3D Printing for Large Scale Trains – #3 Feldbahn Freight Car Prototypes

If you missed the previous part in this short series, read it here: 3D Printing for Large Scale Trains – #2 The Prusa Experience.

In the previous post, I briefly introduced my first experiences with my new Prusa i3 MK3S+ printer. To properly get started with 3D modeling and printing, I started designing a small Feldbahn style freight car to match LGB’s G scale Feldbahn locomotives.

As you might know, LGB has two wheel sizes in their portfolio: the regular size wheelsets they use for all their regular rolling stock, and the very small wheelsets used in some Feldbahn rolling stock. I wanted my design to support both types of wheels, taking into account standard coupling heights when using standard hook-and-loop couplers.

Designing something from scratch requires a LOT of iterations to get the end result you envision. I have changed and tweaked the dimensions of the axle boxes (aka journal box) many times together with the axle bearings to allow good running characteristics. Also, I only tested with LGB wheels in the beginning, and then I tried to fit some Bachmann wheels (well, actually Liliput – the European name of the Bachmann brand), but they didn’t fit… More redesigning.

The end result is that I have two types of chassis: one for generic large size wheelsets (Bachmann, LGB, PIKO, …), and one for the smaller LGB wheelsets. The axle bearings are changeable, as they are subject to wear. The floor is removable, as I have some different designs in mind to keep a rake of freight cars interesting. A flat car, flat car with stakes, bulkhead flat car, hopper car, etc.

As mentioned, the cars are compatible with regular hook-and-loop couplers, I also added a small center buffer with a hole to use link-and-pin style couplers or the popular three-link-chain couplers.

I’ve printed some prototypes in a hideous sparkly silver color (from a roll of filament that came with the printer), the final design will be printed in black and at higher detail (0.10 mm layer height instead of 0.20 mm). More on this in a next post!

The “large” chassis:

3D Print Large Scale Train Feldbahn Freight Car

3D Print Large Scale Train Feldbahn Freight Car

The chassis, floor and axle bearings are separate pieces. The axle bearings slide into place, and then the axles “click” into place as well. The floor is self-aligning and is intended to be glued to the chassis.

3D Print Large Scale Train Feldbahn Freight Car

The “small” chassis:

3D Print Large Scale Train Feldbahn Freight Car

Small and large next to each other, linked via hook-and-look couplers.

3D Print Large Scale Train Feldbahn Freight Car

Just an insight in some iterations in the process… 🙂

3D Print Large Scale Train Feldbahn Freight Car

[Update] Part 4 is now available: 3D Printing for Large Scale Trains – #4 Feldbahn Freight Car Variants.

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