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I have been reading with interest for some time all of the things that are being created in railroad with 3D printing. I finally broke down an purchased a printer and decided to do a project I have wanted to do for some time.
Back in 1989 I attended the NMRA convention in Huston were I say a coal dumper made of plywood. It got me hooked on wanting one and I started to build one out of styrene. Unfortunately having to move to a new job halted the project. It resumed again with the Walther's dumper but I quickly found out that it was better suited to being a static model especially where the car clamps were concerned.
Now with 3D printing the project is in full swing as you can see by the picture below.
Everything here is done on the printer with the exception of the base (guess I could Have done that too). I have found that half the fun of doing a project like this is creating the 3D models for the parts. For those that have said this is not scratch building I have to say, you should try it. Where you may spend hours cutting pieces out of some material, I spend hours designing pieces in a 3D CAD application.
Well its on to the car clamps and dumper pit now. Each of the 4 clamps will be powered by a motor inside the clamp tower which drives a lead screw to move the clamp. I hope to post an update as I get further toward completion.
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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