The “big” package from Shapeways arrived this week and out rolled an array of details that should save a lot of modelling time for this engine and her sisters. They are all printed with Shapeways’s “Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic” and I have to admit I’m impressed. Except in a couple of places, like the equalizing levers where there was a shallow angle, there are no discernable layers.
Incidentally, some of the parts needed additional supports for printing. I made the sprues themselves quite heavy, but then connected them to the parts with short cylinders that are Shapeways’ minimum wall thickness for this material. I’m hoping this makes it easier to remove the parts without damaging them.
I have to wonder how much longer I will continue to use Shapeways for this sort of printing. I’ll still go to them for more exotic prints, like metal for the foreseeable future. However, because I was trying to get 622 ready for the Railway Modellers’ Meet, I expedited the order to get it here in about ten days. Speed plus (standard) shipping plus the handling fee charged by Canada Post for collecting the taxes added up to nearly $50. The parts themselves were a reasonable cost, but with resin 3D printers coming down into the $300-$400 range and producing excellent results, you don’t need very many shipments to justify buying your own.