Tuesday, August 30, 2016

3D Printing with Wood, Wood Infused PLA

I discussed my experience with Copper Infused PLA filament in a couple of posts earlier this year, 3d-printing-in-copper-model-railroad and 3d-printing-in-copper-2-3-weathering.  In this installment, I am going to show what I have been doing with Wood Infused PLA.  As mentioned in the posts on printing copper PLA is a little stringy, and not as strong as ABS.

The printer running, printing four HO wood barrels, two closed, two open.

Here is what they look like sitting on the printer bed.  I have previously blogged about both wood and steel barrels using the premium ABS at this link, barrels-wood-and-steel-ho-s-and-o-scale

They pop off the raft support material.

One of the cool things about the Wood infused PLA is that it is stainable.  I stained the middle ones, the one on the left with shoe polish, and the right one with alcohol and india ink.

Desks and chair
PLA is, in my opinion, at stringy material, and, because of that, it take a little more cleanup that ABS. The desks are not front of the scene material, but certainly, for the few pennies they cost, they will work in most situations.

What I am showing in this, and the previous picture, is the progression in adjustments made to get a better print.  The one on the right was printed laying on its back, with no support, and came out the cleanest.  

Chairs were even more problematic, as this was the only chair that came out reasonable.  Not great, but not bad for the cost.

 I have tried several different designs for chairs, and none are particularly good.

This one was printed in two pieces, as you can see by the post sticking up through the chair seat.

Lumber stacks
Making stacks of lumber is time consuming and takes a lot of strip wood.  With the printer, I can make reasonable representations.  Once the stack is designed, I can have them printing while I am doing something else.

As I recall, these are HO scale 4x12's.  In this extreme close up, you can see the layering and the rounding.

In a more normal view, these 6x6;s look fine.  It will be a good way to fill the lumberyard and make lumber loads.

Plywood stacks
There are times when you can use the layering to your advantage, and I thought I might be able to make some plywood stacks.  I set the layers thicker than I normally do, and I like the way they came out.

 I took my stacks, and glued paper printed with a plywood pattern on top.

The finished loads.

Boxcar floor
Although the car is not done yet, HOn30 by the way, I did print a wood PLA floor.  

The walls, door and underframe were also 3D printed, but in ABS.  The floor required not trimming.  Items this size, really hold the tolerances well, whereas, once you get around .02-.03" it is not so good.

Truck beds

This stake bed for the 1941-45 Chevy from CMW was all 3D printed.  The outer frame in ABS, and then a wood PLA insert.  The tolerances are excellent, as the wood just snapped right in place.  It would have been easy to use wood strips, but

it would have been a real pain to cut and notch all the strip wood for this model!  

With 3D printing, I just drew the wood part on top of the frame I designed, and it fits perfectly.

Here is a view the frame without the wood, and also, a stake bed frame and wood PLA on a White Super Power tractor from CMW.  The wood deck, in this case, has been stained.  

I am working on a post using Stainless Steel and Iron infused PLA.  I just have not found that many items that I wanted to print in these metals. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

More "N" Scale, or Just for Giggles #7

Since I don't model in N Scale, I only do items in N Scale for when it fits my time.  Fred Miller ask me if I could make Teepee's for a Teepee Motel.  I figured, why not give it a try.

Fred supplied me with several prototype pictures,

and I dropped them into SketchUp.  Only the door took any real time.

Here is the teepee, still sitting on the printer.

A little clean up.

Fred Miller took all these finished pictures of the module he built.   

Just darn cool.

The trading post is a Blairline kit, http://www.blairline.com/tourist/

Nice sign.

Thanks to Fred Miller for allowing me to share these pictures.

The complete module, check out the cool road.

Outside entrance stairs
At a show, I was selling the HO version of these, outside-entrance-stairs-for-ho-scale, and a gentleman asked it I could make them in N scale.  I figured I would give it a try, and he said he would pick up a couple from me at a show in Springfield, MO.

The guy never showed up, but I sold all the stairs I had with me.

Concrete tilt up wall
I had a local N scaler contact me about the possibility of making sections of concrete tilt up walls.  

He had drawings to work from, so it was pretty straight forward.

You would need several to build a building of any size.  Certainly easier that glueing up styrene.

About the only other things I have done in N scale can be seen here, n-scale-or-just-for-giggles-3

HON30 cars, made from N scale cars, n-to-hon30, not 3D printed