It turns out that one of the benefits of having your own 3D printer is that you can afford to experiment a little bit. If a part doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, you can modify the drawing, export it, and try again. There is no 10-day wait, no shipping charges and – critically for Canucks – no brokerage fees.
I had already printed a sand dome via Shapeways, but somehow neglected to make any provision for the sanding pipes themselves. Now, I could have fashioned some plastic or metal tubes to fit against the dome to house the ends of those pipes, but then I plan to make at least one more of these 4-4-0s, so why not modify the drawing and print?
While I was at it, I decided to experiment with the sanding pipes themselves. I didn’t actually expect them to work, but as you can see, they worked remarkably well. Ordinarily, I prefer metal for fine sections like this, but these pipes are snugged up tight to the boiler, and protected by the injectors and the handrails. They should be fine.