FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Below is some general information, FAQ's and their answers. It may be updated as and when. If you have further questions feel free to send an email.
3D Printing material options: What's the differences?
If you order SCC items via Shapeways, there are two main choices; WSF / WNVP standing for White Strong Flexible that was later renamed to White Natural Versatile Plastic and FUD / FXD / standing for Frosted Ultra/Extreme Detail later renamed to Smooth Fine Detail Plastic.
Essentially WSF it is a form of Nylon sintered with a laser, the 3D prints turn out very strong and durable and will often survive a fall onto a hard surface without even losing any details and they are quite cheap, the downside is the texture is quite grainy and requires a few goings over with abrasive papers and filler primers, it lacks the crispness of FUD but is quite forgiving for beginners. Bit by bit these are being phased out of the SCC range as Shapeways sometimes (often) want them redesigning every 5 minutes).
FUD as an acrylic based resin on the other hand is a lot smoother and crisper than WSF, especially the FXD or Smoothest variant but is considerably more expensive, being resin it is quite brittle also so care needed. 3D prints are dimensionally the straightest and most accurate. Before painting I usually soak the models for 40 minute or so in White Spirit to eek out any remaining wax deposits used in the creation process.
SCC items ordered directly through the email provided on this website usually are created using various 405nm Photosensitive Resins. These are very similar in finish to the Shapeways FUD but a little less clean up is needed as it doesn't have the slight 'frost' effect some FUD items do, some prints are not quite as dimensionally accurate as the FUD due to the technology of the MSLA printing process yet they are very comparable in qualities costing usually around half the price. You can see many MSLA examples on this website.
What RTR chassis will fit SCC bodies?
Most of the SCC loco bodies have been designed with their own 3D printed chassis kit as a complete unit. However, as is understandable many people prefer to use Ready To Run 00 Chassis from the well known manufacturers, for this reason we can't verify every possible RTR donor chassis that will fit. However, over the years many of you have kindly had a go by experimenting and so far there's been a few known combinations.
For example with some careful modelling the full length E2's can be made to fit Bachmann Jinty, 1F chassis and the original Hornby E2 chassis. There are some exceptions though, the RWS Green Goblin V2's have been designed to fit a Hornby W4 Peckett chassis and the A0 range of Pacifics has been designed around three different Hornby A1 chassis to make fitting them easier. Some SCC loco's would be wildly out of proportion if they were designed to fit certain RTR chassis so this is kept to a minimum.
3D printed chassis? Why not metal?
Good question! Metal chassis are currently in the 2D drawing stages for production although it will take a while to get them drawn up and test built for each SCC loco. The 3D printed chassis were designed initially as a temporary stop gap until metal solutions were sought, it's just took loner than expected to initiate the changes. They work if carefully built and can be much easier and quicker to build than a traditional etched chassis kit although I appreciate metal has more build options and is the ultimate answer to things.
Where can we get coupling rods?
As above they are being designed, Initially SCC offered 3D printed coupling rods in real brass via Shapeways. All the initial prototype test builds were created this way and most of them worked just fine, however there were two issues:
1) - Although many built fine, it was found a good while later there were a couple of examples that were dimensionally out by around 0.5 of a millimetre requiring scratch build accurate ones templated from the printed rods that were dimensionally sound - in short this isn't good enough so proper etched art work is in the works for these.
2) The prices were unfavorable and after a certain time they literally doubled, fancy paying £26 for a set of small rods that might not be accurate? No good.
You'll have to use the various etched rods that are on the market already cutting and shutting them to fit some wheels bases - or scratch build them. Have done both. Isn't particularly hard yet for obvious reasons it isn't an ideal situation, so until there are some proper SCC etched coupling rods for sale, that's all that can be suggested for now.