Extracting a timbering brick from a track plan

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.
That’ll do! I still understand Roman numbers,

I wasn't very serious :) -- I think I can do numbers as on a 7-segment display, without too much work.

How about a barcode?

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4061

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
I wasn't very serious :) -- I think I can do numbers as on a 7-segment display, without too much work.

How about a barcode?

Martin.

That’s a shame, we could have had a topic on how to read Roman numerals 😀 7-seg style will also do!

How about a tally system? Straight lines again 😀. (I do actually still use that occasionally!)

Cheers,
Paul
 
_______________
message ref: 4062

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.
How about a tally system? Straight lines again 😀. (I do actually still use that occasionally!)

Yes, me too. I'll see how I get on with 7-seg first. Rather than on a splint, a separate tab derived from a label shape might be easier -- it wouldn't be affected if the splint gets adjusted or deleted afterwards.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4063

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,

How about a brick number which looks like this -- 170-136-102 ?

i.e. the RGB code for the brick colour. It could be added automatically along every splint. It would be unique to each brick and not need any user input. For reference it could appear on the menu:

brick_number.png


Clicking it shows the colour dialog to change it, if needed (for the selected template).

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4076

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

How about a brick number which looks like this -- 170-136-102 ?

i.e. the RGB code for the brick colour. It could be added automatically along every splint. It would be unique to each brick and not need any user input. For reference it could appear on the menu:

View attachment 3488

Clicking it shows the colour dialog to change it, if needed (for the selected template).

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin

I've been mulling that over (instead of working!). I definitely like the idea of having a precise colour definition because some of the palette colours are very close to each other so not necessarily easy to distinguish on the screen. My other thought is that the splints would have to be quite long! How about merging two ideas - have the RGB code on a tab? You previously mentioned doing something based on name labels. I think the tab position may need to be adjustable. Or would it? Probably not if it was effectively just a sideways extension of a section of web.

This would be a great way of positively identifying a random brick picked up from the bench, more so for a plain track brick.

Cheers,
Paul
 
_______________
message ref: 4077

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

Thanks Paul.

I was trying to find something which requires no input from the user. But it's tricky, because not all bricks may have splints (or clips).

I'm thinking now that if there are any label shapes in the brick (usually only one), the export will write the colour ref on it to create a number tab. Or any other ref the user has specified as the label text (if it's doable in 7-seg, e.g. FHP34 is doable, KRW18 isn't). Sized to match the splints. The user would place this label tab attached to the brick somewhere convenient. It would be lost in the ballast as the splints.

If there are no label shapes, the DXF export will add one, placed centrally within the brick. It might be lucky and miss all the clips and sockets, but not be very readable if there are timbers running over it! A warning will appear, so that the user can delete it, or cancel the export, go back to the trackpad and move it to a sensible place.

This illustrates a frequent problem in Templot, where something which looks simple isn't. Templot can easily create a number tab. But where to put it, so that it is attached to the brick but not conflicting with anything, requires a human eye or some serious programming.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4078

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Paul Boyd

Thanks Paul.

I was trying to find something which requires no input from the user. But it's tricky, because not all bricks may have splints (or clips).

I'm thinking now that if there are any label shapes in the brick (usually only one), the export will write the colour ref on it to create a number tab. Or any other ref the user has specified as the label text (if it's doable in 7-seg, e.g. FHP34 is doable, KRW18 isn't). Sized to match the splints. The user would place this label tab attached to the brick somewhere convenient. It would be lost in the ballast as the splints.

If there are no label shapes, the DXF export will add one, placed centrally within the brick. It might be lucky and miss all the clips and sockets, but not be very readable if there are timbers running over it! A warning will appear, so that the user can delete it, or cancel the export, go back to the trackpad and move it to a sensible place.

This illustrates a frequent problem in Templot, where something which looks simple isn't. Templot can easily create a number tab. But where to put it, so that it is attached to the brick but not conflicting with anything, requires a human eye or some serious programming.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin

I think you're on the right track (sorry!) with the label shapes. If we have to move it, we have to move it! I think I'd be inclined to use the 7-seg "font" on a tab with just the RGB code, or maybe a user entered numerical value.

Ultimately though, it is all manageable without having the bricks identified on the print - it comes under "nice to have"!

Cheers,
Paul
 
_______________
message ref: 4081

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.
_______________
message ref: 4082

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.
.
In case I forget to mention it ever again, when the control template is a "brick template", the gauge indicator on the info panel shows orange instead of the normal yellow:

control_is_brick.png


This is just an easily visible reminder while extracting bricks from the track plan, there is no significance related to the track gauge.

The control template becomes a "brick template" when stored while in bricklaying mode, or if a stored brick template is copied back into the control. Or you can set it as a "brick template" manually as above (program menu), so that storing it will create a stored brick template regardless of whether in bricklaying mode or not.

The control template is never itself included in DXF/STL exports, it must be stored as a background template to be exported.



In a further design change, exporting a timbering brick will now include only templates marked as a brick template as above, instead of being based solely on the marker colour. This avoids conflict with the use of marker colours for other templates in the track plan which happen to be in the storage box at the time of export.

This means that timbering bricks created prior to version 234a will not be exported from 234a until the templates have been marked as brick templates as above.

234a released soon.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4104

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
.
In case I forget to mention it ever again, when the control template is a "brick template", the gauge indicator on the info panel shows orange instead of the normal yellow:

View attachment 3500

This is just an easily visible reminder while extracting bricks from the track plan, there is no significance related to the track gauge.

The control template becomes a "brick template" when stored while in bricklaying mode, or if a stored brick template is copied back into the control. Or you can set it as a "brick template" manually as above (program menu), so that storing it will create a stored brick template regardless of whether in bricklaying mode or not.

The control template is never itself included in DXF/STL exports, it must be stored as a background template to be exported.



In a further design change, exporting a timbering brick will now include only templates marked as a brick template as above, instead of being based solely on the marker colour. This avoids conflict with the use of marker colours for other templates in the track plan which happen to be in the storage box at the time of export.

This means that timbering bricks created prior to version 234a will not be exported from 234a until the templates have been marked as brick templates as above.

234a released soon.

cheers,

Martin.

Hi Martin,

Sounds good! Will brick templates be obvious in the storage box, in much the same way that library templates are?

Cheers,
Paul
 
_______________
message ref: 4111

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,

I haven't done anything about that yet. Stored templates are indicated with their marker colour, if set. So if you set aside certain marker colours to be used only for bricks, that would provide an indication:

colours_in_box1.png


In the list I could probably add a letter B alongside the colour patch for brick templates.

Not too sure how to indicate it for the drawing, but I will think of something:

colours_in_box2.png


p.s. today I'm working on the 7-seg code for the brick labels. So far it is looking ok, although I haven't made an actual print yet. Might get 234a released overnight. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4112

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.
Hi Martin,

Sounds good! Will brick templates be obvious in the storage box, in much the same way that library templates are?

Cheers,
Paul
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Now done:

brick_box_indicator.png


Brick templates are marked with a B in the list. I had to move it over a bit to leave space for the reminder blobs.


brick_box_indicator1.png


When showing the drawing, there is a B in the margin for brick templates.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4135

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Now done:

View attachment 3532

Brick templates are marked with a B in the list. I had to move it over a bit to leave space for the reminder blobs.


View attachment 3531

When showing the drawing, there is a B in the margin for brick templates.

cheers,

Martin.

Hi Martin

That looks really good, thank you. At the moment I’m working on a copy rather than the original, mainly because of all the partial brick templates. This way of managing the bricks means I’m more confident of working on just the one file. Of course, if I were to change anything I’d also have to update the brick templates but that’s much better than having two files to change.

Looking forward to the next update!

Cheers,
Paul
 
_______________
message ref: 4140

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.
.
A few screenshots of brick labels.

Setting the width of the label tabs. The default is 12" wide with 7-seg style characters. The tab thickness matches the splint thickness:

brick_label3.png



DXF export:

brick_label4.png



STL after online fix:

brick_label6.png



You can have a much larger tab if you prefer -- this is 36" wide (12mm):
brick_label5.png


I haven't implemented any option to skew the label from horizontal on the trackpad grid. I have to draw the line (!) somewhere, or it never will be finished. Maybe one day.

The default sizes may get changed in the light of experience.

The label text must begin with a # character. If left blank Templot will insert the RGB colour code for the brick colour, as above. Or you can use any label text you wish, providing it begins with a #. But bear in mind that for rendering as 7-seg only these characters are supported:

0 - 9
upper case A C E F G H L P U
=
-
underscore _
space renders as underscore _
# renders as -

This means the leading # renders as a dash. Which helps to read the tab the right way up if the 3D print isn't too clear.

All other characters render as a hamburger =

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4146

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.
I haven't implemented any option to skew the label from horizontal on the trackpad grid. I have to draw the line (!) somewhere, or it never will be finished. Maybe one day.

It's now become clear that to have the label tab at a readable size, it must be able to be skewed at an angle to fit between the tracks or the timbers.

So I will get on with that. It means another day or two before I can get 234a released.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4147

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.
.
In order to skew the label tabs at any angle I have had a rethink.

The label text is now drawn on a modified splint, and the background label shapes play no part in the 3-D exports.

I have made a very scruffy bit of video to explain the process:

https://flashbackconnect.com/Default.aspx?id=C-Jmd_OgSUjS5isyOWlhMQ2


To set the width of the splints and labels:

index.php


You can also now set the thickness of the text on the label.

I will explain it all properly one day.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4160

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
.
In order to skew the label tabs at any angle I have had a rethink.

The label text is now drawn on a modified splint, and the background label shapes play no part in the 3-D exports.

I have made a very scruffy bit of video to explain the process:

https://flashbackconnect.com/Default.aspx?id=C-Jmd_OgSUjS5isyOWlhMQ2


To set the width of the splints and labels:

index.php


You can also now set the thickness of the text on the label.

I will explain it all properly one day.

cheers,

Martin.

I like that!
 
_______________
message ref: 4166

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.
.
Version 234a is now on the server with several new functions related to FDM printing of timbering bases.

It's a bit involved, and easy to get in a muddle. I'm wondering if I have made the whole thing more complicated than it need be? But it is a complex subject.

If you are not interested in FDM (filament) 3D-printing of timbering bases, you may want to ignore all this. :)

From the beginning of time it has been possible to display background templates in a marker colour. That's very useful for indicating different areas of a track plan, such as goods loops or carriage sidings, say. Or simply to have a clear indication of the template boundaries:

p4_egg2.png



There is no change to any of that in 234a, but there is a new function which makes it easier to use:

fdm_bricks1.png


If that box is ticked, every time a background template is created while track planning, it will have that marker colour applied to it. Click the colour to change to a different colour. Untick the box to revert to using normal colours.

The above works regardless of whether you want to do any 3D printing.

The late Gordon Stolliday was an enthusiastic user of Templot's marker colours, I think he would have liked this new feature.



In 234a there is a new category of template called a brick template. By itself that doesn't do anything except mark the template as a brick template. You could assign any meaning to that you wish. For example your brick templates might be all the flat-bottom templates if there are both FB and BH, or all the templates having 9ft timbers if some other ones are 8ft-6in., or some other sub-category within your templates. You could make the similar distinctions using marker colours if you preferred, if you are not using them to represent areas of the trackplan.

There are several new functions to manage brick templates -- grouping them, saving them, deleting them, and to mark them as brick templates:

fdm_bricks2.png


program menu:
fdm_bricks3.png


fdm_bricks4.png


fdm_bricks5.png



Notice that there is a sub-set within the brick templates -- current brick templates. Current brick templates are those brick templates for which their marker colour matches the colour set on the panel:

fdm_bricks1.png


If you change that colour, so the current brick templates will be reselected, if any, to match.



However the intended use for the above new functions is in connection with 3D-printing, so more about that next.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 4186
Top