Shapeways Turnout Control

Well, I finally gave up on Mitch’s FDM printer and went back to Shapeways. I tried a couple of different designs on the FDM printer, but they all came off the bed. Mitch has loads of success printing quad-copter parts, but they are substantially less complicated than what I am trying to produce.

After the encounter with the Zombie Apocalypse yesterday, Canada Post made a second attempt and managed to deliver the package today. Can there be anything more exciting than getting one of your designs in the mail? I doubt it.


In the redesign for Shapeways, I thinned many of the sections to save on cost. I also added the top part of the handle itself, so all I have to do is furnish a 3/32″ rod for the handle, and a 1/8″ rod for the pivot, and I have a working turnout control (both are nails tonight because my nicer stock is in the attic).

I’m going to make a few further modifications before printing the ten needed for Pembroke.

  • I’m going to attempt a split pin for the pivot so all I have to furnish is the handle.  I like the idea of a metal handle.
  • Add a loop for a lock or keeper.  If I don’t use it, it will easily come off.
  • Beef up the two mounting screw locations
  • Round off the front of the semicircle better.
  • Fatten up the handle so it is a tighter fit.

Having said that, I’m really happy with the way this has turned out.  In particular, printing the top part of the handle is going to save loads of time.  It will be very interesting to see how this prototype behaves when I hook it up to a Bullfrog.

It’s already fun to fiddle with it.  Lift – sweep – drop.  That’s a long way from pressing a push button and lining all the way into a yard track.



9 thoughts on “Shapeways Turnout Control

  1. Hi Rene’,
    I’m approaching the point where I’m going to be installing fascia mounted turnout controls on my “middle school model RR,” and your design would be perfect for my situation. If you do a production run at Shapeways please publish the design and I will order a dozen!
    Jeff Allen

  2. Hi Rene;
    If I understand this correctly it would be perfect for my “nothing underneath” style of layout construction. So what is the status of this little project?? BTW: Can you make a middle position for a three way stub, or is that not worth it?

    1. Well, the project is waiting behind the turntable right now; I need to beef up the hinge so it can withstand the turning force. I should get back to it in a month or so with any luck. I could easily add a third position.

  3. Darn links didnt stay put ¥©¨¨
    well it was spossed to show ya the switch stands for the 2 foot railroads in Maine.

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