A New Project

When you need to get something done usally though planning and thoughtful ececution will give you a stress free and satasifying result. That is fine when you have free time and no outside responsiablites. Sometimes things are put off for so long that they never get done or are partialy done making things even less complete. There is always something on the list to do.

I have always wanted to go to Maker Faire in New York city. Every year I make the proclamation that YES we are going. Then though natural process of life other things get priority. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just the way life with a family and career go. ApplicationThis year I did the next best thing to just buying tickets, I applied to be a participant.

This does fall into the category that if your going to do something go all in. There is no reason why I couldn’t have just made a proclamation that “this year we will attend!” and then just attend. That would have been to easily derailed, nope, sign up for something way more difficult and you can’t just not do it. So this is a solid plan right?

What is the plan? Well there is a back story to it. A long time ago I purchased a book titled “Evolution of New York City Subways“.EvolutionOfSubway It was written by Gene Sansone who was deeply involve with the daily maintenance and engineering of the MTA subway system in New York. The book goes into great detail of all the various cars and equipment that the subway systems have used over the years and even some of the elevated lines that ran around the boroughs. Along side the black and white pictures are technical drawings of all the trains. This  gave me an idea.
I have always loved riding the subway in NYC so much so I did the nerdiest thing I could think. I figured out a way you could ride though all the boroughs (except Staten Island) on one fare. Its a long journey and you get a lot of time to reflect when you do that.

1909 IRT
Photo by: Doug Grotjahn, 1979, nycsubway.org

The first attempts at this were not the best. I tried making them out of plastic which was fine but it took a long time to make just one side and it lacked a lot of the tiny details you come to expect from a model. Later on I worked at a model shop that had CNC’s and solidworks. I started to model the train up in solidworks with the goal of making a mold that I could use to cast parts from. As it turns out both only being able to model it at work and using the CNC meant the progress was very slow and not easy. Eventual a new opportunity  stepped in and I moved away, onto the shelf that project went.

Fast forward a bunch of years and 4 more moves later Fusion 360 was installed on my computer. Fusion 360 coupled with 3D printing allows so many things that would have been very expensive in the past really easy and cheap. After making some projects on my own printer the idea of modeling subway cars came back.1909 IRT Fusion I found the book and started modeling a car from 1909 in Fusion 360. It took a lot of trial and error but after a lot of hours I had a model of the train body. The next step was to see if a 3D printer would print all the small details.

At the same time I completed the model, work purchased a Formlabs Form2 printer.  Making prints from it for clients and seeing the detail it could print made me hopeful that maybe this was the ideal tool to make these trains. R110 Rivits1A test print was made and the detail was amazing. It manage to capture not only the rivets which at a scale of 1/160 were tiny, it printed in mid air wiring cable that goes to the over cab lights.

So here we are, I want to really get into this project and I want to go to Maker Faire. For the next 12 weeks I will be posting here and on instangram the progress I make as I wait for the acceptance reply (we are going to ignore the possible rejection outcome for now) to come back from the folks at Maker Faire.

The next 12 weeks work leading up to the faire will include

– Modeling 10 different subway cars

– Printing and painting 10 complete trains (6 cars each)

– Fitting the completed cars into working model trains

– Making up all the things that will go on display at Maker Faire

– The prep before the faire, the prep there and the journey home agian


So it will be interesting.



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