• 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 Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.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 post.   For some practical modelling aspects of using Plug Track see The Book of Plug Track.

    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.

Building 3D track

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Location
Manchester
Photos show one board I have set up with card sleepers and Templot generated 3D printed chairs. Initially I glued each sleeper individually having threaded a chaired sleeper onto one rail but it is a fiddle getting every sleeper square and one or two are a bit skew. Actually making the 2 of the 3 sidings I moved on to creating a web of sleepers and gluing them down minus chairs but using a piece of rail with a few chair plugs to line it all up whilst the glue set. Then the webs were cut away and a rail set in place with all chairs mounted. I do glue the chairs in place, card can expand and for me I want a belt and braces system where I don't have to relay track again in the future - will that be so, we will see! The second rail is laid using pre-threaded chairs in much the same way, again all glued in place using 20 minute epoxy. All plain track on the lower board has this form of track, turnouts are ply and rivet - my preferred way of making them, chairs will be hand glued using traditional methods.

It all needs wiring up and fettling now to make sure it all works ok.

20220811_145421.jpg


20220813_134649.jpg


Ralph
 
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LittleWestern

Member
Location
Slovakia
Hi All,
I was directed here from my thread, I'd like to ask how I can get an .stl file for a Timbering Fret based off a plain track control template?
I have made the template with the desired timber spacing but after playing around with myself and reading, I'm just as stumped as I was before.

I get to the Export DXF/STL page and all hell breaks loose :D
Reading this thread, the level of detail is exactly what I'm after! and the points made out are fantastic and really assisted in my planning efforts.
Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers,

James
 
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Martin Wynne

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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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@LittleWestern

Hi James,

How are you planning to make the fret? FDM 3D printing? Laser-cutting? Cameo craft cutter? Something else?

The first requires a 3-D STL file. The others require a 2-D DXF file. The settings differ for each.

And how long? For FDM printing it might need to be made in two clip-together parts for a full rail length.

When I know which I will make you a bit of video.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Location
Holmes Chapel, Cheshire
Info
Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
Hi Martin,

I am sure this has probably been covered before but...

If one was to buy a Mars 2, what other bits would be needed? Chosen type of resin of course, but what's needed to clean up and cure etc if anything?
 
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Martin Wynne

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Thread starter
Location
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Enjoy using Templot?
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
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@Stephen Freeman

Hi Stephen,

I assume you mean the bare minimum?

There are some water-washable resins, which means all you need is an old ice-cream tub and a small brush, and lots of kitchen roll paper.

However, reports suggest the water-washable resins are not so good for fine detail. I use the Elegoo "ABS-like" semi-flexible resin which needs IPA (isopropyl alcohol) for washing -- I use this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082XQ4W4R/

Don't use lower-grade industrial IPA, which doesn't work so well.

In theory it lasts forever because it can be recycled by exposing to UV light (sunshine) to precipitate the dissolved resin, and then filtering. I haven't tried that yet.

IPA is flammable. Take care sloshing litres of the stuff about. Keep lids on, no smoking, and you might think it sensible to have one of these in the workshop:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/AA-Fire-Extinguisher-950g-Bsi/dp/B002Q9O3GK/

The resin I'm using is:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07P84PQCF/

I'm still on the original bottle because you don't need much to make chairs. It is past its labelled shelf-life, but is still working fine (kept in a cool dark cupboard).

Ideally you also need an empty previous bottle to keep used resin in if you drain the "tank" (it's just a tray) for cleaning after printing, rather than pouring it back into the fresh resin bottle. Some funnels and filters come with the printer. But you only need to do that if the printing fails and leaves bits of cured resin in the tank. Otherwise just cover the tank with kitchen foil to keep it dark and leave ready for next time.

After washing the finished parts are still soft and delicate and need UV-curing. For which you can use sunshine. Or a small hand-held UV lamp.

But I use one of these, which does the washing and curing:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0863TS839/

I have purchased a second tub for it so that I can have a first and second wash to make the IPA last longer (second wash swaps to first wash when the first wash is too cloudy for further use, and use a fresh second wash).*

There is a newer model which separates the washing and curing functions:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ELEGOO-Mercury-Separate-Compatible-Printers/dp/B095WYMPRW/

You need to work after dark (or in a room without windows) so that there is no UV light about while handling the resin. If you are paranoid you also need an old-style incandescent light bulb for the work room in case modern lamps produce any stray UV (anyone?).

*hint: it won't work without the UV cover on, even when only washing. Don't ask. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 4944
Location
Holmes Chapel, Cheshire
Info
Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
Thanks Martin,
I think that answers most of my immediate questions, I feel that I will have to take the plunge soon but not until I have sorted out the accommodation for it and the FDM printer (already got that, just lacking time to experiment with), don't know if I will go for the milling option yet as well as the FDM.
 
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LittleWestern

Member
Location
Slovakia
@LittleWestern

Hi James,

How are you planning to make the fret? FDM 3D printing? Laser-cutting? Cameo craft cutter? Something else?

The first requires a 3-D STL file. The others require a 2-D DXF file. The settings differ for each.

And how long? For FDM printing it might need to be made in two clip-together parts for a full rail length.

When I know which I will make you a bit of video.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi @Martin Wynne
So I am going to make it via FDM 3d printing, I have a rail length setup for GWR 44'6" 19 sleeper panels (which should be 178.86mm long lengths in 1:76) but I want to make multiple so I can connect them for longer sections of rail.
I'm sure any video you can provide will assist greatly and I can produce sections of my required length.

Cheers,

James
 
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message ref: 4947
Hi James,

You mentioned "off a plain track control template", but you need to save your desired control template to the backgound, as you cannot export the control template directly. Hope this helps.
Steve
 
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message ref: 4948

LittleWestern

Member
Location
Slovakia
Hi James,

You mentioned "off a plain track control template", but you need to save your desired control template to the backgound, as you cannot export the control template directly. Hope this helps.
Steve
Hi Steve :)
Thank you, so yes I managed to sort that, but each time I then proceeded to mark things up and then export, my .stl file was corrupt or inaccessible :D Not sure what I was doing wrong.

Cheers,
James
 
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LittleWestern

Member
Location
Slovakia
I've finally got my balsa wood to start creating my trackwork, I will begin simply laying on top of the Templot printed templates since this is such a small layout example. I hope to work towards creating larger timbering frets for the future, laying several meters of track 1 timber at a time will get tedious :D (The things we do for authenticity)
Full steam ahead! This thread continues to provide visual motivation for me each time I read it.
Cheers,

James
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
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message ref: 5177
Location
Manchester
Having laid the final section of track on my layout I thought I would share how I used the Templot 3D printed chairs to help do it quicker. Please remember that I do not use Templot chairs for turnouts I ONLY use the S1 chair that is generated through Templot but I have changed some settings to allow them to be used with card cut sleepers that I make using my Darkly Labs Emblaser 2 laser cutter.

I have used a few different methods of cutting the sleepers but found the following system the easiest. Having said that I am building a small (8ft long) shunting layout and there could be better ways which I haven't found yet - the next layout perhaps.

20221105_164326.jpg

Here is the cutter making a strip of timbers. The material is 1.5mm mounting board, readily available for picture framing and you can get it easily at Hobbycraft and other stationery suppliers. The slots for the chairs is cut initially followed by the centres and finally a perimeter cut which leaves a scale length section of track base.

20221106_154150.jpg


The next step is to thread a rail with the correct number of chairs and space them out roughly. Having placed the card sleepers on a piece of a plastic bag and using a 20 minute setting epoxy glue I place a small drop in the chair socket. The chairs are then spread out dropping them into the socket and lead weights placed whilst the glue sets.

20221110_112544.jpg


The result is a one-railed track panel which is ready for forming for any curve so the next process is to cut out the web spacers.

20221110_112825.jpg


The sleepers can then be glued in place (PVA) and the second rail is threaded with corresponding chairs. Once the glue is set the second rail chairs are glued in place, again with 20 minute epoxy, and weighted down.
20221110_120535.jpg

And finally once all is dry the second web spacers are cut away leaving ready chaired track.

I must add that this is my preferred way to do it and only used the Templot generated S1 chairs as part of the process. Thanks for Martin this has saved me time and money and in my view produces a neat way to lay plain track.
20221110_140827.jpg

20221117_120241.jpg


I hope this encourages others to have a go and you have found it interesting.

Ralph

Edited to correct typo.
 
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