Luke Towan
June 9, 2023
3 min read

Building a Chimney

The next project was going to be the roller coaster.... However, I've run into a bit of a snag. It's more a lack of skill than anything!

The plan was to 3D design the roller coaster in a 3D modelling program like Fusion 360 , however it's been a very long time since I last used the program and I started to realise just how much my knowledge of the program had disappeared.
I could always redo the tutorials I originally used to learn the program but that was over many months and I didn't want to wait that long again before doing another video.

After having a look around the workshop for future planned projects I stumbled across one of the Seuthe Smoke Units I had bought, I actually used it in a project many years ago to make an incinerator. I had always wanted to build a large chimney but ran into a few problems back then trying to get the smoke to rise up, especially when the flue was over 20cm long!

But no longer! After brainstorming the project for a while I came up with a plan to use a small fan. I got a tiny fan from Jaycay, a 30mm by 30mm 12v fan. Perfect, I also used a Kit speed controller also from Jaycar so that I could adjust the speed of the fan to suite the desired flow of smoke.

The smoke generator sits in a little sump that was 3D printed so that the whole assembly could be connected together easily. I was a little worried the smoke fluid might deteriorate the 3D printed resin however after leaving a few small parts of resin submerged in the smoke fluid for a couple of days I was happy to see the 3D printed parts didn't break down at all. Two small holes allow the positive and negative wires poke through the base of the sump and the bottom is sealed with some 2 part epoxy.

As for the speed controller, I also 3D printed a small box to house it. That way it's all contained and I can easily attach it to the base of the layout when it's time to install the model.

Because the smoke generator gets really hot, I encased it in a aluminium tube, I also made the tube quite long so that the heat can dissipate along the edges of the tube. Basically the aluminium is acting like a big heatsink. It's important to manage the heat coming from this unit because it can get quite hot. All together it makes a pretty cool setup and I should be able to get some really cool effects.

As for the chimney, that to is being 3D printed... Actually as I write this!

The chimney was designed looking at various images of chimneys online, I wanted something that looked impressive. I was amazed at how big and tall those industrial chimneys are! Some of them are over 150m tall, That's over 1.5m in HO scale. Much to big for a small layout. So I took a compromise, I'm building what looks like a big tall chimney however it's only 35 scale meters tall. That's still an impressive 40cm.

You can see the small figure at the bottom for reference. that little man is about 185cm tall in HO scale.

The model is designed in TinkerCAD, my favorite 3D modelling program simple for its ease of use. Really anyone can work out how to use it and build some pretty cool objects.

Once the basic shape was made I broke it down into smaller sections so that I would be able to 3D print it a little faster. Once the video is finished I'll have the files available to download from my store, for a very reasonable price 😉

But if you know how to use TinkerCAD I highly recommend giving a project like this a try, it will open up a whole new world of modelling ideas for sure!

I'm working hard to get this project finished in the next week or so, hopefully no too much longer.

So stay tuned 😊

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