3D Printed Railcar Chassis

Le Tue 30 October 2018

MJP Printed Rail Camaro Beauty Shot

Quite some time ago (like 30yrs ago) I decided that I liked the idea of a car body on an articulated railway chassis. I made one up with the limited skills and tools I had at the time. It was a matchbox car on some HO rail bogies with a metal rod for the chassis spine and some bits of plastic crudely cut for buffers and other details. It was kinda crude.

The theme persisted and became better developed as I started playing around with computer graphics in Carrara and Bryce. This was transferred to Blender and suddenly the project became viable with the arrival of 3D Printers.

Bryce render of Articulated Railcar hybrid

Derelict train sketch

So, continuing with this theme started with the Mine trolley for Stop Motion, here is the railway chassis for fitting to 1:24 scale model cars. It is designed to fit 1:24 scale standard gauge tracks.
I have found that it works really well with Die-Cast muscle cars from Maisto and MZ. I have also built one using the DeLorean Model by heisenberg333. Scaling the Delorean model down to 1:24 scale was quite problematic at printing time because of thing sections in some areas and poor quality geometry. Quite a bit of air dry clay was required to fill some of the slicing errors. Having said that, there are no shortage of very cool looking car models on Thingiverse. If you are looking to build this project you may need to modify the Mainframe component (Railcar-Mainframe.stl) to fit whatever model you choose to use, but I have set up the mesh to be quick and easy to modify with any halfway descent modeler capable of working at the vertex and polygon level.

Examples of Die cast and 3D printed Car bodies

The component filenames include the number of items required of each. For instance Railcar-BogieInSidesx4.stl needs to be printed four times. If there is no number noted, then just print it once.

The model also makes use of my Parametric Footplate model. So if you don't like the footplates included in this package you can easily use the OpenSCAD script or the Thingiverse Customiser to generate something that meets your needs.

Downloads and Things

Download the STLs from here:Railcar-Chassis-STL.zip

You can find an assembly guide here: Railcar_Chassis_Assemblyv0.pdf

Additional things you will need;

  • A 1:24 scale car body
  • Some 4mm diameter dowel for axles and locator pins (or M4 threaded rod)
  • M4 x 10mm dome head cap screws, washers, and nuts to secure the bogies to the frame (if you want them to move that is)
  • Some wire for pipes (7.5A insulated wire is about the right size)

Here is the list of my previous projects that have been incorporated into this project;

Happy building

3D printed bits

Assembling the Bogies

The two bogies are exactly the same. As you assemble it be aware you will need to install a nut into the upper cross piece (Railcar-MainSupportSpanx2.stl) and do all painting before final assembly of the bogie.

Step 1

Powered Railway bogie Set Assemply Step 1

Step 2

Powered Railway bogie Set Assemply Step 2

Once this stage is completed it is worthwhile painting all parts of the bogie.

Step 3

Powered Railway bogie Set Assemply Step 3

Finished Assembly

Powered Railway bogie Set Assemply Step 4

That completes the two bogies.


The Main Frame

Step 1

Assemble the box thing that goes under the frame.

Railcar Frame Assembly Step1

Step 2

The buffer webs can be located with the small flanges as shown below. The space between the webs is about 30mm, but check this against the width of the Main Underframe's ends.

Railcar Frame Assembly Step2

Step 3

Glue the box under the frame onto the pads shown. The side with the four holes in it faces towards the front of the frame. You can tell which end is the frame's front by looking at the detailed bits near the middle of the frame. The detailed bit with the four holes (that strangely look similar to the four holes on the front of the box) is the front end. The buffer assemblies can glued onto main frame using the locater lugs to position them. Glue the footplates in place.

Railcar Frame Assembly Step3

Step 4

Depending on the clearance around the vehicle body's wheel arches you can glue the front and back wheel arch details in place on their respective lugs. Be aware of which end of the frame is the front. The big dome-like detail bits go to the back. You may need to install these bits at a later stage once the car body is in place.

Railcar Frame Assembly Step4

Step 5

Install the wires. There are also four short wires underneath joining the underside box to the main frame using those small holes referred to in Step 3. If you were unable to install the wheel arch detail bits in Step 4, put them on the wires running along the side of the frame, but leave them hanging until the car body is installed.

Railcar Frame Assembly Step4

Step 6

With M4 screws (10mm long), screw through into the nuts embedded in the top beam of the bogies.

Railcar Frame Assembly Step6

Step 7

Install the vehicle body (and wheel arch detail bits if you have had to wait).

Railcar Frame Assembly Step7

And that's it. Done!

Some Pretty Pictures

Railcar Chassis Only
The chassis on its own


Railcar chassis


Railcar Chassis Stages
Various Vehicle bodies at various stages of hybridisation process


MJP Printed Rail Camaro Beauty Shot
Maisto 1:24 Scale 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Rail car hybrid printed on Multijet printer at 19μm resolution.


MJP Printed Rail Camaro Beauty Shot


Rail Lamborghini Beauty Shot
MZ 1:24 Scale Lamborghini rail-car hybrid with components printed on an Ultimaker Original at 0.2mm layer resolution


Rail Lamborghini Beauty Shot


Rail DeLorean Beauty Shot
Back to the Future DeLorean Model by heisenberg333 scaled down to 1:24 and mounted on a rail chassis. project printed on a Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus


Rail DeLorean Beauty Shot


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Creative Commons by-nc-sa

This design by Hamish Trolove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Par Hamish Trolove, Catégorie : Art Projects

Tags : 3D Printing / Art / Models / Sculpture / Stopmotion /