Although most people have heard of laser-cut and 3-D printed model railway parts and kits, most modellers have little knowledge or experience of them. This fascinating and well-illustrated book describes in non-technical language how these machines work and how railway modellers can use them to produce remarkable models for their layouts. With reference to the different modelling scales, the author discusses in detail the advantages and disadvantages of different types of machines, and the materials they employ. He also shows how beginners can install and use 'Sketchup Make', a free CAD (Computer Aided Design) program from the Internet. With step-by-step instructions and accompanying photographs, the author takes the modeller through the early stages of using this program before providing many examples of how to design model railway related items such as laser-cut roofing tiles, palisade fencing, brickwork, and the detailed elements of station awning. In addition, he demonstrates how to create 3-D printed furniture, barrels, packing crates, guttering and down pipes, rivet heads, and a workman's hut.
Bob Gledhill became interested in railway modelling when he was a boy. He trained as a handicraft teacher, left teaching to start his own educational software business in 1984, and returned to railway modelling again when he took early retirement. Bob quickly adopted Digital Command Control (DCC) and, being fascinated by new technologies, joined MERG (the Model Electronics Railway Group) in order to learn more about the use of electronics in railway modelling. Purchasing first a laser cutter and, more recently, 3-D printers, Bob has pioneered their use in railway modelling. He has twice been a guest tutor at the Missenden Abbey railway modellers courses where he has specialized in instructing others in the use of laser cutting and 3-D printing techniques.