A tiny toy train that [voidnill] illuminated with a small LED strip fragment demonstrates several challenges that come with both modifying existing products, and working with small things in general. One is that it is hard in general to work around existing design choices and materials when modifying something. The second is that problems are magnified with everything is so small.
[voidnill]’s plentiful photos illustrate everything from drilling out small rivets and tapping the holes for screws to installing a tiny switch, LED strip, and button cells as a power supply. When things are so small, some of the usual solutions don’t apply. For example, cyanoacrylate glue may seem like a good idea for mounting small plastic parts, but CA glue easily wicks into components like the tiny power switch and gums up the insides, rendering it useless.
[voidnill] uses lots of careful cutting and patience to get everything done, and demonstrates the importance of quality tools. The LED strip fragment is driven by three small button cells, and while tape does a serviceable job as a battery holder, [voidnill] believes a 3D printed custom frame for the cells would really do the trick.
The kind of work that goes into making or modifying small things really puts into perspective the amount of effort behind projects like this coffee table with an N-gauge model railway inside it.
11 thoughts on “Lighting Up A Tiny Train Needs Tiny Tools”
Not to be pedantic… oh, who am I kidding, I love to be pedantic, but that is specifically a streetcar/trolley, not really a train.
Or a tram to us Europeans
I meant to put tram, sorry for not being pedantic enough.
How I spend my weekends is my own buisness.
Looks like a light saber is on self destruct in there :-)
I’m reminded of that scene in the original Star Trek where Spock borrows tools originally for radio repair to get his contraption working.
Looks to be N-scale, a hard scale to add features to, but many N-scalers get creative. It’s an articulated light rail car, to be accurate. You see similar ones in many cities, Salt Lake City in the US being an example. Good job!
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