21st September 2006:

The Jockey wheel model was very kindly printed out for me on one of these machines:

It's a Z-Corps Spectrum Z510 3D colour printer. It works by using a laser to solidify parts of a layer of some liquid chemical. The finished part is built up of successive layers. Details below:

Build Speed: Colour mode: 2 layers per minute
Build Volume: 254 mm x 356mm x 203 mm (10" x 14" x 8")
Layer Thickness: User-selectable at the time of printing: .076-.254 mm (0.003"-0.010")
Color: RGB Full Colour (Millions of Colours)
Resolution: 600 x 540 dpi
Equipment Dimensions: 1067 x 794 x 1257 mm (42" x 31" x 50")
Equipment Weight: 204 kg (450 lbs )
File Formats for Printing:
System Software: Z Corporation's proprietary System Software accepts solid models in STL, PLY, VRML (WRL) and SFX file formats as input. System Software runs on Microsoft Windows* 2000 and NT.

To create the model, I had to export the AutoCAD dwg file as a "Stereolithography" file.

The 3D model next to the original part that I modelled in AutoCAD a few years ago. Obviously the model has been
scaled up and I turned off the bearing seals in the CAD drawing before exporting the STL file.

An attempt at getting an angled shot to show more than just the face.

A close up detail shot of the "bearings":

It turns out that no colour information is exported in the STL file, so the guys that printed it out didn't know what colour the original was. It looks pretty cool in two-tone orange though.

Thanks to: www.ambler-patterns.co.uk