Fuel Distribution Center construction progress update 1 - Vertical Storage Tank

My father recently purchased several tank cars for his HO scale train layout, the Siberian Express, so naturally when I saw a Fuel Distribution Center posted on Thingiverse by kabrumble, I thought it would be a good addition to his layout and maybe give him some momentum. I like many of kabrumble's designs and have printed several of them but there always seems to be one part that just doesn't slice correctly, so I thought I would share how I've tweaked, repaired, and/or upgraded each of the parts. The tools that I will be using are an Anet A8 printer, Simplify3D to slice and mostly OpenSCAD with a little bit of Blender. Blender is a very sophisticated program that I am not very good at so when I run into a problem I first have to decide if it is faster to just recreate the piece in OpenSCAD or just tweak a few planes with Blender. Usually I just use OpenSCAD. For this progress update that was all that I needed. 

Let's start with the vertical tank. After spending over 3 1/2 hours printing the tank with the cap I realized this was going to be a long process. If I were to do it again I might get a piece of plumbing pipe and redesign a cap for it. Really the only thing that I redesigned was the ladder and handrail around the top of the tank. 

Vertical Tank, Cap & Base: 

Nothing special here. It just took a long time to print. Afterwards I drilled a hole in the top to put a red blinking light. 

Print Settings

  • Layer Thickness: 0.2mm
  • Shells: 1
  • Top & Bottom Layers: 4
  • Infill: 15%. I might change this to 0 next time. 

Handrail:

Original handrail in the foreground.
I had to redesign the handrails because where the uprights and the headrail met did not render correctly in Simplify3D. I redesigned this by taking the difference of 2 cylinders for the handrail. I set the number of sides of the cylinder so that the uprights were at each corner of the cylindrical polygon. This would make the handrail straight between each upright. The uprights are slightly larger than the handrail to give it a little extra strength. After rendering the STL file with OpenSCAD I used blender to remove one of the handrail sections for the ladder to pass through.

To glue the handrail on I just touch the bottom of each upright in a small puddle of CA glue and then set it in place. I glued the handrail on after the ladder. 

Print Settings

  • Layer Thickness: 0.2mm
  • Shells: 1
  • Top & Bottom Layers: 4
  • Infill: 15%. I might change this to 0 next time. 
New handrail before removing a section.


Ladder:

Printing the ladder edge didn't seem like it would work very well but it probably could. I thought it would be better to create a new ladder that was flat and then warm up the plastic and bend it around the handle of my X-acto knife to get the curve at the top.

I redesigned the ladder in OpenSCAD and spaced the rungs 12inches apart which is the OSHA standard today. 

I printed the ladder with the top couple of rungs missing for the curve at the top but left the last rung there to help set the spacing on the other side of the curve at the top of the ladder. After letting the print bed cool and removing the ladder I warmed up the print bed again with the X-acto knife on it and then quickly bent the top of the ladder around the handle and let it cool. Next I took some print scraps and glued them to the back of the ladder to space it out from the tank. 

Print Settings

  • Layer Thickness: 0.2mm
  • Shells: 1
  • Top & Bottom Layers: 4
  • Infill: 15%. I might change this to 0 next time. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

HO Scale Atlas Bridge Shoes

HO Scale Chain Link Fence

VnBJan2021 - Challenge Entry