Large Scale Central

7/8ths Logging equipment

I hear you brother that would be nice


I went that route, but my problem runs deeper. And it has EVERYTHING to do with how I am probably doing things wrong. I knew I could scale a single body (although I thought component also) in a none uniform manor. The problem is that the drum is made up of many many bodies (maybe 100). And I can’t seem to figure out how to scale them all at once and relative to one another.

Now this brings up one thing that I am almost sure I am probably doing wrong. When I create a sub-assembly out of lets say 50 different bodies, after I get it to where I want it, I then convert all those bodies of the sub-assembly into individual components. I then copy all those components and paste them in a new work space. This then allows me to save it as a sub assembly and either export it for printing, or place it in another work space as that sub-assembly.

This has worked well for simpler designs. As my projects are becoming more complex with many more bodies/components making up a sub-assembly, and many sub-assemblies coming together for a complete model I am finding it very cumbersome. I can have a list of several hundred Bodies/Components.

Now one thing I am starting to break my habit of is trying to work with components instead of bodies. I now only convert components to bodies when I am satisfied with a sub assembly. In order to copy it and paste the sub-assembly into its own work space all the bodies must be made into components and then they can be copied and pasted to the new work space.

BUTTTTTTT I fully believe that I am not doing this in the most efficient manor. I think I have learned “A” way to do it and not the “proper/efficient” way to do it. So here are some questions and maybe you can walk me through a better process. Is there a way to take all the bodies of a sub-assembly and save them as a single component that “IS” the sub assembly.

For example, All the rivets on my boiler I created as bodies. In order to make the boiler a single sub-assembly I had to (or at least I think I have to) turn all those rivets from bodies to components. then I can take the main boiler and all of its rivets and copy and paste them in a new workspace. Then save it. When it is saved then I can bring that back into another workspace along with all the other sub-assemblies as single entities that I can assemble “virtually” to see how everything is fitting.

It just seems like there should be a way, within the current work space, make all the bodies of a sub-assembly into one component without having to export it to another workspace. Am I making any sense? I think I confused myself.

At any rate this is what is creating my problem. I have this drum which I exported and is made up of a gillion components and I can figure out how to scale them all at one and relative to each other so it scales the entire piece.

Okay Dan,

I went back and answered part of my question on my own. I see that if I leave everything as individual bodies instead of components then it lets me scale the sub assembly uniformly. So that goes back to NOT making things components.

Devon, I think I have a way to help you with this but let me get home and put some more thought in it. I’ll get with you off line for further discussions so we don’t bore everyone. If we can come up with a functional solution we can bring it back here for everyone to see.

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I agree Dan we can take this offline. But I did also just figure out how to create an “external” assembly without having to export it to a new worksapce

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I use Onshape so I don’t know if Fusion has this capability but Onshape has a function called Variable (X). A dimension can be set up to be Variable ( represented by the #) x “X” x length.

So in my case I can create a variable called “Scale” and set that at .314". Then if I have a measurement that is say 34" in 1:1, I can draw the measurement at #Scale*34. It gets translated into the proper scale dimension. I’m basically drawing it in 1:1 And the program is automatically translating it to whatever scale I want. For example with my Snow Dozer, I’ve drawn everything with 1/29 in mind. Should for some reason I would want/need it in say 1/48, all I would have to do is change the #Scale variable and voila it it’s all changed.

Craig, you can do something similar in Fusion by creating parameters. The problem Devon will run into using that method is he wants to scale in only 2 of the 3 axis or dimensions. It is certainly possible to do as you describe but it might get confusing trying to keep up with the scaled and non-scaled axis when drawing.

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With Onshape you can easily adjust 1 or 2 dimensions and it automatically corrects or holds the other ones depending on how you set it up. You can “freeze” a dimension if you want and just adjust the other ones. I’m sure it’s pretty similar to Fusion but it’s just figuring out how Fusion does something like that.

As a new owner of a 3D printer, I don’t find any of this boring!

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Devon, FWIW, I’d think there would be a means to merge or combine bodies, but I have no idea what it would be called in Fusion.

[edit] Just saw this:

Its not the 3D printing part that is boring. Its the minutiae of CAD drafting specifically in Fusion that could be dull to people not doing it. But I have become addicted to it.


There is. After my post I did some more fiddling. And the basic concept (and Dan has tried to get this through my thick skull) is to work with bodies and not components. In Fusion bodies are much more workable. Components become more finite. But inhave already kinda figured out a solution

I think learning to create new items for printing is what drew me to buying one. I’m barely on the learning curve now, but I have the desire to learn.

Glad to see another 3D printer join the club. Lot’s of valuable experience here on the subject so don’t hesitate to ask questions. BTW: what printer did you purchase?

Dan, what printer would you recommend for a complete noob like me, I’m talking about barely can work my computer type of person! Probably would like to print some of Dan Gilchrist’s stuff off Thingverse, don’t think I would get to where I want to make my own files. I did some reading a few months ago , but didn’t make any notes of what’s what. Probably would like to be resin so I can print things that will be outside


Look at the Elagoo Jupiter. While it is not what most beginners would start with because of its size and price, in my opinion there really is no such thing as a “beginner” printer as they all pretty much do exactly the same thing in much the same ways. Running the printer is running the printer. Nothing really makes one more technical than another. Once you learn your print setting for the resins you are using then you pretty well just stick a thumb drive in it and hit print. The expertise is really in the design element. If you have pre made files like those from Dan G then there really is not much to printing them.

Now here is why I recommend the Elagoo Jupiter. #1 Mike Williams (my friend who I have been collaborating with) prints commercially as does his son. They have multiple machines running pretty much 24/7. They swear by Elagoo for their performance and customer service. As the tech changes they make the parts available to upgrade the machines so you are not having to buy a brand new machine. And you are wanting to print some pretty large stuff. Much of what Dan has designed is too big for my Epax 10 which is a medium sized hobby printer. I can’t promise they will fit in the Jupiter either but it is one of the largest “Hobby” printers. They are brand new and you can’t even get one right now. Mike is still waiting for his. You have to pre-order it. But at the end of the day for us making large G scale models I would say buy the absolute largest machine you can reasonably afford. You will never ever say “I wish I had bought a smaller one” but I say EVERY time I print I wish I had a larger one.

So a little more progress on the Steam Donkey.

Got the cylinders done.

This assembly will be made in two pieces each for both sides so a right assembly and a left assembly. One piece is the brackets and flywheel the other piece is the cylinder and connecting rod. Each side is properly quartered from the other

I am getting real close to being able to print it. In 7/8ths the base and the boiler are too large for my printer. Mike will be getting his larger printer soon. And since I have no desire to print them in 7/8ths I am okay with that. When I print mine I will likely print it in 1/20.3 or 1/24. Or basically whatever size will I can get to fit in my printer.

So while I have worked with mike helping him make his kit assemblies, this is the first project where I have sat down from square one with the intention of building a kit model. I have to say it is both rewarding and frustrating. As a scratch builder I get to see my vision come to life before my eyes in real time as I am doing it. But it also brings with it, its unforeseen flaws that cause problems down the road.

3D modeling is not quite as satisfying in that as the pieces and parts come together it just isn’t the same as a tangible model. But I have been able to “see” and correct mistakes or design flaws virtually which should in the end make the model assembly much easier. Sure their will be tweaks as I start to print stuff and try and assemble it. That’s a given. But that process is not all that hard to do as opposed to tearing something apart and rebuilding it.

This whole thing as I said before it built “kit” style where there will be multiple sub-assemblies that will be printed and then will need to be assembled. All of the pieces have pins and sockets for assembly. There will be pieces (as Sean has suggested) that won’t be printed but will be made from another materiel such as brass rod. Resin brittle and when it starts getting too thin it becomes way to fragile. So things like rods and linkages will be brass pieces.

Taking Sean’s advice I made the two side braces into four brackets that will hold brass rod. This will make for a much sturdier model.

They have a whole in the ends to accept the rods.

So here is the parts break down so far.

Base FlangeBottom Brace FittingUpper Left Brace FittingUpper Right Brace fittingDrumRight Drum BracketLeft Drum Bracket

Boiler, Base, Base flange (for log skids), Lower brace fitting, Upper left brace fitting, upper right brace fitting, drum, right drum bracket, left drum bracket, right cylinder, left cylinder