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-   -   3D Print Project SSYMS 80 ton 1/16th Scale (https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-tanks-369/11667843-3d-print-project-ssyms-80-ton-1-16th-scale.html)

Shark27 08-03-2019 12:59 PM

3D Print Project SSYMS 80 ton 1/16th Scale
Hey guys,
It has been a long time since I have contributed anything to this forum, all of my tank builds have long since been done for a while now, which I have only posted my Tiger 1. Well I finally may have something new to contribute. It is a bit of a long story so bear with me. About a year ago I purchased a 3D printer, I had a little experience with one from work, which they ended up selling for about $2,500 a little out of my price range.
The reason I bought my printer was I saw the prices Shapeways charged for some of the 1/16th scale tank related items and I thought I might save me some money in the long run by doing my own parts. So for the past year I have been learning the ins and outs of 3D printing, I could write a book on what they donít tell you.
About six months ago a friend told me about Tinkercad, so I have been learning that as well, I am in no way a CAD guy so it has been tough, but I am finally getting the hang of it. Anyway the point is, I downloaded a couple of things from Thingiverse, (a great resource for 3D models) and thought I would try to print them.The first was a German SSYMS 80 ton flatbed rail car. If you are not familiar with it, the Germans used it to haul around their heaviest tanks Tiger 1, King Tiger, Ferdinand/ Elefant it was the only rail car capable of handling the weight of those tanks.
The files I downloaded are titled HO Scale SSYMS 80t Panzer Transport Wagon but they are actually in 1/148th scale, they can be converted to HO, which is true but, the dimensions of the parts are off a little bit in some areas, which becomes especially noticeable when things get scaled up to 1/16th. SSYMS 80 Ton
Those of you familiar with 3D printing can imagine scaling something that small up to 1/16th scale many things were out of proportion and some things didnít quite line up, additionally there wasnít much detail at all, so I have been tweaking many of the parts and creating some parts as well.
The main chassis was so large after scaling it up I had to cut it into three sections in order to be able to print it on my printer!
I checked into getting a 1/35th scale model to help me with some of the parts, but at $60.00 I thought it was a bit too pricey for my purposes.
I did find an amazing scratch build of one on the Missing Lynx website SSYMS Build comparable to Rex Rossís talents. This Nacho Roces scratch built one, as the 1/35th scale Trumpeter kit he had bought had a bunch of inaccuracies that were too difficult to correct. I PMíed the builder, he actually laid out all the parts in a CAD program, so I thought if he would share some of those files, I could use those to help my build, but no response from him yet.
The Blue bogie picture is the STL file I downloaded, the other a picture of the CAD Rendering the scratch builder uploaded.

More to follow!

Ex_Pat_Tanker 08-03-2019 01:14 PM

Hey Steve!
Long time no see. What printer are you using? This things going to be huge!
One word of advice - get some metal underneath it to reinforce everything, if you are using PLA it will warp and sag in hot weather, especially if you are planning on leaving the Tiger on it for any length of time.
Keep us updated,

Pah co chu puk 08-03-2019 01:32 PM

Cool project. Please do keep us posted. That with a section of rails and road bed under it, and a Tiger on it, would be a work of art. A few scale dudes and you would have a lot of good eye candy.

Shark27 08-03-2019 01:36 PM

I have a Creality CR-10S printer

I have modified the chassis with holes that I will install 2mm and 1mm steel rods that perform two functions alignment of the parts and reinforcement of the joints.
I also have two 4mm stainless steel threaded rods with metal reinforcement plates where they pass through and sandwich the multiple plastic beams with nuts on either side.
Additionally I will JB Weld (Steel Epoxy) the component pieces together. I think it should hold. If not I will reprint the Chassis in something else either PETG or ASA or as a last choice ABS.


Shark27 08-03-2019 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by Pah co chu puk (Post 12541266)
Cool project. Please do keep us posted. That with a section of rails and road bed under it, and a Tiger on it, would be a work of art. A few scale dudes and you would have a lot of good eye candy.

I have already printed the 1/16th scale track I will use, I plan on mounting them to a piece of wooden shelving, I will likely use wood for the railroad ties (sleepers).

Ex_Pat_Tanker 08-03-2019 02:01 PM

Steve, if you are using PLA glue it with Plastruct Plasticweld - its chemically very similar to styrene and it bonds really easy.
Check out the CreawsomeMod for Cura if you are using it (currently I think 4.1 is supported, not sure about 4.2 yet?) , the fine details aren't as good as setting it up manually (the mod limits you to a minimum 0.12 layer height, I like to go down to 0.04 for really fine detail if I have large vertical surfaces to print and don't want to sand them to much after) but if you want to do large parts at a decent quality in a short amount of time its the the way to go. I cranked out a pair of (fake) rubber pontoon floats on my CR10S4 in no time at all the other week at 0.2 layer height with no issues, and those things are massive compared to what I usually print.


Shark27 08-03-2019 03:47 PM

Thanks! I have used Plasticweld before on PLA, however I prefer to use this, "Weld-On 4 Acrylic Adhesive Solvent" it woks great and is fast drying, full strength bond in 72 hours, after that try to separate and the PLA will come apart not the bond. I have also had excellent results with the steel reinforced JB Weld just have to rough up the surface a bit, that PLA is pretty slippery.

. I did see a comparison video between different adhesives for PLA and to everyone's surprise Cyanoacrylate (SuperGlue) came out on top it worked better than even using a 3D printing pen to literally weld the two pieces together for the test. The test was fairly unscientific but interesting nonetheless.

Great looking pair of pontoons, I told a girl that once got slapped!
Are they actually watertight and float?

I typically print at .2 for most things or down to .1 or .15 for details, I am suprised at the amount of detail that even .15 provides.
I will soon try .06 as I have a couple of really small items to print, I did them at .15 and they turned out pretty good but I'll try .06 just to see how much better they can be.

Ex_Pat_Tanker 08-03-2019 03:54 PM

Not tested them yet, going to have to negotiate with a friends' toddler to see if I can 'share her paddling pool' with them :rolleyes: . They should be watertight atleast, whether there is enough bouancy to make them functional is another question...

Edit: I'm told that the stepper motors on the creality machines work in 0.04 increments - something to bear in mind :)

Ex_Pat_Tanker 08-03-2019 03:59 PM

Also: Cyanoacrylate is great when its new, but it degrades pretty quickly. I was put onto 3M Scotchweld PR20 a while back, its amazing when fresh, but it goes off after a a year or so and then its every bity as bad as the cheapest grocery store offering :(

Shark27 08-03-2019 06:34 PM

I had seen somewhere that .06 was the lowest layer height my CR-10S was capable of printing

. I don't rely on CA for a bond that will be stressed very much, usually mine don't last a year anyway, With the high humidity here in Florida, once you open it you better use it soon or it will be unusable, usually mine start to thicken first, so they become like the Gel consistency that you find..

Shark27 08-04-2019 03:32 PM

Keep in mind I am printing this flatbed rail car just as a static piece to display one of my tanks, I had to make sure it could support the weight of my heaviest Tamiya tank (13lbs.) damn those metal parts, damn those metal tracks!

I have had my 3D printer running for the last few weeks almost non-stop to print all of the parts I have modified or created. Each section of the main chassis takes about 27-28 hrs. to print out. While printing the third section of the chassis the extruder nozzle on my printer clogged about 20 hours into the print. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.I was able to recover from the failure and continued on. After the recovery I continued to print the other parts I created or modified. I plan on using strips of wood as the surface of the flatbed, just like on the 1:1 scale rail car.Here are the parts I have modified so far:1. Main chassis (sectioned for printing, added alignment holes and holes for threaded rod to reinforce) added structural beams instead of the original solid top, which would use way too much material during printing and take way longer to print. https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.rcu...98dad047a8.png
2. Top deck frame, sectioned to match chassis, The wooden planks fit inside this frame. This part was created when I removed the printed plastic planks from the STL file as I wanted to use real wood for the planks. 1:1 prototype this is part of the beams that make up the sides of the chassis, I lowered itís profile slightly so the wood projects above it in the right amount. (me eyeballing it)
3. Bogie Units (sectioned, removed gigantic coupler from one of the bogie units) I may reprint another without the coupler for the second unit, apparently this coupler box was required with the 1/148th scale train setup and was not prototypical of the full size rail car.
4. I had planned to use the existing wheels and modified them somewhat for the axles, but scaled up they looked so bad I had to create new ones that look much better.
5. Modified Axles to go with the new wheels and fitted bearings for a smoother ride (I couldnít stand the idea of the plastic axle turning against the plastic bogie assembly just grinding away plastic, not that its going anywhere).
6. Modified downloaded RR Track (scaled and added alignment holes and holes for fishplates).

Here are the parts I created, so far:1. New Buffer mounting plates with the proper holes for the proper couplers and mounting buffers, with through holes for springs.
2. New Buffers (spring loaded with convex surface only on two buffers the other two have flat surfaces one of each on each end of the Flatcar.)
3. Fishplates for the track joints
4. New wheels (existing wheels scaled up looked like toy train wheels with a faceted perfectly horizontal rolling surface) I added the taper real railcar wheels have and a similar profile and a smoother rolling surface.5. Proper prototypical coupling units (Shapeways gets around $60.00 for the detail set that has these)
I am in the process of designing these, I have a hook designed but will probably redo it as I finally found a drawing of a real one I can use to match the profile of these, it is pretty tough to do this without plans as I have to just eyeball it to figure on the approximate size. Luckily these parts are small so I can print them and size them physically, which works best for me.

I am going to use 3mm threaded rod in the center of these coupler parts, they will actually be functional, Why? It was just as easy to make them work as have them be one solid piece, plus it is good experience to learn how to make things fit together in Tinkercad. I prefer making functional parts hence the Buffers will work as well.

Here are most all of the parts.
Ultimately it will look something like this.
This will give you an idea of it's size.with my Tamiya KT on board.

That's it so far, more later.


Crius 08-04-2019 05:01 PM

Really fascinating stuff here, Steve. For me the ultimate dream is a permanent outdoor tank playground and Village, complete with a true 1/16 scale garden railway. Though I know I probably won't live long enough to make it happen with all the projects I've already got on the list, I can't help but look at this and wonder how I would make it functional. The one photo you show of the underside of the carriage in red and yellow makes me think I could make a frame from aluminum and the frame would be all the parts that are red (maybe just start with a sheet of 1/2 inch plate aluminum and mill away all the areas I don't want. That would be pretty easy.) and then 3D print the yellow plastic side parts for attachment and use wood planks just like you want to. I believe European rail cars of the era had the coupler attached to the frame of the car, not to the frame of the truck. I saw instantly what you meant about the truck being modified for the model railroad car.

Anyway, great stuff, and I can't wait to see where you go from here.

Shark27 08-04-2019 06:23 PM


The car as I have designed and will build it will be functional, I planned to be able to drive my 13lb. tank onto it (I have yet to design and print out the ramp the Germans used).it should be strong enough. I have also designed the axles for ball bearings, so it will roll smoothly. If I planned to use it outdoors as part of a Garden Railway I would print it out in ABS plastic or another type like HIPS.

I removed the coupler from the bogie the actual rail car had the couplers attached to the ends of the chassis not the bogies.

If I were to construct it out of metal (Aluminum) I would get the basic chassis/frame CNCed out of a single plate for strength the sides are separate beams on the real car so I would do them the same way and just bolt them to the chassis. The bogies could be built up from CNCed plates as well the ends are nothing more than "C" channel beams but unless you have the ability to Heliarc small Aluminum pieces I would probably use brass instead

If I were to build the car completely out of brass, the chassis could be built up from brass beams or I beams the same as the prototype, you would still want the bogie sides CNCed as there are many cutouts in them that would be painstaking to do by hand, with a dremel tool or other tools especially to do four that match. The guy that scratch built the one in 1/35th scale had the plans all scaled for his build out of plastic sheet they could be adapted for a CNC to make those same parts out of Aluminum or Brass once scaled.
Plus he did all the work and drew them up in a CAD program which look great, he may not be willing to part with those files as he has put in a lot of time making them.

I will post a picture of what I have printed so far, soon I will be ready for assembly. That is when the fun really begins, still designing some smaller details and lots of sanding before I get to the assembly part, but I am test fitting as I print things out..

Shark27 08-08-2019 09:02 PM

Well here is the picture of the parts I have printed so far as of a week ago,

In the picture the silver colored axle is new it was redesigned to accommodate the bearings.

I have been designing and printing additional parts ( no picture yet) that were not included in the 3D download the more I researched this SSYMS the more I find was missing. I was somewhat dissatisfied with the bogie assembly, the axles are not in alignment with the detail of the axle boxes, at it's original scale you would never notice as it was probably only off by a millimeter or two, but once scaled up to 1/16th scale, it became very noticeable to me at least. .

Seeing the scratch build done on the Missing Lynx website inspired me to do more than I originally intended. I decided to rebuild from scratch (more or less) the bogie assembly along the lines of the scratch built bogies. I was able to massage a drawing with a good enough resolution to use as a guide to 3D model the bogie side plates. I will try to use the parts I have already printed for the other bogie assembly, but we'll see how that works out.

The newest parts (not shownin that picture) are all related to the new bogie assembly, the side plates and crossmembers as well as the axle boxes, since I did them from scratch I made them look as close to the real ones as possible just working from pictures and drawings.It take me a bit longer than some but half the additional time is figuring out how to make the parts easy to print and assemble.
Here is the newest parts in the design program.
I made the end crossbraces interlock with the side plates for a positive fit, I had considered using screws to join them, but I think glue will work as well and not everyone has small screws to use to assemble it.

Interestingly I recently found that I had some wrong information about the location of some components, I went back to the drawings I had downloaded and recheck the scale drawings and found that not everything in the drawing was to scale some dimensions were correct some were not, they were off by a pretty good amount, I imagine that German draftsman got into some trouble for his errors and ended up on the Russian front drawing water from a well. (a little draftsman humor)..

Going forward I will rely on the numeric value in a drawing (when given) and not the drawing itself.
I am getting closer to assembly time once I am done designing and printing parts.


Tanque 08-08-2019 11:14 PM

Originally Posted by Shark27 (Post 12541292)

Great looking pair of pontoons, I told a girl that once got slapped!


Now that's funny right there!

Shark27 08-13-2019 03:24 PM

So here are all the new parts for a more legit looking bogie assembly, I had debated whether to leave the axle box as part of the side plate but while it makes for one less separate part it is infinitely harder to assemble what with juggling three axles and the end beams and the cross brace lining it all up is a pain, unless you have three or four hands.So I decided to do the axle boxes separate which is more like the real SSYMS car, it also allows the axles to be dropped into. place after the other parts have been assembled.
The picture shows the axle boxes still in place. I added a little detail which they may have had or not The Krupp Logo, they were after all the largest Steel producer in Germany at the time. The logo is raised on the inside on the outside it will be inset. This is a different bogie plate from the one in the previous picture I uploaded. I was not happy with what I had done initially so I spent a bunch more time trying to clean up the drawing.
I converted the drawing into an outline which when imported, I used as the reinforcement edge for the flat plate. When I test printed the plate the edge was too thin, so I went around the edge with beams and made the edge thick enough to print properly and to be strong enough to support some weight.

The green cross bar has tabs to help align things and the sides have matching slots, I added those as that structure is where the weight is transferred and just a glue joint probably would not hold that well.
I am slowly getting closer to assembly, I just have to stop improving the parts I already made.

Shark27 09-01-2019 12:33 PM

Here are the printed parts assembled as shown above.

I was having an underextrusion problem with my printer when I printer those parts, it was very intermittent, some smaller parts would print fine but other parts would not. I finally resolved it and now I am back up and running properly.

As it turns out underneath where the green crossbar is located is an "I" beam that supports that plate, I have decided to add it to the assembly as it adds additional strength to the bogie. pictures to follow.


Ex_Pat_Tanker 09-01-2019 12:59 PM

Looking good!

Shark27 09-01-2019 05:05 PM

Thanks Martin!

There is a lot more to this project than I originally thought, it is partly my own fault for adding more components (detail) and tweaking what I had already done. Mostly from scaling up from the ridiculous scale it started out as, it has been problematic at best, many dimensions were wrong and as you might expect the thickness of some parts was off because it started out at 1:148th scale.

If they followed the 3D printing recommended guideline of making your thinnest walls (surface) at least 1mm thick so it will print properly at that scale, it becomes 148mm or 5.8 inches thick in 1:1 scale and 9.25mm or almost 3/8" thick in 1/16th scale which is thicker than most Tank armor. Obviously the real rail car did not have metal that thick, even the thickness I used for strength (it is plastic after all) would be off if scaled to 1:1 scale but not nearly so much as before.

All those incorrect dimensions have to be adjusted, number one to look scale and two it would use a whole spool of filament to print them with the original scaled up dimensions.
That being said I did not tweak the main chassis's thickness as I though I would rather have it too strong than not strong enough.

While this turned out to be more complex than it looked at first glance.. This is actually not nearly as complicated as my next 3D project, it has many more parts, most will have to be made from scratch, a few will be modified from STL files I got on-line, but after looking them over I plan on recreating some of them, rather than try to modify them, in many cases it is easier that way.

Stay tuned for more 3D printing adventures.

Shark27 09-07-2019 08:56 PM

I decided to add another couple of details, (with more to follow), to the Bogie Assembly so some progress has been made since my last post on the SSYMS Flatbed Rail Car.
I opted to create the inner support members for the Bogies, they are basically a vertically elongated "I" Beam with holes in them. I made them in four pieces for easier printing, no supports required. the amount of strength they add is considerable.
If I had planned to add them from the beginning I would have incorporated slots into the bottom of the "H" shaped upper crossbrace, but hindsight is always 20-20. One downside was I had already assembled on of the Bogie assemblies, which is another reason why they are in four pieces, in order to squeeze them into place within the assembled unit, otherwise there would have been only three pieces.

In the pictures you will see the Yellow "I" beam with the holes is on top the Red on the Bottom and the Blue are the fillets to match the webbing and reinforce the connection between the Red lower plate and the Yellow "I" Beam. Also the Red beam is notched on the ends where it joins vertical side plates. This adds a lot more strength to the assembled unit.https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.rcu...6a9066cabc.png

Here is the Bogie assembly with the lower inner crossbraces installed they weren't too difficult to get in there, luckily PLA flexes pretty good. Also a comparison between what I had downloaded and modified somewhat and what I created to replace it.

Original & New Bogie assembliesThe next detail (Leaf Springs) opened up a whole new can of worms, so these will be added probably after I assemble the Rail car. I have started making the parts but I have a ways to go before they can be mounted, as I have to create all the mounting hardware.
I am still debating whether to make them functional or not, they wont have much in the way of travel and may very well break when I put the load of a tank on them, I am hedging my bets by printing both the one piece units and the multi-piece units.

Decisions , decision, either way there are a bunch of bracketry associated with mounting the springs, temporarily I may just attach them to the top of the axle boxes until I get all the mounting parts made.https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.rcu...cdc5c65b15.png
That's it for now, I guess I didn't peak anybody's interest in the next 3D printing project, so the secret remains.

Ex_Pat_Tanker 09-08-2019 04:08 AM

I didn't know that we were supposed to be guessing

Crius 09-08-2019 05:39 AM

Originally Posted by Ex_Pat_Tanker (Post 12548727)
I didn't know that we were supposed to be guessing

I didn't either. I even went back and looked and still can't figger it out.

Shark27 09-08-2019 10:33 AM

No guessing required, I just figured someone would ask the question, what could it possibly be?

Well here is what it will be.
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.rcu...9569c9f3f9.jpgA Fries Crane, the 16 ton capacity overhead gantry crane, this is what the German mobile tank maintenance crews during WWII used to service tanks, enabling them to remove turrets and to hoist the engines, transmissions and drive assemblies out of the tank's hull. Of course no one makes these in 1/16th scale.

I found the 3D STL files for one in 1/35th scale, compared to the injection molded 1/35th scale models this one was devoid of a lot of detail, in fact many components were replaced by a simplified expedient, which looked nothing like the real prototype.
Mine will not have all the details present on the prototype, but much more than what I downloaded at least what my limited CAD capabilities will allow.

I''ll start a separate thread for it when I get to a point it makes sense to start one. Got to finish the Rail Car first!

Ex_Pat_Tanker 09-08-2019 10:39 AM

Way ahead of you there buddy ;)

Ex_Pat_Tanker 09-08-2019 11:10 AM

I'm using Volker Ruff's book as a reference: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strabokran-...s%2C141&sr=8-1

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