I’ve 3D printed a fair number of things now with Shapeways, and while I’m still a long way from printing Mystery Rail Vehicle #3, I discovered one complicating factor on Friday shortly after my post on it. 85′ and longer passenger cars in HO Scale are too long for the FUD Printer Shapeways uses. The underframe design draft that is in the linked post above, came out at 283.9mm in length. The Carbody rough model came out at 289mm. The maximum dimension for the FUD printer is 284mm.
Uh-Oh, a red part in a green box means the part is “too large” for Shapeways to print.
Yes, I know what you are thinking, think in 3 dimensions and there are a couple of ways you could get it to re-orient and print it. It would print at an angle inside the box, and you are correct, it would, but that could have disastrous results for the print quality if it was angled from the print base rather than across it, or the cost based on how Shapeways prices the material if i added pieces to force it to print at 45 degrees corner to corner off the deck. Fortunately, there may be a get out for me if i can design the car with separate ends from the carbody. If the ends of the car were a separate piece, the car would then be short enough. It would also give the possibility of providing greater flexibility for some changes to the ends of the car that happened over time. Things to consider on a Saturday evening while organizing measurements taken today to help the project along.