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 Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.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

Minimum PC spec for Templot

Quick reply >
Just a quickie, but I have a pending house move with a degree of downsizing involved, with a high chance of not needing a PC of any format: a Tablet will do most of what I want, and cloud-based solutions most of the rest…

… with one small exception: Templot.
As I will have a screen (TV), mouse and keyboard, what is the lowest specification small box PC I could safely use for Templot? It won’t get used too often, at least not for a few months, but I would like to be able to keep my hand in and it’s a good way to relax. I suspect the barest minimum (such as a Celeron-based machine) might just cope, but with little capacity to spare.

Any recommendations (if solutions could also cope with Excel macros, that would be a bonus but not essential).

TIA
 
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@Simon Dunkley

Hi Simon,

If you already have a screen, keyboard and mouse, there are dozens of mini-pc computers which will run Templot. Any Windows 11 with 8GB of RAM will do just fine.

I can recommend the GEEKOM brand because I'm now using one of their Mini IT11 pcs as my main computer. It's beautifully made and has worked faultlessly for the best part of 12 months now. Their entry level version appears to be this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BQYW561Y

which would run Templot just fine.

An important point to bear in mind is that unlike a laptop these mini pcs have no internal battery. I had a bit of a fright recently when we suffered a power cut only 5 minutes after a Windows update had finished. A power-cut in the middle of installing a Windows update is seriously bad news. I have since installed an Uninterruptible Power Supply -- and it worked yesterday when the power went off briefly in the middle of a thunderstorm.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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I am finding my Geekom to be running very slowly, at least since the latest download: I keep getting out of bounds errors, mouse clicks don’t work, Templot freezes repeatedly. I haven’t been doing much in Templot lately, and I only use this computer for this purpose, but am I alone in this experience?
(It could easily be due to a Windows update, of course.
 
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I have experienced similar problems with slow running, missing mouse clicks etc. I found that by right clicking on task bar and firing up task manager, disk access was running at 100% (due to anti-virus activity) and I just wait until disk access drops right down (as a-v has finished its thing) before continuing.
This was on Windoze 8.1 pro.

By the way what operating system are you running?
Steve
 
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Yes, Avast.
@Simon Dunkley

Hi Simon,

Windows comes with its own anti-virus software -- Windows Defender.

It works fine, and there isn't really any need to install 3rd party anti-virus programs -- which can only degrade the performance.

It's also likely that when doing a Windows update Microsoft can have regard only for their own software. The effect of the update on 3rd party software which messes with the internal running of their operating system isn't something they can be expected to know about or deal with.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Thanks.
When I last set up a Windows-driven home computer, back in 2003, there seemed to be a need for a 3rd party security system. I think Avast was recommended to me on this forum - possibly by you!
I replaced that PC with a Mac in 2007, which lasted about 14 years before 8G of RAM wasn’t enough. Replaced that with another, which my then partner used far more than me (I am essentially on a tablet for personal computing use, except for Templot). Separation last year saw me buy a Geekom just for Templot. It has reminded me why I am glad that the the MS-oriented pcs I use at work are supported by IT people.
I will remove Avast. I hope Defender switches back on!

Simon
 
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Hi Simon,
Out of curiosity are all you programmes running slow on your windows 11 PC?
Only asking because I had to purchase my mother a new laptop last week and although the spec was the same as here previous machine it was running everything much slower. Having returned it back to the store, I was told its because the new one is running the latest win 11 operating system, and her old machine was Win 10. Apparently some of the features on Win 11 just use more CPU processing power, so there is not as much avaible to run other programmes. Only an issue if you go with a low spec CPU to keep cost down. Which is what I had done.
cheers
Phil,
 
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I bought and use this machine solely for Templot!
Can’t comment on how anything else runs.

I do nearly everything else on an iPad, but despite the high-end versions using suitable processors to support OS-X, Apple only permits iPadOS on them, so I can’t run wine or crossover, etc.
 
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@Simon Dunkley

Hi Simon,

How are you using Templot? Having the experimental plug track turned on while doing track planning will very significantly slow down Templot.

The idea s that you do your track planning normally, divide the plan into timbering bricks, group the brick templates, switch on the plug track for just that group, export the 3D files, switch off the plug track for that brick, and do another one.

When/if I get the plug track nearer a finished state I may be able to find some optimizations to speed things up, but we are not there yet.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Phil

Last year my desk top failed to install Cura so the simplest thing was to buy a new laptop. I did not go for the cheapest but chose to spend a bit more for one with more RAM and storage. My desk top uses Windows 10, takes ages to start up at times and it will not be supported next year

My laptop with Windows 11 and I think I have 8gig of RAM and it runs very quickly, then anything runs quicker than my desk top
 
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@Simon Dunkley

Hi Simon,

How are you using Templot? Having the experimental plug track turned on while doing track planning will very significantly slow down Templot.

The idea s that you do your track planning normally, divide the plan into timbering bricks, group the brick templates, switch on the plug track for just that group, export the 3D files, switch off the plug track for that brick, and do another one.

When/if I get the plug track nearer a finished state I may be able to find some optimizations to speed things up, but we are not there yet.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin,

I am using Templot as it comes from the download, but did wonder if the plug settings (which - for now at least - I am not concerned with) were causing me issues.
I have no idea if the settings are automatically on or off, or indeed how to go about this. As it is currently under development/experimental I would expect it to default to “off”, and (as I said), as it not aligned to my personal interest I have paid scant attention to any settings I might require to alter.
I did wonder if it might be plug track features causing the issue, but the idea was around before I bought this mini PC: I also hadn’t used Temot much in the preceding year (and then on a much more powerful machine) so I mused that this might have been an anecdotal and illusory correlation, (like that GP who happened to become more aware of autism just after the MMR vaccine was introduced, and who implied causality without controlling for other factors).
Open to suggestions!
 
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I have no idea if the settings are automatically on or off, or indeed how to go about this. As it is currently under development/experimental I would expect it to default to “off”, and (as I said), as it not aligned to my personal interest I have paid scant attention to any settings I might require to alter.
@Simon Dunkley

HI Simon,

The 3D plug track settings are off by default. They are switched on and off separately for each specific template, like most things in Templot. The settings for the control template are here:

plug_chairing1.png



A group of templates (or all of them) can be set to match the control template by clicking the modify group to match buttons.

The usual cause of slow running is allowing the storage box to fill up with a lot of duplicate or unused templates. If you do need a lot of templates for a large track plan, you can restrict the number which Templot needs to access at any one time to a small area of the plan, using this setting:


index.php


cheers,

Marttin.
 
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