Date   
Re: Frank

Tim L
 

Probably around $20,000. I think it'd take more than a few dollars from each of us to fund what Frank has already determined isn't viable cost wise to have a mold made for (The sales numbers probably don't add up to recover the cost to the mold). We'd likely be better off funding Frank a better 3D printer, one that actually works so he doesn't have to tinker to try and make the current one work.

The only thing is Frank doesn't particularly want to keep doing this in the future and I believe the specialty (non diecast) couplers have become a bit of a chore over other things for him these days (hence why he's not giving a whole lot of time to getting the 3D printer working). Frank has given us the designs for the couplers so we can make/get made our own. I'm still looking into this. I know for many the casting process would be beyond their ability or beyond what they can locate at home but any place that does investment casting should be able to cast the couplers, and should have a 3D printer of sufficient quality to make the investment parts as well if one doesn't have one one's self.

- Tim

On 28/04/2019 14:47, Nathan Rich wrote:
If we knew the cost of a set of steel molds, what if we did a GoFundMe to pay for the other molds for the different shank lengths? I'd kick in a few bucks toward the cost if it meant they would stay available.
Just an idea...
Nathan Rich

Re: Frank

Mark
 

Tim I believe you make great points, but I do think Nathan is onto at least part of the solution.

i think I have already purchased enough of Frank’s wonderful couplers for My personal needs but that doesn’t mean I would not be prepared to participate in a crowd funding venture to help Frank get what he needs to get on track.

I believe it would be in our best interests to support Frank to do what is required.   

Mark Stafford
Macedon Australia

Re: Frank

John Larkin
 

Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts?  It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type, C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.

This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution, only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.

John Larkin



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 12:46:15 AM CDT, Mark <markstafford15@...> wrote:


Tim I believe you make great points, but I do think Nathan is onto at least part of the solution.

i think I have already purchased enough of Frank’s wonderful couplers for My personal needs but that doesn’t mean I would not be prepared to participate in a crowd funding venture to help Frank get what he needs to get on track.

I believe it would be in our best interests to support Frank to do what is required.   

Mark Stafford
Macedon Australia

Re: Frank

Tim L
 

John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a 3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler. Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general) to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I know of using them.

- Tim

On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type, C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution, only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
John Larkin

Re: Frank

Todd Fisher
 

Nathan I would definitely be on board with helping to pay for new molds if it meant getting to at least keep the long shanks going. I understand the others have to be done investment cast due to the higher detail on them and would love to see them back as well but Id be satisfied with some long shanks as a very large majority of what I still need to convert are cushioning cars and long cars. 


On Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 4:30 AM Tim L <tim@...> wrote:
John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was
trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was
something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a
3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable
proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler.
Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's
why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general)
to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it
all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely
realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would
have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me
wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out
how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using
Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I
know of using them.

- Tim


On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
> Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to
> have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he
> prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another
> party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? 
> It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type,
> C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the
> company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be
> granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added
> funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items
> that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the
> burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping
> parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
>
> This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution,
> only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better
> ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive
> some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted
> helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
>
> John Larkin



Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Tom Colasurdo
 

All:

Let Frank weigh in on the crowd funding idea for a 3-D printer ... no sense speculating, or setting parameters.

I don't know Frank other than the e-mails we have exchanged and the posts on the Groups.io site, but I have sensed that his family or business or both are requiring larger amounts of his time ... and both are reasonable priorities in anyone's life.

Do not despair at the additional work now required of us ... Frank created an amazing product that all of us on this site desire.  Frank also provided his intellectual property in the form of 3-D electronic files ... when's the last time IBM, GE, Microsoft, Apple, etc did that ?  The beauty of having these files is we can modify to create never before available couplers ... let your imagination wander ... this can be fun if you let it.

Short of someone coming forth to purchase Frank's coupler business, we have to set our minds on what we desire and how to achieve that within our means.

I'm not making any promises today, and I'm not offering another's time without their permission ... so please be patient, and I'll let everyone interested know exactly what I've been up to.  Model railroading is a community, and it's amazing how often strangers become friends and mentors.  True networking is often mistaken for chance ... but I do not believe in chance.

I've attached the first samples of 3-D printed parts from Frank's S scale coupler files ... there is hope.

I have a day job, and a family ... I typically check e-mail once a day (after work on week days, and morning on weekends), so please be patient if you post or send me an e-mail.  In this microwave society I understand that self governance and control are in short supply ... I have no malice relative to my modeling, and my only agenda is to figure out how to obtain the needed parts for my modeling in the environment which we find ourselves ... so please, do not create a narrative in your mind and type for all to consume ... way too much of that in this day and age.

Have a great day ... more to follow.

V/r,
Tom C.



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7:14:31 AM CDT, Todd Fisher <tftrainman1@...> wrote:


Nathan I would definitely be on board with helping to pay for new molds if it meant getting to at least keep the long shanks going. I understand the others have to be done investment cast due to the higher detail on them and would love to see them back as well but Id be satisfied with some long shanks as a very large majority of what I still need to convert are cushioning cars and long cars. 

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 4:30 AM Tim L <tim@...> wrote:
John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was
trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was
something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a
3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable
proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler.
Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's
why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general)
to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it
all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely
realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would
have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me
wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out
how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using
Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I
know of using them.

- Tim


On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
> Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to
> have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he
> prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another
> party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? 
> It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type,
> C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the
> company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be
> granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added
> funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items
> that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the
> burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping
> parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
>
> This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution,
> only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better
> ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive
> some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted
> helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
>
> John Larkin



Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

George
 

Those look great, Tom.

George Sebastian-Coleman



On Apr 28, 2019, at 10:55 AM, Tom Colasurdo via Groups.Io <t_colasurdo@...> wrote:

All:

Let Frank weigh in on the crowd funding idea for a 3-D printer ... no sense speculating, or setting parameters.

I don't know Frank other than the e-mails we have exchanged and the posts on the Groups.io site, but I have sensed that his family or business or both are requiring larger amounts of his time ... and both are reasonable priorities in anyone's life.

Do not despair at the additional work now required of us ... Frank created an amazing product that all of us on this site desire.  Frank also provided his intellectual property in the form of 3-D electronic files ... when's the last time IBM, GE, Microsoft, Apple, etc did that ?  The beauty of having these files is we can modify to create never before available couplers ... let your imagination wander ... this can be fun if you let it.

Short of someone coming forth to purchase Frank's coupler business, we have to set our minds on what we desire and how to achieve that within our means.

I'm not making any promises today, and I'm not offering another's time without their permission ... so please be patient, and I'll let everyone interested know exactly what I've been up to.  Model railroading is a community, and it's amazing how often strangers become friends and mentors.  True networking is often mistaken for chance ... but I do not believe in chance.

I've attached the first samples of 3-D printed parts from Frank's S scale coupler files ... there is hope.

I have a day job, and a family ... I typically check e-mail once a day (after work on week days, and morning on weekends), so please be patient if you post or send me an e-mail.  In this microwave society I understand that self governance and control are in short supply ... I have no malice relative to my modeling, and my only agenda is to figure out how to obtain the needed parts for my modeling in the environment which we find ourselves ... so please, do not create a narrative in your mind and type for all to consume ... way too much of that in this day and age.

Have a great day ... more to follow.

V/r,
Tom C.



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7:14:31 AM CDT, Todd Fisher <tftrainman1@...> wrote:


Nathan I would definitely be on board with helping to pay for new molds if it meant getting to at least keep the long shanks going. I understand the others have to be done investment cast due to the higher detail on them and would love to see them back as well but Id be satisfied with some long shanks as a very large majority of what I still need to convert are cushioning cars and long cars. 

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 4:30 AM Tim L <tim@...> wrote:
John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was
trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was
something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a
3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable
proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler.
Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's
why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general)
to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it
all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely
realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would
have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me
wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out
how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using
Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I
know of using them.

- Tim


On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
> Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to
> have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he
> prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another
> party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? 
> It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type,
> C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the
> company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be
> granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added
> funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items
> that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the
> burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping
> parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
>
> This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution,
> only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better
> ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive
> some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted
> helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
>
> John Larkin



<S scale coupler body left side.JPG><S scale coupler body right side.JPG><S scale coupler bottom view.JPG><S scale coupler end view.JPG><S scale coupler top view.JPG><S scale fitted piece  left side.JPG><S scale fitted piece bottom view.JPG><S scale fitted piece right side.JPG><S scale fitted piece top view.JPG>

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Tom Colasurdo
 

Thanks George ... but I cannot take create for creating these parts, I'm working with some amazingly talented folks that have a common interest.

I'm sure Frank, and others who focus on detail, can see there are issues at the pivot posts.  The 3-D printed posts are too cylindrical to function properly with the diecast knuckles.

Another area of concern is the ball socket.  The ball rides too high in the 3-D printed parts ... meaning the socket is not the correct diameter for the balls utilized.  Going to a smaller ball is not the option we are following at the current time.

Once we work these issues, and have a reliably functioning coupler, I will post how we got there.

Not sure the end game is producing metal parts ... Frank mentioned to me not to discount resin parts, and the folks helping this along are in alignment with Frank.  Also good to have a back up plan, and metal parts may be the back up plan or option.  Time will tell.

I'm optimistic ... Frank really has done a wonderful job on these couplers, and was amazingly generous with his CAD files.

Have a great day.

V/r,
Tom C.



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 11:18:19 AM CDT, George <gsebastiancoleman@...> wrote:


Those look great, Tom.

George Sebastian-Coleman



On Apr 28, 2019, at 10:55 AM, Tom Colasurdo via Groups.Io <t_colasurdo@...> wrote:

All:

Let Frank weigh in on the crowd funding idea for a 3-D printer ... no sense speculating, or setting parameters.

I don't know Frank other than the e-mails we have exchanged and the posts on the Groups.io site, but I have sensed that his family or business or both are requiring larger amounts of his time ... and both are reasonable priorities in anyone's life.

Do not despair at the additional work now required of us ... Frank created an amazing product that all of us on this site desire.  Frank also provided his intellectual property in the form of 3-D electronic files ... when's the last time IBM, GE, Microsoft, Apple, etc did that ?  The beauty of having these files is we can modify to create never before available couplers ... let your imagination wander ... this can be fun if you let it.

Short of someone coming forth to purchase Frank's coupler business, we have to set our minds on what we desire and how to achieve that within our means.

I'm not making any promises today, and I'm not offering another's time without their permission ... so please be patient, and I'll let everyone interested know exactly what I've been up to.  Model railroading is a community, and it's amazing how often strangers become friends and mentors.  True networking is often mistaken for chance ... but I do not believe in chance.

I've attached the first samples of 3-D printed parts from Frank's S scale coupler files ... there is hope.

I have a day job, and a family ... I typically check e-mail once a day (after work on week days, and morning on weekends), so please be patient if you post or send me an e-mail.  In this microwave society I understand that self governance and control are in short supply ... I have no malice relative to my modeling, and my only agenda is to figure out how to obtain the needed parts for my modeling in the environment which we find ourselves ... so please, do not create a narrative in your mind and type for all to consume ... way too much of that in this day and age.

Have a great day ... more to follow.

V/r,
Tom C.



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7:14:31 AM CDT, Todd Fisher <tftrainman1@...> wrote:


Nathan I would definitely be on board with helping to pay for new molds if it meant getting to at least keep the long shanks going. I understand the others have to be done investment cast due to the higher detail on them and would love to see them back as well but Id be satisfied with some long shanks as a very large majority of what I still need to convert are cushioning cars and long cars. 

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 4:30 AM Tim L <tim@...> wrote:
John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was
trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was
something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a
3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable
proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler.
Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's
why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general)
to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it
all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely
realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would
have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me
wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out
how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using
Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I
know of using them.

- Tim


On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
> Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to
> have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he
> prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another
> party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? 
> It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type,
> C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the
> company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be
> granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added
> funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items
> that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the
> burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping
> parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
>
> This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution,
> only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better
> ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive
> some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted
> helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
>
> John Larkin



<S scale coupler body left side.JPG><S scale coupler body right side.JPG><S scale coupler bottom view.JPG><S scale coupler end view.JPG><S scale coupler top view.JPG><S scale fitted piece  left side.JPG><S scale fitted piece bottom view.JPG><S scale fitted piece right side.JPG><S scale fitted piece top view.JPG>

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Mark Lewis
 

Tom:

I agree with George...the S scale test prints look really great.

Mark Lewis

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Warren Weiss
 

Before anyone gets too excited over the 3D printed couplers, please note that they need to be assembled and tested under stress of an actual train. It is very possible that due to the mechanical properties of the plastic/resins used in the printing process that they will be unsuitable and metal may be the only alternative.
 
Warren Weiss



On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 7:56 AM Tom Colasurdo via Groups.Io <t_colasurdo=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
All:

Let Frank weigh in on the crowd funding idea for a 3-D printer ... no sense speculating, or setting parameters.

I don't know Frank other than the e-mails we have exchanged and the posts on the Groups.io site, but I have sensed that his family or business or both are requiring larger amounts of his time ... and both are reasonable priorities in anyone's life.

Do not despair at the additional work now required of us ... Frank created an amazing product that all of us on this site desire.  Frank also provided his intellectual property in the form of 3-D electronic files ... when's the last time IBM, GE, Microsoft, Apple, etc did that ?  The beauty of having these files is we can modify to create never before available couplers ... let your imagination wander ... this can be fun if you let it.

Short of someone coming forth to purchase Frank's coupler business, we have to set our minds on what we desire and how to achieve that within our means.

I'm not making any promises today, and I'm not offering another's time without their permission ... so please be patient, and I'll let everyone interested know exactly what I've been up to.  Model railroading is a community, and it's amazing how often strangers become friends and mentors.  True networking is often mistaken for chance ... but I do not believe in chance.

I've attached the first samples of 3-D printed parts from Frank's S scale coupler files ... there is hope.

I have a day job, and a family ... I typically check e-mail once a day (after work on week days, and morning on weekends), so please be patient if you post or send me an e-mail.  In this microwave society I understand that self governance and control are in short supply ... I have no malice relative to my modeling, and my only agenda is to figure out how to obtain the needed parts for my modeling in the environment which we find ourselves ... so please, do not create a narrative in your mind and type for all to consume ... way too much of that in this day and age.

Have a great day ... more to follow.

V/r,
Tom C.



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7:14:31 AM CDT, Todd Fisher <tftrainman1@...> wrote:


Nathan I would definitely be on board with helping to pay for new molds if it meant getting to at least keep the long shanks going. I understand the others have to be done investment cast due to the higher detail on them and would love to see them back as well but Id be satisfied with some long shanks as a very large majority of what I still need to convert are cushioning cars and long cars. 

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 4:30 AM Tim L <tim@...> wrote:
John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was
trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was
something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a
3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable
proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler.
Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's
why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general)
to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it
all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely
realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would
have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me
wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out
how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using
Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I
know of using them.

- Tim


On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
> Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to
> have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he
> prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another
> party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? 
> It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type,
> C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the
> company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be
> granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added
> funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items
> that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the
> burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping
> parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
>
> This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution,
> only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better
> ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive
> some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted
> helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
>
> John Larkin



Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Tom Colasurdo
 

Very wise and conservative advise Warren ... I have the very same concern.

Once we have enough couplers, I plan on testing in my application.  I guess we could do some destructive testing too ... pretty sure the resin being utilized is stronger than the draft gear boxes, but it would be good to confirm.

Have a great day.

V/r,
Tom C.



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 2:04:29 PM CDT, Warren Weiss <warren@...> wrote:


Before anyone gets too excited over the 3D printed couplers, please note that they need to be assembled and tested under stress of an actual train. It is very possible that due to the mechanical properties of the plastic/resins used in the printing process that they will be unsuitable and metal may be the only alternative.
 
Warren Weiss



On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 7:56 AM Tom Colasurdo via Groups.Io <t_colasurdo=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
All:

Let Frank weigh in on the crowd funding idea for a 3-D printer ... no sense speculating, or setting parameters.

I don't know Frank other than the e-mails we have exchanged and the posts on the Groups.io site, but I have sensed that his family or business or both are requiring larger amounts of his time ... and both are reasonable priorities in anyone's life.

Do not despair at the additional work now required of us ... Frank created an amazing product that all of us on this site desire.  Frank also provided his intellectual property in the form of 3-D electronic files ... when's the last time IBM, GE, Microsoft, Apple, etc did that ?  The beauty of having these files is we can modify to create never before available couplers ... let your imagination wander ... this can be fun if you let it.

Short of someone coming forth to purchase Frank's coupler business, we have to set our minds on what we desire and how to achieve that within our means.

I'm not making any promises today, and I'm not offering another's time without their permission ... so please be patient, and I'll let everyone interested know exactly what I've been up to.  Model railroading is a community, and it's amazing how often strangers become friends and mentors.  True networking is often mistaken for chance ... but I do not believe in chance.

I've attached the first samples of 3-D printed parts from Frank's S scale coupler files ... there is hope.

I have a day job, and a family ... I typically check e-mail once a day (after work on week days, and morning on weekends), so please be patient if you post or send me an e-mail.  In this microwave society I understand that self governance and control are in short supply ... I have no malice relative to my modeling, and my only agenda is to figure out how to obtain the needed parts for my modeling in the environment which we find ourselves ... so please, do not create a narrative in your mind and type for all to consume ... way too much of that in this day and age.

Have a great day ... more to follow.

V/r,
Tom C.



On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 7:14:31 AM CDT, Todd Fisher <tftrainman1@...> wrote:


Nathan I would definitely be on board with helping to pay for new molds if it meant getting to at least keep the long shanks going. I understand the others have to be done investment cast due to the higher detail on them and would love to see them back as well but Id be satisfied with some long shanks as a very large majority of what I still need to convert are cushioning cars and long cars. 

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 4:30 AM Tim L <tim@...> wrote:
John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was
trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was
something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a
3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable
proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler.
Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's
why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general)
to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it
all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely
realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would
have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me
wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out
how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using
Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I
know of using them.

- Tim


On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
> Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to
> have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he
> prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another
> party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? 
> It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type,
> C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the
> company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be
> granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added
> funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items
> that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the
> burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping
> parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
>
> This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution,
> only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better
> ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive
> some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted
> helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
>
> John Larkin



Re: Frank

John Larkin
 

Tim,

I'm completely open to anything that helps keep the supply of these great couplers available, and as I noted, it's just an idea.  Frank has done a great service to all of us who want a more prototype coupler, both in operation and in appearance and if we can make it easier for him (or somebody he designates) to supply these then we all gain.

John

On Sunday, April 28, 2019, 3:30:36 AM CDT, Tim L <tim@...> wrote:


John,

I wasn't advocating that we should crowd fund Frank a 3D printer, I was
trying to lightheartedly point out that *if* crowdfunding for Frank was
something that happened then a 3D printer that "worked" (as opposed to a
3D printer that doesn't work like he has now) would be a more viable
proposition than a set of steel molds for diecasting a single coupler.
Frank fully intends for us to use his drawings to make couplers, that's
why he's given the drawings to us - he wants us (us = hobby in general)
to continue the couplers into the future long after he's done with it
all. How well we (as a hobby) succeed in that is another matter.

Mark,

I wasn't trying to slap down Nathan's idea, just pointing out the likely
realities of the outcome of a set of steel molds considering Frank would
have already done the homework on the cost recovery front. Don't get me
wrong, I don't want Frank to stop, at least not until I've worked out
how to do it all (probably years!) as I need some speciality couplers still.

Noting your location, good to see another person from down here using
Sergents; your only the third or fourth person in this country that I
know of using them.

- Tim


On 28/04/2019 15:56, John Larkin via Groups.Io wrote:
> Just as a suggestion, how about we let Frank decide if he would like to
> have a better 3D printer for him to make coupler parts or would he
> prefer (because of time for smaller lots, for example) to let another
> party use his drawings to make parts for the low run specialty parts? 
> It might then be easier to set up a small corporation (of whatever type,
> C, S, etc.) and those who'd like to pitch in could own stock in the
> company.  The individual who is willing to make parts with it could be
> granted additional shares for the time, and then even get some added
> funds if the printer was used to make additional model railroad items
> that required time.  I'm trying to avoid saddling somebody with the
> burden of learning how to do 3D printing, then making and shipping
> parts, etc., without at least offering them something in return.
>
> This is just an idea and I'm not trying to say this is a final solution,
> only one idea that might work.  I'm sure you guys would have better
> ideas so consider this a start.  Those who put money in could receive
> some compensation, or it might be in parts, of just good hearted
> helping, whatever is fair and works for everybody.
>
> John Larkin



Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Timothy Cann
 

Hi.  I've been monitoring this conversation and would like to interject some of my thoughts: my experience with SolidWorks goes back thirteen years; with the addition of a 3D printer about a year ago.  My 3D printer use has been focused on making parts for rolling stock.  My design starts with a SolidWorks modeled Parts, then on to Assemblies to check for fit, function and clearances.  Once a design is completed parts are 3D printed.  My 3D printer is an Anycubic Photon; a liquid resin printer that produces the incredible details required for tiny HO components.  The resulting cured resin is strong but very, very brittle.  I've not yet tried to print a coupler from the models from Frank, but I will do that and report back to this thread.

When it surfaced that Frank was looking to pass his business on I contacted a local CNC shop that has made aluminum and stainless parts for me from SolidWorks designs.  Part of the CNC shop's work is making tooling for heart stents, so he has the experience of working with tiny components.  He has showed interest in talking to Frank, but since I was unable to articulate the scope of Sergent Engineering's business, he ultimately decided not to pursue it.  Perhaps it was because of my lack of knowledge of Frank's customers and volumes.

Anyway, if you don't mind me sticking my nose into this conversation, I will commit to doing some test prints from Frank's SolidWorks models, along with feedback to you.

Tim

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Jeff Young
 

While hobbyist machines might be resin-only, you can get 3D prints in metal (for instance through Shapeways).

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

George Corral
 

So far, I’ve used 10 Sergent couplers for my fleet of 98 cars.  I want to continue using Sergent couplers for a long time. 

 

I am willing to help anyway I can to ensure these couplers continue to be available.  Count me in, fellows.

 

George Corral

La Grange, KY

 

Soon moving to Florida.

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Tim L
 

Those are some nice looking prints there Tom. From the pictures it looks like there is material missing from inside the ball socket of the top casting, ie, it doesn't look like a plain hole but the hole is "undercut" on the inside, and also not round either. Perhaps this is the problem with the ball.

It's good to see that some folk are so far along, I wish I was but until last week the only coupler that I really needed for the time was one (the CS coupler) that I'd have to modify the drawing to put a standard shank on, which is beyond my capability as I don't have a PC capable of running today's fancy 3D CAD programs at this time. Oh well.

To comment on a few other posts, yes, it is possible to 3D print metal but it could be cost prohibitive for the strength needed. I believe that most 3D printing metal is basically sintering which I don't think would be as strong as a cast part. I haven't looked at it for a long time though.

Ditto for resin, I haven't looked into that for a long time either but I'd still be wary of resin for the finished product. I also don't think you could use resin for creating the parts for investment casting. I don't know what Frank uses but unless there's been incredible advances in either resin or investment casting you need the part to be done in a thermoplastic or wax so the part can be completely consumed by heat to create the part shaped voids in the investment.

I'm really enjoying this thread on progress and the continued existence of Sergents. Hopefully Frank is watching and enjoying it as well and pops his head in to say hi and perhaps drop a few more hints on how he used to do it.

- Tim

On 29/04/2019 00:55, Tom Colasurdo via Groups.Io wrote:
All:
Let Frank weigh in on the crowd funding idea for a 3-D printer ... no sense speculating, or setting parameters.
Snip

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Alan Hummel
 

To All Sergent Modelers,
My name is Alan Hummel and used to talk to Frank Sergent via the old fashioned rotary dial telephone when he was manufacturing the standard E Coupler,in the white metal castings from his home. That has been a LONG time ago.Lots of laughs. Look at how far Frank has come since those days for which I want to thank him personally for his diligence in time,energy and finances. He's opened up a whole new area of Prototypical modeling for us modelers,for which we are all grateful.

I'm "on board" with the rest of you Sergent Modelers,although at my age of 61 and being without work,the best I can do financially,(no sob story intended), is buy Sergent Couplers. My finances might be nothing,but my enthusiasm is 100%!! Frank's Couplers are a great PLUS that all of us must work at to keep in production. Like myself,that "work" may be as a customer only,which is vital,while others can possibly do more.  "TOGETHER," we make up the complete "circle" just as all the pieces of a pie,no matter how small each piece is,make up an entire pie.

So Mr. Sergent and all Sergent Modelers have faith and "hang together" as we are. I'm very encouraged by the inputs of Frank and all the Sergent Modelers. Thank you,Gentlemen.

As Always,
Al Hummel

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Timothy Cann
 



Here's my first print without any cleanup at all.  Some work will be required to remove support remnants before trying to assemble.  At this size the parts are quite tough.  Don't know yet if they can be assembled.  At least there's no magnetic issues.

Tim

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

Riley Kinney
 

I will support the effort any way I can because the couplers are outstanding and  surpass anything else in HO.

Riley Kinney

Re: (topic was Frank) New topic - progress is being made

David Olsen
 

For those of you who aren’t on the Sergeant Facebook page, Ian Clasper has been doing some really neat work with Frank’s CAD files. Ian drew up a coupled set of dummy couplers for 3D printing that would allow you to equip a unit train with linkages that look like Sergents but are a solid one-piece drawbar that is permanent mounted at one end and clips in on the other end. He reports that it’s been successful on average length trains, but he hasn’t done testing on longer / heavier trains yet. Ian has some items already for sale on Shapeways, so I’m guessing he’ll make these available there also if / when he’s satisfied with the design.

I think this is a fantastic idea. I plan to have a utility coal train that I’d like to equip with lower shelf Type F couplers, but I could never afford to do all of them (50-60 cars) with Sergents when they would rarely be separated. I might do them in 10-car sets or something. I’m attaching a photo that Ian posted of his paired, 3D printer coupler draw bar.

Dave Olsen
Yorktown, VA