Update On My 3D Printed Tanktainers

I haven’t blogged about my 3D printing endeavours for a while, in fact the last time I wrote anything on this topic was back in March 2019!

At that point:

  • I’d had my first three models 3D printed by Shapeways and while I’d been pleased with the results I’d had a few design problems and been a bit disappointed by some surface quality issues.
  • I’d designed my first set of decals.
  • I’d designed a sheet of etched parts for the three models that I’d had printed.

Since then I’ve been busily working on this project and now have some promising results to share.

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Inspirational Modelling #1 (Shunting Tractors)

While researching rail-served industries in the United States and Europe I’ve often seen pictures that include interesting looking rail-car movers or shunting tractors like this Mercedes Road Rail UniMog:

Unimog U-400 As Two-Way-Vehicle by LosHawlos – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, View Image

For a while I dabbled with the idea of creating a 3D model of one of these units but put the idea on the back-burner because I’d assumed it would be impossible to motorise something as small as a shunting tractor in N scale.

Then I saw this amazing bit of modelling posted on the East Surrey N Gauge blog: It’s shunting Jim, but not as we know it….

A fully-working, ‘free-range’ shunting tractor in N scale!

After taking a look at the video I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s an amazing piece of engineering and very inspirational.

The Ups & Downs Of 3D Printing Tanktainers

I’ve been a bit quiet about my 3D printed models recently; although I’ve made some progress I’ve also run into some problems which have really slowed me down.

So I thought I’d run through some of the steps I went through while finishing the models I’ve discussed in previous posts, some of the problems I experienced while doing that and what I’ll be doing next…

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