Mar 7, 2022
N Scale Working Railcar Weight Station
I have no 3D printer experience, lots of curiosity though.
Is Thingiverse one of those sites that you can download plans and print the part yourself?
I looked at their web site which revealed no info about how the process works.
Yep, but as has been mentioned the search engine there isn't the best. For less than $250 for a printer you can print a lot of stuff for the layout and easily pay for the printer if you need much. If you are only going to print items that others have designed there isn't much of the learning curve. Lots of videos on how to setup a printer, how to use it and also how to keep it up and running.
Here is a link to my designs which are all up there for anyone to download free and print and/or modify....
If you want to design items from scratch the learning curve gets a lot steeper. There are simple free programs you can use but I'd suggest that if you aren't going to try and sell your designs look at Fusion 360. This is a very high end CAD program that normally cost about $500 a year to use but if you are only going to use it for hobby use and not make money off of it you can download it for free. Here is the link to use to renew the hobby license yearly and there is also a link there to downloading it the first time ....
I use it and love it. People tend to think that it will be to hard to use since it is so powerful but actually I think maybe that isn't the case as you can use a few of the simple command options to design anything that you would with one of the simpler CAD programs and still have the powerful commands there to learn about and go far past what you can do with something like TinkerCad.
For instance I used this guys video...
... and using that video and doing it myself got me to the point that I still use a lot of it in almost all my design work. As you learn more about it there are videos to help with about anything you would need to know.