Introduction: Water Crane for 1:87 Scale Train

A very characteristic element of the steam era were the water cranes. There were different designs, with counterweights, with signs ...

In this case, a scale copy of a real water crane is made.

Step 1: Search of Information and Plans

One of the biggest problems we have in Spain with historical documentation is that it has been lost or destroyed. There are very few documents of the railway companies. Thanks to articles from magazines such as Maquetren, they recover that piece of history.

In this case locate a plan of a water crane with the counterweight in a spherical shape.

For the model I was going to need up to four water cranes, all the same. A technology that could be used to always make the same model and the same was 3D printing.

Step 2: Design Using FreeCAD and First Mistakes

Thanks to the use of primitive forms in FreeCad and Boolean operations create the entire piece in one piece.

In my case I use a Makerbot Replicator 2 printer. The first prototype, as I said before, I decide to do it in one whole piece. First error.
As it is a piece that contains cylinders, spheres ... it needs many supports and the cylinders are not perfect.

The printing parameters used for the PLA are 230º of temperature, 0,1 mm of layer thickness, an infill of 20%, raft and supports.

Step 3: Redesign. Exploded View of the Model.

As I use FreeCad, I can see the history of steps and parts used to build the water crane.

I decide to make three independent pieces, which I will then paste using SuperGlue.

The final result is surprising. In the last photo you can see the evolution of the first prototype made in one piece and the last made in three parts and pasted.

Step 4: Painting, Aging and Final Placement

We add a stopcock, a tie and a chain, paint and we have our water crane printed in 3D ready.

I hope you serve this model of water crane for your model H0. If you have any questions, don´t hesitate to ask me.

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