JopieK

BrickTracks: different curves, PF/9V compatible

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On 10/31/2016 at 3:50 PM, M_slug357 said:

coaster-- I'd say PF switches for the win!

PF track in general is easier to modify than 9v, and with a bit of copper tape, anyone can electrify their PF tracks!

I also agree with Phoxtane that you should probably focus on more... exotic track elements.

I've had an idea swirling about in my head consisting of a "flexible" cross track piece that could transition from a 90 degree position to a 45 degree position, and any other angles between.

Sounds crazy, but kinda cool right?

I agree with Phoxtane and M_slug as well. I would be willing to back for more "exotic" track geometries not available yet (R104 switches for example). Specifically though, I'd be interested in:

  • Dual gauge turnout: narrow gauge sharing a rail and turning out of standard gauge
  • Narrow gauge curves at larger radius (i have narrow gauge engines that struggle on the tight current radius with wheel flange rubbing)
  • Narrow gauge switch
  • Wye-switches
  • Curved turnouts
  • 3-way switch
  • Double slip switch

The first three would be all that are needed (*wouldn't even need new curves, but would be nice) to make a complete narrow gauge system using the standard single straight rail that is already available. I know it's niche, but having a reliable narrow gauge standard would open up another whole side to L-gauge modelling. The main point here is offering track not already available to drive us toward your project.

 

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54 minutes ago, jrathfon said:

 

I agree with Phoxtane and M_slug as well. I would be willing to back for more "exotic" track geometries not available yet (R104 switches for example). Specifically though, I'd be interested in:

  • Dual gauge turnout: narrow gauge sharing a rail and turning out of standard gauge
  • Narrow gauge curves at larger radius (i have narrow gauge engines that struggle on the tight current radius with wheel flange rubbing)
  • Narrow gauge switch
  • Wye-switches
  • Curved turnouts
  • 3-way switch
  • Double slip switch

The first three would be all that are needed (*wouldn't even need new curves, but would be nice) to make a complete narrow gauge system using the standard single straight rail that is already available. I know it's niche, but having a reliable narrow gauge standard would open up another whole side to L-gauge modelling. The main point here is offering track not already available to drive us toward your project.

 

I honestly thing that we need to get off the ground with the standard gauge because molds for narrow gauge is not worth the price. :2c: The other geometries are nice to have but not critical for operation in L-Gauge. Maybe down the road we can talk about them but for now just some R104 turn outs, shorter straights, and smooth grand curves should be the focus.

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I think these are the most important to develop first:

  • Cross Track
  • 3-way switch
  • Wye-switches
  • Narrow gauge switch
  • Narrow gauge Cross

Cross Track in both 45 and 90 degrees would definitely sell quickly& easily.

3-way Switches could be either the ambidextrous 'w' style or the 'cactus' style.

Narrow Gauge items are interesting, and I would appreciate a non brick-built solution. (12v curved track is hard to come by)

I feel that dual-guage track is too complicated for it's own good though...

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I've had a few people ask, so figured I should answer here as well.  The PF switches cost me about $150 apiece to put together, so that crossover cost about $300 to make.  If you don't want to hold out for the Kickstarter, I can make you a switch or 2 (or whatever you want), with a few caveats:

1) It will be white, or I can spraypaint it for you.  You will have to live with the surface finish not being that great.  That's the nature of 3D printed parts.

2) There is some variance to the studs.  Again, nature of 3D parts.  I've optimized the dimensions as best I can, but some will be a bit loose, others a bit tight, nothing I can do about it.

3) I have not yet tested it with anything tougher than an Emerald Night.  If your 10-wide 4-8-4 or whatever can't navigate it, I'm not taking it back.  That testing is scheduled, but has not been conducted yet.

Beyond that, I'm more than open to getting a few designs out in the field for further testing.

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NILTC's Cantigny show was this past weekend and we had one of the r104 crossovers between the two mainlines on one of the displays. I want to share this video or my EP-3 pulling two of my long (~66 stud) passenger cars through the crossover, to show the potential for these switches and get everyone excited:

31236177230_c88a92b055_z.jpgUntitled by Matt Csenge, on Flickr

As you can see the train can keep speed through the crossover which would easily derail it on a r40 crossover. The potential with long cars like these is why I'm extremely excited for these switches, even more so after meeting Coaster at the show and hearing his ideas and plans for them!

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That's awesome.  I have a long Centipede that derails in R40 crossovers.

 

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We learned quite a bit having the crossovers and R104 curves at the show. 

1) 3d printed parts loose clutch power as you play with them, they wear faster than ABS.  Not really a shock but it was noticeable. (in the below pics you will see a 1x2 White Tille on the outside curves, to hold the pieces together.

2) the white parts pick up quite a bit of dirt from the trains :P

img_20161212_201800.jpg

 

img_20161212_201745.jpg

img_20161212_201736.jpg

 

img_20161212_201724.jpg

 

3) The paint seemed to hold up better on the tracks, though we did see slight wear on the very ends:

img_20161212_201711.jpg

img_20161212_201701.jpg

 

4) The design is spot on, the only item we found has been already fixed (we were using not the latest prototype but an earlier version).  More pics can be seen here:

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=567004

(once approved by BrickShelf).

 

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18 minutes ago, cameronmiller1988 said:

How was the switch action? I really like these things!

It was easier than throwing the unmodified Lego switches.  Bonus is the unit can be moved to the other side to do a ladder.

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Thanks for sharing your pictures. Unfortunately I haven't had time yet to set up my R104 switches which I've got from BrickTracks recently. But they really look promissing! Could someone who already painted the white 3D print prototypes give some advice about the type of (spray?) color which was used to color the tracks in gray?

 

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14 hours ago, pirzyk said:

We learned quite a bit having the crossovers and R104 curves at the show. 

1) 3d printed parts loose clutch power as you play with them, they wear faster than ABS.  Not really a shock but it was noticeable. (in the below pics you will see a 1x2 White Tille on the outside curves, to hold the pieces together.

2) the white parts pick up quite a bit of dirt from the trains :P

3) The paint seemed to hold up better on the tracks, though we did see slight wear on the very ends:

4) The design is spot on, the only item we found has been already fixed (we were using not the latest prototype but an earlier version).  More pics can be seen here:

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=567004

(once approved by BrickShelf).

 

1) Interesting.  What kind of plastic was it printed with?  Last year I had a motor mount printed on PLA.  Clutch power was very strong, now it is almost all gone.  I can use LEGO plates around and on top of it to hold it in place.  Would ABS printing's clutch power last longer?

2) A track cleaner MOC might help with that.  :wink:

3) What type of paint did you use?  Brushed or sprayed on?

4) BS folder has been approved. :classic:

 

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The parts are printed in Nylon.  I haven't found anyone with an ABS printer suitable for printing the switches (they're too big for most beds).  Honestly though, I haven't looked all that hard because the 3D printed parts are just a stepping stone in the development processes.  I intend to mold these in ABS, so finding a printer wasn't all that critical.  I just needed functional parts as a proof of concept.  The Nylon is still pretty tough, and from what I was able to observe at the show, the rails themselves looked to be holding up.

For paint, I just used a glossy dark grey spray paint from the hardware store.  I picked one that said it was suitable for plastic (specifically, this one).  The paint did seem to give it a bit of a hard-coat, but also added thickness to the studs, even with a light coat, making it more difficult (though not impossible) to assemble.  I'm sure there are better paints to use; I wanted to do a couple pieces just to see how it looked.  Color match isn't terrible, but it does bring out the roughness of the printed part.  I tried sanding and polishing one area first; that was a waste of time. They almost need a coating with a lacquer or something first to smooth out the surface.

Overall though, I'm happy with how they performed.  Seeing those monster passenger cars go through it was pretty satisfying!

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Man the things I would do to get a set of those switches for 9V in ABS.... looking great. Hope the kickstarter is successful next time!

-Jeffinslaw

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Thanks for the photos and video, pirzyk and CrispyBassist! These are looking really great, Coaster! I hope they fair better in the next round of kickstarter crowdsourcing. I believe they'll have a chance to get funded.

20 hours ago, HoMa said:

Thanks for sharing your pictures. Unfortunately I haven't had time yet to set up my R104 switches which I've got from BrickTracks recently. But they really look promissing! Could someone who already painted the white 3D print prototypes give some advice about the type of (spray?) color which was used to color the tracks in gray?

Hi HoMa! For lasting color, dying is probably the best bet. A shapeways representative once directed me to this article when I inquired about how to color their white nylon (WSF) material: http://makezine.com/2013/05/09/how-to-dye-your-3d-prints/

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Man I thought I was next up on the docket to get a pair of R104 switches in 9V! They look amazing!

-Jeffinslaw

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35 minutes ago, Jeffinslaw said:

Man I thought I was next up on the docket to get a pair of R104 switches in 9V! They look amazing!

-Jeffinslaw

They're on shapeways! I ordered and assembled them myself, had to buy the rail separate and wire it up. They do not work well with 9v motors with the code 100 rail. The real things won't use code 100 though.

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36 minutes ago, legoman666 said:

They're on shapeways! I ordered and assembled them myself, had to buy the rail separate and wire it up. They do not work well with 9v motors with the code 100 rail. The real things won't use code 100 though.

Oh duh! Forgot about shapeways. If they don't work well with the code 100 rail then I will just wait for the real deal when/if they happen (which I hope they do happen).

-Jeffinslaw

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Looks awesome, Andy! Jeff, I haven't forgotten about you, I've just been spending my time on the computer rather than in the shop.

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At first I thought this was getting a bit out of hand, but nah:

32038572665_dac328dd55_c.jpg

31467359394_c6e2a4dc0a_c.jpg

 

Edited by coaster

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Ooohhh!!!  On Shapeways yet?

Edited by pirzyk

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Man those look great! Is there any chance you might reproduce the original cross over switches? I don't have enough space on my planned layout for the length of this particular radius

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I have no objections to using glue on my parts, so the clutch power wearing down doesn't worry me at all. I just wish there were more studs on these without having big flat areas so that it could be possible to lay down ties the full length of the swtich. Squeezing two studs side-by-side down the center probably wouldn't interfere with the switching mechanicism (from what i can see) and would definitely improve the aesthetics on fully ballasted track. Nevertheless, I suppose one could just solve this with some kragel though, even if it is cheating.

Edited by Aaron

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7 hours ago, coaster said:

At first I thought this was getting a bit out of hand, but nah:

32038572665_dac328dd55_c.jpg

31467359394_c6e2a4dc0a_c.jpg

 

That's sexy!

 

Cale

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