Being the progressive and tech savvy group that we are we gathered to hear David L expound on the wonders of 3D printing and the intricate detailed models that it can produce. David gave a very interesting power point presentation on the subject and had brought along his equipment and examples of items he had printed showing the very fine level of detail possible. For example his LBSCR wagon had LBSCR on each axle box.
David’s interest in 3D printing was prompted by him having an interest in modelling the LBSCR and finding very few if any manufacturers of suitable stock or kits. So having spoken to a friend who was already 3D printing David proceeded on the principle of if you can’t find somebody who makes such models make them yourself or more accurately 3D print them. David had no prior experience of 3D printing but downloaded and studied various programmes and tutorials. Initially it was all rather daunting but by persevering things gradually became clearer and like everything else the more you get into it the easier it becomes.
David explained the use of the Fusion software that he uses and how you start off by creating a sketch of what you want to print, thinking about how you are going to put the parts together when printed to build the model you want.
You also need to think about the printing process itself and to ensure that the piece you are modelling has sufficient supports to enable it to be printed correctly. David ran through some practical issues he had overcome on some recent printing projects including a Sussex finger post (very involved geometry) and some Victorian windows for the train shed on your correspondent’s Margate Sands layout.
After a break for teas and coffees David went on to show the equipment he uses and explain how it works, how the printed piece needs to be cured and cleaned As we ran out of time David still had much to show and tell us but we had all learnt a lot from his very interesting and informative talk.