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NMRA Boxcar 3D printing at the Three Lakes Fab Lab was reviewed at the Last Winter National Board meeting.

(See the Latest Progress and download .stl file)

3D Printing of HO Car Frames for MDC 50' Cars

MDC on top, uPrint Center and MakerBot bottom

This is a full view of the uPrint in a NMRA Plug Door Boxcar.

Here the uPrint frame is in a MDC model. You can see the need for adjustment of the width.

This shows the location of the tabs and the need for small adjustment.

Tabs on the NMRA Box Car MakerBot Tabs need cleanup

MakerBot end cleanup needed

This uPrint end shows the need for adjustment in the frame sides. The .046 sides print as 2 lines where the inner support which is .040 is solid.

MakerBot and uPront off the supports


There is a bit of adjustment to be made to the drawings and the printing process. The MakerBot was done at a its highest resolution which caused a few problems in removing the support material. The uPrint support material is dissolved as part of the process.


New Draft, the line is 1" the Grid is 1/2"

The length was reduced by .01" the width was increased by .04" and the tabs were adjusted in size and location

Right ISO

3D Printing on uPrint System

This is the Fab Lab 3D UPrint printer.

Here is the wall chart in the lab for the students to follow:


January 2016 printing of the frame version "C".

This file should be ok for MakerBot or similar printers


(Download the .stl file)

Please test the file as I am not at the Fab Lab but in IL getting new knees and cannot run a test in WI.

This is the MakerBot Frame in the 50' Box Car

Here is the original MDC Die Cast frame


4 cars all the same type body from MDC (Roundhouse)

A MDC car body with my latest printed frame (blue)

This car has MDC trucks and injection molded details

NMRA body with a MDC Die Cast frame


Mid 1960s MDC with an Injected molded frame


NMRA Body with plastic modern (from the WC 50' RMC 60th) frame no tabs


All the cars are running on a 26 car train as cars 2, 3, 4, and 5.


Visit the Fab Lab site at:

Many thanks to Steven Yahr, director of the Fab Lab, and the students who have assisted us with this project at the Three Lakes School District.



Updated 1/17/17
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