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

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
_______________
message ref: 1994

AndyB

Member
_______________
message ref: 1995

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
Hi Martin,

It might be possible to use one, or something similar, for cutting out the timbers and the pockets for the chairs from thin plywood or some other material.
@AndyB

Thanks Andy.

That would surely be very slow? And I'm not sure how many Templot users would have access to such a machine.

The big, and in fact only, advantage of the Cameo blade cutter was the work area for laying out a 3D track plan -- 12" wide by as long as you like. Absent that, I think we may as well stick with FDM printing for the timbers. I've confirmed that it is doable, and have some Cura slicer settings I can share. 3D printing is now quite widespread in the hobby and gaining ground -- I suspect many Templot users will have a friend or fellow local club member with a 3D printer. Or if not, they will do quite soon. :)

Or laser-cut timber bases in plywood. Home laser printers are coming down in price, but don't offer work areas much greater than FDM printers. But several firms offer Templot laser-cutting to order, if folks don't mind the cost:

https://www.intentio.shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=25&product_id=78

https://greenwoodmodelrailwayproducts.co.uk/product-category/laser-cut-products/timber-track-base/

http://www.timbertracks.co.uk/index.php?route=product/category&path=8

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1996
Location
Sandbach, Cheshire
Info
Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
The roll paper is interesting but won't fit the roll paper holders on the Epson 1290S, however I see this is as a challenge. Perhaps Richard Pedder on RMWeb etc might be able to help with the Cameo 4, as he uses his for cutting out parts for buildings and rolling stock etc,
 
_______________
message ref: 2000

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
if you don't mind a lot of faff. Essentially I think you are supposed to make repeated cuts, each time with the blade set a fraction deeper. The snag there is that changing the blade depth means removing the blade unit from the machine, adjusting the depth on the end cap, and putting it back in. So not a 5-minute job if it needs several cuts.
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Just a rewind on that. It is possible, just, to change the kraft blade depth with the cutter in the machine. Using a two-pronged tool such as the one provided, which appears to be for something else (unspecified).

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2001

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
The roll paper is interesting but won't fit the roll paper holders on the Epson 1290S, however I see this is as a challenge. Perhaps Richard Pedder on RMWeb etc might be able to help with the Cameo 4, as he uses his for cutting out parts for buildings and rolling stock etc,
@Stephen Freeman

Hi Stephen,

One solution to getting paper rolls of a required width is to use decorators lining paper. The full roll can be cut to any width using a junior hacksaw, or other fine-tooth saw. Put cable ties around the roll on each side of the cut to keep the roll tight while cutting. Clean up the cut end with a dry nail brush or similar.

Lining paper is available in thick grades and some makes are good quality paper. But the surface is fairly rough, so not suitable for printing or drawing very fine detail.

Lining paper also makes a good backing roll to fix trimmed A4 template pages with Spraymount adhesive. Neater and more accurate than taping them together.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2002
Location
Sandbach, Cheshire
Info
Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
@Stephen Freeman

Hi Stephen,

One solution to getting paper rolls of a required width is to use decorators lining paper. The full roll can be cut to any width using a junior hacksaw, or other fine-tooth saw. Put cable ties around the roll on each side of the cut to keep the roll tight while cutting. Clean up the cut end with a dry nail brush or similar.

Lining paper is available in thick grades and some makes are good quality paper. But the surface is fairly rough, so not suitable for printing or drawing very fine detail.

Lining paper also makes a good backing roll to fix trimmed A4 template pages with Spraymount adhesive. Neater and more accurate than taping them together.

cheers,

Martin.
In this case the width looks to be OK it's the diameter of the central tube that is too small. |I have previously tried the cutting a larger roll down but it isn't easy (still have some to use) but I think resolving the issue of the central tube is probably easier to overcome.
 
_______________
message ref: 2003

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
In this case the width looks to be OK it's the diameter of the central tube that is too small. |I have previously tried the cutting a larger roll down but it isn't easy (still have some to use) but I think resolving the issue of the central tube is probably easier to overcome.
@Stephen Freeman

Hi Stephen,

Same problem on the Cameo, the spigot on the end plate doesn't line up with the roll core. That's why I removed the plates.

Easy fix for someone with a 3D printer :) -- make a replacement end plate.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2006
Location
Sandbach, Cheshire
Info
Builder of Finescale Signals in 2mm scale to 7mm scale, Trackwork, Turnouts and Layouts.
@Stephen Freeman

Hi Stephen,

Same problem on the Cameo, the spigot on the end plate doesn't line up with the roll core. That's why I removed the plates.

Easy fix for someone with a 3D printer :) -- make a replacement end plate.

cheers,

Martin.
It's probably easier to make a separate roll holder, positioned to the rear of the printer (Epson 1290S), just needs some wood and suitably sized piece of rod/dowel. Now I know I can get roll paper of a suitable size without too much trouble at a reasonable price, I think I shall be exploring the possibilities this weekend.
 
_______________
message ref: 2008

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
I have added a bottom taper on the sides of the chair plug. This makes it much easier to locate the chairs over the sockets before pressing them home:

plug_taper.png

Also the underside of the plug is no longer dead flat. This reduces the overhang from the support pyramid to make it less likely that chairs will go missing in the resin on the printer.

Getting there slowly. :)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2012

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
I wish I could have a play with the 3D export features you are working on, obviously it's disabled in the current release...
@Wayne Kinney @Paul Boyd

Hi Wayne,

Templot update version 228a is now on the server. Experimental 3D export functions now available, but the operative word is experimental. :)

Your copy of Templot should update automatically if you restart it and follow the instructions. If you have the Templot Video Player open, please close it first.

More info at: https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?threads/templot2-update-version-228a-now-available.228/

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2026

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
Now that version 228a is released some of the functions mentioned above are now available.



New in 228a:

1. To get started with 3D exports, click this option:

exp_chairing1.png


This option is template-specific, like everything else in the real menu.

Note that it makes sense only for plain track at present, the special crossing chairs for pointwork will be available in a later version.

More to follow...

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2028

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
...

2. Resin printing some S1 chairs

1. first set your gauge/scale. Don't forget! I set EM.

2. real > chairing / 3-D > experimental chairing

3. set a custom plain track setting with close sleepers. real > plain track options > rail lengths and sleeper spacings... > custom settings... I set a rail length of 12" containing one sleeper at 6" from the rail end.

edit: having now printed these, I would make the spacing a bit wider than 12". It would make it easier to remove the chairs from the pyramids using Xuron snips.

4. reduce the track gauge. gauge > modify current settings > modify track gauge... I set 5mm.

5. create a straight plain track template. Set the template length to suit the build plate on your resin printer.

making_s1_chairs1.png


More to follow...
 
_______________
message ref: 2030

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
...

Store it as a background template, and maybe add some more templates:

making_s1_chairs2.png


(the DXF export ignores the control template).

I switched off the timber infill in the generator to make the screen clearer, but it's not necessary because the timbers will be ignored.

In the background shapes, draw a rectangle around the chairs (purple line above). This will be the support slab for printing the chairs, so don't waste resin by making it larger than necessary.

More to follow...
 
_______________
message ref: 2034

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
... However, that's over 100 chairs. Which means the STL file will be quite large (the chairs are about 250KB each in STL).

Which is not a problem in principle. But in this experimental 228 version we likely need to make use of an online mesh repair service, and such a file is very likely to exceed their limits. So for this testing it's wise to cut back to something more manageable:

making_s1_chairs3.png


24 chairs there. Most slicer software will allow you to clone/duplicate models on the build plate, if you want more chairs in one go.

Click the menu to export a file.

making_s1_chairs4.png


and click DXF/STL exports.

Which then shows all this stuff:

making_s1_chairs5.png


If you have not used the DXF exports before, there is a lot to take in. But for now:

1. click the 3-D option, and you also want a STL file.

2. choose the rail section which matches your rail. Note that these settings are my best information only, and may need revision. Your feedback welcome.

3. click chairs only. This is a shortcut button which simply changes a lot of the other settings for you.

There are lots of other settings 99 to come back to later and do trial and error adjustments. You can change the fit of the rail in the chair, make track-gauge corrections, change the dimensions of the support pyramids, thickness of the support slab, etc.

edit: having now printed these, I suggest making the chair plugs a bit deeper, say 1.5mm (unless you will be using blind sockets in the timbers). Click the chair/socket fit... button. Then click the rebuild background templates button.

4. click the button to export the files. First you are likely to see this:

making_s1_chairs6.png


If the dimensions for your selected rail do not match those at real > rails > rail section data... , the templates must first be rebuilt with your dimensions. The files will then be created.

By default the files will go into your \DXF-FILES\ folder.

After they have been created,

5. click this button to go online to a mesh repair service. Upload the STL file which you just created. Wait your turn in the queue and for the file to be analysed and fixed. Download the fixed STL file when it appears. One fine day none of this will be necessary, and Templot will create perfect STL files straight off. Don't hold your breath. :)

The online link is also available in the utils menu.

If you have some CAD software, you might like to have a look at the DXF file while you are waiting. You should see something like this:

making_s1_chairs7.png

But it's not necessary -- only the fixed STL file is actually needed for 3D printing.

More to follow...
 
_______________
message ref: 2035

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
...

And then the fixed STL file can be opened in your slicing software. This is Chitubox (free):

making_s1_chairs8.png


which has a clone function to lay out multiple copies of the model on the build plate. In my case for the Elegoo Mars printer, there is room for 5 copies of the original file, so that's 120 chairs in total. It looks possible to pack on quite a few more, with some adjustment to the template length and support slab sizes.

The design is now ready for slicing and transfer to the printer. For finely detailed small models such as these, use the thinnest layers your printer will support. In my case that's 0.05mm per layer.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2037

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
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.
Having created the file for the screenshots, I thought I may as well print it. By changing the auto-arrange settings in Chitubox, I got 6 strips on the Elegoo build plate, so that's 144 S1 chairs -- and they all printed ok.

Still on the build plate, next step is UV cure:

more_s1_1.jpg


I used the UV machine, but in today's weather I could have simply left them in the sun for an hour or two. :)

more_s1_2.jpg


Having put a bottom taper on the chair plugs, I think they could now be a fraction deeper for a firm fit. Especially for use with through-hole sockets in 1.6mm timbers. The side flanges on these plain-track sleepers have much improved the strength of the sleeper alongside the socket. C&L nickel-silver rail:

more_s1_4.jpg


more_s1_3.jpg


Because they all printed, and therefore no bits left in the resin, I avoided the faff and mess of filtering the resin back into the bottle. Just covered the resin tray with aluminium foil until next time.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2044
Top