks done at Shapeways, to me, they are quite acceptable as scenery items.  

This picture is of the raw prints, right off the printer.  The O scale blocks were made on the Afinia, and the HO scale ones were printed on the M3D.  The HO scale blocks take a little clean up, like a metal casting might, only they are much easier to file and sand since they are ABS plastic.

 This extreme closeup shows all the good, the bad and the ugly.  The block on right side of the penny is one make at Shapeways.  Notice it is perfectly smooth, and perfect, even in this close up view.  The stacks to the right, and the pallets to the left were printed as one piece.

 The big blocks in the upper left are O scale, and were done on the Afinia,

This a more normal viewing distance, and in my opinion, they look quite acceptable.  These were printed in white ABS, and painted.

 While I was writing this, I had some silver (it looks like gray to me) filament in the printer, so I thought I would print some in the gray to see how they looked.

Honestly, I think they look better than the ones printed in white and painted.  For whatever reason, the gray filament seems to print cleaner.  They still need some cleanup, but a few quick cuts with the hobby knife, and hit them with a file, and they will be great.

The M3D will allow me to print some items I was not able to previously.

I also printed some shelves for a piano store on the M3D, and they can be viewed at this link,

No comments:

Post a Comment