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3D Printed Armco Guard Rails

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  • #16
    Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
    If wants to host those files, I'd have no problem supplying them. But so far only one person has requested copies, and I gave him the links to them on Dropbox.

    I'd wait until he tries printing them, and find out if they printed for him, and whether he thinks they were worth the trouble.

    And really, I would not expect SCI to host those files directly. They are gigantic, and much, much larger than most STL files for 3D prints. I'm sure even once zipped they'd still be too freakin' big.

    I think 1.5Meg will probably serve SCI for most purposes. I'd still be interested to hear how big slotcar body files typically are.

    Maybe Alan sees some value in hosting a small STL library of useful, printable items on It could be very helpful to have a curated collection. I've tried looking for particular items on Thingieverse and the like. You might have to look through a thousand irrelevant hits to find one good one. Maybe. But a small collection of proven and useful files could be an attractive addition to, and a boon to the hobby.

    I'd contribute. No charge.

    Ed Bianchi
    I think putting all of those files on would be the best way to do it, as SEO regularly scans the items there and they can be found via web searches. Might make it MUCH easier to catalog those odd-ball parts. Because we can categorize things on the store.


    • #17
      I have a feeling I know why your file is so large, but would need to get a copy and mess around to see if I'm right, and if it can be reduced and still look/print well. I'll send you a PM.


      • #18
        Ed kindly sent me the link to his file. The first thing I did was run it through the netfabb model repair function. That took a 101+mb file (full of manifold errors) down to 17+mb, a considerable savings with no loss of quality.

        Then, I ran it through the simplifier to reduce the number of faces, and thereby the size of the file, to see how low I could go and still look OK, hopefully getting under the 1.5mb file limit without too much loss in quality. The main issue is that, not only is the profile of this shape full of curves, but then the whole thing is a long spiral, requiring even more faces in order to have an appearance of a curved shape while still being made up of millions of tiny little lines. Simplifying it (aka "low poly") increases the lengths of those lines, and the end result can be displeasing, even at the 5' rule. So, I did 5 levels of polygon reduction from the original.

        The first level takes the file down to 10+mb, and is almost imperceptible from original quality, but still much too large for the file limit.
        The next level takes the file down to just under 5mb, and still looks pretty good, plus it slices a lot faster. Alas, still above the limit.
        Medium simplification halved that, but it's still well over 2mb. It looks OK, though we can start to see the facets in the slicer, and will probably start being visible in the print up close. It'll pass the 5' rule no problem, though. Too bad we're still above the limit.
        Low quality brings us just below the 1.5mb limit, and I've attached the file. I think it's just good enough to pass the 5' rule, depending on the color and quality of the material and print, as well as the lighting above/on the track. I haven't printed it out, but I think it's worth printing for those who are interested in a continuous strip of ARMCO style barrier.
        And just for fun, I went EXTRA low quality, which drops the file size down to a hair over 1mb, but at this point, you'd probably be able to see the facets from 5' away, and the geometry might actually make it harder to straighten out. I attached it as well, for those who want to see what I mean. I see no reason to actually print this one, since we were able to achieve what we aimed for with the previous one.

        I was not able, using the tool I had, to get it better quality and closer to 1.5mb, so #04 below is your best bet.
        Attached Files


        • #19
          Looks like Mr. Flippant knows a whole lot more than I do about reducing STL file sizes. The 04 file doesn't look half bad.

          If anybody wants the full-fat STL file all they have to do is email me at '' and I'll give them the link to that file on Dropbox.

          Ed Bianchi


          • #20
            The offer to host the files on 132slotcar is still on the table. Just saying.


            • #21
              Yo, Mr. Flippant guy! Could you send our webmaster that debugged but not very compressed copy you made of my file? I would be much obliged.

              Ed Bianchi


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