Experimental Plug Track - file exports for 3D printing

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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

Charles Orr

Member
Location
Leicester UK
They look superb Martin.
I'm currently unable to do any 3D printing because I have some decorating being done, but I'm itching to try this out.
In a few days time hopefully.
 
_______________
message ref: 2047

Hayfield

Member
Location
Essex
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:

View attachment 1709

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

View attachment 1708

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:

View attachment 1706

View attachment 1707

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.
Martin

The detail looks stunning, one now wonders how much longer injection moulded chairs will survive
 
_______________
message ref: 2048

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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've floated the idea of a bottom flange on the timbers a couple of times, to be hidden under the ballast:

index.php


It hasn't been met with howls of outrage, so perhaps we can take it a bit further.

Given that my filament printer has a work area of only 8" square (some others are larger, but not by a lot) it's obvious that the timbering base for any significant chunk of pointwork will need to be assembled from several separate pieces. Which need to be aligned precisely for Plug Track, because the base provides the gauging and rail alignments. Resin printer work areas are even smaller, so for anyone planning to resin-print the bases there will be a great many pieces to assemble. Likewise for Plug Track in 7mm scale.

I had high hopes of creating a "3D template" on the Cameo cutter, which the base pieces would drop into. The Cameo has a work area which could easily cover a baseboard. Unfortunately it can't cut anything of the thickness needed for such an idea with sufficient accuracy, if at all. Or at least, I haven't been able to find a way of doing so.

So back to the timber flanges. Which could be extended in places to create a sort of "Lego" set of timbering bases for a layout, by adding locking connectors to the timber flange at strategic locations, which might look something like this:


timber_connector.png


All to be hidden under the ballast.

It's going to need some careful thought about dimensions and tolerances, because timbers can be at odd angles and spacings and not necessarily parallel. And some means to tell Templot where to split the 3-D export and add a connector.

Even for larger laser-cut plywood bases, some means to align the separate pieces would be desirable.

Much food for thought.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2054

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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.
to create a sort of "Lego" set of timbering bases for a layout

Having introduced the Lego analogy, we may as well take it further. Just when you thought the DXF dialog was complex enough, here is another tickbox:

timbering_brick.png


A timbering "brick" is a single piece of timbering base (typically one that fits on a 3D printer work area) which will clip to other bricks to create the timbering base for a pointwork formation or an entire layout.

Ticking this box limits the DXF/STL timbering export to timbers wholly contained within the current export rectangle on the trackpad.

No effect on the rails, which would presumably be switched off when creating brick files.

Now we need a whole lot of functions to create numbered bricks on the trackpad, save and load them, and select which one is current for export, and add the clip connectors. Fortunately I'm wearing my programming shorts today...

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2067
First post here. I had always intended using Templot to create templates for 21mm PCB track but this development is really exciting. Fantastic work. That's all I have to say for now :)

All the best,
Phil.
 
_______________
message ref: 2076

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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.
@murphaph

Hi Phil,

Welcome to Templot Club. :)

Always good to see 5ft-3in gauge here!

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2077
Thanks for the warm welcome Martin. I look forward to following this thread in particular with great interest.

My long term plan is 21mm gauge but with EM tolerances to check rails rather than P4 ones. This is the "standard" described in Modelling Irish Railways.

I hope by the time I'm ready to start printing my track (still sounds like science fiction to me lol) that I'll be able to select these options in Templot though from what I understand you're leaning towards a configuration file rather than overloading the interface with check boxes, which probably makes sense given the number of combinations possible.
 
_______________
message ref: 2084

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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.
My long term plan is 21mm gauge but with EM tolerances to check rails rather than P4 ones. This is the "standard" described in Modelling Irish Railways.
@murphaph

Hi Phil,

There are some pre-sets in Templot for 5ft-3in gauge, although you can of course set any custom standard you wish:

em_5ft_3in.png


It doesn't include the standard you mentioned because I regard it as flawed, although I may add EM-SF(I) to take advantage of the Exactoscale 0.8mm check-rail chairs.

The golden rule is that to use an exact-scale track gauge you must also use exact-scale wheel profiles and flangeways, otherwise the wheels won't fit behind loco valve gear, inside splashers, behind axleboxes, etc. All H0 models are over scale width in the running gear for this reason. To use overscale wheel profiles, the track gauge must be reduced slightly if you want a scale-width model. Hence EM, 0-MF, etc.

As you probably know, there is about 20 years of my modelling life in the 21mm Adavoyle Junction layout -- although I recall spending most of my time working under the baseboards rather than on top: :)

2_050749_470000003.jpg


The pointwork was mostly built by Peter Taylor in 1983, with some contributions from the earliest beginnings of Templot. It's been in my thoughts recently because it was fully chaired riveted plywood -- we chaired it by injection moulding chairs in situ around the rivets using a hot-glue gun. I remember spending several evenings on the spark eroder making the injection tools. Joe Brook Smith was delighted when I showed him the chairing process at Scaleforum in 1986. I wonder what he would have made of the resin-printed chairs I made this week? The layout spent about 20 years on the exhibition circuit, and is now in the care of the South Dublin Model Railway Club.

More info and pics: https://85a.uk/GNRI/adavoyle.htm

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2089

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@murphaph

Hi Phil,

There are some pre-sets in Templot for 5ft-3in gauge, although you can of course set any custom standard you wish:

View attachment 1732

It doesn't include the standard you mentioned because I regard it as flawed, although I may add EM-SF(I) to take advantage of the Exactoscale 0.8mm check-rail chairs.

The golden rule is that to use an exact-scale track gauge you must also use exact-scale wheel profiles and flangeways, otherwise the wheels won't fit behind loco valve gear, inside splashers, behind axleboxes, etc. All H0 models are over scale width in the running gear for this reason. To use overscale wheel profiles, the track gauge must be reduced slightly if you want a scale-width model. Hence EM, 0-MF, etc.

As you probably know, there is about 20 years of my modelling life in the 21mm Adavoyle Junction layout -- although I recall spending most of my time working under the baseboards rather than on top: :)

2_050749_470000003.jpg


The pointwork was mostly built by Peter Taylor in 1983, with some contributions from the earliest beginnings of Templot. It's been in my thoughts recently because it was fully chaired riveted plywood -- we chaired it by injection moulding chairs in situ around the rivets using a hot-glue gun. I remember spending several evenings on the spark eroder making the injection tools. Joe Brook Smith was delighted when I showed him the chairing process at Scaleforum in 1986. I wonder what he would have made of the resin-printed chairs I made this week? The layout spent about 20 years on the exhibition circuit, and is now in the care of the South Dublin Model railway Club.

More info and pics: https://85a.uk/GNRI/adavoyle.htm

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin

Adavoyle was one of those hugely inspirational layouts me for in the early to mid-1980s, and the late Tony Miles' series of articles on loco-building in Railway Modeller were probably the point at which I realised that we don't have to just stick RTR models on the rails and off you go. Definitely one of those very few layouts that has stuck in my mind, despite never having seen it in real life.

Cheers,
Paul
 
_______________
message ref: 2091

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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.
Adavoyle was one of those hugely inspirational layouts me for in the early to mid-1980s, and the late Tony Miles' series of articles on loco-building in Railway Modeller were probably the point at which I realised that we don't have to just stick RTR models on the rails and off you go. Definitely one of those very few layouts that has stuck in my mind, despite never having seen it in real life.
@Paul Boyd

Thanks Paul.

Unlike most 40-year-old layouts, you might still get to see it. Its actual 40th birthday will be next year, so maybe the club will be holding another open day:

http://sdmrc.ie/2019/06/

Of course it's difficult to pin down the exact birth date of a layout. But having decided to use domestic doors for the baseboards, the day Tony took the bathroom scales with him to the DIY store to weigh their entire stock of different doors sticks in the memory. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2093

Phil O

Member
Location
Plymouth.
I remember seeing Adavoyle a couple of times in the early eighties, but I don't remember which particular shows, one may have been Bristol or perhaps Kiddy. I certainly remember articles in the Modeller.
 
_______________
message ref: 2100

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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.
Here's where I have got to with the timbering bricks:

bricks1.png


Rectangles can be drawn on the trackpad to represent each "brick" unit for 3-D printing of the timbering. Each one is given a random hatch colour to keep track of which is which as you zoom in and out. For my FDM printer the work area is 8" square, and I don't want to be working right to the edge, to leave space for some clip connectors. So I have set the grid lines to 7" spacing as a rough quide to the brick sizes when drawing the rectangles.

The outlines are only approximations -- where they inevitably cut through a timber:

bricks2.png


the intention is that you tell Templot which brick the timber should be in.

At present the rectangles are always rectilinear to the grid, and I'm minded to keep it that way, rather than have them at assorted angles, which would just add to the complexity. If a particular track plan desperately needs to be printed at an angle on the printer, you could do a group rotate on the trackpad, print it, and then rotate the group back.

Now we need yet another dialog to set up and control all this. But first a boiled egg. :)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2102

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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 just posted this on the Ffestiniog topic. It might be worth repeating it here if I haven't made it clear:


In the current Templot version 228a you can 3D-print ordinary REA S1 chairs* for any scale, to match any rail section.

The rail section details are entered by clicking the set custom rail... button on the DXF dialog.

*but only S1 chairs. I haven't done the special switch and crossing chairs yet.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2136

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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 brick planning is proving more complex than I expected.

But some progress, here's a scruffy video clip showing where I have got to: :)

https://flashbackconnect.com/Default.aspx?id=K2wjuF6505UJjnv7MlJXwg2

(For some reason my video screen capture has stopped putting red rings round the mouse clicks, sorry about that.)


3d_bricks.png


Still quite a lot to do, deleting and editing the bricks when needed, adding the connector clips (via background shape target marks), saving and loading bricks. Then hopefully I can get back to the chairs.

Also still to do, is dealing with the timber sprues where timbers come close end to end, as in a crossover. Some sort of conflict removal algorithm is needed.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2170

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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.
Awesome work. Might it make sense to allow the user to set a maximum brick size, corresponding to their available 3d printer's capacity?
@murphaph

Hi Phil,

Yes, all that still to do. The actual drawn outline size is irrelevant, it is just a guide. What counts is the overall size of the included timbers, sprues, and connector clips. So some allowance needed when setting the size guide.

As I said, it gets complicated. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2172
Top