Nov.19, 2014 | By Alec

Dedicated readers might remember Swedish designer and 3D printing enthusiast Daniel Norée, who masterminded the great open-source community OpenR/C. Staying true to the principles of open-source design, he has developed some very cool 3D printable stuff: particularly very fast and sturdy R/C cars and encourages everyone to use his experience to 3D print their own.

However Daniel has recently branched out to another field of self-propelling toys for young and old: miniature trains. Aside from working on very cool 3D printable trains and railways, he has also launched an open-source community to accompany this new and exciting project: OpenRailway.

Currently Daniel is already working on a number of designs, the first of which is a 1:32 scale, a American Diesel, EMD SW1500.

As Daniel explained to 3ders.org, trains have fascinated him for years and years. 'In 2002 me and my dad started to build a 1:32 scale "Garden Railway" around the house. I´ve always liked to make things and trains are fascinating and so we decided to build it ourselves.' As 3D printing technology wasn't as widespread twelve years ago as it is now, they then simply relied on craftsman tools to build their railway and locomotives. Some pictures of their inspiring work can be found here, and the whole set is still at ready and working at his dad's house; 'The Railway grew and my kids are now playing with it every time we visit.'


Since then, however, Daniel has become invested in RepRap 3D printing projects, and 3D printing also slowly crept into the creative constructions he made with his father. 'The 3D printer is such an amazing tool and it has now become an important part of our little railway. My dad now has 2 3D printers of his own and has taken the time to learn CAD and makes his own designs now,' he said.

Fortunately for train enthusiasts the world over, those experiences are now becoming open-source as well. The drive for this surfaced a few months ago, when Daniel was approached by the organizers of Sweden's largest hobby fair. They asked him to attend and show off the possibilities of 3D printing for hobbyists.

'While I have 3d printed R/C cars, quads and other things, they were also interested in my model train stuff. And as my dad and I have built a model railway of our own, I naturally wanted to do something that involved trains as well.' And thus the foundations for OpenRailway were laid.' Daniel explained.

Working together with his friends at the Swedish 3D printing web store Creative Tools, which specialized in 3D printer parts and accessories, Daniel developed a small 3D printed railway and locomotives. 'On top of that we got permission from model train manufacturer Jeco to test print one of their locomotives to show at the fair.'

It is really wonderful to see such open-source initiatives arise. After all, the essence of 3D printing is innovative creativity, open-source sharing and simply trying new things. Daniel has also announced his flagship project: together with the guys from Creative Tools, he work on one of the largest 3D printed projects involving RepRap we've ever seen: a giant 3D printed railway, featuring hundreds of meters of tracks and several 3D printed trains controlled with Arduino computers. It will be constructed in Halmstad, Sweden, and will doubtlessly, as Daniel put it, 'be such a good demo for both OpenRailway but also 3D printing in general.' We can't wait.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

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