Design of the Week: Wooden Train Track Extensions

By on January 31st, 2022 in Design, news

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Only a few of the numerous printable tracks for BRIO railroads [Source: Michal Fanta / PrusaPrinters]

This week’s selection are the Wooden Train Track Extensions models by Michal Fanta.

Czechia-based Fanta is a self-proclaimed “3D printing addict”, and I certainly resonate with that description, as will many Fabbaloo readers. Fanta has published well over 100 unique designs to PrusaPrinters, including jewelry items, fashion pieces, decorative objects, musical instruments, mechanical marvels, household accessories, 3D printing tools and others I can’t figure out.

But by far the most frequently seen design in his collections are items related to model railroading, a hobby that a surprising number of readers are deeply into.

3D printing is the ideal matching hobby for the railroaders, as it provides a means to produce unique items for their rail configurations.

Four way switch for BRIO railroads [Source: Michal Fanta / PrusaPrinters]

Perhaps his most momentous submission to the public is his “Extended Set of Wooden Train Track”, a collection of more than 50 unique track segments. The track pieces are compatible with BRIO and IKEA wood rail sets, making them ideal for extending children’s household railway operations.

Bridge design for BRIO railroads [Source: Michal Fanta / PrusaPrinters]

It would be possible, for example, to use the 3D models to design a complex track circuit, and then 3D print the correct number of each of the required pieces to make that design.

Imagine the fun that could be had with children going through that process of design, making parts and then building. I am certain that experience would sink deep into the child’s understanding of the concept of making for the rest of their lives.

The set includes every conceivable track variation, including twelve straight tracks, four curved segments, six crossings, seven viaducts and bridges, and an incredible 25 different switches. There is certainly enough variants in this collection to design any conceivable track configuration.

Three way switch for BRIO railroads [Source: Michal Fanta / PrusaPrinters]

The collection’s size is itself notable. The effort required to design each of these 50+ pieces is significant, let alone printing and testing of each. Consider this: if each part takes around 5 hours to print and process, then the collection in total represents 250 hours of 3D printing, or nearly a month’s worth of activity, allowing for sleeping and eating.

There’s another aspect of this collection that I truly value, and that is these designs are all extremely easy to 3D print. They are all more-or-less flat objects with little to no overhangs requiring support structures. The only risk one would practically encounter during printing is warping if bed adhesion isn’t up to scratch.

If you’re a model railroader using BRIO or IKEA sets, these are the 3D models for you.

Via PrusaPrinters

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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