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Aprons for plastic track

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  • #61
    Has anyone downloaded the apron files to print? The file shows up on my build plate sized at like 3mm what are the correct sizes to print them out? HELP


    • #62
      When that happens, it's usually a difference between cm and mm for the file and what the program is expecting. In your case, your program was expecting MM but got a file in CM. Scale it by a factor of 10. That usually means you're setting the scale to 1000% (e.g. 100% x 10).
      Sometimes it's the other way around, and you set the scale to 10 to get something that is WAY too BIG back down to normal size.
      Try that, and see if it looks right.


      • #63
        Ok that helped I found a conversion chart from MM to Inches worked really well printed out a 9in straight apron for a test piece fits like a glove.


        • #64
          Hi guys,

          can anyone help me please find the STL files? 3D printer on hand, would like to add those aprons for my 4lane hometrack!

          Thanks, Nico


          • #65
            It looks like the files are no longer available from his site. I never saw a link to Shapeways or a file sharing site like Thingiverse. I just did some searching and was not able to find them, either. Hopefully he sees this and provides the files or a link to where they can still be downloaded.


            • #66
              I am currently investigating the idea of cutting aprons out of a hard rubber sheet. I have contacted a local rubber working company to see about the feasibility and cost. The basic idea is this...

              If the assumption is an 18" radius curve (36" diameter on the outside edge) is the largest plastic curve available, then a circle is cut from rubber which is 39" in diameter. Then within this circle, other circles are cut moving in every 1.5", eventually leaving you with a bunch of concentric circles 1.5" wide.

              The largest circle would be the outside apron of an 18" radius curve. The next smaller one would be the inside apron of a 21" curve (currently with no useful function). Moving down one more circle is the outside apron of the 15" curve, followed by the inside of the 18" curve and so on until you are left with a solid circle 6" in diameter which is the inside of a 6" curve.

              This means the entire rubber sheet is used with almost no wasted material. Once I get an idea of the cost I will know whether the idea is feasible.

              Of course the same idea could be used on other material such as MDF.

              Anyone see a reason this would not work?

              Last edited by Grandcheapskate; 06-05-2021, 06:48 PM.


              • #67
                No reason at all. It's just most people don't want to go through all that trouble. Hopefully you can get the per unit cost nice and low because the shipping cost will be high due to the weight of rubber that thick. But yeah, you should be able to get a pretty good amount of aprons by being clever with how you cut the sheet.


                • #68
                  Bowman and Viper make borders, and now a new company called oppdecracing is offering them too.

                  The oppdecracing ones are clearly printed.


                  • #69

                    The problem with your idea is you'll end up with a variety of sizes that you may not be able to use. At least not without bending their radius larger or smaller to fit existing track radii.

                    You might do better cutting partial curves with radii that fit exactly, and put up with some wasted material. I'm assuming your material cost will be a fraction of what it will cost to have the material cut, so in the end it could make economic sense. Maybe, maybe not. When you get your job quoted you should have the shop quote both options. Normally shops quote jobs for free, so it shouldn't cost you any more.

                    This is a job that should be perfect for water-jet cutting. Many machine shops use super-high-pressure water jets to cut flat material. The water shoots out of a small nozzle at tens of thousands of pounds per square inch. The motion of the nozzle is computer controlled. The process can make intricate cuts, extremely clean, with a very small kerf.

                    Believe it or not water-jet cutting is used for cutting metal plate, but is also used for cutting snack cakes and disposable diapers! There is no overspray to wet the food or fabric. I still find that hard to believe.

                    Since water-jet cutting is so versatile, you might look into materials other than rubber. You might find something cheaper that will work just as well.

                    Remember that business about no overspray? You might be able to have a wood product -- like MDF -- cut this way without any water damage. It may turn out to be much cheaper.

                    Your biggest problem might be finding material in the right thickness. Look at material spec'd in both English and Metric sizes.

                    There are a number of plastics that might work here. Sintra suggests itself. Or other grades of PVC. Polystyrene. Acrylic. Lexan. Polyurethane. Even polyethylene or polypropylene, though you'd want to paint them and getting paint to stick will be an issue.

                    Ask the shop what they'd recommend. There's a chance there's a material they use a lot that will work for you. If so, they probably buy it in bulk and get it far cheaper than you ever will. You're probably better off letting the shop buy the material for you. At least have them quote it.

                    Ed Bianchi
                    Last edited by HO RacePro; 06-06-2021, 09:43 AM.


                    • #70
                      Other materials would work but I am checking the rubber company first because that shop is run by a friend of my brother-in-law. There are all types of rubber, possibly even rubber with a foam underside and hard rubber only along the top.


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post

                        Remember that business about no overspray? You might be able to have a wood product -- like MDF -- cut this way without any water damage. It may turn out to be much cheaper.
                        Ed Bianchi
                        Some years ago there was a vendor selling MDF track borders that were very nice and cleanly cut. Not sure how it was done. I have a set of them but never got around to building the track to use them on--typical of me. I will see if I can dig up the info on who the provider was.



                        • #72
                          On a permanent track, maybe go old school with it? I've always used 2 way foam tape and cork rail road bed...

                          It's cheap, easy, paintable, works well, and it don't look too bad when done...

                          For those difficult spots, I have resorted to using modeling clay. It comes in a variety of colors...

                          It's also cheap and easy.


                          • #73
                            I never had luck getting cork roadbed to lay nicely along the track (especially inside aprons), but I have seen it done. I never tried laying it with two sided foam tape so I may have to try again.

                            And I bought clay a long time ago based on your recommendation.



                            • #74
                              It won't work for banks, but I found the idea about cork roadbed long ago, then followed here the roadbed was all foam, then I reasoned well if it's foam I know where to get that. So I bought 7mm (not 6, not 8) black foam, split the 17x39 sheet into 17 1" strips, and applied them with glue to the scenery supporting the track. It costs about a buck a meter for very nice looking road shoulders.


                              • #75
                                As there are MANY kinds of "foam" can you be more specific about the "black foam" you purchased?


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