Saturday, 26 September 2020


If you look closely at what I have achieved so far with the 3D printer it has been very much a case of how to join circles and squares together and how to curve and chamfer edges. I've made plenty of progress and this summer seems to have been very successful in terms of how few failed prints I have had.

Over drinks one evening, my friend Simon was showing his progress on an early GWR horsebox. It has the most intriguing axlebox and spring arrangement where the ends of the springs are connected to J hangers rather than directly onto the solebar which is the more traditional way of doing it. Of course, I decided this was the next challenge I needed.

As always, there is a lack of good photographic evidence since most photos of wagons have the underframe in shadow. There were a couple of good pictures so dimensions were taken and the following was drawn up.

The axlebox itself is still a collection of squares and circles but the spring was the challenge and was built up from 3 point arcs. A circle was put on each end of the top leaves and then it was about trimming the shape to form the circle. It was a couple of hours work but I learnt so much about how to build up more complex shapes. It came out alright but when offered up to the vehicle my interpretation of dimensions was off.

Revisiting the dimensions led to a design that had more depth to it, the axlebox was chunkier and the width was narrower. I also needed to improve the printing supports. I am surprised it printed with what I did on the first pass.

In this form they have gone onto the model. I've learnt quite a bit more about printing and it is nice to give something back to my friends who have been so generous with their time and support for my modelling.

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