3D Printed Wagons.

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David Girling
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Location: Ipswich

3D Printed Wagons.

Post by David Girling » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:00 pm

Hi everyone.

I have just been watching a piece of film on YouTube showing the building-up of a 5" Gauge GWR Shunters Wagon from a 3D printed kit by "3DPROLLINGSTOCK" and would like to know if anyone here has any experience of these kits, they seem to be very good value for what they are.
I realise that, being printed plastic, they wouldn't be to everyone's liking but they do appear to offer a cheaper and quicker way to build a rake of wagons, even if you replaced some of the plastic parts for conventional metal ones for strength/durability.

I look forward to hearing your opinions on them.

Best regards
Site Admin
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Re: 3D Printed Wagons.

Post by Admin » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:33 pm

How can I put this politely, you get what you pay for, and you wouldn't be paying much.
If you check our web site under the menu 'About', it says of locos "providing they are an accurate representation of a prototype, and conform to all GL5 standards". I suggest that the same applies to rolling stock.
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Fat Controller
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Re: 3D Printed Wagons.

Post by Scrat » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:37 am

I would like to see how the coupling hooks are attached and how/if the frame is reinforced.
They look a bit fragile.
There should be a continuous steel link from one coupling hook to the other, otherwise I would not dare to have them right behind the loco in a long freight train...
Matt Fowles
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Re: 3D Printed Wagons.

Post by Matt Fowles » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:42 pm

I bought one of the shunter's truck kits, mostly out of curiosity if I'm honest.
They're actually rather nicely thought out as kits and well finished, and ideal for those looking for a couple of things that look like wagons to trundle around their garden railway, and the chap making them is very approachable.

However they don't meet the requirements for scale, detail, accuracy or crucially robustness required by GL5, at least not without significant reworking, and I didn't buy it with this aim in mind. By the time you've paid the extra for buffers, axleboxes and axleguards, springs, couplings and wheelsets that I would consider the bare minimum for a properly functioning GL5- spec wagon then they wouldn't be much cheaper than some of the "traditional" kits anyway.

I do think there are some things that 3d printing could be very useful for, I feel it could better at representing cast or forged components than laser cuts for example, but I'm not convinced printing full wagons is the way forward for what we're aiming for (which isn't to say it's not ideal for others).
Last edited by Matt Fowles on Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fat Controller
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Re: 3D Printed Wagons.

Post by Scrat » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:41 pm

I agree with Matt that for some parts 3d printing is an alternative.
My PZ201 armoured railcar has lots of 3d printed (detail) parts but nothing that takes any load.
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Fat Controller
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Re: 3D Printed Wagons.

Post by Scrat » Sun May 28, 2023 10:02 am


As my TIGER (sister loco of the famous LION) will only pull two adults on my steep gradients, there is not much power left.
As I do not want to run with the driving truck only I bought one of Doug´s covered wagon kits.
On Thingiverse there are two sets of files available for 5" gauge wagons, one Lowfit and a WD tank wagon.
I tried.
Warning: Both sets of files uploaded on thingiverse are incomplete. So it took me quite some time to figure out what is missing and "borrow" the missing files from the other designs the author provided.
Worked well enough.
The parts fit together without too much filing.
Here´s a picture of the still unlettered tank wagon.
The lowfit even has working hinges for the dropdown sides.
The Morton brake is not provided in these sets, only the V iron and the brake lever including the hoop.
I am planning to have these parts constructed in CAD and add them later.


As also the wheels are printed (correct GL5 profile) and only the axles are steel I had doubts about the running abilities.
I deviated from the design of brass bearings and put ball bearings into the axle boxes.
Both wagons run well.
Of course with the drawhooks being printed I would not put them in first position behind a 9f.
This could be overcome by using steel drawhooks connected to each other by a sprung rod as per RCH plans.
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