This article is a work in progress – check back for updates.
Open Source Railroad: San Francisco's MUNI Metro LRV
Open Source Railroad – not to be confused with OpenRailway Project, which is a bit contradictory to its name – marks a new chapter in the world of true open source 3D printing. Thanks to Tinkercad, the app which was used to create the project, you not only get access to print-ready STL's, but also to the easily editable source files. There's no complicated CAD software to learn or download – simply launch your browser, modify as you wish, export to your printer, and start building!
Step 1: Documentation
Finding information on MUNI's trains proved to be a challenging task. Sure, the internet is filled with hundreds of low resolution exterior shots of these light rail vehicles, however there was nothing in terms of blueprints or detail shots. This forced me to go out on several ocasions and take these photos myself. And unlike most of the other more common LRV's and locomotives which service the Bay area, Italian manufacturer Breda had build only about 151 of these specifically for San Francisco, which would explain the rarity of information available online. Let's just say that I'd love to visit the repair shop, in case someone would be willing to offer a tour!
After some digging around I was able to find a drawing, however after comparing it to the real thing, I've realised that several important features weren't represented as they were on the actual train, which further pushed me to generate my own drawings from several high resolution photographs which I had taken.