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Printing With Your Own 3D Printer at Home

If you listened to the HO Scale Customs podcast you heard us talking about a foundation for a DPM townhouse- this is the model:

I offer a slowly growing number of FREE files that can be 3D printed at home on my Thingiverse page:

I currently own four 3D printers.  I am still learning to say the least. 

The most impressive is the Anyqubic Photon.     

Photon Printer The Photon uses liquid resin in a tank, which is hardened by a UV light source at the bottom of the tank holding the resin,  The build plate rises a tiny bit, as little as .024 mm, then another layer is hardened, 

This  process is repeated again and again until the model is finished. 

Printers using liquid resin are becoming more popular and expect to see more and more coming into the market, and for costs to drop.

Problems with these printers include odors and mess from the resin, the need for ventilation and the mess, and the need to cure the models with a UV light source after printing, and the mess,  Currently I am trying "Mean Green" cleaner in my harbor freight ulrasonic cleaner.   

But, the fine detail available can make these printers worth the effort.  

Visit The Anycubic Photon website by CLICKING HERE.

Current Amazon price can be seen by CLICKING HERE.  (I am not an affiliate- this is not a sponsored link)

Some examples of prints off my Photon:

The pelican in the back is how it comes off the printer with the supports.  I have trimmed the other one.  The mess you see on the shark's nose is where I have to clean off some support ends- think of it as flash. 

That is a tiny cat- anyone want to paint it?

How about an HO Scale thumb?

HO scale brick?

I tried a building front- it's a work in progress- it is pretty warped.


My other three printers are FDM printers, These are what most people think of when they think of a 3D printer, They melt a plastic and extrude it through a small nozzle, moving back and forth until it finishes that layer, then the nozzle moves up between .1 and .2 mm and extrudes the next layer. These printers are SLOW, and the finer the detail you want, the slower it is. But, they are cheaper and can use a multitude of materials to make a model.

More information on FDM printers can be found all over the web, but one site is

Ender 3If you want an inexpensive yet capable printer, one that I own fits the bill- The Creality Ender 3.


These are a couple of prints off my Ender 3:  

The purple thing is an interior for a Bachman passenger car.  Cost is less than a dollar. 

The printer was suffering from some operator issues on this small building- over extrusion, but it gives you an idea.

This is an approximately N scale roof.  It also is over extruded and needs to be cleaned up, but consider a complicated roof design with a 3D printed frame, with craftsman shingles covering it- makes you think.  How about a victorian style house with a circular turret roof.  Not a big deal to design and print on a 3D printer. 

So, how are you going to frame that turret roof?

About 30 minutes and I have this design. Of course putting on the shingles is another thing entirely! And that fancy gingerbread trim- looks like a job for the Photon.

My newest printer is the Bibo dual filament.

Since getting this running I haven't even turned on my Ender 3.  Nothing against the Ender, but this one just works.  It came mostly assembled and I didn't even have to level it.   Of course, it is four times the cost of the ENder. 

It can print in two colors, or even more exciting- it can use water souluable filament for supports.  CLICK HERE to see a you tube video expalining water soluable support filament. 

You can see the Amazon price by CLICKING HERE.