2016-12.1: 3D Printing at Home: 3

04 Dec 2016

Average: 3.9 (13 votes)
8:43 - Dec 2016 Act I - 3D Printing at Home, p3 (2016)

Many people see 3D printing as the ultimate solution for making models such as structures and detail parts.  Trevor and Jeff investigate ways to use the printer for parts “under the hood” of our models.

Series includes (click to watch):

1: 3D Printing at home - intro

2: 3D Printing at home - getting better results

3: 3D Printing at home - making "under the hood" parts (this episode)

4: 3D Printing at home - making helpful fixtures

Also for more, see our blog entry: A 3D PRINTER IN YOUR WORKSHOP?

Act II: Diorama tips and tricks ...

Go to Act II


Where do I get one I'm triing to install a new motor in a bress steamer?



Mike C

tpmarshall's picture

Hi Mike:

I suggest you shop around. Look at the DaVinci models - like the one that Jeff uses in this series - but also those by other manufacturers. Compare price and - importantly - features. Read the reviews. Then make up your own mind about what printer, if any, you should buy.

The point of this series is not to recommend a specific printer. It's to provide some examples of how such consumer-grade printers, which are still very coarse compared to what one can get from a service such as Shapeways, can be used in our hobby. I was surprised at the many uses Jeff has found for his that have nothing to do with printing ready-to-paint models, but nevertheless contribute to his enjoyment of the hobby. Jeff's printer makes some projects easier. It makes some projects better. It saves him time. And so on.

The motor mounts are a good example. Jeff was able to create a mount that's a single piece, so it has lots of inherent structural strength, and easily adjust the size for different motors/locomotives. He's remotoring a stable of locomotives for his layout, and this is making the project go much faster, with better results, than he would achieve by fabricating motor mounts by soldering together brass shapes. As a bonus, this mount is not electrically conductive (as brass would be) so it helps isolate the motor from the frame - critical for DCC applications.

A search on Google or Amazon will turn up a number of 3D Printers. You can also ask for opinions on consumer grade (loosely defined in this series as those costing around $1,000, as opposed to $100,000) 3D printers on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forums.


- Trevor

Jeff's discussion of the "other" things he's made with the printer is an important point - and an something that can help justify the purchase.  It also illustrates the need to have a good software package that doesn't get in the way of (or discourage) imaginative uses.