Back in 2019 I decided to do an experiment. I wanted to find out whether it was possible to get a reasonable income designing 3D Printable models. The very minimum would be enough to cover the time to design the model. Being a buyer of gaming model files through the likes of Humble Bundle and seeing some great work available through various online market places, I felt a 28mm tabletop gaming piece would be a good option to test the idea.
To this end I designed a 28mm scale version of my Mine Trolley, and set up a scene to showcase the model. Then I uploaded it to Cults3d with a low enough price that it wouldn’t require second thoughts for any prospective purchaser. I think I set it at $2.50 US or something like that. Whatever it was I was grazing the minimum charge that Cults3d allow. After about two years the model had been bought twice, so a grand total of $5 had been earned. There was no way this would cover the time to model and photograph the thing. I decided to call off the experiment and have made it freely available.
There are a few factors that would have contributed to the quite underwhelming performance of this experiment;
- I didn’t market it.
- Cults3d may not have been the right platform to use. It’s not a hugely well known marketplace.
It appears a common way others operating in this market go about building their customer base is using a more generic online marketplace like Gumroad and doing marketing through Thingiverse with freebie taster selections.
Anyway the conclusion was that getting a real job was going to be much more economically sensible (and means I can support those who are struggling through making their livelihood through designing 3D printable game pieces.)
What this article is really about is presenting the two 28mm tabletop gaming mine trolleys.
The models were designed for printing without support. Two variations were created, one with fixed wheels which means it will stay where you put it, and one that would take the standard HO Gauge wheels you can purchase from Aliexpress (or print the ones included in the file below).
The overall dimensions of the mine trolley model is 63mm, width 30mm, and height 35mm. The mine trolleys are designed to fit standard HO gauge track (16.5mm).
Being designed for HO gauge track means you can buy the proper stuff or just print some using the files included in the downloads below or you can use my parametric railway track generators (OpenSCAD) featured in the Parametric Railway Tracks page. The rail lengths included in this package are; 45mm, 90mm, 135mm, and 180mm to suit your printers bed size.
Assembly instructions are included in the downloads listed below.
- Fixed Wheel Version: MineTrolley-28mm-FixedWheels.zip
- Free Wheel Version: MineTrolley-28mm-FreeWheels.zip
- HO Gauge Straight Track Set: HO_Scale_Tracks
- Aliexpress Style HO Wheels: HO_Wheels-Aliexpress.zip
- Assembly Instructions: Assembly Guide.pdf
The 28mm Tabletop Gaming Mine Trolley model and design by Hamish Trolove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.