• 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 Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.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.

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

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Marsh Lane

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The timber brick clips worked as intended.

View attachment 4612
Sleeper bases plus chairs cost less than 50p per 60 foot segment.
Steve,
I am following along in the background and starting to get totally confused by the different printers that are needed and various settings - but your image there proves that if people can get their heads round it, wow. What a stunning outcome you have. If I have understood correctly, you have four sleeper blocks linked to gather to create 60-foot length of sleepering? I was in the laser cut timber sleeper camp previously, but the more I see (and the more I hear the minimal cost!) the more I think that 3D printing everything, except the rails, is a good idea.

Superb work Martin - how you get all this to work in the background baffles me! I am assuming a lot is maths and trial/error - but please keep going, you could take on Peco in a few years time!! Within this plug system have you had any thoughts or ideas of how track electric feeds could be hidden - or its that an 'outside the scope of this project' and down to the user to hide them? I am guessing that a light dab with a soldering iron underneath the rail between sleepers wouldn't melt the 3D plastic? then the wire could be 'threaded' down the side of the sleeper and through the baseboard?

Rich
 
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message ref: 5369
Hi Rich,
In principle yes.
Joint brick contains:-
(5 sleepers /4 sleepers) where / = rail joint, so the rail joint is offset to the right of middle of brick
Plainbrick contains:-
(8 sleepers)

Then assemble joint brick + plain brick + plain brick + joint brick
5 / 4 + 8 + 8 + 5 / 4

The 60 foot rail is between to two slashes 4 + 8 + 8 + 5 gives the 25 sleepers per 60 foot.

The first 5 is at the end of the preceding 60 ft, and the last 4 is the start of the next 60 foot
The two sleepers either side of the rail joint (/) are closed up by the Templot Template.

The maximum number of sleepers that I could fit on a brick that fitted on the build plate of the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro was 11, so I chose these two smaller size bricks as modules to print.
I can actually fit two of either brick on the build plate for one print

I have produced these just for testing out making some plain straight plug track sections to experiment with sliding chairs onto rail, then plugging the chairs into the bases, then ballasting etc

I am currently thinking it might be best to solder a wire or etched dropper to the rail before sliding on the relevant chairs, then as you plug the rail/chair combo into the bases you can feed the wire etc though a hole already drilled in a suitable spot.

Then there is always radio control without thye need for wiring the track!

Printers
Chairs are best printed on a resin printer to get the detail, but for bases an FDM printer is probably better as you can manage larger bricks.
Maybe resin printer owners will get together with FDM printer owners and swap components, then there is always outsourcing to a 3D print bureau.

I have certainly enjoyed learning lots more about using Templot in this process, so hats off to Martin for producing such a fine product..

Steve
 
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Marsh Lane

Member
Location
UK
The 60 foot rail is between to two slashes 4 + 8 + 8 + 5 gives the 25 sleepers per 60 foot.

The first 5 is at the end of the preceding 60 ft, and the last 4 is the start of the next 60 foot
The two sleepers either side of the rail joint (/) are closed up by the Templot Template.

Then there is always radio control without thye need for wiring the track!

Printers
Chairs are best printed on a resin printer to get the detail, but for bases an FDM printer is probably better as you can manage larger bricks.
Maybe resin printer owners will get together with FDM printer owners and swap components, then there is always outsourcing to a 3D print bureau.
Hi Steve,
Thank you for taking the time to explain that. I understand what you mean on the sleepers now. I guess splitting the rail join mid panel also supports the rail more and gives extra hold to the rail ends.

I had considered radio, when I saw a post of Martin’s where he printed some rail! But for my scenario it doesn’t work, worst luck! That would make things far easier…

Thanks for the printer info too. I am still learning about all these things. In my mid-40s now, 15 years ago I’d have picked this up so simply, but it doesn’t seem to sink in as easily as it once did! I have used a 3D print company at Sheffield before who were much cheaper, quicker and in my opinion better, than Shapeways. I must find out what kind of printers they have. If it’s both kinds, i may be tempted to get them to run a couple of 60ft lengths off with chairs and have a play!

Cheers
Rich
 
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Martin Wynne

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Steve,
I am following along in the background and starting to get totally confused by the different printers that are needed and various settings - but your image there proves that if people can get their heads round it, wow. What a stunning outcome you have. If I have understood correctly, you have four sleeper blocks linked to gather to create 60-foot length of sleepering? I was in the laser cut timber sleeper camp previously, but the more I see (and the more I hear the minimal cost!) the more I think that 3D printing everything, except the rails, is a good idea.

Superb work Martin - how you get all this to work in the background baffles me! I am assuming a lot is maths and trial/error - but please keep going, you could take on Peco in a few years time!! Within this plug system have you had any thoughts or ideas of how track electric feeds could be hidden - or its that an 'outside the scope of this project' and down to the user to hide them? I am guessing that a light dab with a soldering iron underneath the rail between sleepers wouldn't melt the 3D plastic? then the wire could be 'threaded' down the side of the sleeper and through the baseboard?

Rich
@Marsh Lane

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the kind words. As I'm now 74, it's not likely I shall be taking on Peco in a few years time! I tried that back in the 1970s and 80s -- and look where they are now! I doubt Plug Track is causing much crying into their beer in Beer. :)

I've been fearful all along that releasing experimental stuff while I'm still working on it would cause a lot of confusion. But the feedback I've received has been extremely helpful and encouraging -- without it I suspect the project would have stalled by now.

I'm hoping that within the next few months I will be able to stop calling everything "experimental" and Plug Track will become part and parcel of Templot in the usual way. At that stage I will be able to make videos and tutorials explaining all about it, what equipment you need, and how to use it.

In the meantime I will try to summarise where we have got to so far -- bearing in mind that any of this might change, and all the work so far has been done in 4mm/ft scale (I believe you model in S scale?). I'm confident that it will all scale up nicely for the larger scales, but I'm not too sure about going smaller. Maybe 3mm/ft will be feasible.

Yes the material costs are low, but don't forget you need to have at least one 3D printer first. That can of course be used for lots of other model-making jobs too, not just track. For general modelling you are likely to need some CAD design skills, but for Plug Track you don't -- Templot creates the 3D files ready for printing.

1. Chairs. For these you need a resin printer. The one which we (Steve, Charles, and I, and no doubt others) are using is this one. It's currently available at a so-called "Black Friday" price on Amazon. There are more recent, bigger and better(?) resin printers available at greater cost, but the results we have been getting from this little Mars printer are excellent:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08FR2Y1PT

Resin printers are supplied pretty much ready-to-use, there isn't much assembly needed.

In addition to the printer, at a bare minimum you will need a bottle of resin (£30 - plenty enough for a small layout) and some Isopropyl Alcohol (£10) for washing surplus resin from the printed parts. The rest is optional, but it is useful to have a small UV lamp of some sort for when the sun isn't shining. Or very handy to have one of these units in addition to the printer:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09FPKL17V

As I have the Mars printer myself, I shall be able to provide detailed instructions and details of how to get from Templot to finished chairs on it.


2. Timbers. For these there are several options:

a. Laser-cut plywood. Home laser-cutting machines are expensive, but so too is sending files from Templot to laser-cutting firms. I don't have a laser-cutter, so I can't offer any advice on using them. But there are others here who can. Ralph is using a less expensive laser to cut timbers in thick card rather than ply.​
b. 3D resin-printed timbers, using the same printer as for the chairs. This is what Steve is doing. The big snag there is that you can't get much of a timbering base on the size of a resin-printer work plate. A typical turnout in 4mm scale would need to be printed in at least 3 sections. In S scale probably 4 sections. Templot can include the connector clips to ensure that they clip together in the correct alignment.​
For plain track, if you resin-print it is not necessary to print the chairs separately. You could print them integral with the sleepers and slide the rail into them, similar to turnout kits. If you like the idea of the loose jaws for plain track (madness or what?) there is no need to print the chairs separately. You could print them integral with the sleepers, drop the rail in place, and work along the rail fitting the loose jaws.​
c. 3D FDM (filament) printed timbers. The great advantage over resin printing is that the work plate of FDM printers is much larger -- typically about 250mm (10") square. A timbering base for a small turnout in 4mm scale can be done in one piece, and most larger turnouts in 2 sections.​
There are dozens of suitable FDM printers available at widely varying prices, some ready to use, and some kits of parts. One which is getting good reviews is this one:​
I have an earlier version of that printer, so again I shall be able to provide detailed instructions and details of how to get from Templot to finished timbering bases on one of them. It can get quite complex to get fully into FDM printing, but for the Plug Track I shall be able to provide exact details of what to do. In addition to the printer you will need a reel of filament (£20 -- enough for a small layout).​
Another advantage of an FDM printer is that it can be use to create rail filing jigs and other track-building tools. Plus useful layout parts such as point-motor brackets.​
d. CNC-milled timbering base panels. If you are into model engineering, a benchtop CNC miller/engraver might be an attractive alternative to an FDM printer, at a similar cost:​

For dropper wires, remember that in Plug Track the rail is fixed in place vertically from above. Which means the dropper connections can be soldered to the underside of the rail in advance, before sliding on the chairs from each end, as Steve suggested.

The wire could drop through a pre-drilled hole when laying the track. Or it could be bent at 90 degrees to run between the timbers to the side of the track. The Plug Track timbers are deep enough to hide all manner of working parts under the ballast. It doesn't even need to be a wire -- a strip of brass etch-kit waste could run between the timbers and be turned up at the end for solder connection to the bottom of the rail.That might be easier to solder than a wire.

The same thinking can apply to tie-bars. We can print a groove in the side of the toe timbers in which a functional tie-bar runs, below ballast level. Cover with a thin card shield and ballast over. Dummy models of prototype stretcher bars, facing-point locks, etc. can then be added.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 5372

Marsh Lane

Member
Location
UK
@Marsh Lane

Hi Rich,

In the meantime I will try to summarise where we have got to so far -- bearing in mind that any of this might change, and all the work so far has been done in 4mm/ft scale (I believe you model in S scale?). I'm confident that it will all scale up nicely for the larger scales, but I'm not too sure about going smaller. Maybe 3mm/ft will be feasible.

Yes the material costs are low, but don't forget you need to have at least one 3D printer first. That can of course be used for lots of other model-making jobs too, not just track. For general modelling you are likely to need some CAD design skills, but for Plug Track you don't -- Templot creates the 3D files ready for printing.
Martin,
Firstly, thank you for such a detailed reply. Could I suggest that you create a new thread that is locked to replies, some like ‘Plug Track - first principals’ that you can refer everyone to, or can be pointed to, but that you can add to / edit in the future as things develop? That way (no disrespect to anyone) it doesn’t get cluttered or confused but is a thread anyone can bookmark for advice/reference. Your reply has unconfused me a bit, thank you!

I was trying S scale for a while, but decided that it wasn’t for me, so am back to 4mm within P4 at the moment. Ive been looking at a Anycubic Kobra Plus as it as a big build plate (not really concerned about the available height), but I having read your comments on auto-levelling previously I am not sure. I do like the idea of being able to print the filing jigs. However, I don’t want to clutter the thread by getting off topic. I’ll need to go investigate resin printers. Part of me says go with what everyone else has, part says go with something different (and acknowledge possible challenges!) to be able to contribute some different results.

i do like CAD design and am reasonably ok at it, although no expert, so I can see advantages there. Space (as ever) could be the defining factor! I need another room!

I like the idea about using waste etch to get power to the track. Logical idea that I hadn’t thought about!

Rich
 
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message ref: 5373
tMy OO-SF track gauges just fitted straight on to my bit of test track just to prove that plug track works with some resin printed bases printed on Elegoo Mars 2 pro, with Templot 3D export set for 0% shrinkage on all 3 planes.
Resin was elegoo abs-like grey.
A scoosh of halfords red plastic primer, then ditto halfords camouflage brown (as I had it to hand)
I have stuck the bases to the cork with Gorilla resin wood glue, weighted down whilst drying.
Will try the same for some P4 bases when time permits.

20221120_110729.jpg

Steve
 
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Martin Wynne

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@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

That looks great!

But lots of questions.

Are you now thinking of doing everything on the Mars?

Should I be making more of this idea? If so, rather than buying two 3D printers might it be worth suggesting spending a bit more on the resin printer to get a bigger build plate? But would a bigger build plate fit in the washer? Would the extra sizes available make enough difference to be worth the significant extra cost?

It would mean a multitude of small timbering bricks on a full layout. The accuracy of the connector clips will be critical to achieving an accurate result matching the paper templates. Did you adjust the tolerance settings for the clips? How well do they clip together? Does the spacing of the adjacent sleepers match the template?

Is that Halfords rattle-can car paint? Does it have any effect on the cured resin? Resin-printed track will need a good covering of paint to protect it from UV-degradation over tme.

If printing both chairs and timbers in resin, there are lots of places where it might be more sensible to print them integrated in one piece, rather than separate bash-fit chairs. And then either slide-in for the rails, or use the loose jaws to fix the rails. Have you tried that?

You have raised a whole new set of questions and considerations to take into account :) -- until now I had pretty much dismissed any idea of resin-printed timbering bricks because of the small build plate. It certainly isn't likely to be practical in 7mm scale for example.

It's interesting and a bit surprising that you are getting accurate results without any allowance for resin shrinkage. It definitely does shrink over time -- otherwise my rafts wouldn't be curling up. How many days between the printing and trying the gauges on them? Do you think the paint is reducing or preventing shrinkage by blocking UV?

Resin-printing uses much thinner layers than FDM. It might be possible to represent some timber detail in the surface. Not woodgrain of course (that's silly in 4mm scale), but splits, cracks, marks from the sawmill, etc. It could have an intensity setting -- slight for new running lines, heavily distressed for old yard sidings.

We would also have an option of BR(W) bullhead plain track on concrete sleepers (but not with steel keys!):


mount_pleasant_tunnel.jpg


borth_chairs_1280_rp.jpg


cheers,

Martin.
 
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Marsh Lane

Member
Location
UK
Martin,
Firstly, thank you for such a detailed reply. Could I suggest that you create a new thread that is locked to replies, some like ‘Plug Track - first principals’ that you can refer everyone to, or can be pointed to, but that you can add to / edit in the future as things develop? That way (no disrespect to anyone) it doesn’t get cluttered or confused but is a thread anyone can bookmark for advice/reference

Martin,
Just a quick one, with the above point I said what I wanted to say wrongly! I meant to say could you create a new thread and copy the detailed info from your post to me into it, then lock it - so that it is there as a reference, that could be updated. I appreciate things can change quickly, but it would give an 'at this point in time' reference for people perhaps, especially as given the development work there is no solid documentation at the moment. Just a thought for you anyway!

Learning point for me from my post: dont post in the early hours of the morning and brain and fingers are not likely to be in sync!!!


tMy OO-SF track gauges just fitted straight on to my bit of test track just to prove that plug track works with some resin printed bases printed on Elegoo Mars 2 pro, with Templot 3D export set for 0% shrinkage on all 3 planes.
Resin was elegoo abs-like grey.
A scoosh of halfords red plastic primer, then ditto halfords camouflage brown (as I had it to hand)
I have stuck the bases to the cork with Gorilla resin wood glue, weighted down whilst drying.
Will try the same for some P4 bases when time permits.

Steve, that image gives a really good indication of how things could work. Id be interested to see your P4 results when you have time.

Rich
 
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Are you now thinking of doing everything on the Mars?
Not yet, just evaluating. I have not ruled out laser cut ply on a laser cut cork trackbed yet, but will wait until chairs are available for a turnout before getting another out-sourced laser cut test generated, so in the meantime am happy to use the resin printer to produce some test pieces.
I realise that your chair design is still in a state of flux, but I do think you have hit on a good solution with the loose jaws,
Did you adjust the tolerance settings for the clips? How well do they clip together? Does the spacing of the adjacent sleepers match the template?
No, the only clip adjustments were to increase the "target arm length/clip size" to 3.6mm to ensure they connected with the sleepers, and to increase "3D connector clip bottom offset" to 0.5mm to cure the elephants foot as you suggested.
They clip together well, with a little click, as I press down on the joint with the flat end of a 6" file.
The batch I have printed with zero% shrinkage set have the sleepers matching the template.

Is that Halfords rattle-can car paint? Does it have any effect on the cured resin?
Yes Halfords rattle can, which so far does not seem to have any adverse effect on the cured resin. I do not spray the bottom as that will be glued down onto the trackbed.

If printing both chairs and timbers in resin, there are lots of places where it might be more sensible to print them integrated in one piece, rather than separate bash-fit chairs. And then either slide-in for the rails, or use the loose jaws to fix the rails. Have you tried that?
I have tried printing chairs and timbers in one go. Had to untick the 2D rail head option to stop the rails coming out in the 3D file, and first attempt I forgot about the sockets. Worked ok, but then I ticked "blind sockets" and set socket depth to zero so that I did not get any "pockets" underneath. Oh and of course you need to untick "chair supports"!
This was just plain track with S1 fixed jaw chairs, as you have not released the loose jaw option yet. But when you do I will certainly give it a try.

How many days between the printing and trying the gauges on them? Do you think the paint is reducing or preventing shrinkage by blocking UV?
About four days, but they were primed and painted on the day I printed and cured them. They have been stuck down for two days.
I have some bases printed and cured with shrinkage set to 1.5% and painted and unpainted. The unpainted ones have curkled up so I will compare them with the painted ones and report back.
Resin-printing uses much thinner layers than FDM. It might be possible to represent some timber detail in the surface. Not woodgrain of course (that's silly in 4mm scale), but splits, cracks, marks from the sawmill, etc. It could have an intensity setting -- slight for new running lines, heavily distressed for old yard sidings.
Would we need Chitubox Pro for that? I believe you can very the layer height within a print job, and get even finer detail on the chais as well.

We would also have an option of BR(W) bullhead plain track on concrete sleepers (but not with steel keys!):
Please may we have some more turnout chairs before you provide those mysterious BR(W) 2 bolt items :)

Steve
 
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Martin Wynne

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@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

Many thanks for answering my flood of questions. :)

I thought I had released the loose jaws -- I know you and Ralph printed some and reported your ability to see them. Perhaps I didn't. I can feel Templot getting in a muddle again. :(

I will get on with the chairs as soon as I can, but I must tie up some loose ends first -- otherwise they will get forgotten and come back to bite me. There is a problem with an unprintable island on the modified plugs for the L1 chairs, and bash-fitting them is deforming the pin slot. Needs more work. Also I must finish the tweezer tips so that I can test the feasibility of using loose jaws on the crossing chairs between other rails. There will be situations where it won't be possible to get at them with ordinary straight tweezers. I'm trying to crack the problem of Z-variations on the Neptune and the non-fitting brick clips -- I do feel the one-sided Z-drive is less than ideal, but it appears to be standard on these low-cost FDM printers. And right now Chris is waiting for some help with his three-throw. A boiled egg awaits me.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin Wynne

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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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meant to say could you create a new topic and copy the detailed info from your post to me into it, then lock it - so that it is there as a reference, that could be updated. I appreciate things can change quickly, but it would give an 'at this point in time' reference for people perhaps, especially as given the development work there is no solid documentation at the moment. Just a thought for you anyway!
@Marsh Lane

Hi Rich,

I have a very strong antipathy to locked topics. Other forums may go in for them, but you won't find any on Templot Club.

Instead, I have put a link in the yellow panel at the top of each page of this topic.

Fairly soon I shall start a page in the Templot Companion to contain it all. In fact it is there already waiting:

https://85a.uk/templot/companion/exporting_for_3d_printing.php

The answer of course is either a) ignore Plug Track entirely until I announce it is ready; or b) follow every twist and turn of this topic as we go along. Be prepared for some turbulence. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin Wynne

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We used the file you put on the forum Martin. Downloaded and used that one, it didn't come out of Templot.

Ralph
@ralphrobertson @Steve_Cornford @Charles Orr

Thanks Ralph. My brain is fading fast. :(

Here is the post with those files:

https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.p...3d-printed-cnc-milled-laser-cut.229/post-5232

If you have some S1 loose jaws left, or feel inclined to print some more, here is an STL file for a short test piece of using them in a resin-printed timbering brick with integral slotted chairs. It is fixed and ready to slice. For 00-SF.

slotted_resin_brick.png


slotted_resin_brick1.png


It's easily done by changing some of the DXF export settings, it didn't need any fresh programming from what I have already done for the next update. I will post the required settings when I release the update.

The only issue I see is washing properly through the slots, which will need it to be removed from the build plate and given a extra wash in the basket, before curing.

Here is the STL file attached. I did a trial slicing and Chitubox was happy with it. 15 minutes. 8p.

For the loose jaws, here is the STL download: https://85a.uk/templot/plug_track/test_s1_jaws_fixed.stl

cheers,

Martin.
 

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.
I think I have fixed the Z-axis problems on the Neptune 2S.

It was bugging me that I was getting better Z accuracy from the little child's toy MINIBO (Easythreed X1) printer than from the Neptune:

minibo.jpg


In fact the actual results from it are excellent after some tweaking of the gcode files. At around £80 it is a bargain if you want an FDM printer for small components in PLA:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08K3GC818

(The link is for the Easythreed X2, with a screen on the control box -- not needed if you run the X1 over USB from your computer.)

The problem, as with resin printing, is the small size of the build plate. And being unheated, it needs a brim around the component to prevent warping:

minibo_brick3.jpg


But the result is spot-on for dimensions.

Notice that it has a one-sided Z lift, just like the Neptune, but no right-hand column. It means the cantilevered X-bars sag a bit, but that's of no practical consequence if you adjust the bed levelling to match.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I slackened off the Neptune V-rollers on the right-hand slider so that they are running free and serving no purpose. The X-bar is now effectively cantilevered from the left-hand column only. I checked that the (somewhat inadequate) fixing screws attaching it to the left-hand slider were extra tight, and re-levelled the bed.

And it worked! Z-accuracy from the Neptune is now matching the design sizes, and the same all over the build area. I'm now very pleased with the results from it -- easily matching the BIBO printer which was a lot more expensive. Which I didn't really expect, given that is has a bowden-tube extruder against the direct-drive extruder on the BIBO.

Here it is, drawing out the first layer outline for a timbering brick (on the replacement glass bed):

neptune2s_printing.jpg


It seems to me that the original printer design is flawed with a one-sided Z-lift. For it to work well without crabbing, those columns need to be jig-bored and dowelled, rather than relying on screws alone to set them exactly parallel. Some of the more expensive printers have synchronised dual Z-lifts to overcome these problems.

But I'm now very happy with the Neptune 2S, so back to the chairs... :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Location
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Hi Martin,

I printed a couple of track panels and redid the file with the slide chairs on to get some keys and tried it out. I don't have anything 00 so couldn't really check it apart from a vernier and it seems to be 16.2mm.

The 'socket pockets' could really have done with being a hole right through to allow them to drain and I had to trim the key jaws by about 1mm or so to go in the holes - photo shows some not bottoming properly. A couple broke but then I was just using my standard tweezers. On the whole it worked fine but to me they would have needed some cyano after they were all inserted to set them properly rather than just being a push fit. Looking at the photos now I am sure I could have done a much better job but it illustrates that this is a possibility anyone fancies putting in tiny key jaws and building track this way. Reminds me of spiking flat bottom track in the old days!

Photo shows the 2 panel section I did. Rail - no idea, can't remember I have had it for so long, sorry.

This is all done on my Anycubic Photon with Anycubic standard grey resin.

Hope this helps - not one of my best jobs but it can be done.

Ralph
20221121_162444.jpg
 
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@ralphrobertson

Hi Ralph,

Many thanks for trying it and reporting back. :)

The slots do go right through in the STL -- did your slicer not pick it up?

through_slots.png


(S1J joint chair)

Or maybe they didn't wash through properly, and some residual resin in the bottom got cured? I think they will need to be removed from the build plate for some vigorous washing.

The loose jaws shouldn't need gluing -- as the key passes under the rail head it should snap into place and lock the rail against the opposite jaw. When it works right they can be very tricky to remove -- the best way I have found is to grip them with the tips of the Xuron cutters. That makes them scrap, but they are easily made in quantity and replaced with a fresh one.

Thanks again. I posted the STL without first trying it myself, so I will go and do that and see what happens.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 5395
Location
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@ralphrobertson

Hi Ralph,

Many thanks for trying it and reporting back. :)

The slots do go right through in the STL -- did your slicer not pick it up?

View attachment 4652

Or maybe they didn't wash through properly, and some residual resin in the bottom got cured? I think they will need to be removed from the build plate for some vigorous washing.

The loose jaws shouldn't need gluing -- as the key passes under the rail head it should snap into place and lock the rail against the opposite jaw. When it works right they can be very tricky to remove -- the best way I have found is to grip them with the tips of the Xuron cutters. That makes them scrap, but they are easily made in quantity and replaced with a fresh one.

Thanks again. I posted the STL without first trying it myself, so I will go and do that and see what happens.

cheers,

Martin.
Well Martin, you are right. I have now looked at the STL file and you can see the socket holes going through. The Anycubic slicer which I have always used has missed it. I am sure your attempt will be a vast improvement on mine! The more I see of your results the more I realise that my Photon is getting past its sell by date but then I have had it for about 4 or so years and things have improved significantly since then. Maybe a Christmas present for myself is in the offing - will have to talk to the wife!

Having said that the track I have produced so far works well and I am moving on now to fishplates and ballast.

Ralph
 
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Hi Rich,
A section of P4 , not stuck down, resin printed bases with sockets, resin printed S1 plug chairs , P4 Society nickel silver rail.
3 point gauges just dropped on to check gauge, not used to actually set the gauge, plug track does that for you.

20221121_100355.jpg


Think I will leave this track not stuck down and keep it on a window ledge in the sun(fat chance of that!) for a month to see how it fares.

Steve
 
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Martin Wynne

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Well Martin, you are right. I have now looked at the STL file and you can see the socket holes going through. The Anycubic slicer which I have always used has missed it. I am sure your attempt will be a vast improvement on mine! The more I see of your results the more I realise that my Photon is getting past its sell by date but then I have had it for about 4 or so years and things have improved significantly since then. Maybe a Christmas present for myself is in the offing - will have to talk to the wife!
@ralphrobertson

Hi Ralph,

Don't give up on your slicer yet. I have had the same result -- slots not printed right through. I don't think it is a problem with the slicer, it is showing the through slots on the printer screen. I think it is the elephant's foot effect on the first print layer, closing up the slots. There are some settings to change in the slicer for the first layer, so worth experimenting. I could also put a much larger recess around the bottom of the slot.

Sorry I wasted your time by not trying it myself first.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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