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My Life as a 3D Designer

Hi, I'm Dave Yale.  I started becoming involved with 3d printing in early 2013. I had re-started a hobby I enjoyed as a teenager, model railroading. I joined a club where each member did a four foot module using standard design specifications and joined them together at shows to make a large set up.  You can learn more about my club, Valley HO Trak at or our facebook page.

I was looking for some interior details for my buildings and was very surprised that I wasn't finding what I wanted, or the details available were too pricey.  I had heard about 3D printing and investigated whether I could design and print my own details.  I found out I could, one thing led to another, and now I sell some of my designs.  This is a small business in every sense of the word.

3D printing is truly an entirely different way of doing business. When someone buys one of my designs, Shapeways prints it. There is no stock sitting somewhere. It is the ultimate "just in time" supply chain. The downside is it takes a week or two before the model ships, but it's a real world solution for manufacturing items without very expensive overhead.

For the most part I do not do custom design work- I find that what I think the customer wants is seldom what they actually want.  However, I have designed models based on suggestions of customers so feel free to make suggestions for models, or tell me the detail you haven't been able to find.

Pricing: There is a company that sells very good quality metal interior details.  They have a claw foot tub ($8) a bathroom sink ($12) and a "throne" (another $8).  A basic bathroom goes for $28. 

I can offer a basic bathroom, and throw in kitchen appliances for $14!  Everything shown in the next two photos (except the people), AND the a claw foot tub that's not shown in the photos.


And, if you want the best quality material, I'll give you the a bath and a half only for $9, (computer render, not photo shown) OR...

The kitchen and two baths for $1 more than they charge for just the bath-$29.