Author Topic: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?  (Read 1393 times)

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Brian M

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3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« on: April 03, 2018, 10:49:52 AM »
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I tried searching for posts related to this, but couldn't find an answer to my question, exactly.  Has anyone had success with printing a brick building in N scale?  And if so, would you mind sharing details on how you achieved it?  I'm assuming the type of material used, the print resolution, the size of the bricks, and the width of the mortar joints all make a difference in the end result?  And maybe also the print orientation?

The reason I ask is that there is a guy in the New York Central Historical Society that does a lot of CAD work for railroad related buildings, such as switch towers, but in HO.  He hasn't done much in N scale, and isn't sure that he can produce an N scale tower that will look good.  In searching online, I can find plenty of CAD images that people have done that claim to be N scale, but I haven't come across any actual pictures of an example.  Any advice on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian.

bbussey

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 05:06:54 PM »
+3
This is Shapeways FXD.

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This was printed in three parts, the cornice and roof done separately to minimize needed wax support during the build. If the building is printed upright, the detail should be fine as long as there is no overhang.
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peteski

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 05:12:50 PM »
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This is Shapeways FXD.
This was printed in three parts, the cornice and roof done separately to minimize needed wax support during the build. If the building is printed upright, the detail should be fine as long as there is no overhang.

I'm confused.  Were the 4 walls printed as a single part (in the orientation it is shown in your photos), or was each wall printed separately with the brick-faced side pointing up (so no wax support was needed in the mortar areas)?
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sirenwerks

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 06:25:48 PM »
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Nice job, Bussey! How close to scale are those bricks?
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 08:53:03 PM »
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Nice job, Bussey! How close to scale are those bricks?

Yeah, they do look gorgeous - the mottled coloring and the mortar too.
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bbussey

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 09:03:12 PM »
+1
I'm confused.  Were the 4 walls printed as a single part (in the orientation it is shown in your photos), or was each wall printed separately with the brick-faced side pointing up (so no wax support was needed in the mortar areas)?

The building was printed in three parts. Below the upper cornice, the cornice, and the section above the cornice. Technically wax was needed in the mortar, but it’s small enough and inset from the bricks that the wax distortion isn’t apparent. The main building and upper building were printed upright, and the cornice printed upside down.

Nice job, Bussey! How close to scale are those bricks?

I think 2x if I remember correctly. I matched it to my drawings of New Haven Union Station. The standard size bricks are 1.2mm x 0.4mm. I think the mortar lines are 0.1mm.

Yeah, they do look gorgeous - the mottled coloring and the mortar too.

Mostly used a technique outlined in an RMC online article from last month. This is the test building, to see if the technique would work for my purposes. My only deviation from the article is a double-wash of off-white and light gray to help bring out the mortar, as the article was for HO scale brickwork.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 09:29:19 PM by bbussey »
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peteski

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 09:19:39 PM »
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Thanks for the info Bryan.  It looks really good and the bricks being 200% of the correct size are probably about the same size as most well-designed injection-0molded plastic buildings.  The important thing to me is that they look very realistic.  I'm sure the building will look really nice when finished.
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bbussey

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 09:26:15 PM »
+1
Bryan Busséy
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bbussey

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 09:35:26 PM »
+1
Thanks for the info Bryan.  It looks really good and the bricks being 200% of the correct size are probably about the same size as most well-designed injection-0molded plastic buildings.  The important thing to me is that they look very realistic.  I'm sure the building will look really nice when finished.

0.4mm is a scale 2.5”, so the bricks are about 25% oversized rather than double. I wanted to get as close to scale as possible. Though the brick spacing is about 2x actual.
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peteski

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 11:46:01 PM »
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0.4mm is a scale 2.5”, so the bricks are about 25% oversized rather than double. I wanted to get as close to scale as possible. Though the brick spacing is about 2x actual.

Ok, thanks for the clarification.  You answer to "How close to scale are those bricks?" was "I think 2x if I remember correctly.". That is why I took that as the bricks pattern was 2 times of the properly scaled bricks (or 200%).  But if your bricks are only 25% larger, with the mortar thickness being 200% than in properly scaled bricks that is even better.   :)
Besides, if the mortar was properly scaled, it would be nearly invisible.
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bbussey

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2018, 12:35:44 AM »
+1
It's been years since I first drew the station artwork and arrived at the ideal enlargement percentage.  I saw it was a smaller percentage than I remembered when I checked.
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Lemosteam

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2018, 07:18:08 AM »
+1
@Brian M

0.1mm is the smallest detail or recess feature that is printable in FUD or FXD, per their specifications:

https://www.shapeways.com/materials/frosted-detail-plastic

So if you are asking the HO designer to scale his HO design down to N, his design may have issues printing as a result of the scaling, that is why he says he is unsure.  If he has to completely remaster his design to work in N, I understand his hesitancy.

For example, is someone were to ask Bryan to upscale his (beatuiful) subway portals to HO, they would think his bricks and mortar joints look to large for HO and they would be right as Bryan states his bricks are 25% larger than scale.

It is never as simple as scaling, I find as a Shapeways designer, and nothing comes for free.  There are ALWAYS person-hours involved.

Scaling ONLY works well when the original design has no scale compromises in its smallest scale, in this case N.


Brian M

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2018, 11:55:24 AM »
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All,
Thanks for the information, that is quite helpful for me to be able to communicate back to him.

And yeah, Bryan, that test building looks really good.

@Lemosteam, what you said confirms what I was thinking based on reading various comments in other threads the past (by you, Chris, and Bryan).  I was figuring that the CAD has to be designed to N-sized scaling, and that this isn't a simple matter of just taking an HO model and punching in a ~50% reduction.

Thanks again, guys.

gary60s

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 10:02:16 PM »
+1
I'm not sure if this will work for anyone, but I print brick on label paper for my sketch set builds. Open this file, click on desired pattern, and then click on print in your browser File print dropdown. These patterns come from
Sketch-up and are sized by me to N scale.

http://www.nscale.net/forums/downloads.php?do=file&id=89

If these are suitable I have more.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 10:05:36 PM by gary60s »
Gary

sirenwerks

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Re: 3D Printing Bricks in N Scale?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2018, 11:22:45 PM »
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Insufficient permission...
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.