We just love it when Tinkercad designers complete a project! What’s even better is when learning about the motivation and process behind them.

Emily is a shining example of one such designer who pushed the limits, asked questions and then pushed the limits even more! Take a read of how she came to love trains, see her impeccable attention to detail and understand her path to 3D design and printing.


Hello fellow tinkerers! My name is Emily…Tinkercad asked me if I would do a guest post for the Tinkercad blog regarding my model of Brewster Station, which you may have seen around the site, or heard about in Kai’s interview with Wired (very honored!).

I am, I suppose, what you would call a railfan – you’ll frequently find me out and about riding trains and photographing stations, much of which winds up on my blog, I Ride the Harlem Line. I’m a recent convert though – I never really thought too much about trains until I became a regular commuter about four years ago. Every morning and evening I ride the train to and from work, and I started the blog to joke around about the silly people I would see on the train. Somehow along the way I began reading about the history of the train line that I ride, and I fell in love. Today’s Harlem Line was chartered as the New York and Harlem Railroad in 1831, making it New York City’s first railroad. It was this history that was in mind when I started experimenting with Tinkercad, and modeling Brewster station.


The finished Brewster station model in Tinkercad

3D printing is a concept I’ve always found interesting, but my lack of knowledge in 3D modeling made it a bit out of my reach. I’m sure I’d have little difficulty learning a 3D program, I just don’t have the time to commit to it. Thankfully, I discovered Tinkercad – not only was it extremely easy to learn, it allowed me to start building the things I imagined in my head in no time. Somehow, the idea came to me that I should try to build a model of Brewster station with these newfound skills. It seemed like a great way to learn Tinkercad and make my first 3D model (actually, my first model period – as real-life modeling is another facet of the railfan community), but also to experiment in printing 3D with Shapeways.


What Brewster station looked like in the 1930′s.

Brewster station has always been close to my heart – as a child it was the first station I had ever taken a train from, and was my home station when I first started commuting. The station was built in 1931, and I wanted to try and model it not as it looks today, but as it looked when it was brand new. Although the inside has changed quite a bit over the years (it is now home to a little coffee shop), the outside is very similar. But it is the little details that I enjoy – like the Western Union sign, and the “New York Central Rail Road” over the door. Western Union is long gone from the station, and the New York Central disappeared in 1968.

Anyways, here are some photos of my finished model, printed by Shapeways in full color sandstone. Though there are definitely places where I can improve, I really love this thing – and I can’t wait to model another station!





Editor’s Note: Emily woke up at 4AM to get the PERFECT shot of her model and Brewster Station for this post. Talk about dedication!