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Possible 3D Printing Needed

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Brian H07/09/2018 13:28:50
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I need to make a pair of brass nameplates for my Burrell-Boydel Engine. I've approached a company in Sheffield who said they could do them but they've admitted defeat after trying to photo etch a sample and they say they are too small for conventional engraving.

I've tried a local sign company to make me a template so that I can do the engraving but it wouldn't be suitable.

So, I've wondered about 3D printing?

I need a template that could be A4 or, if that is too big, then A5. If the 3D printing could be done directly onto acrylic or plastic sheet and finish at about 1,5mm or 1/16" inches then I can use the stylus on my engraver to copy and reduce the image onto brass sheet.

This is the nameplate that I need to end up with but need the template to be 8 or 4 times larger, any thoughts?

If anyone can help, I can supply an image in a variety of file types and would, of couse be happy to reimburse any costs.

Brian

burrell nameplate 04.july 2018.jpg

Edited By BDH on 07/09/2018 13:30:17

Edited By BDH on 07/09/2018 13:31:28

Dave Smith 1407/09/2018 13:38:17
213 forum posts
43 photos

Laser cut it in two layers. A backing layer too which the letters can be attached. The waste parts from the laser cutting can be used to position the letters. Material could be 2mm mdf. We use this method for name plates for 4mm exhibition layouts. I know someone who can do it for you if you want who is very reasonable on cost, either using your data or do it for you.

Regards

Dave

Dave Smith 1407/09/2018 13:38:18
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Laser cut it in two layers. A backing layer too which the letters can be attached. The waste parts from the laser cutting can be used to position the letters. Material could be 2mm mdf. We use this method for name plates for 4mm exhibition layouts. I know someone who can do it for you if you want who is very reasonable on cost, either using your data or do it for you.

Regards

Dave

Tomfilery07/09/2018 15:31:07
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Brian,

Unless you are desperate to do them yourself, why not use one of the commercial suppliers who do loco nameplates and the like (including bespoke)? You could try Rhos Helyg Loco Works LINK who act as an agent for MDC plates - the page I linked to gives an idea of costs and shows some examples. These are etched, rather than engraved, so the detail will be quite shallow. I know of them but have never used them.

Regards Tom

Neil Wyatt07/09/2018 15:56:02
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I think engraving that would have to be the work of a true expert, the lines are very thin.

You could see Diane Carney's advice on photo etching; or try this book

I managed this - the circular part is 7/8" diameter, but I think your is finer than this. Can you not use a slightly heavier font?

22 after about four and a half hours a satisfactory depth of etch is achieved.jpg

Brian Oldford07/09/2018 17:40:01
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686 forum posts
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Try https://fox-transfers.co.uk/new-etched

or

https://modelmaster.uk/4-etched-loco-nameplates

Brian H08/09/2018 08:05:52
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Many thanks for the replies;

Dave, that sound like it might work, can you let me have more details?

Tom, I had a look at MDC but they state 'no lower case' so that creates a big problem.

Neil, I've had a go at engraving simply by following the lines on an enlarged drawing with this result;

burrell nameplate 1st engraving attempt.jpg

Its far from perfect but I'm sure could be improved. The only problem is that I then discovered that the plate should be a cast oval!

Brian, I had a look at the 2 sites you suggested but the etching seems very shallow and I don't need the colour infill.

Brian

Michael Gilligan08/09/2018 08:34:58
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Brian,

Your lettering looks a very credible [and creditable] start:

... Presumably you have a pantograph engraver.

I see two related problems:

  1. The plate should be a cast oval, and
  2. The lettering should be raised, not inscribed

It should be possible to address both of these quite simply; by doing what Burrell would have done ... make a mould.

You need a mirror image template [about 10x linear scale] and suitable cutters; but I think you are nearly there.

MichaelG.

Neil Wyatt08/09/2018 08:35:55
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Posted by BDH on 08/09/2018 08:05:52:

Neil, I've had a go at engraving simply by following the lines on an enlarged drawing with this result;

burrell nameplate 1st engraving attempt.jpg

Its far from perfect

... but still creditable!

So the letters are sunk, not raised? And you'll accept some changes to the font (e.g. making it a bit bolder).

In that case I suggest photo etching, as ecthing out thin letters is easier than ecthing around them! Although a 3D printed template should help you get things like serifs on the letters and more consistent widths.

Michael Gilligan08/09/2018 08:55:05
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To add to the potential confusion:

Here you will find a plate 'not-dissimilar' to Brian's engraving **LINK**

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Charles_Burrell_%26_Sons

But, I am pretty sure it's the Registered Office wall-plate, and not something which adorned an engine.

MichaelG.

Martin Johnson 108/09/2018 09:08:30
154 forum posts
1 photos

"To add to the potential confusion:

Here you will find a plate 'not-dissimilar' to Brian's engraving **LINK**"

That plate is a valve chest cover on a (roughly) pre 1900 traction engine.

Martin

Neil Wyatt08/09/2018 10:15:53
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Posted by Michael Gilligan on 08/09/2018 08:55:05:

But, I am pretty sure it's the Registered Office wall-plate, and not something which adorned an engine.

They had 2072 offices?

Michael Gilligan08/09/2018 11:40:05
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Posted by Martin Johnson 1 on 08/09/2018 09:08:30:

"To add to the potential confusion:

Here you will find a plate 'not-dissimilar' to Brian's engraving **LINK**"

That plate is a valve chest cover on a (roughly) pre 1900 traction engine.

Martin

.

I stand corrected, Martin

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 08/09/2018 11:40:25

Brian H08/09/2018 13:08:19
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Thanks for that Michael, yes, I have a pantograph engraver (Alexander).

The inscribed plate was produced after seeing a similar plate on a Burrell Showmans engine but examining some pictures I had taken of the oldest Burrell (Century) I realised that the plate should probably be a cast oval as is Century's.

I'll carry on researching.

Brian

Brian H08/09/2018 13:30:16
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2312 forum posts
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Here is a picture of Century's works plate. Century was built some 11 years after the engine I'm building but I doubt if works plates changed much; I'd be interested to hear from anyone who knows different!

Century works plate

Brian

Neil Wyatt08/09/2018 16:07:38
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Just to add to your misery, that's raised lettering... but I think you could do a decent facsimile of that with photo etching.

Neil

JasonB08/09/2018 18:39:39
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This little one is PE and letters 1/16" high or less, if Fowlers can do it then Burrell should be able to!

dsc03115.jpg

Is there any reason why you can't use the pantagraph to machine away the areas around the letters rather than the letters themselves? That seems to be how our CNC owners do it and a pantagraph is the same basic thing moved by hand rather than stepper motors.

Edited By JasonB on 08/09/2018 18:40:51

Brian H09/09/2018 11:58:34
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2312 forum posts
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Wouldn't you just know it! I've been trawling through some old pictures of Burrell-Boydell engines and found an engraving that shows a rectangular works plate!!

It appears to show that the wording is still on an arc top& bottom so I think I will go with that design. Unfortunately, there is no information about what number this engine might be so I'm inclined to just leave the space blank.

There is still the same issue of how to make it (them) though.

Brian

Andrew Johnston09/09/2018 12:09:28
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Posted by JasonB on 08/09/2018 18:39:39:

Is there any reason why you can't use the pantagraph to machine away the areas around the letters rather than the letters themselves? That seems to be how our CNC owners do it and a pantagraph is the same basic thing moved by hand rather than stepper motors.

I used to have a Taylor Hobson pantograph engraver. They're very good at engraving letters following a narrow path in an oversize pattern. Of course one could make an oversize pattern with protruding letters. It would be fairly simple to engrave around the outline of each letter. But the problem comes with the spaces in between. Of course it would be possible, but you'd be running completely freehand so it would be difficult to control width of cut. Ideally one would need to use a small milling cutter rather than an engraving cutter. To get any sensible depth you'd also need to make several passes, adding to the tedium.

Now that I've got a CNC mill the engraving machine became surplus, so I sold it. The only caveat is that you really need high speeds for engraving and small milling cutters. I had limited success on the CNC mill with small cutters, <1mm, until I fitted a high speed (24000rpm) spindle.

Andrew

Brian H10/09/2018 08:44:11
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Thanks to all for the replies. I'm inclined to go with the engraving method because I bought an engraver earlier this year and I'm determined to justify it!!!

I'm having a play with another works plate at the moment, this time for a 1 1/2 inch Fowell-Box Engine. I have the pattern and a casting for a 3 inch version and I'm using that at a 2 to 1 reduction and it's going quite well. I've used a 1/4" slot drill to remove the large areas around the letters after outlining all the letters with an engraving cutter at about 18000 rpm.

I let you know how it goes and if it's ok, I'll get a pattern made for the Burrell.

Brian

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