The Bridge

Post details of your T gauge layouts and the progress you are making.
peterg
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Re: The Bridge

Post by peterg »

Doug

Just a thought to the future when you need to be thinking about how you transport, join adjacent sections for display etc.

I came across these people and they look to have a damned good selection of all those nifty little fittings that i think you might need....especially the board joining /dowelling systems;

Peter Reid at,

Station Rd Baseboards
Station Rd
North Elmham
Dereham
Norfolk
NR20 5HH

Tel: 01362 - 668457

Pete

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Superb heads up on Station Road Baseboards. I've added a link to their website on the suppliers page.

And I've started thinking ahead about the issues of transporting the layout. I'm getting a towbar fitted on my car....and will start keeping an eye out for a decent second hand trailer in a few weeks time.

I think I've settled on the layout board being in 1 metre x 0.6 metre sections with the bridge sections being lift-off for transport. This should allow me to build a frame to support the sections...and to fit a canvas cover onto for the trailer!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Not a great deal to report re progress. Feels like I'm going one step forward and two steps back......or is it two steps forward and one step back??

I had printed viaduct support number five and was removing it from the build plate, when.....
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I had discovered a deficiency in the slicing utility where intersecting shapes can result in an inadvertent void in the resultant model. In my case leaving one single strand of plastic all the way round one layer..the support easily broke!! :x :x :x I was not a happy bunny!

It took a whole evening to resolve the issue. Now I have to reprint the faulty components.

The tower is also proving a challenge to get the design completed. I fear I'm getting to the extent of 3DC's capability with the complexity of this item....as the program is slowing down rapidly when doing anything. And this is running on a Windows7 powered I5 processor!! Never mind....I'll plough on and be patient in the knowledge the final result will look stunning!!

Ending this post on a bright note. I have a towbar fitted to my car and will be picking up a second hand 3ft x 5ft trailer tomorrow evening.....so I can now start detailing the module sizes for the layout. 100cm x 60cm sections made of 4mm ply topped boards supported on 50mm x 25mm frames and similar sized backing boards I think.....
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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tjejojyj
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Re: The Bridge

Post by tjejojyj »

This might be a dumb question but does that mean the viaduct pylons are solid all the way up, or down? I have read that it is better with 3D printing to take advantage of hidden voids to minimise the amount of material required.
Couldn't you just "break" the other ones at the same point then a glue them back with some araldite (etc.)? I'm guessing this should be as strong as a reprinted item.

martink
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Re: The Bridge

Post by martink »

Another set of possibly dumb questions, but have you considered deliberately making the pillar hollow and inserting something to reinforce it - a length of timber or metal bar perhaps? One a similar note, have you tested one of your bridge girders to destruction, and is it worth thinking about allowing for reinforcement here? What is the total estimated weight of each section of the bridge, and have you made sure that the pillars (and girders) will support both that and any forces that are likely to be applied during construction, transport, track cleaning, etc.? How much stress gets applied to both pillar and girder at the point where they touch, and can they handle the load? Better to figure all that out now than later...

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I have read that it is better with 3D printing to take advantage of hidden voids to minimise the amount of material required.
One of the features of printing with the extrusion method is the ability to reduce the use of material by automatically creating voids inside a solid object. The slicer code creates a spiders web support inside the object. You specify the number of layers required around the "shell" and the percentage fill required...and the code does the rest. If I'd used clear PLA, then you'd be able to see the internal webbing.
...have you considered deliberately making the pillar hollow and inserting something to reinforce it.
That would make the shape more complicated and increase the risk of a print error or failure. Apart from that, PLA is a rigid and strong material. My issue has been with what the slicer program....the code that converts the 3D shape into slices...and how it deals with overlapping shapes. I've cured the problem with the support by simply merging the two parts of the support together before exporting to print. What took time was finding the simple solution!!
One a similar note, have you tested one of your bridge girders to destruction?
PLA is a strong material when printed at a temperature that ensure adhesion between layers. Its a world away from the sintered types of printed components. One of the hollow girders I've already printed has got to be as strong as a pencil! So I have good confidence in the bridge holding together.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I know its a common thing to pose anything T gauge with a coin to give an indication of the scale.

Well over the past months, I've been keeping my eye out for one particular coin.........and I've managed to get one! :D :D
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I think it might make a few appearances over the following months. ;)
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

martink
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Re: The Bridge

Post by martink »

You might be interested in some of the pics on this N gauge thread from a recent model railway exhibition in Scotland...

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=21437

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I've been quiet for a couple of weeks....but not idle!!

The number of printed components is rising. Here's the collection of items so far for the lead-in viaducts alone:
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Back row, left to right..Queensferry end tower with mounting block, Inverkeithing end tower, five of the seven water standing viaduct supports for the Queensferry viaduct and all seven mounting blocks, the eight and ninth viaduct supports for the Queensferry viaduct.

Front row, left to right, two of the fifteen rail deck sections for the viaducts, ten for the Queensferry end and five for the Inverkeithing end, and eight of the viaduct girder sections.

I'm currently working on the short arched sections at the extreme ends of the bridge structure.

Once complete, the viaduct sections will be assembled in their entirety and will be a push fit onto the mounting blocks which will be affixed to the baseboard. The plan is then for the tracks to be slid in from one end of the whole structure. Lets see how the plan unfolds ;)
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Zooming off on a totally different tangent, I've started thinking about the next stage in the design of the layout board.

To recap, I have a set of six aluminium tables 1000mm x 600mm, and one 2000mm x 600mm. Lining them end to end gives my basic size of 8000mm x 600mm. Thus. I'll have 8 boards that clip together allowing the bridge and track between the bridge ends up to and including Dalmery/North Queensferry stations to be modelled. The track then disappears through angles backboards...where there will be a loop with a couple of clever lift-out sidings (if I can get them to work!).

So I could get an idea of what space I had to play with at the ends....and to help with accurate scenery locations, I located a suitably detailed map on the National Library of Scotland website and cut and pasted appropriate sections into a file (within the conditions of use, of course!!) and then resized and printed onto multiple A4 sheets. Having selotaped a line of 26 A4 sheets together, I had an idea if it would fit...and it does!! Though I must admit to being somewhat surprised at my first view of how big the layout will be. Here's most of it laid out on the floor!:
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Note the two end towers and a bit of girderwork laid on its side!

And here's a basic track layout for the loops:
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Doug Kightley
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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Having now got over the shock of the size of the layout, I've done a bit more printing and selotaping. I now have full-size location maps for the north and south ends of the layout.

Here's the north:
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And here's the south:
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And I think I've identified a way of getting the expanse of water modelled to look like water. More on this in a later post.

Finally, isn't Google Maps a very useful tool??? Here's how I'm using it to identify what buildings are needed to be modelled:
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The layout occupies the area inside the oblong cut out map...which has been laid in Google Earth as an image, and rotated and sized to fit exactly over the satellite image! Zoom in and you can see each building in plan...then go into street view and see what they look like.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I'm slowly getting there on the penultimate stonework component for the bridge...one of the short arched sections that join the viaduct to solid ground:
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This section, when printed will be about 2 1/2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches high...and will sit on a mount so the rail level is about 4 inches off the baseboard.

This view doesn't show all the brick outlines on the faces where I haven't yet pulled the centre point out...but it does show the final effect, which is softened a little when printed.

The arched section at the other end only has two arches. Once I've finished this one its simply a matter of copying and deleting one arch out of the model!
Doug Kightley
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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

And I think I've identified a way of getting the expanse of water modelled to look like water. More on this in a later post.
I've just taken delivery of some embossed plastic sheet that I think may give a good representation of estuary water...once painted up in appropriate colours.
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What do you think?????
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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tjejojyj
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Re: The Bridge

Post by tjejojyj »

That looks alright to me but it's hard to judge the scale from the pictures.
Are the sheets long enough so the join lines will be at the break between your modules?

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

You're right! It is difficult to gauge the size of the "waves". Here's another shot that should help:
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And the sheet size is 1060mm x 630mm...well big enough to fit on one of the layout boards.

The finish is called "pinseal"...which is the surface finish of leather made from the skin of young seals. The sheets I bought were 2.5mm thick and sold for vacuum forming things such as car facias.
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

I'm getting there with the approach viaducts....

The north viaduct supports:
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The south viaduct supports..just two left to print and some cleaning of support material off the arches:
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And I'm about half way through printing the viaduct girders...11 out of 15 done. And three of the 15 road sections done.
Doug Kightley
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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

Its been less than a fortnight since my last post....but a hell of a lot has happened!!

Firstly, I've decided to semi-retire....and have handed my notice in for my full-time job with Nottingham City Council. So I will now have a bit more time to spend on The Bridge! :) And I will have time to unwind from the high level of stress my job had!

I've also been able to make good progress with printing parts. I've now finished printing the 66 parts that make up the lead in viaducts. Some of the parts are shown in the post above. Most still need some cleaning up (flash, support material etc)...but that can wait until I get to the assembly stage.

Over last weekend, I went along to the GCR Model Event that was held at Quorn & Woodhouse station on the Great Central heritage line. Alan Ramsey of TGauge.com was there with his stand and Lakeside Park layout...and I helped out on the Friday and Sunday of the show. During these two days, a lucky few were able to get a early preview of component parts of The Bridge....and all were impressed and wished me well with the project.

Whilst at the show, I received open invitations to attend three model shows in 2015, either to take The Bridge if finished, or as back-up my existing Robins Run layout. Firstly to the Milton Keynes show in February, then the the 2015 GCR show in July, and finally the Soar Valley show at Loughborough in September. So....I need to get on and get building!! :shock:

And finally for this post, I've shifted focus on getting the three towers of the cantilever sections built "ground up". Here's a couple of shots of the first few final print bits...the 12 caissons and some of the "feet" of the towers:
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Next in line will be the horizontal tubes linking the feet and the zig-zag horizontal girders forming the bottom frame of the towers.....
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

NeilM
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Re: The Bridge

Post by NeilM »

Now that is dedication to the cause - retiring so that you can devote more time to building your layout! Hope it works out well for you.

The photos of the parts for the bridge look very good, and with the full size plan it looks like it will be a fantastic layout in its own right, as well as flying the flag for T gauge. Glad to hear that you are planning to attend exhibitions with the layout - I would hope to be able to see it completed at some time, although all of the venues that you mentioned are quite a way south from where I live.
Neil

T gauge items in my Shapeways shop http://www.shapeways.com/shops/t450

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dkightley
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Re: The Bridge

Post by dkightley »

A couple of in-progress shots...

Firstly a photo (courtousy of Alan Ramsey) of a subset of the north viaduct that we assembled with track at Quorn:
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Secondly, a dry assembly of some of the parts for the centre tower. Some are final builds, others test prints:
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Doug Kightley
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hedge
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Re: The Bridge

Post by hedge »

This is just awesome! May have to make a pilgrimage to see it at one of the shows. Wonderful work!

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