Elle Towan
May 14, 2023
2 min read

3D Printed Model Train

I've been working pretty hard to get this project complete, and I'm happy to say it's finished!

It definitely had its challenges, mostly just trying to get things the right size so they fit together but apart from that it has been such a fun project. While it's by no means perfect, this is my first dive into building a 3D printed working locomotive and I'm most definitely happy with the end result.

I actually used to catch this train to and from high school back in the late 90's.

There's no commercially available model for this specific train so having the availability of 3D printing is such a great thing! Over all it wasn't cheap to build this, mainly due to the cost of the DCC decoder and the motor. The decoder was just over $200 and the motor was $100, and I probably spent about $10 worth of resin. However, to add extra dummy units will only cost an extra $30 roughly and most 3 car sets that are sold commercially ofen cost around $700 or more, so it's at least half price! And if it brakes I can just print another one!

While I have finished the project, as far as the video filming is concerned, there are some things I'll change for future builds like this.

  • Firstly I'll put more effort into the interior! At the moment the interior doesn't resemble a real train interior, it would have been pretty easy to incorporate an interior into the model had I considered it early in the 3D modeling stage.
  • Second, the wires are floating, if you look in the window you'll see some of the wires, this could be taken care of while working on the interior detail and incorporated into the design.
  • Lastly, the windows are press fit, I could have designed them a little better in order to make them easier to cut and install.

To test the model I used the digitrax zephyr, I've had this for a while but never really used it. I used to use NCE however the Power Pack Starter set recently died... after a good 10 years! So it did pretty well.

Now it's just a matter of finishing the editing of the video before posting it to YouTube. Hopefully it won't take too long 😉

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