Templot Club forums powered for Martin Wynne by XenForo :

TEMPLOT 3D PLUG TRACK - To get up to speed with this experimental project click here.   To watch an introductory video click here.   See the User Guide at Bexhill West.

  • The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed. Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

    For an updated overview of this project see this topic.   For some practical modelling aspects of using Plug Track see Building 3D Track.

    The assumption is that you have your own machines on which to experiment, or helpful friends with machines. Please do not send Templot files to commercial laser cutting or 3D printing firms while this project is still experimental, because the results are unpredictable and possibly wasteful.

    Some pages of this and other topics include contributions from members who are creating and posting their own CAD designs for 3D printing and laser-cutting. Do not confuse them with Templot's own exported CAD files. All files derived from Templot are © Martin Wynne.
  • The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed.

    For an updated overview of this project see this topic.   For some practical modelling aspects of using Plug Track see Building 3D Track.

    The assumption is that you have your own machines on which to experiment, or helpful friends with machines. Please do not send Templot files to commercial laser cutting or 3D printing firms while this project is still experimental, because the results are unpredictable and possibly wasteful.

    Some pages of this and other topics include contributions from members who are creating and posting their own CAD designs for 3D printing and laser-cutting. Do not confuse them with Templot's own exported CAD files. All files derived from Templot are © Martin Wynne.

3D plug track - version 244c and beyond

Quick reply >
.
The problem with relying on defaults is that you forget to make an essential setting. Having now twice got to the stage of inserting the USB stick in the printer before realising that I had forgotten to set the required rail section, I have added a reminder button:


rail_reminder_button.png


Will be in 244d.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11149
Yes it was the colour that sparked the question, looks a bit like birch ply, but i suppose a bit irrelevant once painted & weathered.
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

To my eye most model timbers are too dark. Real timbers vary a lot, but in yards and sidings they can be quite light in colour after exposure to the elements. A sort of silvery grey with an earthy trace of green and brown:

index.php


It's generally easier to darken something which is too light rather than the other way round. Most grey filaments have a blue tinge which looks wrong. The exception is the Jayo "rustic grey" filament which has a greeny tinge which looks better, but it is much too dark.

The "burlywood" colour might be a good starting point. After some streaks with typing correction fluid to represent textured splits and cracks, a thin wash of greeny-grey might look about right. Or maybe not -- I shouldn't be writing this stuff without trying it first. :)

See also this posted yesterday:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/forums/topic/111599-penrhos-junctions/?do=findComment&comment=5504928

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11150
@Hayfield

Hi John,

You asked for some pictures of 7mm/ft scale plug track. Here are a few bits. You know how difficult the resin is to photograph, and no sun today to help. The rail is C&L code 131. The P4 turnout is a B-7 for size comparison.

1 raft of S1 and L1 with solid jaws.

1 raft of S1 and L1 with slots for loose jaws.


View attachment 9257


View attachment 9259


View attachment 9258


View attachment 9260

cheers,

Martin.

Martin

Thank you for posting these, I have everything in place except time to recap and watch a few of James's videos again

Last Saturday at a Scale 7 event I had the pleasure of talking with John Walker at Aubury, whilst to a certain extent John is ploughing his own farrow, his results (resin chairs and laser cut timbers) were for me very encouraging.

Your own photos just confirm what I saw, I must get my act together and watch these videos and get a blackout blind

Again thanks for all you work on this project, its just stunning and in time will be seen as a turning point in track construction
 
_______________
message ref: 11151
_______________
message ref: 11164
.
Templot update version 244d is now on the server.

Your copy of Templot should update automatically if you restart it and follow the instructions. There is no need to uninstall your existing copy of Templot.

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11188
.
Among other new functions in 244d I've mentioned, is this one:

https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/10918

which reduces the 7mm/ft plug depth to just under 3mm, matching the 4mm/ft plugs:

index.php


index.php


Ignoring the note in blue, I'm wondering if the track is built on a slab of expanded polystyrene, would the long loose jaw pins push down into it without needing any preparation? Then turn the track over after assembly and snip them off flush from below.

So much stuff still to try. :)

More info: https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/10918

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11191
.
Just a reminder for those new to plug track who haven't read through the previous 973 pages. :)

In plug track you don't slide the rail into a chaired timbering base*, as if building a plastic turnout kit.

For the intended way of working instead, see:

https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/11201

*unless you have a specific reason to do so -- it's your railway. :)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11202
.
Among other new functions in 244d I've mentioned, is this one:

https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/10918

which reduces the 7mm/ft plug depth to just under 3mm, matching the 4mm/ft plugs:

index.php


index.php


Ignoring the note in blue, I'm wondering if the track is built on a slab of expanded polystyrene, would the long loose jaw pins push down into it without needing any preparation? Then turn the track over after assembly and snip them off flush from below.

So much stuff still to try. :)

More info: https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/10918

cheers,

Martin.

Bug warning.

Sorry, there is a bug in the works with this option.

If printing chairs and loose jaws at the same time, the loose jaws are 7mm scale on width and 4mm scale on height! I forgot to test the option of printing chairs and loose jaws at the same time. Usually the loose jaws are printed on a separate raft to save space, for which the new option above should be unticked.

I will get this fixed and release 244e as soon as possible. edit: now available.

(If you are modelling in 4mm/ft scale, or not using the above option in other scales, this bug has no effect.)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11207
Hi Martin,
Thinking Cap Tuesday heralds another enhancement request.......

In Templot there is the option to display on the trackpad, and also to print a representation of the switch-drive slot (or tie-bar mark)

As part of the geometry of this notional creature, would it be possible to add a couple of user defineable target marks (relative to say the long centreline and the MS end of the tie bar, as these could then be used to drill a pair of fixing holes for servo drive units etc.

For instance here is an example using the required fixing holes for a Makeitminiature servo unit, which are +/-17.5mm away from centreline, and 54mm apart.
1715684323127.png

I guessed where to add the rectangle as a guide to where to add the two clips, then converted them to targets.

When used for plugtrack bases, I then amended the targets back to clips and revised the rectangle shape to give:-
1715684990110.png

which when exported as 3D for FDM gave me:-
1715685108560.png

The idea being that one lays the turnout, drills through the target(clip) holes, then cut-off the now redundant targets (or bury in ballast)

The important factor is being able to define the location of two holes relative to the middle of one end of the switch-drive slot
If one could also define the size of the square hole in this servo fix point, even better.

Could be used with Exactoscale Tortoise mounting plates, MakeitMiniature mounts, Dingo Servo mounts etc, etc.

Oh and while we are about it, can we also add up to two Servo drive targets to the Tie-bar mark, to aid drilling the holes for the actuating rod(s) .

Steve

 
_______________
message ref: 11215
Hi Martin,
Thinking Cap Tuesday heralds another enhancement request.......

In Templot there is the option to display on the trackpad, and also to print a representation of the switch-drive slot (or tie-bar mark)

As part of the geometry of this notional creature, would it be possible to add a couple of user defineable target marks (relative to say the long centreline and the MS end of the tie bar, as these could then be used to drill a pair of fixing holes for servo drive units etc.

For instance here is an example using the required fixing holes for a Makeitminiature servo unit, which are +/-17.5mm away from centreline, and 54mm apart.
View attachment 9335
I guessed where to add the rectangle as a guide to where to add the two clips, then converted them to targets.

When used for plugtrack bases, I then amended the targets back to clips and revised the rectangle shape to give:-
View attachment 9336
which when exported as 3D for FDM gave me:-
View attachment 9337
The idea being that one lays the turnout, drills through the target(clip) holes, then cut-off the now redundant targets (or bury in ballast)

The important factor is being able to define the location of two holes relative to the middle of one end of the switch-drive slot
If one could also define the size of the square hole in this servo fix point, even better.

Could be used with Exactoscale Tortoise mounting plates, MakeitMiniature mounts, Dingo Servo mounts etc, etc.

Oh and while we are about it, can we also add up to two Servo drive targets to the Tie-bar mark, to aid drilling the holes for the actuating rod(s) .

Steve

@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

Thanks for that. Good to see plug track being experimented with as intended. :)

It's not as straightforward as it might seem. At present all the brick assemblers (splints, slabs, clips, etc.) are improvised from the background shapes, which means they are referenced from the grid rather than from individual templates. The only way of linking the two at present is via the notch for the clips. Which means, as you have no doubt found, that if you subsequently move a template, a clip doesn't move with it and has to be deleted and re-created.

Ideally the clips and the new objects you mention would belong to, and be referenced from, individual templates instead. I have already been working on that, but not yet got very far with it. We currently have the 2D template symbols, which don't take part in any 3D functions. It might be possible to extend them to include 3D patches (terminology to be confirmed) of various shapes and sizes, which can be added to a template and be part of it when it is moved, curved, etc.

I'm not sure about referencing anything from the current switch drive mark, which is merely a position indicator, and also indicates the hand of a template by being longer at the TS end. Fixing holes for point motors etc. might be better referenced from the slider ribs, of which there can be more than one set in a switch. Someone is also bound to ask about motors for swing-nose crossings, although those are barely known in bullhead. Moveable wing rails (spring crossings) are more common and might be modelled.

I will see what can be done, although it will probably have to wait until bumped to 245a.

p.s. they are digging up the broadband outside here as we speak, and I may be gone for some time... :)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11216
.
Templot update version 244e is now on the server.

Your copy of Templot should update automatically if you restart it and follow the instructions. There is no need to uninstall your existing copy of Templot.

Includes:

index.php


see: https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/11213

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11222
My improved version of using clips to indicate servo fixing points drilling position. Positions calculated relative to S1 timber rather than switch-drive slot. Reduced depth of clips as they are only used to indicate drilling position (in this case of a MakeitMiniature servo mount).
1715767558083.png

Is there a way in shove timbers to know the absolute twist of timber S1, so that i can twist a rectangle to match the alignment of timber S1. I cheated in above example as it was a straight turnout.
Sorry Martin, just experimenting with what you have given us so far.
Steve
 
_______________
message ref: 11223
@Hayfield

Ignore this below if modelling in 4mm/ft scale (00/EM/P4).

Returning to the 7mm/ft timbering base, here is a comparison of the normal thickness base (6mm), and the thin-base (3.5mm) option and matching chairs:

7mm_plug_track_thin_base.jpg



This is now working as intended in 244e if this box is ticked:


timber_depth_mods.png



The advantage of the thin base is obviously that it is faster to print and uses less filament. Or thinner plywood. Also that in FDM it matches up with Peco 0 gauge flexible bullhead track. And it works fine with solid-jaw chairs -- the plug depths and tangs are the same size as for the 4mm/ft chairs and they plug nicely into place.

The BIG disadvantage is that in order to work with loose jaws, the jaw pin needs to be longer than the depth of the timbers, and protrudes below the underside of the track after assembly:


index.php


index.php



So some means has to be found to get round that:

1. the track is raised up on battens or packing between the chair positions, or

2. a hole or recess is created in the trackbed below each chair, or

3. the track is built on the bench in such a way that there is a clearance for the pins, and track can be turned over after assembly to have the protruding pins trimmed flush.

The latter option needs some thinking about. My best guess so far is to build the track on a slice of stale bread. :) The pins would push through into it easily. Answers on a postcard for something more practical. I have tried expanded polystyrene, but the surface is too resilient for the pins to penetrate.

It would be fairly simple to FDM-print or laser-cut a disposable spacer base to use below the track during assembly, but in that case you may just as well use the thick base option instead.

or

4. if you want to use the loose jaws, stick with the thick timbering base.

More about this at: https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/10950

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11224
My improved version of using clips to indicate servo fixing points drilling position. Positions calculated relative to S1 timber rather than switch-drive slot. Reduced depth of clips as they are only used to indicate drilling position (in this case of a MakeitMiniature servo mount).
View attachment 9345
Is there a way in shove timbers to know the absolute twist of timber S1, so that i can twist a rectangle to match the alignment of timber S1. I cheated in above example as it was a straight turnout.
Sorry Martin, just experimenting with what you have given us so far.
Steve
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

As I mentioned, currently it is not straightforward. :(

I think possibly your best option at present is to add a bonus timber. Use it to position the clips, and then omit it from the export:


steve_bonus.png


After adding it, set zero on S1, and then on B1 set the centre spacing back (negative) to the hole positions. Adjust the length and throw to get the ends of the bonus timber at the hole centres. Then manually position the clips over the ends of the bonus timber.

The bonus timber will move and curve with the template. But don't forget to omit it before exporting. :)

I will see about getting a proper function done to put such fixing holes in defined positions.



To find the angle at the S1 timber, slide the peg along the main road centre-line (CTRL+F8) until it is over the centre of S1, and then look in the info panel:

peg_angle.png


(Add or subtract any twist applied to S1 in the shove timbers.)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11225
.
Just a reminder for those new to plug track who haven't read through the previous 973 pages. :)

In plug track you don't slide the rail into a chaired timbering base*, as if building a plastic turnout kit.

For the intended way of working instead, see:

https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?posts/11201

*unless you have a specific reason to do so -- it's your railway. :)

Martin.
Hello Martin

I have quoted you as above on my web site before embarking on my wayward journey. :)

Regards
John Walker
 
_______________
message ref: 11226
Hi Martin,

I'm currently finalising a design for the Scalefour Jubilee Layout challenge. The original plan was Exactoscale chairs, but as between the 2 of us on the project we have a laser cutter and resin printer we are looking at the plug track option. It has several benefits with the way we are planning on constructing the layout.

I've currently got 2 issues - both shown in the below. Sorry if this is covered it a video that I haven't seen.

Firstly on the crossover, I have lengthened sleepers to cover both tracks - but I can't see an option to add the extra 2 chairs?

Secondly, on the single slip, it has added chairs for most of the diamond, but not converted a few of these to slide chairs and the central section of the crossing has been left unimplemented.

single slip plug track.jpg


Are these known gaps in the current implementation? or is there something I can do in either case?

Initially we're looking at doing some staging roads which don't have either of these issues, but would be good to know whether these are known gaps (I appreciate this is a hobby!).

Also, do the chair heights match with Exactoscale chairs? so if either of these are not implemented when we get to it, would we be able to implement plug track where feasible and fill in the gaps with Exactoscale?

Thanks,
Pete
 
_______________
message ref: 11227
To add the missing chais I would suggest extending the plain track by a couple of sleepers and shove the sleepers along to cover your extended timbers then hide the outline of the plain track sleepers. This is done within the shove timbers dialogue box. Good Luck.
 
_______________
message ref: 11229
Pete

One of the tests I want to do is to build a diamond using Exactoscale chairs for the obtuse crossing. In one of the Templot chats Martin showed how to adapt chairs from the common crossings, but well above my paygrade

Personally I cannot see any issues with slips other than adapting Exactoscale chairs on blank (plug holeless) timbers, bact to a bit of modelmaking
 
_______________
message ref: 11230
@PeteT

Hi Pete,

Welcome to Templot Club. :)

Firstly on the crossover, I have lengthened sleepers to cover both tracks - but I can't see an option to add the extra 2 chairs?

Extend the long timbers across to the full width from one template to the opposite one, and on the opposite template click the hide outline button for each conflicting timber. This will remove the unwanted timber but retain its chairs, which will then be captured by the extended long timber. If the captured chairs are the standard interchangeable chairs (S1, L1, P, CC, etc.) they can be shoved along to align them centrally on the extended timber.

Here timber A1 has had its outline hidden, and its chairs are being shoved along over the extended timber from the template below. Timber A2 has already had that process done.

(A2 has also had its chair heaved to L1 to avoid a conflict.)

index.php


Secondly, on the single slip, it has added chairs for most of the diamond, but not converted a few of these to slide chairs and the central section of the crossing has been left unimplemented.

The chairs for K-crossings are not yet available -- this whole experimental project is still a work-in-progress.

The P slide chairs can be added to the slip switch partial templates using the chair heaving functions. The underlying plain chairs on the half-diamond templates will need to be omitted. However, you are jumping way ahead of where we have got to -- the chair heaving functions were added only recently, are still incomplete, and haven't yet been fully explained:


slip_switch_slide_chairs1.png


slip_switch_slide_chairs2.png


slip_switch_slide_chairs3.png



All this will be possible eventually but we are not there yet.

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11231
Hi Pete,
In the position where you extended the timbers, I think you might have used the omit option on the timbers on the other template (which omits the chairs as well) rather than using the hide outline option which leaves the chairs you need on the rail to be captured by the extended timbers.
If that is the case, you can re-instate the omitted timbers, then use hide outline option to get rd of the timbers but leave the chairs.
With the hidden timber still selected, You then might need to use backwards/forwards option (rather than crab), toposition the chairs nicely over the extended timbers.
Steve
 
_______________
message ref: 11232
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

As I mentioned, currently it is not straightforward. :(

I think possibly your best option at present is to add a bonus timber. Use it to position the clips, and then omit it from the export:


View attachment 9349

After adding it, set zero on S1, and then on B1 set the centre spacing back (negative) to the hole positions. Adjust the length and throw to get the ends of the bonus timber at the hole centres. Then manually position the clips over the ends of the bonus timber.

The bonus timber will move and curve with the template. But don't forget to omit it before exporting. :)

I will see about getting a proper function done to put such fixing holes in defined positions.



To find the angle at the S1 timber, slide the peg along the main road centre-line (CTRL+F8) until it is over the centre of S1, and then look in the info panel:

View attachment 9350

(Add or subtract any twist applied to S1 in the shove timbers.)

Martin.
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

Just to add that you can reduce the bonus timber to a single centre-line by setting its width to zero.

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11234
The latter option needs some thinking about. My best guess so far is to build the track on a slice of stale bread. :) The pins would push through into it easily. Answers on a postcard for something more practical. I have tried expanded polystyrene, but the surface is too resilient for the pins to penetrate.
Hi Martin, may I suggest a phenolic foam sheet or block, better known as floral foam block.
you can get this from most local florists, or even cheaper if you use Ali-express or Temu.
cheers
Phil
 
_______________
message ref: 11235
Hi Martin,
As it is raining here in Brighton, I have been enjoying a Templot learning experience!

Rainy day question
As far as rectangle shapes are concerned, if i call the point at which the diagonals intersect the centre of gravity , would i be right in assuming that when you twist a rectangle shape Templot applies the rotation about the c.o.g.

Steve
 
_______________
message ref: 11236
Hi Martin,
As it is raining here in Brighton, I have been enjoying a Templot learning experience!

Rainy day question
As far as rectangle shapes are concerned, if i call the point at which the diagonals intersect the centre of gravity , would i be right in assuming that when you twist a rectangle shape Templot applies the rotation about the c.o.g.

Steve
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

If you twist a rectangle background shape, yes. But note that Templot retains the original untwisted corner co-ordinates. Which makes it tricky to modify the size after twisting using the corner1 or corner2 mouse actions, or using the change dimensions... button. It's best to set the required size of a rectangle before twisting it.

If you rotate a rectangle background shape, the entire shape is rotated about a different centre location, which can be set at:

rotate_shape.png



Rectangle sketchboard items work differently, twisting and sizing being done by dragging the sizing handles in the usual Windows way.

p.s. I see from the radar that you are sending your rain this way. No thanks. :)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11237
.
Advance warning.

I'm currently working on the chair base outlines for the XN , XA , AA , AB , BB crossing chairs.

As you remember I temporarily kludged these as 4-sided chairs with a width of 9.1/2".

To match the prototype these should be 8-sided chairs with an end-width of 8" and a mid-width of 10.1/2". I'm now working on these. Changing the code to permit 8-sided chairs is going to be a massive task, which is my own fault for not allowing for it in the first place. But it has got to be done in preparation for the slab & bracket chairs.

Consequently the plugs on these chairs will be narrower than before. This is a good thing because there will be less risk of the socket corners breaking through the timber sides.

But the upshot is that these existing chairs XN , XA , AA , AB , BB made using existing versions of Templot will not fit in sockets made using the next version 245a. Chairs for those will need to be made using 245a too.

So this is an advance warning to make all the timbering bases you need for your existing crossing chairs before updating to 245a.

This does not affect the interchangeable chairs S1 etc. or the switch chairs. Only the above V-crossing chairs. If you are not sure which are these chairs, you can see them showing for rail 3 in the chair heaving:


8_sided_chairs.png



Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11243
Hi Martin,
I hope you have been out & about enjoying this fine weather, and recharging your batteries.
Although it might seem like a massive task, as a fellow programmer (retired) I often found that once you get started, things have a habit of dropping into place and you get to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Sorry must have been out in the sun too much today and triggered my cliche syndrome.:cool:
Steve
 
_______________
message ref: 11244
Hi Martin,
In trying to create a couple of opposing interlaced turnouts (as featured in part of Wimbledon goods yard) I think I have uncovered a feature.
I widened three timbers in the middle section of my design (T2,T1,S11), and when exported the right hand side (N-flanges) of timbers T3,T2,T1 and S11 seem to have dissappeared. I did not switch them off.

1716400220290.png

I have attached the box file
Steve
 

Attachments

  • wimbledon_goods_2024_05_22_1844_02.box
    1 MB · Views: 2
_______________
message ref: 11248
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

I think there is a bug in this new function. Someone else reported something similar. I haven't yet got round to looking into it:


flange_conflict.png


Try unticking that box.

Thanks for reporting it.

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 11249
Back
Top