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TEMPLOT 3D PLUG TRACK - To get up to speed with this experimental project click here.   To watch an introductory video click here.   See the User Guide at Bexhill West.

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 Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.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

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Martin Wynne

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This topic is a continuation from:

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

Some of the earlier pages in that topic are now out-of-date.



To allow for the wider model flangeways and deeper wheel flanges I have needed to increase the number of chair types in the V-crossings, and modify the prototype chair designations:

xing_chair_options.png


That's a total now of 25 different chair jaw types, which has filled the space I allocated for all the chair jaw types in the BOX file.

And we are still lacking some tickboxes to swap between slab&bracket and solid cast A chairs, and loose jaws for them.

Which means there is no existing space available for the K-crossing chairs. Which means a significant BOX file format update will be needed for the K-crossings. Which means I ought to do that now so that all the chairs can use the same updated format from the start. Which also means another version bump to 239a next time. Which means more work before I can get on with these crossing chairs. Decisions, decisions. :confused:

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6620
Which means I ought to do that now so that all the chairs can use the same updated format from the start. Which also means another version bump to 239a next time.

I'm now working on that.

ADVANCE CHANGE WARNING

It means any templates with settings you make on the above options dialog in 238a won't have the settings preserved into the next update.

I will try to get 239a out as soon as possible (i.e. before doing the crossing chairs) so that you can continue creating templates with the above options, without losing the settings later.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6625
.
New option:

slab_bracket_chairing.png



However, this option will be greyed out and off in 239a -- i.e. the only option for the "A" chairs will be the original REA cast type with keys. The slab & bracket option will come later.

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6635
On that note, I did have a bit of a wobble when first going into the real > chairing > chairs on template screen.
It kept forgetting what I had clicked!
That is until I realised that I was just clicking on the red X in the top right corner!
@Steve_Cornford

I have now made the same mistake about 10 times while testing stuff, and then tried to find why the settings are not being made.

It's a mystery, because exactly the same need to click an OK button is present on most other dialogs. My brain is obviously fading fast, so something must be done!

I have removed the red X, and added a more explicit cancel button:

chairing_cancel.png


Martin.
 
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I am not the only one then!

Rail in chair column
The use of coloured text in this column as an aide memoire is good, any chance of splitting the greens into yet more colours to denote which of the loose jaws are shareable between chair types?
If so are you aware of the X11 preferred colours?
cheers Steve
 
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message ref: 6639
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

Good idea, here you go. Colours and a guide to which is which:

chairing_cancel1.png


S1 outer jaws have 2 ribs, to fit each side of a single chair screw.

SC outer jaws have 1 rib, to fit between two chair screws.

L1 outer jaws have no rib, and fit only bridge chairs.

P outer jaws have a bolt instead of ribs or a key, and fit only slide chairs (and half-bolted chairs if I ever get round to them).

"outer" jaw means on the outside edge of the rail, usually with a key, opposite to the inner gauging jaw.

It's possible for an "outer" jaw to be on the "inner" end of a chair, for example for the check rails. Don't get as confused as I am. :)

I have also added the usual ? help button (but not yet written the notes).

Thanks for the colour idea. The X11 colour names apply to HTML code on web sites, they don't mean much here.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6640
Although primarily for web pages, I did find the recomended coulours useful when I was still programmin boring old accounting software, so produced a pdf example chart to help me choose.
 

Attachments

  • X11_Colour_Chart.pdf
    14.2 KB · Views: 87
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Although primarily for web pages, I did find the recomended coulours useful when I was still programmin boring old accounting software, so produced a pdf example chart to help me choose.
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the handy chart. If you would prefer different colours from the ones I have used, please let me know. Nothing is fixed.

It seems obvious that before exporting we need some indication on the templates of which of the chair jaw options applies to each template. I've adopted the quick and easy solution of using the existing symbols functions for that, to add coloured stickers. Something neater might be preferable at a later date:

chairing_stickers.png


"mixed jaws" means you clicked one or more of the option tickboxes, after or instead of clicking the top 3 buttons.

Combined with the timbering brick colours the trackpad is going to look like a fairground! But the stickers can be deleted if not wanted using the normal template > symbols functions.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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.
Signs of progress at long last.

Automatic swap to 1 or 2 bridge chairs where two S1 ordinary chairs won't fit is now working (same as for the switch heel):

l1_subs_xing.png


Martin.
 
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message ref: 6655
.
Another day, another tick-box:

s1j_wing_front.png


The REA drawings are ambivalent on the subject of using S1J joint chairs adjacent to rail joints within pointwork.

However, drawings showing them seem to be later-dated than those which don't show them, so maybe this practice was adopted some time after the original designs were done. The practice may vary between companies.

It seems logical to use the heavier joint chairs adjacent to the joints in the main road of a turnout in a running line. Whether they are strictly needed in the turnout road, or in yards and sidings, is debatable.

So here is yet another setting -- on by default.

It's a recipe for making mistakes when threading solid chairs onto the rails! But with loose-jaws it's obvious from the start -- the wrong chair won't fit the socket. :)

I'm wondering how many chaired model turnouts have been built over the years without this option? There are no S1J chairs shown anywhere on the Exactoscale P4 template or in the kit I have here (which is definitely an error for the switch-front rail joint), nor on the Finetrax kits.

Longer turnouts also have rail joints and joint chairs in the stock rails. I'm leaving that option for now until I have the full "chair heaving" functions implemented because the joint positions vary. In many cases the joint occurs behind the check rail, between the check rail chairs, so the option of using a joint chair doesn't arise. Likewise at the switch heel, the rail joints typically occur between bridge chairs.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Hi Martin,

I will try and find my copy of the PWI bullhead supplement and see if there's any info on the subject there. I don't recall seeing joint chairs within turnouts, certainly seen them on the toe and heel joints.
 
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@Phil O

Hi Phil,

Here is a poor-quality scan of a C-10 turnout. The chairs are S1 except where marked otherwise:

c10_scan_45ft_rails.png


A good many S1J joint chairs are shown.

On the right the exit timber is confusingly drawn at 10" sleeper width, but marked as a 12" wide timber -- which it needs to be to carry the wider S1J chairs. It is 5" thick (same as joint sleepers) instead of 6" thick (as crossing timbers). I suspect to build this turnout to drawing nowadays a 12" x 5" joint timber would take some finding.

What we don't know of course is how typical this is of actual C-10 turnouts on the ground, or how many S1J chairs remain in a C-10 built from 60ft rail stocks.

p.s. We have been here in some detail before, see:

https://85a.uk/templot/archive/topics/topic_3508.php#p27854


2_250340_390000000.jpg


On the left, this photo from Mick Nicholson very clearly shows the set bend in the stock rail, and the matching planing angle on the undercut switch blade. Also shows the welded retaining blocks on the ends of the soleplate.

A great photo of S1 and S1J chairs side by side, linked from RMweb ( https://www.rmweb.co.uk/topic/78411-prototype-for-everything-corner/?do=findComment&comment=3652791 ):

P1150568.JPG.fc410f2acefd9c0176315ad67268c792.JPG


On London Underground tracks, still using much bullhead track. The S1J chair has probably been moved because of loose screw holes. It is on a 12" timber.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin,

LU joint chair looks to have been moved because it looks as if the rail has been welded, just to the right of the jaw.

Not yet had a look for the book.
 
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LU joint chair looks to have been moved because it looks as if the rail has been welded, just to the right of the jaw.
@Phil O

Well spotted Phil. I had to turn up the brightness on my monitor to see it. Funny place to make a weld, over a timber. Maybe a repaired broken rail.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6664
.
Decisions, decisions. :(

Plug track already has its own history. My original intention was for chairs carrying multiple rails to be split into separate part-chairs carrying only a single rail in each part, which could be bash-fitted independently one rail at a time into separate sockets. I did that originally for the switch heel chairs, and it worked reasonably well.

But I could see that it might cause problems for the check rails and crossing chairs, especially in P4 with narrow flangeways. I left it as a bridge to cross when I came to it.

Then along came the idea of loose jaws, which make it very much easier to assemble multiple rails into a single chair. So I have changed the switch heel chairs to that design in the recent updates, and did the same for the check rail chairs, and I am working on the same for the crossing chairs.

Which raises the question about what jaw settings to use for the switch-on defaults?

My first intention was to retain all-solid jaws at switch-on, on the basis that it's probably what most users would expect to SEE, if not actually construct. But if they go ahead without realising and print them like that -- needing to slide multiple rails into single chairs, and then bash-fitting them, it is going to be extremely awkward to assemble. And all but impossible to assemble for the crossing chairs.

The only practical method of assembly if ALL the jaws are solid in single chairs would seem to be to replicate the Finetrax kits, fully fit all the chairs into the base first, and then slide in the rails from the end. Making an unprototypical break in the rails at the knuckle to allow it. Some users might want that, but it defeats the entire object of plug track which is to allow VERTICAL assembly of the rails, so allowing complex formations to be built where rails can be fixed down in between existing rails.

So I have changed my mind -- or at least I think I have -- so that the switch-on defaults will be mostly solid jaws, but leave slots for loose jaws to be separately printed for wherever there is a second or third rail in a chair. Which means the switch-on defaults now look like this, and there is yet another button, to revert to them:


jaw_defaults.png



i.e. the defaults for the switch heel block chairs will look like this:

jaw_defaults1.png



and for the check rails and crossing chairs:

jaw_defaults2.png



Which means we are going to need volunteers to explain all this to beginners, over and over again for years to come, when they report that something has gone wrong and some chairs have not fully printed.

I'm not sure I can face the endless explanations. Just preparing and writing this post has worn me out. I have put an egg on to boil.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6673
I’m willing to help also. I assume people don’t jump straight into printing without reviewing files but I was wondering whether there was a quick/easy way of providing a print preview facility at the export page? Personally, I export the generated stl file and then preview/fully review within my Formlabs Preform software. If I spot something amiss I go back and adjust export settings until I have what I want. Then, I fix the stl via the online fixer or via Martin if the file is too large.
 
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I assume people don’t jump straight into printing without reviewing files but I was wondering whether there was a quick/easy way of providing a print preview facility at the export page?
@Terry Downes

Hi Terry,

I have been thinking about the need for a preview function on the DXF/STL dialog.

But there is no way I can provide a 3D view without creating the STL file first. In which case you may as well get the file anyway and view it in an STL viewer program, of which there are dozens available, some online.

The snag there is that most of the viewers don't work on the unfixed mesh direct from Templot.

However, I have found an excellent program from Germany, 3D-Tool which is intended for viewing/analysis of 3D files for engineering components.

The full program is quite expensive, but there is a Free viewer version which cannot save files but does everything we want to preview existing STL files. Download (for Windows) from:

https://www.3d-tool.com/en-cad-viewer-download.htm#freeviewer

Make sure to click the FreeViewer button and not a free trial of the full versions.

It's entirely free, there is no email or sign-up needed. Just download and install.

The good news is that it can be set to display the unfixed STL files from Templot.

What's more, I have discovered that we can open it directly from a preview button within Templot and display a temporary STL file.

For this to work, to install it after downloading, right-click on the downloaded setup file and then Run as Administrator. Select the option for anyone to use it.

The Cross Section mode also makes it possible to see inside the components and check nothing is missing:

3d_tool_x_section1.png


3d_tool_x_section.png


All of which means that if you download this free program you can preview your DXF/STL files before exporting them and fixing them. Very useful to check your export settings.

Will be in the next program update:

preview_3d_export.png


cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6678
.
Thanks Steve.

We can do the same for the 2-D exports (for laser cutting, CNC milling) using Inkscape (free):

preview_dxf.png


I imagine most 2-D DXF users are already using Inkscape as their viewer, but a direct preview button from Templot will be handy.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6686
.

How to view unfixed STL files from Templot in the 3D-Tool viewer.

The primary reason the unfixed STL files from Templot need mesh fixing before use is that intentionally I have not differentiated between front and back faces in the code. The reason is that it would almost double the amount of program code needed for every element in the file. The mesh fixer program sorts it all out afterwards, plus some other fixes needed.

The 3D-Tool viewer can deal with it too, to display the unfixed files direct from Templot, if you make this setting:

preview_3d_export1.png


In the Display settings, set Back Faces like Front Faces on the lower drop-down. It can be set as the default via the Preferences:

preview_3d_export2.png


This setting can also be quickly switched on by clicking the Cross-Section mode.

It's a good idea to de-select the Shiny Colors option for a better view of the details.

It's worth playing with all the Display options to find the viewing options you prefer.

It is possible to change the green colour to something else:

preview_3d_export3.png


cheers,

Martin.
 
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Another day another button!

And for today (a very small button): :)

edit_preview.png


It can be a small button because that dialog opens automatically if you attempt to preview without installing a viewer first.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6693
.
I fear I may have taken a wrong turning with the chairing interface. Although it's difficult to put a finger on the crux of it, or what to do about it, or whether it really is a problem. :confused:

If you want all solid jaws, or all loose outer jaws, there is no difficulty building the track, and you can easily click the buttons to make the required chairs.

But it's becoming clear that mixing solid jaws with loose jaws in the same track raises some problems. It will very difficult to mix solid and loose jaws on the same physical piece of rail and assemble it into the timbering base. So we may need both versions of the same chair type on a template.

Consider for example:

wing_chairs1.png


There is a rail break needed at the wing front rail joint. Which is fine -- it means all the chairs on the wing rail with the knuckle bend can be loose-jaw and easy to assemble into place. It would very tricky to assemble the knuckle with slide-on solid jaws. That means the blue L1 bridge chairs should also be loose-jaw.

But the closure rails on the left are separate rails and can have solid jaws if preferred. That means the red L1 bridge chairs need to be solid jaw.

But there is only one setting for all the L1 chairs on a template:

wing_chairs2.png


It seems clear that we need to specify a solid or loose jaw by reference to its position on the template, not by the type of chair. That would be a minefield of more tickboxes and buttons to implement.

But maybe it's not so much of a problem -- we could easily get what we want by splitting the above into 2 partial templates to create the chairs. All the chair settings are template-specific.

But hang on -- all the L1 chairs are interchangeable on any template. So we just need to print a stock of loose-jaw and solid-jaw L1 chairs. And use whichever we prefer in any L1 socket position when constructing the track. Likewise for the other interchangeable chairs. Is there any need to specify which type of those chairs on a template?

Answers on a postcard.

Meanwhile there are signs of progress -- here's my work-in-progress on the ZY crossing chairs:

zy_chairs_in_progress.png


These are the first chairs where the chair base is skewed on the parent rail. I got there in the end. Hopefully the other rail tomorrow.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6702
Well done on the ZY crossing chair.

As far as the need for mixing solid jaw and loose jaw chairs of the same type on a template, I would agree that this is not a necessary complication.

I believe that as far as chairs are concerned it us going to be easier to have a "raft" library of the different chair types and their options, rather than generate a specific raft of chairs for each individual template.

For instance we could have a raft of left handed B7 1P to 4P loose jawed chairs & their jaws.

For 4mm & a Mars 2 pro, I managed to fit 4 of these onto the build plate at a resin cost of 31p.

For certain chairs (like these ) it is useful to print a set of chairs and jaws on the same raft so that each has corresponds with its relevant chair (as these are chairs with black font on your jaw option dialogue).

I am assuming that the chairs on this library raft could be used for any Left handed B7 turnout irrespective of curvature?

Steve
 
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message ref: 6703
Steve

On the real thing, the common crossing chairs are standard for either left or right configuration regardless of curvature, what alters is the way you put the point and splice rail together.
 
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message ref: 6704
sorry
, got carried away.
What I meant to say is that (for now at least) an happy to print a set of L1 with solid jaws, and a set of L1 with loose jaws and use them as stock to pick from as required.steve
 
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message ref: 6705
For instance we could have a raft of left handed B7 1P to 4P loose jawed chairs & their jaws.
@Steve_Cornford

Hi Steve,

You can create a stock of such chairs -- but ONLY for switches where you haven't shoved the switch timbers:

switch_shoving1.png


Here I have shoved forward timber S8 carrying the 2P chairs (excessively, for clarity) on this B-switch. You can see that the 2P chairs have grown in length to match the rails, and are no longer interchangeable with any other B-switch 2P chairs.

Prototypically you shouldn't be shoving switch timbers like this. But on a model you might need to shove them a little to fit a cramped space, and you might be tempted to shove them quite a lot in complex formations -- in the second switch of a tandem turnout for example.

If you model in P4, S7, etc., you can say that you just follow the prototype and shouldn't need to shove such timbers. Although even the prototype doesn't lay a tandem turnout on a 4 chains radius transition curve.

But in 00/EM etc., the reduced gauge and wider flangeways change the geometry, and you might find that the only way to make things fit is to shove such timbers along a bit from the strictly prototypical positions.

The same goes for the crossing chairs.

Templot creates the chairs programmatically so that they will always fit shoved timbers, and you need to be careful not to assume they are interchangeable after some creative timber shoving.

How to keep records of all this so that chairs and their loose jaws can be cross-referenced to their respective timbers in a timbering brick, from say the middle of a complex station throat, is an issue yet to be faced. It is going to need some careful record keeping and labelling.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Steve

On the real thing, the common crossing chairs are standard for either left or right configuration regardless of curvature, what alters is the way you put the point and splice rail together.
@Phil O

Hi Phil,

This will be the same on the plug track -- for the crossing chairs. That's because they are equalized to the centre-line of the crossing.

But not for the switch chairs, because switches are not equalized, they are always square-on. This means that the 3P chair, say, from the turnout-side of a left-hand switch is not identical to the 3P chair from the main-side of a right-hand switch. There is a slight difference in rail offset and chair length*.

Or at least there is in Templot. On the prototype the same chairs are used for both, which means there is a slight gauge-reduction through the turnout-side of prototype REA switches. I have mentioned this discrepancy in the REA switch designs before.

* the difference will be barely noticeable on 3D-printed chairs in 4mm/ft scale, bearing in mind the resolution of 3D printers and track construction tolerances. But it will become noticeable in the larger scales such as Gauge 1, for example.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6707
Hi Martin,
having carefully read all the comments, I believe Steve's, point re how the chairs are actually made on a 3D printer is a very important point.
My question would be, is there any real need to make exactly the right type and amount of chairs for one template, in one go?
I feel in practice there is already enough flexibility in plug track to achieve what is required, but not by making one complete template. As you mentioned Martin, maybe its a simple as two or more part templates at the printing stage?
It maybe better for more effort to be put into the right instructions to achieve specific chairs. Which to be honest Martin may well be where uses can come into play and write the instructions for you. leaving Martin to concentrate on making the magic happen.
just my thoughts.
cheers
Phil
 
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message ref: 6713
Chaps,

If anyone would care to send me an STL file for some 18.2 and 28mm gauge (yes Brunei’s broad gauge) timbering with chairs I’ll see how it prints and what settings for the photon mono.

Regards

Duncan
 
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message ref: 6714
Chaps,

If anyone would care to send me an STL file for some 18.2 and 28mm gauge (yes Brunei’s broad gauge) timbering with chairs I’ll see how it prints and what settings for the photon mono.

Regards

Duncan
@drduncan

Hi Duncan,

Unfortunately it's not that simple. :(

You need to specify whether you want solid or loose outer jaws.

And also what rail section you are using (and preferably dimensions from the batch of rail you are using). The default settings in Templot match some 10-year-old C&L nickel-silver code 75 bullhead rail which I have here. It might or might not match your rail. Indications from others are that the chairs are a fraction loose on the current C&L rail. There are also indications for the Mars printers that the rail fit for solid jaws varies according to the orientation of the chair raft on the build plate.

At present plug track is available only for chaired bullhead rail using REA chairs, i.e. the 1925 designs.

GWR broad gauge bridge rail is well down the list! :)

p.s. I'm still far from convinced that a resin-printed one-piece timbers+chairs base is a sensible way to go. There are shrinkage and warping considerations, and the home printer build plates are so small. The last thing I need at present is yet another viable option to take into consideration in the code and user interface.

My working default position is that the vast majority of users will want to go for FDM-printed bases:

index.php


cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6715
Hi Martin,
having carefully read all the comments, I believe Steve's, point re how the chairs are actually made on a 3D printer is a very important point.
My question would be, is there any real need to make exactly the right type and amount of chairs for one template, in one go?
I feel in practice there is already enough flexibility in plug track to achieve what is required, but not by making one complete template. As you mentioned Martin, maybe its a simple as two or more part templates at the printing stage?
It maybe better for more effort to be put into the right instructions to achieve specific chairs. Which to be honest Martin may well be where uses can come into play and write the instructions for you. leaving Martin to concentrate on making the magic happen.
just my thoughts.
cheers
Phil
@Phil G

Hi Phil,

As I've mentioned I'm itching to get back to 3D printing so that we can sort out all these practical aspects. There are lots of ideas to try, but until I have got all the crossing chairs done, it would just be a distraction.

For example I could easily provide button(s) to create a raft of the common chairs or chair parts, all nicely bunched up to save space and resin. Say a raft of solid P chairs, or a raft of loose jaws for L1 chairs. Just choose your scale and rail section.

But that's not possible with the chairs and jaws which are unique to a particular template. So how to indicate which chair goes where and whether it can be a standard one from stock? I can't see a practical way to add ID marks to the timbering base, so it probably needs a printed paper template as a key to the required chairs. But I have done nothing yet about including the chair outlines on the paper templates or other output.

We are already splitting the original track templates into partial copy templates to create a timbering brick. Splitting them again on different boundaries to make the chairs feels like a recipe for confusion. I just hope someone else will be doing all the explaining. :)

In the meantime I must simply push on with the crossing chairs. I'm wondering if it would make sense to pause the whole project until I have got them done? Writing this stuff now before having full answers is just going to confuse beginners coming to this topic.

See you at the Zoom meeting tonight?

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6716
.
I fear I may have taken a wrong turning with the chairing interface. Although it's difficult to put a finger on the crux of it, or what to do about it, or whether it really is a problem. :confused:

If you want all solid jaws, or all loose outer jaws, there is no difficulty building the track, and you can easily click the buttons to make the required chairs.

But it's becoming clear that mixing solid jaws with loose jaws in the same track raises some problems. It will very difficult to mix solid and loose jaws on the same physical piece of rail and assemble it into the timbering base. So we may need both versions of the same chair type on a template.

Consider for example:

View attachment 5813

There is a rail break needed at the wing front rail joint. Which is fine -- it means all the chairs on the wing rail with the knuckle bend can be loose-jaw and easy to assemble into place. It would very tricky to assemble the knuckle with slide-on solid jaws. That means the blue L1 bridge chairs should also be loose-jaw.

But the closure rails on the left are separate rails and can have solid jaws if preferred. That means the red L1 bridge chairs need to be solid jaw.

But there is only one setting for all the L1 chairs on a template:

View attachment 5812

It seems clear that we need to specify a solid or loose jaw by reference to its position on the template, not by the type of chair. That would be a minefield of more tickboxes and buttons to implement.

But maybe it's not so much of a problem -- we could easily get what we want by splitting the above into 2 partial templates to create the chairs. All the chair settings are template-specific.

But hang on -- all the L1 chairs are interchangeable on any template. So we just need to print a stock of loose-jaw and solid-jaw L1 chairs. And use whichever we prefer in any L1 socket position when constructing the track. Likewise for the other interchangeable chairs. Is there any need to specify which type of those chairs on a template?

Answers on a postcard.

Meanwhile there are signs of progress -- here's my work-in-progress on the ZY crossing chairs:

View attachment 5814

These are the first chairs where the chair base is skewed on the parent rail. I got there in the end. Hopefully the other rail tomorrow.

cheers,

Martin.
Sorry for late reply, I have just returned to UK. Also, I do not want to slow progress or add complication so, please ignore if this is irrelevant Or too complicated.
I was wondering whether solid/loose jaw selection should be set globally as you have it now and then ‘special/individual‘ chairs could be altered within the shove timbers dialogue box where you can switch individual chairs on/off on each timber.?
 
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message ref: 6725
Sorry for late reply, I have just returned to UK. Also, I do not want to slow progress or add complication so, please ignore if this is irrelevant Or too complicated.
I was wondering whether solid/loose jaw selection should be set globally as you have it now and then ‘special/individual‘ chairs could be altered within the shove timbers dialogue box where you can switch individual chairs on/off on each timber.?
@Terry Downes

Hi Terry,

I had been looking at that, but it's a lot of work in the code, and the BOX file. It should properly be left until we get to the full "chair heaving" function, where every individual chair in a template can be selected and edited to whatever you want, including customised chairs, GWR, flat-bottom baseplates, etc. That's all still a long way off.

But it would be very tedious to have to go through every timber on every template changing a solid/loose jaw setting.

We are over-thinking this. It just needs some buttons to create neat rafts of the bog-standard chairs, S1, S1J, P, L1, CC, SC etc., and/or loose jaws for them. You can then choose which to use in any given socket during construction.

Only the special chairs need to be tied to a specific position on a specific template. And for those I think loose jaws is the only practical assembly option as the default. Anyone wanting them solid can easily split the templates as required.

But nothing more can be done on anything until until until I have got all the crossing chairs done! Otherwise they never will get done -- it's just turning into one distraction after another.

I didn't want to spend sunny summer days indoors on the computer. So I have now obtained a cheapo laptop computer which I can use sitting in the garden (or parked up in the hills) in a desperate effort to get a full turnout finally possible. But I can't even get on with that this weekend because there are 200 bedding plants to get planted first!

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 6726
@Terry Downes

Hi Terry,

I had been looking at that, but it's a lot of work in the code, and the BOX file. It should properly be left until we get to the full "chair heaving" function, where every individual chair in a template can be selected and edited to whatever you want, including customised chairs, GWR, flat-bottom baseplates, etc. That's all still a long way off.

But it would be very tedious to have to go through every timber on every template changing a solid/loose jaw setting.

We are over-thinking this. It just needs some buttons to create neat rafts of the bog-standard chairs, S1, S1J, P, L1, CC, SC etc., and/or loose jaws for them. You can then choose which to use in any given socket during construction.

Only the special chairs need to be tied to a specific position on a specific template. And for those I think loose jaws is the only practical assembly option as the default. Anyone wanting them solid can easily split the templates as required.

But nothing more can be done on anything until until until I have got all the crossing chairs done! Otherwise they never will get done -- it's just turning into one distraction after another.

I didn't want to spend sunny summer days indoors on the computer. So I have now obtained a cheapo laptop computer which I can use sitting in the garden (or parked up in the hills) in a desperate effort to get a full turnout finally possible. But I can't even get on with that this weekend because there are 200 bedding plants to get planted first!

cheers,

Martin.
understood and agree 100%. enjoy the sunshine....
 
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message ref: 6727
Hi Martin,

Some progress. I have been experimenting with resins for chairs (water washable is simply too brittle), the correct chair profile for S Gauge (I have this now and the rail slides in and is nice and firm, although a little liquid soap helps). Plus found (what i think) is the best settings on the Filament printer.

I have deliberately set the filament printer settings to try and create a timber effect on the surface of the sleeper.

Where I need guidance now is on points. I have attached a box file of the point I want to make. I have printed off some of the chairs. I understand the V chairs are coming and that is OK i can fabricate those, the question I have is on the sliding chairs and the associated timber sockets. Have I missed these in my 3D preparation or is this something under development?

Many thanks in advance.
 

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