Model Railroad and Traction 3D-Printed Kits

This range is IHP's attempt at producing usable retail hobby products using 3D printing and rapid prototyping. Using this new specific parts-manufacturing technology, it is now possible to offer a product to the public without benefit of traditional molding tooling or patternmaking methods. Only a knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) drawing is needed. The parts produced by 3D printing (sometimes called 'rapid prototyping') have reached the point where the quality is nearly as good as parts produced in steel or rubber moulds for traditional parts production. While this process is not ready for mass production of parts like the methods using traditional toolmaking, it is excellent for one or two parts at a time for niche markets or purposes where mass production is not needed.

Some are calling this the wave of the future for making short-run models and parts and it has had great potential for several years now. While parts quality is steadily improving, cost is the only area which is improving only slowly. It has been possible to make resin traction kits in HO scale at prices reasonable to the intended market, but an equivalent 3D kit with the same number and make up of components may cost nearly five to six times as much for a complete set of parts. Right now, it is closer to 'custom' production rather than mass production. We receive only a royalty per part, and the markup is generally not large to help keep the price reasonable while still making something from our efforts. So, you are warned: there will be some sticker shock while the technology gets cheaper and more widespread.

It is with this in mind that we introduce this range of IHP products. It may take awhile to catch on, as does anything new. This idea may be ahead of its time or it may be supplanted by yet another new approach, but we feel it is worth the time and effort to give it a try. Take a look at the initial offerings and let us know any suggestions or thoughts you have.

(Takes you to our Shapeways Shop)