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 Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

    Some pages of this topic 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.

Experimental Plug Track: 3D-printed, CNC-milled, laser-cut

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Martin Wynne

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@Terry Downes

Hi Terry,

Looking good. (y)

Don't use the 2-D cutter kerf... setting to adjust the socket fit, otherwise you will get the wrong timber sizes. Adjust the kerf to get the correct timber outline size, and then use the chair/socket fit... button to set the socket clearance for a close fit on your plugs. The clearance can be negative if needed:

socket_fit.png


cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin Wynne

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Sorry there was no update for a while, I've been busy with some electronics work.

But back on Templot today, working on the P chair (slide chair).

I've decided to go with the PJ version of the REA chair:

index.php


because it's a bit beefier and stronger on model rail sections. Maybe I could do the older P type later as an option.

p_chair1.png

Outer jaw still to do (you noticed :) ) but I've got the slide table and stock rail bolt and boss done. The bolt is at 1:20 to match the prototype, even though the model rail will be vertical.

The slide table is 7" wide, which means for REA switches the switch blade tip should align exactly with the edge of the table. Which will be a convenient guide when track building. The length of the chair and slide table is increased from the prototype to suit the model gauge/scale in use where needing an over-scale switch opening (for 00, EM, etc.).

The nut rotation on the stock rail bolt is part-randomised in 15-degree steps (the chair-screw heads are infinitely randomised).

I'm omitting the spring washer under the nut, the screw-thread on the exposed end of the bolt, and the domed end of it -- I have to draw a sensible line somewhere. Otherwise it will take forever and the STL file size will go through the roof.


p_chair2.png


p_chair3.png

Now to get the jaw done.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin Wynne

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Some progress with the P slide chair.
p_chair5.png

p_chair4.png


In close-up the missing fillet radii and blends are very obvious, but not so much at normal viewing. They would take the STL file size through the roof -- I do want all the chairs for a timbering brick to be in a single STL file if possible. In any event the resin prints need a good scoosh of paint for UV protection, so it's pointless adding too much fine detail in the smaller scales.

p_chair6.png


p_chair7.png


You should be able to see the random nut rotations.

The missing sole plate is very obvious. I haven't yet decided whether to include that in the timber for FDM printing and CNC milling, or as a one-piece resin-printed insert comprising both chairs. The latter would look better and be doable in laser-cut timbers (provided the timber can drop lower into a slot in the trackbed), but it would need an accurate shrinkage adjustment to maintain the gauging.

Also the switch front chairs are often S1J joint chairs (likewise at joints in the closure rails) so they might be next on the list. The wider S1J sockets are another reason for the timber side flanges.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Looking good Martin!
In the prototype is the soleplate timber made thinner, or does it just get laid lower into the ballast bed?
Could the sole plate just be represented by a piece of thin card or thick paper glued on top the of the timber?
Did some soleplates have an insulated section, ie were actually two seperate sheets joined with an insulated lip?
Steve
 
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Martin Wynne

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In the prototype is the soleplate timber made thinner, or does it just get laid lower into the ballast bed?
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

The timber is 1/2" lower in the ballast. The prototype doesn't have a baseboard. :)

Here is a drawing of an REA soleplate (insulated for track-circuiting):

rea_soleplate_dwg.png


It's made from 1/2" steel plate. A 1/2" thick rib is riveted or welded on the ends to prevent any gauge-spread of the chairs.

Here's a photo of that (with more insulating inserts than the drawing) and a facing points lock:

rea_switch_fittings.jpg


Note that the stretcher bars (behind the lock bar) are also insulated, and the lock bar at the left-hand end. The chair screws on that slide chair have had their heads shortened to prevent any contact with the lock bar flange.

Here's a GWR plain un-insulated soleplate:

gwr_switch_fittings.jpg


Instead of a rib on the end, the GWR preferred to turn up the end of the plate as a forging.

Could the sole plate just be represented by a piece of thin card or thick paper glued on top the of the timber?

In what scale? It's 1/2" thick, which scales to 0.17mm (.007") in 4mm/ft scale. So it could be represented using thin card or plasticard under the chairs. But that's more than enough to disrupt the rail level. The chair base is 0.58mm thick, so it would be possible to make special model P chairs with a thinner 0.41mm base, if you wanted to avoid changing the timber levels.

But for Plug Track I want to represent it properly on a lowered timber top, so that it works equally well in the larger scales. That's easy for FDM printing or CNC milling. For laser-cut timbers some fiddling about will be needed. For individual plywood timbers the easiest solution might be to remove the bottom ply from the timber.

Using a resin-printed soleplate+chairs insert, it will be possible to have an insulated option for running lines (not for yards).

p.s. I can't remember ever seeing the soleplate modelled, despite it being quite prominent in some photos as is evident above.

The big question will be "Is soleplate one word or two?" :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

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Location
Loughborough, UK
p.s. I can't remember ever seeing the soleplate modelled, despite it being quite prominent in some photos as is evident above.

Hi Martin.

I've modelled the soleplate (sole plate? sole-plate?)! Firstly in some EM gauge track in 2002, more recently on my S4n2 track where I've attempted an insulated soleplate, not entirely successfully. I'm sure I have seen others model them, possibly in the hallowed pages of MRJ!

Cheers,
Paul
 

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AndrewJ

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UK
"the resin prints need a good scoosh of paint" - what a marvellously expressive word, new to me, love it!
Andrew
:D
 
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Martin Wynne

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Martin Wynne

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For the longer P chairs I have had a rethink on the support pyramids for 3D resin printing.

To reduce the overhang from the support I have increased the size of the pyramid to better match the size of the plug:

support_pyramids.png

This doesn't affect the fit of anything. The only difference might be needing a stronger pair of snips to remove the chair from the support. Fortunately any rubbish remaining on the bottom of the plug is of no consequence.

For slender snap-off supports the alternative would be to tilt the chairs at an angle, as is commonly done for 3D resin-printing. I don't want to get involved in that if I can help it -- measuring the chairs and adjusting the tolerances and fits would turn into a battle of wits with the printer.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Location
Sandbach, Cheshire
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Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

The timber is 1/2" lower in the ballast. The prototype doesn't have a baseboard. :)

Here is a drawing of an REA soleplate (insulated for track-circuiting):

View attachment 3054

It's made from 1/2" steel plate. A 1/2" thick rib is riveted or welded on the ends to prevent any gauge-spread of the chairs.

Here's a photo of that (with more insulating inserts than the drawing) and a facing points lock:

View attachment 3058


Here's a GWR plain un-insulated soleplate:

View attachment 3055

Instead of a rib on the end, the GWR preferred to turn up the end of the plate as a forging.



In what scale? It's 1/2" thick, which scales to 0.17mm (.007") in 4mm/ft scale. So it could be represented using thin card or plasticard under the chairs. But that's more than enough to disrupt the rail level. The chair base is 0.58mm thick, so it would be possible to make special model P chairs with a thinner 0.41mm base, if you wanted to avoid changing the timber levels.

But for Plug Track I want to represent it properly on a lowered timber top, so that it works equally well in the larger scales. That's easy for FDM printing or CNC milling. For laser-cut timbers some fiddling about will be needed. For individual plywood timbers the easiest solution might be to remove the bottom ply from the timber.

Using a resin-printed soleplate+chairs insert, it will be possible to have an insulated option for running lines (not for yards).

p.s. I can't remember ever seeing the soleplate modelled, despite it being quite prominent in some photos as is evident above.

The big question will be "Is soleplate one word or two?" :)

cheers,

Martin.
Soleplates are something I have never been asked for. Nor it seems is it something that most others bother with either, Palatine Models, (Ralph Robertson) used to do an etching of them with anchors as well, but now discontinued, I do have a few in my stash if I ever feel the need.
 
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@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

The timber is 1/2" lower in the ballast. The prototype doesn't have a baseboard. :)

Here is a drawing of an REA soleplate (insulated for track-circuiting):

View attachment 3054

It's made from 1/2" steel plate. A 1/2" thick rib is riveted or welded on the ends to prevent any gauge-spread of the chairs.

Here's a photo of that (with more insulating inserts than the drawing) and a facing points lock:

View attachment 3058


Here's a GWR plain un-insulated soleplate:

View attachment 3055

Instead of a rib on the end, the GWR preferred to turn up the end of the plate as a forging.



In what scale? It's 1/2" thick, which scales to 0.17mm (.007") in 4mm/ft scale. So it could be represented using thin card or plasticard under the chairs. But that's more than enough to disrupt the rail level. The chair base is 0.58mm thick, so it would be possible to make special model P chairs with a thinner 0.41mm base, if you wanted to avoid changing the timber levels.

But for Plug Track I want to represent it properly on a lowered timber top, so that it works equally well in the larger scales. That's easy for FDM printing or CNC milling. For laser-cut timbers some fiddling about will be needed. For individual plywood timbers the easiest solution might be to remove the bottom ply from the timber.

Using a resin-printed soleplate+chairs insert, it will be possible to have an insulated option for running lines (not for yards).

p.s. I can't remember ever seeing the soleplate modelled, despite it being quite prominent in some photos as is evident above.

The big question will be "Is soleplate one word or two?" :)

cheers,

Martin.
I think it would be possible to create a resin print of a sole plate with two sliding chairs and maybe with a facing point lock. so rather than two individual plug chairs you could have one long plug or maybe resin the whole individual timber complete with soleplate, opposing chairs and point lock option.
 
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Martin Wynne

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I think it would be possible to create a resin print of a sole plate with two sliding chairs and maybe with a facing point lock.
@Terry Downes

Hi Terry,

That's my current intention. However, the chairs will be the standard P chairs with full base thickness, requiring the timber top to be 1/2" lower than the adjacent timbers.

Others with 3D printers may choose to do it differently of course. I may include an option for a thinner chair base -- I do like to add as many tickboxes as possible. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin Wynne

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Here you go:

soleplate_options.png


Note that these are placeholders -- they don't actually do anything in 233c or anytime soon.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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The Scalefour stores have the "Brooksmith award winning design 1983" for the Turnout operatig unit mk.2 as a kit, which contains parts for the base plate (or sole plate as some call it) as well as a stretcher bar and lock stretcher. It would be interesting to know how many have been sold, amd how many actually used.

But of course it does not have sockets :)

I think that in 4mm scale anyone wanting soleplates would also want realistic stretcher bars etc.

I could print the templot template onto say 120gsm paper/card, then cut out the space for the soleplate timber, thus allowing the soleplate timber to sit lower thatn the others which are glued ontop of the template, hen leave the template stuck to the underside of the turnout when laying the completed unit.
 
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Location
Manchester
Soleplates are something I have never been asked for. Nor it seems is it something that most others bother with either, Palatine Models, (Ralph Robertson) used to do an etching of them with anchors as well, but now discontinued, I do have a few in my stash if I ever feel the need.
Yes, I did produce an etch for soleplates and rail anchors for Slattocks Junction layout. Our track wizard, Dick Petter, asked for some for the track he was laying and this was covered in MRJ 203 where some excellent photos of the model trackwork he produced was covered as well as a fantastic photo of a prototype double junction. There is a lot of information in that article and well worth digging out.

I discontinued the etch some years back as they never sold but I could have another run of there is sufficient interest. A sheet produces 18 frets so unless I get orders for them all it is not going to happen, sorry.

My own track has not yet materialised as I am still trying to sort out the modelling collection of Dick Petter who sadly died last summer. His modelling was outstanding and some of his models have gone to selected modellers who can complete them as he rarely finished anything. Once I have cleared out I can put the layout back up and lay some more track which will be ply and rivet pointwork and card sleepers with 3D printed chairs for plain track. Hope to get back to it in a few weeks.

Ralph
 
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message ref: 3554
Location
Sandbach, Cheshire
Info
Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
The Scalefour stores have the "Brooksmith award winning design 1983" for the Turnout operatig unit mk.2 as a kit, which contains parts for the base plate (or sole plate as some call it) as well as a stretcher bar and lock stretcher. It would be interesting to know how many have been sold, amd how many actually used.

But of course it does not have sockets :)

I think that in 4mm scale anyone wanting soleplates would also want realistic stretcher bars etc.

I could print the templot template onto say 120gsm paper/card, then cut out the space for the soleplate timber, thus allowing the soleplate timber to sit lower thatn the others which are glued ontop of the template, hen leave the template stuck to the underside of the turnout when laying the completed unit.
I expect that not many, mainly due to the description, any members interested should look for SPMR160
 

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