Advice on making a (miniature) P-trap


I need to make a P-trap circa 1920 in 1/12th scale. I want it to look like this:

Believe it or not, this is a real thing and not something I imagined.

Here are my desires:

  • Size approx 1.5" long x 0.35" wide
  • Does not need to be functional (oh shame, shame)
  • Needs to look like metal but does not need to be metal
  • Needs to be silver-colored but does not need to be chrome finished
  • It can be made from any number of pieces.

I’m not in any particular hurry.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Metal plate a 3D print? Use the Form and make it solid and you probably won’t even need to do much extra sanding/filling on it. It does involve modeling it…



Carve out of jewelers wax and make a mold. Cast in resin. Sand. Paint with chrome paint pen or Krylon mirror spray paint after priming.

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Is it symmetric / does it have a centerline?

Can it be symmetric?



Heat gun and some 3d printer filament with a carved blob of hot glue in the middle, painted a faux chrome?

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It’s symmetric front-to-back (in the photo orientation) - or at least it could be.



Is the diameter of the tube .35” or the overall width?



Overall width of the big clump. The individual pipes should be roughly 1/8".



Maybe try some solid copper wire scraps & paint. We can give you a piece of scrap left over from our light’s change out.

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Excellent. What I do with such things…

Make a 3D model. My preference is SolidWorks. Any 3D modeling tool works. I’ve never used it so I cannot say but our 3D scanner may help.

Split the model into two parts along the centerline. This creates two perfectly flat edges and, in your case, a clean projection on to the Z axis which means no support / easy to machine.

3D print each slice. Each slice has a flat edge which will adhere nicely to the bed and no overhangs so they can be printed with no support.

After printing, smear a thin layer of acetone on the flat of one side. Carefully press the two sides together. Wait about five seconds. Put the part aside for a few hours. An “acetone bath” will smooth the surface. Spray with silver paint.

The difficult part will be making the model. But, if you need a few, armed a model makes it a breeze to knock out as many as we need in about the same time as making one. And, with ABS, you could easily modify them using heat, metal tools, or acetone.



What about using a wire bending jig to bend copper wire (bare or coated) into the “S” shape then sculpt the fatter junction onto the wire out of “green stuff” (aka Kneadatite) two part epoxy. The flare at the bottom could also be sculpted out of GS.

Prime and paint for the chrome look.

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You could model this out of precious metal clay in tiny Chris-size and detail. The scale wouldn’t cost a ton, even out of silver, although could do bronze clay etc and paint it



Do you know if we have “sprue wax” in a suitable diameter (1/8") ? If so, that would really be a simple solution. I’m guessing I could bend it fairly easily.



Probably a better question for the jewelry folks. We have some sort of printable wax/resin for the 3D printer and used to have a 1.75mm wax filament for “midnight”.

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