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Re: [z_scale] Re: STEP/CNC for Creating Low-Demand, High-Quality Z Gauge Items

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  • ztrack@aol.com
    ... Why would this locomotive be impractical to operate on a Z layout? Z is the perfect scale to operate such a large locomotive. HO and above is impractical.
    Message 1 of 26 , Dec 2, 2003
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      In a message dated 12/2/03 8:38:47 AM, jim_manley@... writes:


      > How about the very first
      > locomotive to be used in service, or the largest locomotive ever
      > built (my favorite is the
      > completely 1969 era Union
      > Pacific DD40XA Centennial, which is over 98 feet in prototype
      > length, and over five inches long in Z)?
      >

      Why would this locomotive be impractical to operate on a Z layout? Z is the
      perfect scale to operate such a large locomotive. HO and above is impractical.
      One of the benefits of Z scale is that we can model large locomotives and cars
      with zero compression. We can have completely prototypical curves that can be
      broad enough to handle a 5 inch loco with no problem. The only limitation is
      ones own space for a layout, but again, that is where Z scale has it's
      advantages. Though we work small, it is time to think big.

      Rob Kluz
      Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
      6142 Northcliff Blvd.
      Dublin OH 43016
      www.ztrack.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • kimvellore
      Jim, I don t want to bring your enthusiasm down but I feel what we currently lack in building Z scale anything is either casting or injection molding. Some
      Message 2 of 26 , Dec 2, 2003
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        Jim,
        I don't want to bring your enthusiasm down but I feel what we
        currently lack in building Z scale anything is either casting or
        injection molding. Some level of detail can be obtained by Photo
        etching, but none of the lathe and end mills can get to the level of
        detail that casting or injection molding gets. For Z you need all the
        tiny details. For example take a Z-scale loco from Marklin and
        observe the details from the rivets to the trucks, no mechanical
        machine can do that. I own a 4 axis CNC Mill and CNC Lathe and access
        to most CAD software. The only things I can build for Z loco are some
        parts for the drive mechanism, even making the gears right is
        extremely time consuming, so I use Marklin gears and drive mechanism.

        If we could find an artist like Yuji who could make a master
        mould in styrene or wax or resin then it could be reproduced in
        Brass, add some PE details and use some CNC for making the chassis
        and drive mechanism parts and you have a working loco.

        So in order of priority I would say Casting, Photo Etch, CNC
        machining, decal making and painting. The CNC parts could also be
        eventually cast.
        It is a great effort that you making for Z scale community,
        but concentrating on CNC alone will not be able to achieve what you
        are trying to do.

        Regards,
        Kim
      • themohican2003
        ... Everyone: As I recall when Yuji described what his model consisted of I believe he mentioned that the drive gears he used were from Marklin, I presume he
        Message 3 of 26 , Dec 2, 2003
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          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "kimvellore" <kim@b...> wrote:

          > If we could find an artist like Yuji who could make a master
          > mould in styrene or wax or resin then it could be reproduced in
          > Brass, add some PE details and use some CNC for making the chassis
          > and drive mechanism parts and you have a working loco.
          >
          > So in order of priority I would say Casting, Photo Etch, CNC
          > machining, decal making and painting. The CNC parts could also be
          > eventually cast.
          > It is a great effort that you making for Z scale community,
          > but concentrating on CNC alone will not be able to achieve what you
          > are trying to do.
          >
          > Regards,
          > Kim
          Everyone:
          As I recall when Yuji described what his model consisted of I believe
          he mentioned that the drive gears he used were from Marklin, I
          presume he used those to save time and effort since his model is a
          one time project.
          I myself am planning to use a combination of resin castings for
          bodies and chemically etched metal detail parts like the end frames,
          roof walks and hopper hatches.
          I almost considered making metal bodies from etched sheet metal, but
          I didn't care to solder all those cars, plus I would still have to
          cast the frame for mounting the coupler/truck assemblies.
          Hoppers Away!!!
          Allan Borg
        • michael
          What about 3D (Stereo) Lithography? Is this technology too far out of reach, or is there another obstacle preventing it s use for Z? Viewed from my distance,
          Message 4 of 26 , Dec 2, 2003
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            What about 3D (Stereo) Lithography? Is this technology too far out
            of reach, or is there another obstacle preventing it's use for Z?
            Viewed from my distance, it appears to offer the best of both
            worlds: the qualities of casting with CNC repeatability. I have
            seen some machines going at online auction for a *fraction of their
            original prices. There must be companies out there that rent time
            on these things. Or maybe a club with a big enough local nucleus
            could set up a non-profit testing ground where interested parties
            can pool money for the cause. ...just throwing out ideas here,
            folks.

            This is a wonderful discussion on a subject which I have been very
            interested in.

            Also, as a side note, I have direct access to a couple of pieces of
            CNC-type machinery. I own a small CNC milling machine which was
            designed for printed circuit board fabrication (Brand-LPKF, Model-
            C60). I also have access to one of the MaxCNC machines which Jim
            pointed to in his first posting.


            Cheers,

            Michael

            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "kimvellore" <kim@b...> wrote:
            > Jim,
            > I don't want to bring your enthusiasm down but I feel what we
            > currently lack in building Z scale anything is either casting or
            > injection molding. Some level of detail can be obtained by Photo
            > etching, but none of the lathe and end mills can get to the level
            of
            > detail that casting or injection molding gets. For Z you need all
            the
            > tiny details. For example take a Z-scale loco from Marklin and
            > observe the details from the rivets to the trucks, no mechanical
            > machine can do that. I own a 4 axis CNC Mill and CNC Lathe and
            access
            > to most CAD software. The only things I can build for Z loco are
            some
            > parts for the drive mechanism, even making the gears right is
            > extremely time consuming, so I use Marklin gears and drive
            mechanism.
            >
            > If we could find an artist like Yuji who could make a master
            > mould in styrene or wax or resin then it could be reproduced in
            > Brass, add some PE details and use some CNC for making the chassis
            > and drive mechanism parts and you have a working loco.
            >
            > So in order of priority I would say Casting, Photo Etch, CNC
            > machining, decal making and painting. The CNC parts could also be
            > eventually cast.
            > It is a great effort that you making for Z scale community,
            > but concentrating on CNC alone will not be able to achieve what
            you
            > are trying to do.
            >
            > Regards,
            > Kim
          • Lajos Thek
            ... To build an injection mold for a well detaled product you need to use mill and lathe. The trick is knowing how to design and make the necessary tooling. To
            Message 5 of 26 , Dec 2, 2003
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              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "kimvellore" <kim@b...> wrote:
              >
              >...none of the lathe and end mills can get to the level of
              > detail that casting or injection molding gets.

              To build an injection mold for a well detaled product you
              need to use mill and lathe. The trick is knowing how to design
              and make the necessary tooling. To design something in 3D is
              the least expensive part of the process. To convert the program
              to a working product requires many expensive steps. On the basic
              three or four axis CNC machine you need to figure out the correct
              holding of the already machined surfaces (special tools made
              strictly for the product), a more sophisticated shape requires
              many tool changes, and even the production of a simple gear
              requires a "fifth" axis. To make the proper tooling is the
              biggest cost factor. Requires the "know how", what is rarely
              "public domain". I wish we'll see CNC machines capable to make
              the necessary tooling prior production of the parts, using the
              product's design and machining information. Then position the
              necessary cutters into the automatic tool changers, set-up
              the part holders, insert the material and go...
              Anyway, if someone with a small CNC machine is interested to
              manufacture small numbers (few hundred?) of parts, I have a
              nice, long wish list.
              Lajos
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