Exploring 3D Printing and Model Trains

Model train enthusiasts are always looking for ways to increase the precision and authenticity of their layouts. A more recent innovation, 3D printing, has allowed for hobbyists to do just that. 3D printing is defined as a process in which a digital model is turned into a tangible, solid, three-dimensional object, usually by laying down many successive, thin layers of a material. 3D printers, which utilize CAD (computer-aided-design) software, can be used to manufacture consumer products such as jewelry, industrial products such as prototypes, automotive and aerospace prototypes, medical products, prosthetics, movie props, reconstructed fossils and more. 

With 3D printing, a user can personalize any aspect of their project. This makes 3D printing ideal for precise and highly detailed models such as trains. Tiny details such as signage and markings can be added, along with creating larger models such as buildings and bridges. Hobbyists can achieve a remarkable level of realism by incorporating 3D printing into building their own models. 

As 3D printing is stepping into the limelight, many beginners, novices and experts have begun to form communities for like-minded individuals where they can share the products they’ve created and exchange tips and tricks. While 3D printing is widely accessible today, learning CAD, woodworking and design in general can become tricky. Platforms such as Thingverse and Shapeways allow people in search of a community to find just that.

Whether a newbie or a seasoned modeler, 3D printing can be incorporated into anyone’s model layout.