Hanso

Lego Mindstorms EV3 Monorail

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One of the policies within Sioux.NET on Track, is to change a build every three years. In other words, when a build has been part of a Lego World demo for three years, it should be replaced by a new one. For example, loading the train was first done by the container crane, now it is done by the delta crane. The same applies for the train: the first years, we controlled the train by an NXT, now it is controlled by an EV3. For the new layout, I am thinking of replacing the train by a monorail (and thus renaming the group to "Sioux.NET on Monotrack" ;-).

I always use Youtube as inspiration. To see how others solved the typical problems you run into when building something. But I haven't seen a Lego Mindstorms monorail yet. The Lego Technic monorail created by "Osi" (click here for an example) is most nearby for what I have in mind, but it is not using Mindstorms inside. In other words, I will have to use my own imagination. What a pity ;-)

 

I started with creating the track. This was my first attempt:

46431829261_d8fac355e0_c.jpg

 

Although it looks good (I was aiming at an open, industrial look), the curve is not smooth enough for a train:

46431828871_a5f77c9f7d_c.jpg

 

So, I made a second attempt:

46431827961_73825903d7_c.jpg

 

That looks much better. It was not easy to get the curve smooth AND find a brick with the right distance. This is how I managed to get this curve:

46431828251_7005a638c1_c.jpg

 

A simple train (only proof of concept until now), runs easy through the curve:

46431828531_513989a2c2_c.jpg

 

The next days I will continue building a motorized train (proto). Let me know what you think so far

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Regards, Hans

Edited by Hanso

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I think an industrial approach is long needed. The curves seem to be very "high parts concentration" in that it would be costly to build.

It's hard to tell but is he curve flexible?

Does the curve join with the straight track?

If you guys do as well with this as your previous setups - IT WILL BE GREAT.

One thing would be nice that if you are stopping on the candy project, you could put everything in a PDF(s) for us to save and use.

Thanks,

Ed

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54 minutes ago, knotian said:

I think an industrial approach is long needed. The curves seem to be very "high parts concentration" in that it would be costly to build.

It's hard to tell but is he curve flexible?

Does the curve join with the straight track?

If you guys do as well with this as your previous setups - IT WILL BE GREAT.

One thing would be nice that if you are stopping on the candy project, you could put everything in a PDF(s) for us to save and use.

Thanks,

Ed

My answers to your questions:

  • The curve is not flexible.
  • Yes, the curve joins with the straight track (otherwise there would be a gap).

And the last two remarks are very nice compliments. But ... we're software engineers, therefore there will be hardly any documentation ;-)

For the short term, we do not have any plans for stopping the project. We have too much fun creating it.

Regards, Hans

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Hans;

I've been in your shoes too many years to count. You need to get a person to do the documentation. I know you don't get away with that in the 'real world' and hate the time it takes. I'm tempted to start a group that does documentation for a living. Should be able to extort a fair living from software engineers alone! Then even more from managers who are tired of beating you over the head:laugh:

Ed

aka Knotian

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This looks really promising, I love that track. However, a monorail is little without sloped tracks. how do you plan on achieving those given your current construction?

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11 hours ago, Hanso said:

I started with creating the track. This was my first attempt.

Although it looks good (I was aiming at an open, industrial look), the curve is not smooth enough for a train.

Perhaps you could make the first "not smooth" track work if the train wheels were "grabbing" the rails using a rubber band or Technic suspension spring ?

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6 hours ago, BrickbyBrickTechnic said:

This looks really promising, I love that track. However, a monorail is little without sloped tracks. how do you plan on achieving those given your current construction?

Yes, I know that it necessay to have sloped tracks. Will need to find a solution. Until now, I always find one. But it may lead to version 3 of the track ;-)

 

4 hours ago, iLego said:

Perhaps you could make the first "not smooth" track work if the train wheels were "grabbing" the rails using a rubber band or Technic suspension spring ?

I've tried that. Tried rubber bands and the suspension spring, but since the only propulsion are the wheels, it didn't get the prototype through the kinked curve. And I see more problems with rail proto 1 for the sloped tracks, than I see with rail proto 2.

 

 

BTW: More photos are available at Flickr (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmoVMS7j), this is also the place where I'll post new photos during the development of the Monorail.

Hans

Edited by Hanso

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Improved the second version of the rail. Tiled up the surface, to get a smooth ride.


44628004950_cd045a7fed_c.jpg

 

And a part of the rail in LDD (how I added the smooth surface):

46394373762_2777729dd7_b.jpg

 

I just love these 61184 elements....

4520320

 

Hope you like it as well.

Regards, Hans

 

Edited by Hanso

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5 minutes ago, Hanso said:

Improved the second version of the rail. Tiled up the surface, to get a smooth ride.


44628004950_cd045a7fed_c.jpg

 

Looks also better, isn't it?

Regards, Hans

 

Very cool! This looks like a very promising Technic version of a custom Lego monorail. :sweet: :thumbup:

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The first proto of the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Monorail. It runs smooth ;-)

Lego Mindstorms EV3 Monorail

 

And of course a small video (the third cable is going to a touch sensor, which I used to control the train manually).

 

Regards,
Hans

 

Edited by Hanso

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Looking good. Going back to an earlier question. Does your curve concept allow for variety in the curves. In other words, even if they are fixed, can I vary the number of 'modules' in a curve?

Ed

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3 hours ago, knotian said:

Looking good. Going back to an earlier question. Does your curve concept allow for variety in the curves. In other words, even if they are fixed, can I vary the number of 'modules' in a curve?

Ed

Thanks, Ed.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand the question about the 'number of modules in a curve'? Can you please give me more detail?


Hans

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Wow, very interesting topic and a very cool project!!

It does run very smoothly. I expected it to be more wobbly. I will be following this topic with great interest.

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Hans;

I meant that were the curves of only 1 radius or could they be different radii. I built a section of your configuration and see that by skipping an occasional pin on the outer radius you can make any radius you want.

Thanx,

Ed

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16 hours ago, Jim said:

Wow, very interesting topic and a very cool project!!

It does run very smoothly. I expected it to be more wobbly. I will be following this topic with great interest.

Thanks Jim.

 

15 hours ago, knotian said:

Hans;

I meant that were the curves of only 1 radius or could they be different radii. I built a section of your configuration and see that by skipping an occasional pin on the outer radius you can make any radius you want.

Thanx,

Ed

That sounds interesting. But if I skip a pin occasional, that means that the track is not fixed anymore? Or am I missing something.

Can you maybe upload a photo of your configuration?

Thanks, Hans

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Hans;

You are absolutely correct. Some additional 'fudging' with the track or it's supports will be necessary. Strictly hit and miss. It's a solutiopn for me, definitely not in the quality you guys work in.

Ed

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32 minutes ago, knotian said:

..., definitely not in the quality you guys work in.

Kind words, but too much honour for us.

Best Hans

 

PS I have ordered some bricks to build a longer piece of track. Will take some days before the next update.

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This is a rendered picture of the track with the bricks I've ordered.

32641569728_8ef5414506_c.jpg

Can't wait to build it for real ;-)

Regards, Hans

Edited by Hanso

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Nice render! The track looks very clean too.

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2 hours ago, Jim said:

Nice render! The track looks very clean too.

Thanks Jim. I used LDD to draw the rail and Studio for the rendering.

If you're interested in the LDD file, I can send it to you.

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You should be able to access the LXF via the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/cwfv84x9j22sfot/Lego%20Monorail%20Proto%202%20v1.2.lxf?dl=0

 

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Got it, thanks! Will you be using the Triangles to attach railings or other stuff?

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26 minutes ago, Jim said:

Got it, thanks! Will you be using the Triangles to attach railings or other stuff?

The triangles are used to fix the curve, no other plans for it.

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Posted (edited)

Work in progress on the Monorail train. This is a first version:

31641913057_d8059ae4d3_c.jpg

 

And this is how it could look like when finished (stud.io render of an LDD file):

45668379135_1ba32c91c5_c.jpg


What do you think? Suggestions are always welcome.

Enjoy, Hans

Edited by Hanso

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