Large Scale Central

CNC 3D Printed Church

I drop by this site a lot but don’t post much so I thought I would share my summer building project- a Church. I have been meaning to build one of these for a long time. It’s based on a little church in Proffit Virgina, beside the Norfolk Southern Washington District. The frame is sheet styrene cut on my V90 CNC with a 1/32 inch bit at 7800 rpm. The foundation is that green sheet insulation foam you get at Lowes. I cut the brick lines with a 1/16 ball nose bit. All of the siding, the steeple roof, the stairs and the sign out front were 3D printed in ABS on my ender 3. I used Inkscape to do all the sheet styrene cutout paths and hexagon 3D to make the steeple roof and siding for 3D printing. I use Cura as a slicer program for the 3D stuff gcode and CamBam for the gcode for the flat cuts. Lots and lots of trial and error, much fussing with the 3D printer including a new nozzle, print surface and Hatchbox ABS filament (name brand- don’t use the cheap amazon stuff!) But great fun to build. Just needs to be installed with some moss and plants, then a cemetery out back for halloween.

Nice job Martin! How thick is the styrene you used? Do you block the corners inside?


Thanks Dan. I use .0625 and .118 sheets, I buy them from Tap Plastics, they will custom cut them for you, I get them cut to16x16 inch- about $4 a sheet for the .0625 and nine bucks for the .118. Ten .0625 and five .118 with shipping are right around $100, that is my general modeling ‘pain’ threshold, ha. Anyhow, for the floors and rafters and things that need to be thicker, I use .118 in. For the walls, I use the .0625 and just butt them up to each other, I don’t block the corners generally but I use a solid .118 sheet for the floor and then at the top I have a .118in ‘shelf’ all around that the rafters sit on. This building is covered with 3D printed siding, mostly individual strips, but the steeple and front parts are printed as small sets of siding, so that adds a lot to it’s ‘heft’. It’s all just glued directly to the styrene walls using regular model airplane type cement. It’s got LED lighting in it and I debated doing an interior but that was a bit much so I just frosted the windows. It came out rather large but the real church has a back building that would have made it huge. I did use a bit of artistic license (I like a black roof) but here is the real one if this google map link works- Proffit Church


I googled it right away as I’m a curious sort. Came up with this. Yours certainly captures it.

Have you built other structures in this manner? I’m curious as to how it holds up outdoors year-round. I recently bought a Shapeoko 4 XL and looking for material ideas for buildings.


Looks very nice. A Great Design


Thanks Dennis, lots of good material and great history around these parts. I am a Virginia native, I love it here. I told my wife to bury me in the back yard, ha.

Dan, I’m in the forest, lots of oak and poplar, so always shaded, but I find the styrene holds up very well. I have perhaps 10-11 buildings and structures. One or two are going on 10 years old now. All are built on the same sort of principle, solid base of .118, walls are .0625. Rattle can paint, base is green foam insulation sheet. All buildings sit on those for easy removal and TLC when they need it.

It is basically chaos but if you are interested in the source files, they are here: