3D Virtual Models


In recent years, modern engineering design and manufacture has benefited from the introduction of affordable yet powerful 3D, solid modelling, computer-aided design software. I have the opportunity of using this ‘high-end’ 3D design software to enhance our gauge 1 hobby.

BR9F Screenshot
BR 9F Loco: Screen shot.

All the gauge one and 16mm locomotives modelled in 3D are successful, proven designs and most builders will have little difficulty with the component drawings. However, there are new hobbyists without any sort of engineering background. They most definitely appreciate the enhanced details provided by a fully viewable 3D virtual model.

The process was originally applied to the 'PROJECT', which is the intellectual property of G1MRA and was well received by all who use it as a valuable reference. The virtual model of 'DEE', another G1MRA model, is also provided as a CD ROM.

The 3D model provides a comprehensive study of the designs as a virtual model including all parts and assemblies. More and more models are being added as the designers appreciate the benefits afforded to those who wish to build their pride and joy.

The 3D Viewer: eDrawings®

At the heart of this virtual model study, is a powerful and fully featured 3D viewer provided royalty free for use with the CAD software. The model was created with Solidworks® .The data is in the form of eDrawing® which can be viewed on your personal computers assuming it has a minimum specification. A media viewer must be installed to see the supporting materials such as photographs and video.

The 3D viewer enables the virtual model to be rotated and studied from every conceivable angle. The viewer is embedded within the eDrawing£reg; and is loaded almost instantly whenever the particular model image is loaded.

The visual effect of the 3D viewer is awesome and the user is left to ponder 'how do they do that?' This form of subject presentation produced a storm of positive comments when it first came to industry. I know it took me by surprise when I first saw it. Victor Meldrew would say 'I don’t believe it!' and I must say that I think it is a quantum leap in terms of quality technical illustration capabilities, which will leave many people absolutely astounded.

There are many powerful features in the 3D viewer, almost too numerous to list here.

The visualisation

Transparent Boiler
Screen shot of boiler showing a transparent interior view.


Within the graphics window, every part and sub-assembly is labelled with the component name as the cursor passes over it.

Cross-sectional views through structures

Cross Section
Cross Section.


See through
Cylinder solid or "see through"


Mark-Up facilities

Printed output

Valves and pistons
Screen shot of close up view of the valves and pistons in situ.

Bonus reference material is usually included on the disk in the form of a video and a short slide show of stills showing details of the fine models.

Why not contact me if you are interested in giving your pride and joy (locomotive design) similar treatment? lets talk