TEMPLOT 3D PLUG TRACK - To get up to speed with this experimental project click here.

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 Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.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

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

Quick reply >
Hi Michael,
What do you mean by "sit"?
Do you mean chair to sleeper or rail to chair?
Are you using fixed jaw chairs or loose jaw chairs?
There seems to be a visible filament texture on the top of the sleepers compared with the sample FDM timber base that Martin king sent me.
Is that a silver setting?

It looks like you are making progress.
What is the build plate size of your FDM printer?
 
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Hi Steve,

I need to follow Martin's guidance and tune the FDM settings, if I do this I should have cleaner surfaces and that will help with the seating of the chair to sleeper. That said I am very pleased with this. The chair to rail settings also need a little more adjustment, I got fed up with printing and then finding that the rail did not fit, so I printed something that I knew would accomodate the rail and then started to adjust back.

I dont really like the resin, it is a bit thick compared to the transulcent green that I usually use. I will look around for what else is available, although I do try and stick to water washable, it makes the whole printing process so much easier.
 
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@Michael Woods

Hi Michael,

Thanks for posting the pictures.

That looks like it was printed using one of the standard FDM profile settings supplied with the printer. Which are generally good for printing a Toby Jug or whatever, but not necessarily the best if you want accurate engineering dimensions and good surface finish.

Earlier I posted a .curaprofile file containing the settings I use with eSun PLA Plus toughened PLA filament. If you use the Cura slicer and simply open that profile file in it, you should be able to print a timbering brick with good results.

For the resin printing, most of us have been using the Elegoo ABS-Like grey resin. It will be good to see what results can be achieved with other resins including water washable. Some of the standard resins may be a bit brittle for use as chairs, the ABS-Like resins have greater resilience and produce results more akin to injection-moulded parts.

I did start explaining some of the FDM slicer settings, and didn't get back to finishing it. I'm sorry about that, but I don't feel up to do any more typing today, maybe tomorrow.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Hi Martin,

I will now start to play around with your recommended settings, just happy to have something that works - I can now improve.

Michael.
 
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@Michael Woods

Hi Michael,

I have just been forced to make an emergency post on RMweb to correct your ludicrous assertion that I have designed a system using separate keys:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/topic/179067-s-scale-3d-printed-track/?do=findComment&comment=5164536

"Emergency" because once something is on the internet it will be picked up by Google and spread within hours across numerous other forums. After which it will be impossible to retrieve and will go on being quoted for years to come. It has already had a 14-hour start on me because I didn't pick it up in time. RMweb has over 40,000 members and a great many more non-member readers. Fortunately it is in a topic about a minority interest, S scale.

I'm not going to let Templot damage my health by getting so damned stressful.

Martin.
 
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.
Another conundrum.

The prototype switch opening is 4.1/4".

For EM and 00-SF that's increased to 5.1/4" recommended minimum (1.75mm, thickness of a 20p coin).

Unfortunately that means a conflict with the chair screw heads:
View attachment 2667

View attachment 2670

Would you rather:

a. snip the tops off the chair screws to clear (they are very small in 4mm scale), or

b. have Templot make the chair longer than scale to suit the chosen gauge, or

c. have yet another tickbox option for that, or

d. something else.

Bear in mind for 00-SF that making the chairs longer than scale will reduce even further the distance between opposite slide chairs than is already caused by the under-scale gauge.

p.s. in the drawing I have rotated the rail to vertical.

cheers,

Martin.
I’ve been away from templot for a few years (building the layout has been a longer process than I had hoped but it’s my fault for choosing mixed gauge). As I’m reading this in May 2023 I’m probably well behind the curve, but I seem to recall that Exactoscale make/made two lengths of slide chair to get round that problem. If it’s good enough for them it’s probably good enough for most of us.

BTW, absolutely fascinating going through all this. By the nd of the week I hope I’ll be up to date. Many thanks Martin for your efforts on our behalf.

Duncan
 
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Hi Martin, thank you for the feedback. My description may have been a little bit clumsy, my appologies. What you have built here is brilliant, I am definately going to use it and hopefully others will too.

I will refrain from making anymore stressful comments.

Michael
 
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As I’m reading this in May 2023 I’m probably well behind the curve, but I seem to recall that Exactoscale make/made two lengths of slide chair to get round that problem. If it’s good enough for them it’s probably good enough for most of us.
@drduncan

Hi Duncan,

Good to hear from you.

Yes, plug track has moved on -- the length of the slide chairs is now automatically adjusted to match the current gauge setting.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Hi Michael,
I just read your comment, and I have to admit it made me smile, I thought I was the sole owner of clumsy comments :)
I totally endorse your last comment however, the system is truly brilliant, and a fantastic example of harnessing all the great leaps forward in using home purchasable modern technologies.
phil
 
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Yay! Got to the end….of the beginning!

A brilliant project (not product) and thanks for your perseverance and hard work.

So once I gave got through all the other things I need to do with my photon mono resin printer I will be printing out a test section and chairs. I will report back on resins and setttings.

Don’t wait up….

Duncan
 
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.
Another conundrum.

The prototype switch opening is 4.1/4".

For EM and 00-SF that's increased to 5.1/4" recommended minimum (1.75mm, thickness of a 20p coin).

Unfortunately that means a conflict with the chair screw heads:
View attachment 2667

View attachment 2670

Would you rather:

a. snip the tops off the chair screws to clear (they are very small in 4mm scale), or

b. have Templot make the chair longer than scale to suit the chosen gauge, or

c. have yet another tickbox option for that, or

d. something else.

Bear in mind for 00-SF that making the chairs longer than scale will reduce even further the distance between opposite slide chairs than is already caused by the under-scale gauge.

p.s. in the drawing I have rotated the rail to vertical.

cheers,

Martin.
Martin,

Apologies for the slight delay, been catching up on progress thus far.

It was a long time ago in a land far far away, but the screw head problem happened in the real world too. We used to find that by the time the S&T fitted lock stretcher and extension pieces with nuts & bolts there was an odds-on chance the inner chairscrew heads on P/PJ chairs would foul, causing much mirth and merriment. Because the soleplate was originally only drilled for P/PJ chairs the only quick solution was to remove inner chairscrews to give road back. In the longer term we had soleplates drilled for P/PJ and P1/PJ1 and had switches fitted with P1/PJ1 chairs at the toes, which gave the extra clearance by moving screw holes 2", and this became a standard option in time.

Keep up the good work, looking forward to the crossing chairs.

Paul
 
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I’ve been away from templot for a few years (building the layout has been a longer process than I had hoped but it’s my fault for choosing mixed gauge). As I’m reading this in May 2023 I’m probably well behind the curve, but I seem to recall that Exactoscale make/made two lengths of slide chair to get round that problem. If it’s good enough for them it’s probably good enough for most of us.

BTW, absolutely fascinating going through all this. By the nd of the week I hope I’ll be up to date. Many thanks Martin for your efforts on our behalf.

Duncan
Absolutely but I think you have to be a member of EMGS to get the 00/EM version.
 
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the screw head problem happened in the real world too. We used to find that by the time the S&T fitted lock stretcher and extension pieces with nuts & bolts there was an odds-on chance the inner chairscrew heads on P/PJ chairs would foul,
@Cransford

Thanks Paul,

Here is an interesting detail showing something similar. The lock bar insulation packing at the left-hand end has required the tops of the chair screws to be shortened down, to prevent any contact with the bent fixing end on the lock bar (which would operate the track circuit). Compare with the screw-heads on the next chairs:

index.php


I can imagine a few choice words from the p.w. gang if they ever need to remove those screws. :)

Martin.
 
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This is the profile that I am trying to use....I have taken the instruction from previous post questions and answsers. But when I try this config and create an STL I cannot repair either in formware or other 3D print repair tools....have I missunderstood and requesting something that is geometrically impossible?

View attachment 5635
@Michael Woods

Maybe it's time to repeat this diagram from way back in this topic:

index.php


The fish angle on all prototype UK REA bullhead and jointed flat-bottom track is 1:2.75 , but on most model rail sections it is steeper at around 1:1.5 . It is better to set it too steep rather than too flat to ensure the key clears.

The fishing faces are dimensioned from their intersect on the rail section centre-line. The head and foot depths can then be derived if needed, but you don't need to enter them because Templot calculates them.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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@Cransford
Thanks Paul,

Here is an interesting detail showing something similar. The lock bar insulation packing at the left-hand end has required the tops of the chair screws to be shortened down, to prevent any contact with the bent fixing end on the lock bar (which would operate the track circuit). Compare with the screw-heads on the next chairs:

index.php


I can imagine a few choice words from the p.w. gang if they ever need to remove those screws. :)

Martin.

Martin,

Nothing like the choice words with the S&T complaining about our track installation on ours about their blessed kit! Interesting fix in your picture, you live in the hope the local gang have a sharp edged box spanner. I recall doing a series of drawings which showed it was an accumulation of tolerances that caused the issue, something that happened quite a lot strangely.

Cheers,

Paul
 
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