Saturday, August 17, 2013

3D Printed Relay Cabin

3D-Printed Relay Cabin

My latest 3D-printed model is a building, rather than an item of rollingstock.  

My layout needed some relay cabins to control the signalling at the intermediate stations and passing loops, about 5 relay cabins in total, so I decided to design one for 3D printing.  I already had a Westrail plan for the relay cabins installed at stations on the South-West main line between Armadale and Coolup.  Several of these are still in situ so the model covers the period from the 1950's through to around 2005, when the asbestos roof on the remaining cabins was replaced with iron, no doubt due to safety concerns, which changed the appearance slightly.

If you familiar with Google StreetView, several of the relay cabins are visible on StreetView, including those at Mundijong Junction, Keysbrook and Pinjarra.

This is my first test model of the relay cabin.  I think it has worked pretty well, and I have a second one on order at the moment.  I still need to put some "glass" in the windows.  In more recent years, the windows were boarded up.

When scaled to S scale, the relay cabin was larger than I expected - 71 mm long x 45 mm wide x 60 mm high.  Even though it is small compared to many other railway buildings, it was a relatively expensive item for 3D printing, costing around $65 (not helped by recent exchange rate variations).  For this material (Prime Gray), the cost is primarily based on the volume (cubic centimetres) of plastic in the finished model.

I have recently updated my Marbelup Models blog with further information on the relay cabin and some other 3D-printed models I am working on.

Even though the problems with 3D printing from i.Materialise in Belgium have not been resolved, and are still preventing further printing of my earlier R class diesel and CXB sheep wagon, the relay cabin and other new models have been designed with a slightly lower level of detail to suit the revised printing specifications at i.Materialise and recent prints are working well.


  1. good one ... if that one can be shot down to 3mm scale i'd be up for one.