Thursday, July 31, 2014

RA Class Diesel - 3D Printed

This week, I received the first test prints for an RA class diesel from i.Materialise.  Converting the 3D drawings from the R class turned out to be easier than I thought, taking about 1.5 weeks of "spare" time, compared to several months to draw the R class originally.

Although the bulk of the long hood is the same as the R, the RA is about 16 mm longer overall, with the extra length being noticeable in the "front porch", short hood, the louvre panels behind the cab and the fuel tank.  The RA doesn't have dynamic brakes, so the vents at the rear of the long hood on the R had to be "blanked" over.  The headlights are different too, with two lights side-by-side rather than one above the other.

Note that the RA is presently sitting on temporary dummy inner bogies (3D-printed in blue) fitted with 12 mm diameter wheels rather than the intended 14 mm diameter, while awaiting delivery of drive bogies from Hollywood Foundry.


  1. Wow, that looks brilliant! I have to say, judging by the photos, that is the best example of 3D printing I have seen. The loco looks great.


  2. Is the RA really that much smoother than the R class? Or does the green paint on the R show up the printing artefacts that much more?

  3. The sides of the RA really are much smoother than the R class, mainly because of the different print orientation. There is some layering visible on the ends and roof. There is minimal stepping on the curved roof, also because of the chosen print orientation. The R class in the photos is my model which is the very first test print from January 2013. Later prints of the R class use the same print orientation as the RA and also have the better finish.