• The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed. Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

    Some pages of this topic 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.

Extracting a 3D timbering brick from a track plan

Martin Wynne

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Also they have a paid-for slicer (for resin printing) which includes mesh fixing tools, so no need to go online. Their blurb actually mentions model trains: (30-day free trial) https://www.formware.co/slicer/download
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

I've installed the free trial of the Formware slicer. As expected the integral mesh fixer is actually the same as the online version, so the same result but with no waiting or time-outs or file size limits, and Cura is equally happy with the result:

formware_slicer_fix.png


The slicer itself is for resin printers, not FDM, and quite expensive. On the other hand the free Chitubox resin slicer is quite primitive in places, and the Chitubox paid-for version is an expensive subscription service. This Formware slicer looks the business for printing the chairs and other stuff on my Elegoo printer, so I've got 30 days to decide if it's worth the cost. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

I've installed the free trial of the Formware slicer. As expected the integral mesh fixer is actually the same as the online version, so the same result but with no waiting or time-outs or file size limits, and Cura is equally happy with the result:

View attachment 3821

The slicer itself is for resin printers, not FDM, and quite expensive. On the other hand the free Chitubox resin slicer is quite primitive in places, and the Chitubox paid-for version is an expensive subscription service. This Formware slicer looks the business for printing the chairs and other stuff on my Elegoo printer, so I've got 30 days to decide if it's worth the cost. :)

cheers,

Martin.

Hi Martin

At one point I accidentally exported an STL with chairs and they actually looked quite good. I hadn’t done anything about rail sizes or any other adjustments, and they certainly wouldn’t have printed on my FDM printer but resin printing is looking more and more like the way to go.

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
More progress! Much of the sheds area is now laid, waiting for wagon turntables before continuing. The two bricks at the top are positioned temporarily, with a couple of splints to give correct spacing from the copperclad flatbottom track - these will be cut off once the brick positions are marked. Just two more bricks to go off to the left.

JPEG image 2.jpeg
JPEG image.jpeg


I’ve also found out how to convert HEIC to JPG on the iPad - just copy and paste to the Files app and they’re automatically converted where they’re just as accessible from either the iPad or PC.
 
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Martin Wynne

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Thread starter
Location
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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
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@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

That's looking good!

Bloat of the day: :)

stl_rotation1.png


stl_rotation2.png


If your build plate outline has been rotated on the trackpad, you can "undo" the rotation when exporting the STL file. This might be easier than relying on the slicer to do it.

A few points:

X-Y rotation only, Z not affected. For complex Z rolls, the slicer must be used.

Anticlockwise is the positive rotation direction. Set zero angle to cancel any rotation.

Only the STL is rotated -- the DXF remains unchanged as a true export for CAD, etc.

Any shrinkage or scaling is applied after rotation. This could be significant if the X-shrinkage/scaling differs from the Y-shrinkage/scaling. A rotated STL would then not be an exact copy of the unrotated DXF. This might need to be taken into account when printing the chairs.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
That looks like another useful feature! I'm looking forward to the next release.

I'm just reprinting the wagon turntable area - I made a fundamental mistake in drawing the 6ft diameter table but not allowing for the surround, so my 3D printed turntable wells clashed with sleepers! I discovered this when I tried placing the wells...

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Martin Wynne

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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Bad luck about having to do a reprint. :(

If anything, and this applies generally, the ability to rotate a rectangle shape without breaking it into four would be handy.

That was a left-over from the old BGS format. It has been possible to work round it since the change to BGS3, but I have added yet more bells and whistles to make it easier:

shapes_234d.png


The breaking a rectangle to 4 lines function is still available in the menu should anyone want it, but it's not easy to think of a reason -- maybe converting a brick slab to 4 splints to leave a space in the middle.

There are 2 new buttons to set the rotation angle, and a twist rectangle mouse action.

What's the difference between rotate and twist? rotate causes the shape(s) to orbit around the grid origin, or notch, or somewhere else; twist causes a shape to spin around its centre. Think Earth orbiting the Sun, or spinning on its axis. :)

Also another tick-box brick boundary rectangle. This allows a non-brick rectangle to be used as a brick boundary outline representing the printer build plate. It shows on the trackpad as a bold outline in the selected brick colour. But it's not a brick shape and doesn't get exported as a slab in the brick. Being a non-brick rectangle it can have a hatched infill if desired (brick slabs have a solid infill).

This replaces the temporary use of the image boundary rectangle (of which there is only one and it can't be rotated) for this purpose.

234d will be on the server soon.

I'd like to think that I have now reached a breathing space in the FDM printing, and can get back to thinking about the chairs. I'm sure there are lots of folks waiting for some progress on them.

But I have to come back to this stuff before too long, because none of it is yet in the regular outputs for paper templates, PDF, etc.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
Hi Martin

What's the difference between rotate and twist? rotate causes the shape(s) to orbit around the grid origin, or notch, or somewhere else; twist causes a shape to spin around its centre. Think Earth orbiting the Sun, or spinning on its axis. :)

Having been confused by that in the past, thanks for the clarification of the difference!

I'd like to think that I have now reached a breathing space in the FDM printing, and can get back to thinking about the chairs. I'm sure there are lots of folks waiting for some progress on them.

I think there's more than a breathing space! Give or take a few loose ends, this is a very functional system now as demonstrated by my built track using FDM bricks.

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Martin Wynne

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Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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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
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@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

234d is now on the server.

Main changes:

brick_new_234d.png



Also - no blue rails: :)

no_blue_rails_234d_pt_blanking.png


index.php


index.php


shapes_234d_1.png



Strange how I always spot something 5 minutes after releasing an update:

brick_pre_sets.png


It doesn't affect anything, it is only a label. Angles are specified in degrees. Just annoying. :(

I doubt anyone will want a pre-set angle, but it's there if wanted. The build plate pre-sets are included in the saved program preferences.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
Oh gosh, so many exciting things! The build plate presets is a very useful and welcome surprise. And those blue rails - thanks for losing those! I feel a bit guilty that I only have two bricks left to print for my narrow gauge layout, but I do seem to be accumulating 2mm scale stock, and seem to have a couple of spare baseboards hanging about...

Thanks for all your work on this, @Martin Wynne , I'll let you get back to chairs now :)

I'll write up some notes on all this and post them here somewhere. It'll be more how I do things, which I'm sure won't necessarily be how it was intended to be used, of course. It does mean those two bricks will take a very long time - I know this from writing up build instructions at work!

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
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.
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Just a couple more changes in the next update, before I move back to the chairs.

peg on blanked length now works on plain track.

I have also given it the CTRL+3 shortcut, instead of the rarely used peg on DP. I know some folks hate changes to the shortcuts, so I will just have to weather the flak. And remember to update the docs.

This makes it quick and easy to put the notch under it, and then add a clip at notch.

It will be in the next update, but I won't do one immediately just for that.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Just a couple more changes in the next update, before I move back to the chairs.

peg on blanked length now works on plain track.

I have also given it the CTRL+3 shortcut, instead of the rarely used peg on DP. I know some folks hate changes to the shortcuts, so I will just have to weather the flak. And remember to update the docs.

This makes it quick and easy to put the notch under it, and then add a clip at notch.

It will be in the next update, but I won't do one immediately just for that.

cheers,

Martin.

Ah, brilliant, thank you! That would be really useful - it was something I thought I'd forgotten how to do!

Cheers,
Paul
 
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