Tiny 3D Printed HO Scale Escalator That Works

3d printed escalator, from side, showing mechanism

[Luke Towan] has a cool HO scale Escalator mostly made of 3D printed parts, with some laser cut acrylic, for a station on his HO model railroad.

Escalators are mesmerizing to watch – there’s something magical about the stairs unfolding at the bottom and folding up at the top. But they’re very hard to model.

[Luke Towan] has done it – his 3D printed version closely resembles the real thing mechanically. Pins are carried around, cantilevered out from a 3D printed chain. A stair swivels on each pin – at the bottom each stair’s free end rests on a ‘bottom’ far enough down for the stairs to be level, while on the incline the ‘bottom’ is just below the pins. It’s a tricky build.

If you like pushing the envelope of what 3D printing can do this is an interesting project, even if you’re not planning to build an escalator. There are lots of tips for making small mechanisms with 3D printing, and for making small mechanisms that work reliably without stuttering.

He’s not the first to build an escalator. Back in 2015 we covered this wooden escalator for slinkies,  and just recently this 3D printed version from [AlexY].

25 thoughts on “Tiny 3D Printed HO Scale Escalator That Works

      1. I was also confused by [piachoo’s] comment, since I’ve always known this as HO scale (although I confess to being ignorant of the origin of the names of the various gauges).

        1. German here, it’s “H null” for us, we don’t have that many terms for the number 0, just “null”. The letter O is just in English synonymously used to the numeric digit 0 (zero/null). And it’s the “Nenngröße 0” not “Nenngröße O” for us. It’s primarily numeric. The predecessor to 0 was 1.

          1. Hi, another German here. I second this. 🙂👍

            “Null” is also used in English language sometimes, I think.

            So if H-Zero is too tongue breaking to use for native speakers, there’s another alternative, maybe. 😂

            In computing:

            “The null character (also null terminator) is a control character with the value zero.”


            Funnily, there’s a null device in Unix that’s “not to be confused with /dev/zero”.


            So Englisch language is able to make a difference – sometimes, at least. 😉

  1. My biggest print was a 55″ long 6wd 1:14 scale RC semi truck. Next I was gonna make a 50 ton rotator tow truck. Maybe I’ll do this first. I see used resin…can it be done FDM?

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