3D printed top/upper shelves, coupler boxes

Ryan Harris

I just received a successful test print of some parts I designed to fit the HO scale SBE coupler. Since the SBE coupler is diecast it doesn't suffer from the availability problem that the SE coupler does. Those of us modeling tank cars need the double shelf couplers, so when they became unavailable it was cause for concern to me.

The solution I came up with uses the original CAD files Frank made available, and with Tom Colasurdo's gracious help converting them to a format I can use, I created parts that can be attached to the top of the coupler. The result is SBE couplers are converted into SE couplers.

Here is the link to the parts on Shapeways if anyone is interested:


I am also working on some draft gear boxes for Sergent couplers and I've successfully prototyped those, however I have not printed the latest revisions. If that's something that sounds interesting you might want to hold off a few weeks until I get the latest samples tested. Here are the Type E draft gear boxes installed on an old MDC Roundhouse flatcar:

The Type F boxes function the same but assemble slightly different and have the distinctive Type F striker plate. Both draft gear boxes allow the coupler to pitch up and down and to twist somewhat within the box, alleviating some of the stiffness cars may experience over less-than-perfect track, especially cars with tightlock and shelf couplers.

Ryan Harris
Fort Worth TX

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