Friday, April 26, 2013

48' MAC Trailer, Kenworth T800, Peterbilt 379 Tractor, and More

I continue to find bits of time to design more N scale models for printing, and attempt to keep up with the actual painting and finishing of the models that I have ordered.  I have resisted the creation of mudflaps and DOT stripes for a few of my models, but know that step is inevitable, and I will bite that bullet soon.  Meanwhile, my MAC 48' trailers are in fresh paint, and thought I would share a couple recent photos.  These are now available on Shapeways.

I just recently completed a Kenworth T800 truck body design, and submitted my first order just a couple days ago.   This model will be very similar to my first Pete 379, and will fit my 22' aluminum grain box.  That said, I also ordered a new revised Pete 379 tractor that I finished recently, which is still a day cab, but with a 5th wheel for trailers.  My Kenworth T800 will soon have a tractor version as well.

I have opened up a couple of my models for ordering for those interested.  Please check them out.

Friday, April 19, 2013

3D Printing - New Model: Tarped Grain Trailer

I just received a new package from Shapeways today.  I ordered a second pair of bottom dump trailers, and a new model, which is a tarped version of my 43' Wilson grain trailer.  It is soaking in Bestine now, and I can give you a better picture of the raw model after tomorrow.  For now, here is the model right out of the little blue plastic bag.  I eliminated some of the interior slopes from the open top version, and added a hole in each hopper to allow the supportive wax to escape, and also reduce the overall material used in making this model.  I am making these available on Shapeways now, since I have a physical model to validate my design.  I will post more photos on Shapeways of the finished model once I get that far.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Trains or Trucks? I Forget

I feel like all of my attention lately has been focused on N scale trucks, which is great, but I need to remind myself that this is a model railroad hobby, not a model truck hobby.  Although we need trucks to support our N scale empires.

I find myself making small incremental progress, and hope to get several models under my belt, build a small fleet of trucks, and then turn my attention back to my new layout project.  Of course I plan to keep allocating time to designing new truck models and anything else that I may need where 3d printing can fill a gap.

So far, I am very pleased with my experiences with 3d printing and Shapeways.  For those of you that have purchased my models so far, please don't hesitate to drop me a note and ask questions or share your finished models.  This whole experience is new to me, so I certainly don't have all the answers, and look forward to gaining some best practices from others as well.

The Trail King bottom dump trailer is almost finished.  I need to apply DOT stripes to each side and add mudflaps.  I will try to share my DOT stripe technique in a future post, however, in a nutshell: I use MS Excel to create a grid or line of red/white/red/white dashes, print them on regular paper, use a hobby knife to cut a very fine strip of paper, spray the backside with adhesive, and stick it to the model.  That is how I did the grain trailer.  On that model, don't forget to add yellow marker lights, 5 on each side.

Here I have the Trail King on an R model Mack which actually doesn't have a 5th wheel, but is a suitable model for a construction rig.  It looks a bit small on this trailer however, so it will likely need a Peterbilt or Kenworth tractor.  This model is available on Shapeways now:

The 379 Pete grain truck is nearly finished.  For those of you who purchased my grain boxes, the small nob on the side of the box is intended to hold the tarp handle which you can make out of a piece of brass wire.  The handles typically hook across the back of the box, or in this case on the side.  I chose to do tall straight pipes on this model, although shorter pipes are also common.  Why have the extra pipe extending up there if it is not needed?  I have seen low bridges, load out augers, and other things get hung up on tall pipes.  I personally like straight pipes, and made these out of brass rod.   

Now that I have a solid base truck, I plan to utilize this model for many different configurations.  Stay tuned on more designs.  The options are endless.

Here is a trio of nearly completed models.  Again, not as much progress as I would have hoped, but I feel like I have proven the original concept, and have a solid design to begin building my fleet.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Almost There... 379 Pete Progress

A few minutes here and there, and this is where I am at with my 379 Pete project.  My other time has been spent designing new models.  I just recently completed an MAC 48' all aluminum flatbed.  I have a pair on order now.  

This model will also make a nice day cab tractor, which will require a slight design modification to the frame, and the addition of a 5th wheel.

Here is the 3d rendering on Shapeways of my MAC 48' flatbed trailer:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Slowly but Surely - Peterbilt 379 Progress

I had a little time to get the base coat on the frame of the 379 Pete model.  Next step is to chrome the battery boxes, steps, and fuel tank.  It is possible for me to design these as separate components which could be painted individually and then assembled.  I am not sure if that is the direction I am going to go yet.  The air filter cans and the grill/bumper are individual parts and made painting very easy.  The visor was painted using a Sharpie paint pen.

The bottom dump trailers just need axles and DOT striping, which I hope to get to soon.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Little Progress - 379 Pete and Bottom Dump Trailers

I had a little time tonight to work on my projects, and finally got a coat of paint on a Peterbilt cab.  The dump trailers each have a final coat of white, and will be getting DOT stripes soon.  I plan to make a large batch of axles and paint them up at the same time, since I will have several trailers that all need similar wheels.

Not a lot of progress, but still something to share.  There is a big difference between having a raw 3d print of a model, and a finished model with paint and details.  My goal is to have at least a finished version of each model to publish before making any of these items for sale on Shapeways.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

379 Peterbilt Grain Truck - Under Construction

Time, Time, Time.  If only I had more of it, I could make more progress on the projects I have started.  I know I shared photos of my 379 Pete already, but tonight I test fitted the wheels on the axles and dropped a grain box on to see how it looked.  I am impressed with how the hole inside the wheels fit snug over the axle without any additional drilling or filing.  The 3d printed parts simply press fit together like a precise kit.  Of course I designed it this way so I should expect that right?   If you look close, the cab and frame parts need a little more cleaning to get rid of some rough surface, but it will soon be ready for paint.  I ordered some felt polishing bobs for my dremel to see if that would be a good tool for getting a polished surface.  I am open to other ideas if anyone cares to share.

I am anxious to get this model finished, so I can share some final photos here on my blog.  I am thinking some nice tall straight pipes should make this one look mean.  What do you think?

Who's Right? N Scale Truck Comparison

When I first received my pair of 3d printed 379 Peterbilt trucks from Shapeways, I immediately thought I had made a mistake, as they looked like they were too big for 1:160.  But I found it hard to believe since I had designed the truck in full 1:1 scale, and then simply converted it for printing in N scale.  In comparing the cab to other N scale trucks, there is certainly a difference.  I would say that the GHQ model is well under sized for 1:160.  As of tonight, I haven't done any research to see if they are represented as a true 1:160, or maybe they are actually a different scale.  If anyone knows, feel free to share some information.  The Pete in the photo below is sized well compared to the Volvo, and the Ford 9000, so I guess I won't concern myself over this difference.  Although I may be looking to find a new owner for some GHQ kits I have....

N Scale Bottom Dump Trailer Success!

I received my first pair of 3d printed Trail King bottom dump trailers via UPS today.  I was very impressed with the print quality, and the model turned out as intended.  Of course, this was a fairly conservative model, without a lot of detail or complex parts.  It scales out nicely compared to my grain trailer, and a typical tandem axle tractor under the king pin.  I dropped them both into a jar of Bestine tonight, and will hopefully get around to painting them soon.  These will get a coat of white paint, DOT striping, and aluminum fenders.  Not a huge challenge compared to the grain trailer.

These are now available through my Shapeways store: