CAD for Railway Modellers

Alan Buttler

is the inspiration behind MODELU which does hi-resolution 3D scans and prints. Fireman

Using the PC as a railway modelling tool with Alan Buttler

The skills taught on this course are aimed at giving participants confidence in how to design and export CAD files for Laser Cutting, Photo Etching, 3D Printing and other technologies.

The same basic skills can be applied to each and the course aims to provide a common framework for all. Participants will be given an overview of what free software is available, the materials that can be used and what services are available for production of your designs.


The first part of the course covers 2D CAD and the fundamentals of drawing vector graphics for laser cutting and photo etching.  As well as a foundation in the basic shape-creation tools, you’ll learn how to organise your drawings and how to use time-saving techniques for repetitive tasks.   Tips and tricks for how to arrange your artwork will save time and expense when getting your designs etched or cut.


Part two progresses into 3D, covering the basics of navigating 3D space, creating simple objects and a workflow for converting your 2D drawings to 3D.  You will learn how different materials may affect your design, whether printing on your home 3D printer or an online bureau such as Shapeways.

3d model

The course is designed to maximise time spent learning and developing CAD skills. Once you’ve achieved the end goal of gaining a firm grounding in the production of artwork, you’ll be shown how to set about having it produced – the course does not include the physical production of 3D printed objects, laser-cut materials or etches.  You will need to bring your own PC or Laptop and a 3 button mouse with scroll wheel.

Watlington Station
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You will need your own computer, preferrably a laptop, and a mouse.

Free software will be used. Details to follow