Modelling Jigs and Tools

Modelling Jigs and Tools

I will admit I’m a little obsessed by my 3D printer.  A lot of my modelling in the last couple of weeks is that boring stuff that just doesn’t make good videos – building baseboards, 3D designing widgets, jigs and tools.  That brings me on to the topic of this blog post – modelling jigs.

I am not the most exact when it comes to cutting, drilling, measuring etc.  I love the idea that 3D printing is totally exact so I’m trying to improve my accuracy by letting the computer do the heavy lifting.  That’s not as quick as it sounds and it took most of a day to get the jigs for my points right.  Even then, I’m sure I’ll find improvements when I use them in anger.

Point Jigs

I’m hand building the stub points (or turnouts for the North Americans) for my new micro layout – Port Dinorwic.  There aren’t really any commercial options and I’ve built stub points a couple of times before in On30 but these are way smaller in OO9. To make it harder, they have moving frogs – yes, the centre of the frog rail spins to each of the routes as required.  I’m mounting a servo underneath to do this (that’s another post to come) but this is the top side rails and sleepers.

I drew the whole thing up (including the servo attachments (not shown here) in Fusion 360.  I’ve taught myself from various YouTube channels and I can’t say I’m an expert which is why everything takes forever…

They basically have insets for the sleepers and insets to hold the track in place then I can solder one to the other.  That’s the theory anyway.

Once that was done, I printed out the jigs – left and right hand points on my Anycubic i3 Mega.

11 hours later and my jigs are done! The filament is clear which is why they look a little weird but here’s the final jigs.  Next up will be testing them in anger by building my track work.

Subscriber Bonus – Points Jigs

If you want the 3D files then subscribe and access them here.

More Parts

I have gotten a bit carried away with the 3D printing helping parts for the layout – here’s one of my corner braces that joins the backing boards for the micro layout and gives the curve for the coved backscene.  I don’t trust screwing into plastic for a long term solution so I’ve inset nuts and there are holes for the bolts to go through them.

All very simple and here’s them in action.  Yes, I could have used a simple metal brace or cut them out of wood (but see my comments on my abilities to cut wood straight let alone curved!).

As this corner is around 120 degrees, I thought a custom brace was the easiest thing and so far, so good.

Yes, I even designed and printed the drilling guides for the outside so I knew where to drill the holes so that they lined up exactly with my braces…  that’s what happens when you get a new 3D printer!


The Amazon links are all items I have either bought or bought something similar for myself. Clicking on any links to Amazon will give me a small affiliate income which I use to produce more videos. Every little helps!

  • Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer – the price has come down since I bought this and it’s now under £300 with a voucher today only for another £40 off.  The printer needs a bit of understanding to get it working but I’ve been very pleased overall.
  • Anycubic clear filament (I’m still not sure about this filament as it doesn’t seem very clear when printed!)
  • Tiling backer board – jury’s still out on this one so I’ll let you know how it goes
    I got this from Tiling Supplies Direct.

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4 thoughts on “Modelling Jigs and Tools”

  1. So this is a different 3 D printer?
    Wow Kathy, glad to see so dang good at it so quick.
    Still thinking about one.
    I still have a metal lathe, and Mill, I do not use yet , sitting in the garage, I promised myself I was going to teach myself, not as yet.
    But that is some fantastic work you have going on there.
    keep it up.

    1. This is my Anycubic i3 Mega – a filament printer which is much better for structural elements.

      Lathes look fun but now I’d 3D print it and worry about the clean up later!


  2. I know the feeling when it comes to be obsessed with the 3D printer, everything I look at now seem to trigger a 3D print design. Mine has been trundling away all evening making model railway bits.

    This post is reminding me that I need to make up a few more of my own stub points, I’ve only done one so far. The parts are ready, I just need to get on to it.

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