3D printed 20' container chassis and more

kingj63 Jun 7, 2020

  1. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    Howdy everyone.
    Been out here quietly doing what I do. Painting locomotives.
    Decided to hop into the 21st century and bought a 3D printer.

    Testing the waters here with a product launch that I think is under served.
    A 20' container chassis.
    Yeah, I know this is not really new. Others have done it.
    I am placing my spin on this like everything I do which is customize it.

    There is no more one size fits all.
    The beauty of 3D printing is one is not too few and changes are adjustable on the fly.

    What you see may or may not be what you get.
    Depending on what you ask for.

    My web page has more details

    A teaser which might get you to go have a look.

    Intended to be build up kits you finish.
    My painted sample was rushed and anyone with time can do better.

    The tires and wheels are NOT printed as one piece with the chassis for ease of painting.

    Not exactly reinventing the wheel here.
    More so how the wheel is delivered to you.
    Hopefully offering a version someone finds appealing enough to buy.

    Just getting started and the snowball is going to go downhill very fast here as I have several more offerings waiting in the wings.
    Stay tuned.
    As always, comments and feedback welcomed!
  2. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    what is needed is tanktainer chassis
  3. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member


    Working on it.
    Any particular one we should focus on?
    I've noted quite a few varieties.

    Also any interest in open top containers?
    I could offer them open and empty or with some sort of tarp over a hidden load.
  4. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    the goose neck chassis
  5. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    Okay. So we are pretty serious about doing something here that you generally don't see which is we are going to do request to customize objects that you might want. to that end to get as close to what you want or exactly what you want just send as much information as you would like. it is sort of on our radar screen but we have a few things that were in our initial release that we want to finish before we go off on a new tangent. that said the gooseneck chassis is definitely something we have been discussing. I was looking yesterday to see what the deviations and variations of this might be and I ran across a spread axle. personally I have some strange affinity for any trailer with spread axles so I was thinking about that. would that type of trailer work for you?
  6. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    yes thats the one
  7. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    Okay. Watch this space over the next few weeks to see if we get something going on that. Trying to launch the existing product right now and still have a few things to design for the next piece that's coming out which is already in development. Your request was something that was on our radar screen anyways so we will just move that to the front for the next project.
  8. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    By the way to everyone. The idea of this service customizing to what you would like is primarily intended to be with each trailer. There will be a variety of ways to outfit each piece which will make it personal to you.
    Well I very much appreciate the suggestion because we need more trailers than what we are beginning with and the tank teener chess fits very well with what we are already doing.
    It will likely be a while before we get up to speed to a point where we can just pulled new trailers from scratch out of thin air.
    Suggestions for different trailers are certainly welcome because it's easier to make stuff that we know there is some market for versus just putting something out there hoping someone wants it.
  9. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    it would be nice if the trailers had holes. instead of axles so we could put our own wheels on.
  10. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    OK, this has me a bit stymied.
    What prey tell would lead you to want a less detailed axle so you could have other wheels.

    I assume it has to do with the tire itself since a rolling wheel on something which is a static model can't be a huge priority.
    As far as the wheels. I think we have those covered reasonably well.

    Not being sarcastic.
    Just truly curious what would cause one to abandon a nicely detailed suspension to get.. well that is the question.
    What are you getting, or should i say looking for?

    If I am going to take this custom built angle seriously I can't out of hand dismiss the notion of letting buyers place a piano wire "axle" onto the model.

    Is it possible?
    Yeah, it just makes us feel a bit overwhelmed that the work that went into a nice suspension is not appreciated.

    Hey, what do I know.

    If the masses want something else and it makes or breaks sales. I would be a fool to deny that option.

    Rest assured that is all it would be.
    To anyone who like the detailed axles and static wheels.
    They are designed and will always be part of the mix.

    But yes, we can add one more option.
  11. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    I use trainworx wheels and axles. the suspension can be there but with a hole thru it not a axle
  12. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    I am a fan of Trainworx. I even know Pat Sanders a little as we talk about projects and he used my input as well as other modelers to do a detail set for a Kato locomotive.
    I was looming at some of my Trainworx trucks to see what might appeal to you more versus what we are offering. I know this is a stretch to believe but honestly the resin printers are really good and our designs are really good. if there is a shortcoming it might be execution of painting the wheels. They are really small. I can see some appeal if you have access to Trainworx parts to use them.
    I have never found Pat's parts easy to obtain. Even when he has them it is usually not for very long.
    It is my assumption the average buyer will want wheels because decent much less better alternatives are hard to come by.
    As a locomotive custom painter these models are small even for N Scale and I am having to learn some new tricks to get the best results out of the paint on these models.
    In short you may find our option to be a great alternative to Trainworx parts.
    If it comes down to rolling wheels then I can't help you with our current design. That needs to be modified and probably can be.
    Since you are asking for something specific with the tank-tainer chassis it would not be hard to add an option for a wire axle and wheels you clip in.
    We are open to input which is why were are doing this.
    It betrays my assertion of custom should be custom if we don't listen and deliver on requests.
    I am going to have to see how the printer handles those little tabs for wire axes. will hold up.
    At some point the details get so small they have no ability to endure a lot of stress.
    Keep on suggesting stuff and explaining why.
    We are listening.
    If it does not happen immediately it is because we have more models planned already. To avoid distraction we are going to finish what we started before beginning a new model. Once we do it does not take months or longer. It might only be a few weeks to be honest.
    It just will not be this week or likely next. 3, maybe.
  13. cfritschle

    cfritschle TrainBoard Member

    I have found that many modelers would prefer wheels that did not need to be painted. Painting a perfect separation line between the "metal" wheel and the "rubber" tire can be a challenge.

    Just something to consider.

  14. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    I know you need to make these to sell to the average modeler. but there are some of us that are ocd modelers that want things like rims and wheels just right. I am one of those modelers. I have a 8' truck stop module I use at shows and the trucks and trailers are the showpiece's. I am building a heavy wrecker that is part trainworx and part 3d printed. I got the hole wrecker truck as a 3d print. but only using the wrecker body. if you where to make the tanktainer chassis as you listed I would have to drill or carve out where the wheels and axles go. I was looking for a one off of a chassis.
  15. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    I have a small and compact layout and use the Japanese type containers that are 13 N scale feet and some 20 N scale feet. What would be nice is having a container chassis that can be retro fitted to a a straight bed truck by removing the cargo body and fitting the container chassis in place of it. A single container chassis could be made that the 20 foot or 13-14 foot container mounts on. That way one could use a suitable model of truck.

    See photo
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  16. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    Hello all.

    Exciting to see a few more of you joining in the conversation. Awesome!

    If I were the designer and this was just me. The only thing I did.
    I would make this the most incredible experience ever in this range.
    Trying not to burn out my designer guy for now.

    As he says, some signs of life that this will fly would be nice.
    That said, we knew it likely would start slow as people find us and we figure out what buyers want.


    I can work on ways to print wheels where a paint division would be pretty much idiot proof.
    Looking at the Trainworx models I am sorta betting that is how they get it so nice. Tires are one piece and wheels are another.
    Just guessing in that point.
    I can however definitely do it that way.
    Bit trickier than I expected because the prints tend to shrink at a small percentage when you cure them.
    The rims / wheels tend to shrink less so the tires end up needing to be resized somewhat once you divide them.
    I am hunting for the perfect ratio to accomplish that.

    If it is the main issue and would in fact be the solution for everyone then I will redouble my effort on that part.
    How about it, would that solve the issue?

    Not bashing Pat or Trainworx. In some strange way his exquisite tractors are what is leading me to do the trailers.
    It just is not always easy to get parts.
    I could in fact solve that.
    If that was a viable option I could also sell wheel sets as a part for other projects any of you may have.

    I am also working on a way to get the paint as close to perfect as I can do by hand.
    Hard for us lowly humans to match the precision of robots and computers.
    I am getting in the range you would need a magnifying glass and / or very close inspection to see where ours are short.

    Oddly that is likely how our wheels really shine to begin with.
    The ten hole aluminum wheels have ten holes and they remain open in print.
    Ditto for the two hole steel wheels.
    Far too much effort to go for tread on the tires which likely would not print well anyway.

    *NOTE. Trainworx tires don't have tread either, so......

    I think we can come to some resolution here.

    To be quite blunt for the OCD crowd.
    I wondered how it is rationalized that wheels would be so perfect but you give up the under frame detail of a great suspension.
    It is a conflict I would have a hard time reconciling.

    We really want to do something exceptional here.
    Worthy of minimally being alongside a Trainworx model.

    I am listening and passing everything along to my partner in this effort.

    I can not stress enough that my initial announcement of the 20' container chassis was just the first model.
    It sort of grew out of a lark because of how well the frames printed on the other model that will be available soon.
    One of my local buds said that is good enough to not have a deck obscuring it. Light bulb went on above my head and I said yeah, container chassis.
    20' specifically to go for the under served part of intermodal on the highway.


    Last bit to cover all questions.
    I guess I had not thought about models based on non North American prototypes and generally speaking my head is sort of on say 1990 and later.
    Much later like very modern.
    It feels like for various reasons that stuff which is old and in the public domain gets a lot more attention from manufacturers then current stuff.

    Which is not to say if we are doing this as a business and there is interest, it is surely possible.
    Keep reminding me.
    It would be a while if at all.
    "A while" in my book is months, not years.
    3D and RP type design is just much quicker.

    OK. Very awesome this is getting some attention.
    I hope someone sees something of value in the first and coming releases so we feel appreciated.
    It is entirely possible that lacking any sales at all outside of my local buds who have been snapping this stuff up. We will just question if we have a market beyond people we know personally.

    I believe the price points are fair enough it is worth anyone wanting to join in here maybe actually buys one.
    I am suggesting this for purposes of being a useful contributor for product development and refinement.
    Hey if this is custom at some level it would be awesome to have the feedback odf actual buyers so we understand you know what is there and what could be better.

    Thanks to everyone jumping in here and let's keep it going.
  17. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    the suspension on trainworx trucks and trailers is a separate part. that is how he can have great rims and tires. I do not see me paying for a costly 3d printed product that I can not use. you know trainworx trucks and trailers are not cheap. so the cost is not a factor in some things. look at JTC there rims and tires are three piece. two tires on one rim. and they have a suspension. all I was is giving you was a chassis that no one makes. and I think would sell as there are great tank containers on the market. I am now sorry I even chimed in. I do not need to be insulted.
  18. pmpexpress

    pmpexpress TrainBoard Member

    Not a huge fan of the Trainworx rims, would certainly consider purchasing a fleet of 40' trailers like the ones seen in Port Rupert BC Canada's Fairview Terminal (i.e., per the attached photo) if the rims and tires were fabricated as separate components.

    maher-terminals-yard-tractor-40-ft-container-trailer and-reachstacker-fairview-terminal.jpg

    Presently acquiring the components needed and working on the final design of a diorama depicting Fairview Terminal circa 2011 - 2013.

    Some additional thoughts:

    If possible, the separate tires should be molded in black.

    Separate rims, tires, and air and leaf spring trailer suspension assemblies should be marketed as aftermarket conversions parts.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  19. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    I am sorry if anything I said was viewed as an insult.
    I thought it was a legitimate question.
    I will try harder to not post questions in a way that could be read as insulting.
    Again, I am sorry.

    The one thing I must do is clarify pricing.
    Just in case no one is reading back to the top of the tread and or visiting my web page for more information.

    $10 can get you a complete kit for a trailer. It will still be on the print supports for that price. If this is uncomfortable for you.
    $15 will get you the same removed from the supports. You do fine clean up and paint. Slap wheels on, done.
    $35 is for fully painted and ready to use.
    Plus if you buy two of anything (or more) you get free shipping.

    I can not compete with mass produced models in the price range they sell stuff at.
    I am instead competing with other similarly models via 3D.
    I specifically picked $10 and $15 because it seems to be the going price for trailers and like objects if you bought them from Shapeways which is my competition, so to speak. Not JTC or Trainworx.

    We share a similar goal to bring new stuff out not readily available.
    I am additionally trying to add a new twist which is you can request many ways to get that model delivered to you.
    The container chassis only has a few but more are coming in the next announcement.
    I have lost track of how many ways this could be printed and sent to you ready to paint and add the wheels. Not much else.

    You already provided useful insight even if we may approach it differently.
    Being able to paint wheels precisely is a worthy goal and one I share as the guy who will be asked to paint some of these or many of these.

    My path was one which made it simple to have a uniquely colored hub. A worthwhile goal.
    It may overall be less important than getting the paint division from wheel to tire just so.

    I accept that as a worthwhile comment and thanks for pointing it out.
    To suggest there is only one way to accomplish that is not allowing for other ways to end up at the same goal.
    Really nice wheels.
    That being a goal we share so take that for what it is worth.
    A lot.

    Hang in there and forgive my clumsy writing.
    I am not so daft as to insult a potential customer intentionally.
    In fact one of the most consistent comments I get is how enjoyable it is to work with me as a custom painter.
    I take that to heart and by and large is my main compensation.
    I am surely not getting rich at this.
    If that were even a goal the painted versions would cost a lot more than $35.
    That said, I am aware that is more than my mass produced competition.
    I am fine with that as this is a side gig to my main service of custom painting and building unusual locomotives.
    I am only offering painted up at all to have a leg up on Shapeways which is printed only with a lot of effort to get it finished.

    I hope the unpainted options take off on their own.
    As the guy who will be asked to finish a lot more of these than I ever intended. It is a high priority to make these not only good but simple to complete.
    Hang in there with us and you can help make it better.
    You already probably have.
    Why bail now when we are just starting to have fun?
  20. kingj63

    kingj63 TrainBoard Member

    Regardless of the eventual path of divided from the hub or divided from the rim.
    The part which is either the stand alone tire or tire + wheel.
    That part will be printed in black so only the wheel needs paint.
    I really like the look of the 3D printed black and it became apparent to me that all tires must be printed this way. Black resin.
    Not just the simplification of the process, but it looks really good and has the proper sheen of a tire right out of print.

    As far as parts.

    Fire away and ask me via my web page please.
    Because we are using modular designs many of the parts are interchangeable from model to model.
    I have a nice air ride suspension and a nice leaf spring suspension you could request immediately.
    The air ride can be mounted as a 2 axle fixed space sub-frame for easy use
    It can also be sold as loose individual axles with air ride components attached so you can install them at the spacing you wish.
    Not sure what price I would offer these at.
    Let's just say that any price is predicated on reaching at least $20 in total sales to get free shipping.

    Maybe a suspension complete would only be $5. But you would pay shipping on top of that.
    It makes no sense (cents) to sell you something for $5 and spend $5 to ship it to you.
    I will be fair and really appreciate any interest in our parts as detail items.

    I could provide a complete list of parts that are individually applied to any print file before I put it in the printer.
    Suffice it to say that the only part attached to the basic frame is the basic frame. Even the ICC bars are applied individually prior to print.
    If you saw value in our mudflaps with brackets I can offer those too. Pretty much any part is actually a unique part before print, so ......

    It was considered very early on to make these a complete build up not entirely unlike a white metal kit.
    I figure that reduces the number of potential customers.
    I revised that to clean up the print process and simplify any minor assembly. All the while I am approaching this from the perspective of a painter.
    Everything I do is always with a painter in mind. Avoiding mistakes like printing wheels and tires as part of the chassis. Just because you can.
    The point in play here is the main frame is a single part.
    Everything else on it is either a sub assembly or an individual part.
    As such you may request any of the parts for custom project as you wish.

    Thanks again for more feedback on the tires and wheels.
    I am going to have to redouble what was already producing a nice set of wheels into something that is very good.

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