Wheel masters

A rather large box of air arrived from Shapeways today.  Safely suspended inside were the masters for 622’s wheels.  Seriously, the box is over 4000 cubic centimetres of air, and contained perhaps 2 cubic centimetres of plastic!  The castings were well protected!  No box from Shapeways has ever lasted more than a few minutes after I arrive home, and this was no exception: I couldn’t wait to see what had become of my drawings.

In a word, I’m delighted with these castings.  I had all the wheels printed in “Frosted Extreme Detail” (FXD), and also had the drivers done in the “High Definition Acrylate” (HDA)  The FXD wheels are very nice, with very little roughness even under magnification.

This was my first experience with HDA, and I would say that I am even happier with that print than with the FXD.  It’s hard to tell with the translucent FXD, but the HDA seems to have rendered edges with greater precision, and smooth parts seem a little smoother.  The spokes appear to be properly radiused, whereas those in FXD look squared (again, it’s difficult to see without painting the FXD wheel).

I’m almost at a point where I’m ready to start cutting wheels instead of tiny disks.  I’m getting pretty confident with the lathe, and I just ordered the tool post for my 3/8″ Proto:87 form tool.  Stuff is about to get real!


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