What is the best 3-D Printer for n-Scale buildings and accessories?


I’ve just started looking at available 3-D printers, wondering how to choose one for a beginner, and getting overwhelmed with not knowing how to choose. Hoping to purchase one that is large enough to build trestle bents, tunnel portals, buildings and yet precise enough to build scale people and animals.
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
Tom, in Hillsboro, Oregon

Answers ( 4 )


    I am not qualified to give you a recommendation, but I thought sharing my limited experience may help you avoid some of my mistakes.
    Firstly, I was advised not to go for any of the fantastically low priced machines on offer – there are some online at around £70 in UK – I am so glad I took this advice!
    You first need to decide whether to go for FDM (filament) or resin. I decided on FDM, mainly because of the lack of fumes and the comparative simplicity of use, although resin may well give better detail. (I model in 00).
    I opted for a CREALITY CR10 SMART, largely influenced by the print bed size – 300mm X 300mm, but I have yet to need anything like this size. A smaller unit would mean lower running costs.
    I was prepared for a steep learning curve, but I underestimated how steep it would be. I fully expected to start with one of the print files supplied with the machine and see an instant result, only to find that I had printed what looked like a bird’s nest! A few words with the supplier help me understand what to set up, in this case too low a bed temperature was the culprit, but this was an indication of what was to come; however I persevered and now,, while still learning I am achieving some good results – just stick with it but don’t be impatient.
    There are many files obtainable on line ready to use, my preferred source being “Thingiverse”, but what I really wanted was to design my own models. As I had never used CAD software, this was even more daunting, and is still taking time to master, but again it seems to be worthwhile in the end.
    What I am basically trying to say is that good results are achievable but you need to stick with it, so you have to decide whether it is worth it for you.
    I have attached a shot of the platform seat I managed to print, from a ready made online file (it was a 00 file but can easily be scaled down to N. I just hope I got this right and it is attached.

    I hope this helps a bit, and that I have not put you off.

    Good Luck



      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, and a picture of one of your creations.
      I’m excited to start learning.
      Hillsboro, Oregon. USA


    If you go filament type printing you will be very disappointed in making people- especially N scale. You’ll be ecstatic with building some stuff but N scale will give you more grief than success. Printing a bicycle in N is impossible because the spokes & frame are too small for example. Resin printing allows greater detail but I personally dont want to deal with resin printing toxic problems.
    Our Library has allowed me to experiment with filament printing and I learned a ton of stuff from them.
    The best detail comes from the most expensive machines. The Ultimaker has 20 micron capability but is the most expensive. The next level is 40 microns that a few brands can achieve and are cheaper. Most others are 80 microns. Stay away from the cheap Chinesieum ones. I have a Prusa mini that has 40 micron capability but, due to the .4 mm nozzle, faces on S scale people are poor. HO is impossible and N worse.


    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me.
    This forum is helping me to get a bit over the stage fright. And I’m beginning to learn the important things to look for.
    Hillsboro, OR USA

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