3D print model train scenery

Dean’s been back in touch, this time with a take on 3D print model train scenery:

Al, greetings from Dean from New Mexico. I recently put together one of your printed buildings, the Gray Shack, complete with the front store.

Cutting these small pieces, particularly in N scale or smaller, is difficult for me. So, I use a cutting machine. (I bought mine from Silhouette America, but there are other brands that do the same thing.)

These machines cost about $200, but I’ve used mine for numerous projects, so it has been worth it. There are many videos on how to operate these machines on YouTube and the learning curve is quick.

Here are some details of how I did it.

3d print model train scenery

I first placed the image into the Silhouette Studio software (you can download this free) and reduced it for N-scale

Then I added cut lines (in red) and score lines (in green). I moved the store part of the piece in the photo below above the cut and score lines so you can see how they are set up.

The lines are easily added with drawing and editing operations. Also see how I added additional small images to enhance the building.

You can also see how I added glue tabs to aide in the final assembly of the parts.

3d print model train scenery

The next photo shows the final setup for the cutting machine. The small black square and L shapes are added by the software. The machine reads these to align the images, so the cuts are exactly where you set them. Note I added a second copy of the parts to the page so that I got parts for two buildings.

3d print model train scenery

Here, the page was printed out and the cuts have been made and I’m pulling the sheet away from the final images. The mat has a slight stickiness to it, so the pieces stick to it until removed.

3d print model train scenery

And here is a photo of the final cut parts.

3d print model train scenery

And two photos of the building as put together. As you can see, I added internal glazing and bins for fruit

3d print model train scenery

pritnable buildings model train N scale

A big thanks to Dean for sharing his 3D print model train scenery fun.

I didn’t think it would be long before someone stuck the printable building designs to a 3D print.

What I didn’t think about, or know about though, is a cutting machine. I didn’t even know they existed – and that’s the great thing about you lovely lot. There is always a snippet of information somewhere in every post that helps.

I do like what Dean has done, but I have to say, the printable buildings look a million times when you add relief to them – that’s building them up over several layers.

Here’s a pic that demonstrates this admirably, it’s of one of the barns (comes free with the Beginner’s Guide). You can see it doesn’t look flat at all.

printable building cardstock barn

Just having two layers, so the windows and door sit back from the walls makes it so much more realistic. Have a look at the tiles on the roof too.

It reminds me of this post:

Easy way to make printable buildings.

Anyhow, a big thanks to Dean – he’s printed an engine house:

3d print model train

3D print model train

His post also reminded me of Grant’s N scale 3D printing post.

N scale 3D printing

And then there is Brian, who also goes the extra mile when if comes to detailing. These 3D prints look rough and ready because they are, but 3D printing does solve the problem of hard to get items:

3d print for model train harbor

HO model train 3D printing.

Perhaps another reason why there are more and more 3D printing posts coming in is because of the savings, as Michael shows:

3D printed O scale

3D printed O scale.

Another post of ‘hard to get items’ that springs to mind is Gary’s HO scale. He was unable to find a class B1 engine anywhere – but it was 3D printing that came to the rescue:

Pennsylvania railroad HO scale

class b1 engine model train 3d print

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

5 Responses to 3D print model train scenery

  1. Don says:

    nice how a 3-d printer can help in the making of your building & the small boats are nice as well. great work.

  2. Brian Olson says:

    Amazing technology to empower modelers. Doubt I’ll ever get one at my age but our grandson has a class in this in high school. Might put him to work1

  3. george zaky says:

    Much thanks for the submission and hints.
    I’d like to add that what Dean described is not 3D printing per se. It is a cutting machine driven by a computer program and 3D printing makes something by layering a material and is also driven by a computer program.
    The more famous brand of Dean’s machine is the Cricut and crafters use this for many creations. Look it up on the web. It absolutely cuts perfectly and I just learned how to handle the software, which takes some training, for making card stock buildings . It cuts poster board & 1/16″ basswood. Big Al is right about the windows & doors and I found it cannot make the window frames but cuts the whole window or door perfectly. My wife bought the Cricut years ago for making Christmas & Birthday cards so I dont budget it to the train cause.
    I am playing with 3D printing thru my library and have made people & a fabulous boat for my trains. It’s onto making junk & tools that are not available in S scale and I think many of us should start using this process for our stuff. We could share computer files relevant to trains. The popularity has dropped the costs of printers to where it is a serious consideration for modelers.
    Big Al
    You da man. Gracias

  4. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like the 3-d stuff i use it for all kinds of miniatures.

  5. Terry Fleet Old Hampshire says:

    For 3D printing from a Rail Modellers view point check out the “Bexhill West” series on YouTube. I have handled some of the production and they are very good indeed. The videos are clear and easy to understand making me believe that even I am capable of producing my own models using this method.

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