Photos by Richard Schumacher
Jack and Ellen Bray started JEB Mfg., LLC about 4 years ago to create “what is not being made that people want” and “things that are not made anymore” using 3D printing. Jack was an architect for 35 years and created JEB as his “retirement” business. He started with one 3D printer and added another with a smaller nozzle for detail parts.
The models are made in O, N, and HO scales. Jack feels the biggest challenges are in getting the prototype right and getting the final model to look right. The detail parts feature a combination of hand brushed and airbrushed finishes.
The raw materials, packaging, and 3D printers are all made in the USA. Some of the models, such as the street details, pipes, and outhouses, are fabricated in PLA plastic, which is biodegradable and recyclable. Many other parts, such as crates and wood details, are printed in ABS plastic.
Jack uses train shows to research the next models to create, taking suggestions for new parts, modifications to existing models, and the price modelers would be willing to pay. He sells his products at train shows for full retail price to support his dealers. Jack has dealers in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, and Florida and makes selling his products easy with no dealer minimum orders. His approach continues “Making Model Railroaders Ideas into Reality.”
I first saw the JEB detail parts at the hobby shop in K-10 Model Trains. I loved the look of the mail and baggage carts, and purchased a some of the detail and pipe load packages there. I also added a few more parts (at full retail) from Jack when I talked with him about his business at a recent Gateway NMRA train show.