Friday, April 27, 2012

Rapid Prototyping Australian N Scale

G'Day all, been busy with work, sod it, but this week saw a parcel arrive from peter Boorman with some extra goodies on top of a restock of items.

This is a 442 cast from a Rapid Prototype master designed by Colin Bolin (who is an exceptional modeller using "normal" modelling techniques, and now using 3D design!).

A number of us have been playing around with this technology over the last 3 years, I've been aware of it and watching its development for around 10 years (I first saw it at a Simulation Trade Show in 2002). The problem has been that while it does "organic" designs well when it came to building flat surfaces it struggled

The H car above was an earlier attempt a few years ago, I commissioned the model from David Germain who did the 3D artwork. Even after finishing the model with sandpaper you can see the layers in the side.

In recent times company's such as Shapeways (do a search on "N scale") are opening up the opportunities for people to do it easier... provided you can draw the 3D drawings!

However until relatively recently the results you could obtain by etching and assembling a brass master provided a superior result and finish... now however, based on these samples, I think the pendulum has just swung.

Detail shot of one cab
Cab Detail

The C Class was designed by Rob Popovski and produced the same way but uses a Kato SD40 mechanism.

A C class as well!

C Class nose detail