Dragon Railway: Complete Open Source Ecosystem

13,396

258

48

Introduction: Dragon Railway: Complete Open Source Ecosystem

About: "Bringing RC Dreams to Life, One layer at a Time"

This project is focused on creating a highly detailed and accurate scale model of a railway system, complete with locomotives, wagons/rail cars, tracks, control systems and other accessories.

Due to the parametric nature of Fusion360; You can create your own railway layout, with the ability to adjust the track length, curves or even create your own custom tracks.

We will also be incorporating various interactive elements such as lights and sounds to bring the Locomotive to life. The main objective is to create a functional and accurate replica of a real railway system using Fusion 360, and to demonstrate the potential of 3D printing in the field of model railways.


Highlights:

  • 1/64 scale ( S scale)
  • Realistic models
  • Detailed Manuals
  • Easy assembly
  • Bluetooth control


A complete Open Source ecosystem:

Locomotives:

  1. F7 Locomotive
  2. GP7 Locomotive
  3. GP60 Locomotive


Wagons /Rail Cars;

  1. Tanker Car
  2. Open hopper Car
  3. Gondola Car
  4. Box Car


Tracks:

  1. Straight tracks - Parametric
  2. Curved Tracks - Parametric
  3. Turnouts
  4. Crossings


Accessories:

  1. AutoCoupler
  2. Easy Railer


Control Systems:

  1. BLE Locomotive Control (using Android/IOS app)
  2. Dragon Loco Controller


Project Links:

Github - Source Files: github.com/DragonRailway

Printables - STL files: printables.com/rambros

Assembly Manuals : google docs


Notes:

Some files are not uploaded here due to the 25MB file size limit on instructables. They are linked to printables and github.

Supplies

Software:

  • Fusion 360
  • Cura Slicer
  • Arduino IDE

Materials required:

  • PLA filament (Colours as per your choice)
  • Super Glue
  • Glue stick (for glue gun)
  • Solder wire
  • Wires
  • M2 screws (4mm, 6mm)

Tools:

  • 3D printer (obviously)
  • Screw Driver
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire Cutter
  • Wire Stripper
  • Glue Gun
  • Hacksaw or Dremel

These are the main supplies, Other components are listed in their respective Steps

Step 1: Parametric Tracks With Fusion 360

The design is optimized for 3D printing, with a focus on minimizing the amount of material used while maintaining structural integrity. The final product is a functional train track that can be used with 3D printed model trains.

Using the parametric capabilities of Fusion 360, you can easily adjust various parameters such as track length & curvature to create unique track layouts.

Dragon Railway uses 22.5mm track - S scale - Standard gauge

Customisable parameters:

  • Straight track: Length (in mm)
  • Curved track: Arc Length (in deg), Radius (in mm)


And the good thing is, you don't have to be an expert to customize these tracks. Just download, open the file; adjust parameters and let Fusion 360 do its thing! export as STL and print

Create custom tracks with Fusion 360:

  1. Open Fusion 360 and open the Track (Straight or Curved) you want to customize.
  2. Select the "Modify" tab and then click on the "Change Parameters" button. This will open the Parameters dialog box.
  3. Select the parameter you want to edit and change its value. This will update the design automatically.
  4. Right Click on the model and use "Save as Mesh" option to export the STL file.


You just want to get started and don't want to mess with fusion 360? You can download the STLs provided here & start printing right away!


Download STLs: printables

Get Source CAD files: github


Notes:

  • Before printing the curved tracks be sure to check minimum track radius supported by the respective locomotive.
  • Larger radius (above 500mm) is better for stability, it is also compatible with all locomotives. So it recommended to use large radius curves where ever possible.
  • For now, only the straight and curved tracks are customisable. The crossings and turnouts are not parametric.

Straight Track - Parametric

Curved Track - Parametric

Step 2: Locomotives

1) F7 Locomotive

The EMD F7 is a diesel-electric locomotive model produced by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division (EMD) between 1949 and 1953.


The F7 locomotive scale model is a highly detailed and accurate replica of the popular American diesel-electric locomotive that was widely used in the mid-20th century.

This 3D printable model has been designed to be fully assembled, motorized, and functional. This model features many intricate details, including working lights providing a highly realistic and visually striking experience.

Compatible Track radius: Min 300mm

Assembly Manual: Google docs

3D print files: printables.com


2) GP7 Locomotive

The EMD GP7 is a type of diesel-electric locomotive that was manufactured by the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors between 1949 and 1954.


The GP7 locomotive scale model is a 3D printable and motorized working replica of the iconic GP7 diesel-electric locomotive.

This model captures the intricate details and design of the original locomotive, bringing the beauty and power of the classic locomotive in a smaller scale. The model is easy to assemble and features the same motorized bogie as the F7 locomotive.

Compatible Track radius: Min 350mm

Assembly Manual: Google docs

3D print files: printables.com - cults3d.com


3) GP60 Locomotive

The GP60 is a diesel-electric locomotive made by EMD in the 80s. It was used for freight trains and was known for its cab-forward design and improved fuel efficiency. Despite being largely replaced by newer models, it is still in service today.


The GP60 locomotive scale model has been designed to be highly detailed, right down to the smallest parts, such as the locomotive's handrails and headlights.

Whether it's for the Dragon Railway or as a display piece, the 3D printed GP60 locomotive scale model provides a unique and visually stunning representation of one of the most iconic locomotives in history.

Compatible Track radius: Min 350mm

Assembly Manual: Google docs

3D print files: printables.com


Notes:

  • F7, GP7, GP60 are EMD locomotives, Hence use the same bogie.
  • The drive wheels require 13x1.5mm O ring.
  • You can add dead weights on the chassis to increase stability and traction.
  • You can have one motorized bogie and one idle bogie for the locomotive. You can also have both of them motorized just like the real one.
  • Refer to the control section for code and schematics.


Source CAD Files: github.com

Dragon F7 Diesel

Dragon GP7 Diesel

Dragon GP60 Diesel

Step 3: Auto Coupler

The AutoCoupler has been designed to provide a more efficient and reliable coupling system for model trains. The AutoCoupler maintains the functionality and realism of the Shibata Coupler despite being optimized for FDM printers.

The coupler automatically connects the trains when they come into contact, and can be manually decoupled by the user when desired. Note that the main advantage is that it requires very little force on the lever for decoupling.

AutoCoupler is compatible with all Dragon Railway Locomotives and Wagons.


Assembly Manual: Google docs

3D print files: printables.com

AutoCoupler - DragonRailway

Step 4: Wagons / Rail Cars

And of course, a railway system wouldn't be complete without Wagons since they are an essential component of railway transportation. They are used to transport a wide variety of goods and materials while increasing the efficiency and capacity of the railway system.


1) Tanker Car

This tanker car scale model is a miniature replica of a full-size tanker car used for transporting liquids or gases. This model has an articulated a lid that can be opened and closed.

Assembly Manual: google docs

Download STL: printables


2) Box Car

A Box car is a type of railway freight car. This particular model features doors that can be opened and closed, mimicking the movement of the doors on a real box car.

Assembly Manual: google docs

Download STL: printables


3) Gondola Car

Gondola car is a type of railway freight car that is open on top and typically used for transporting bulk goods such as coal, ore, and gravel.

Assembly Manual: google docs

Download STL: printables


4) Hopper Car (Open Top/Covered Top)

A hopper car is a type of railway car used to transport bulk materials such as coal, grain, and gravel. This scale model is a detailed representation of the original, complete with functioning doors on the underside that can be opened and closed, it provides an accurate representation of the real thing.

Assembly Manual: google docs

Download STL: printables


Get Source Files: github.com/DragonRailway/Train-Wagons

Tanker Car - Dragon Railway

Box Car - Dragon Railway

Gondola Car - Dragon Railway

Hopper Car Covered - Dragon Railway

Hopper Car Open - Dragon Railway

Step 5: Accessories: EasyRailer

EasyRailer - the ultimate solution for seamless train placement on your 3D printed model tracks.

Say goodbye to frustrating train placement and hello to easy, precise track alignment with this user-friendly design


Haha! At first, this is something which you would see as something unecessary. But this really makes train placement a breeze. You just have to place the model on the Railer and slide it; The train automagically aligns itself on the track.

Step 6: App Control System

Locomotives can controlled be controlled wirelessly using an Android / IOS smartphone using the RemoteXY app. The phone connects to the train via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), allowing for a seamless and convenient control of the train's speed, direction, and lights.


Electronics:

  • ESP32 dev board
  • Motor driver (DRV8833 or L293D)
  • LED lights
  • Resistors (220 ohm)
  • 7805 regulator (AMS1117 - 5V can also be used)
  • N20 Motor (already in the Loco Bogie)
  • Battery*


Connect the circuit as per the schematic and upload the code to the ESP32. It should Start working right away!

The lights will stop blinking as soon as the BLE connection is established. You can now control the Locomotive.


What can this do:

  • BLE connection
  • Motor controls with inertia simulation
  • Lights control

Code: github


Software required:

Arduino IDE: Official website

RemoteXY App:Playstore - AppStore - AppGallery


*Battery remarks:

  • Compatible Voltage: 6V to 9V
  • Suitable batteries: 9V rechargeable battery, 2S Li-Fe(6.6V) , 2S Li-ion(7.4V) - note that lithium based batteries require BMS/ Balance chargers
  • Don't use Lithium batteries without BMS
  • Choose the battery which is comfortable for you. 9V rechargeable battery can be the best option for beginners

Step 7: Future of This Project

I have put a lot of time and effort into developing this project and seeing it come to life has brought me a great deal of satisfaction and happiness.
The process of designing and 3D printing the detailed models of locomotives, wagons, tracks, and other accessories has been an enjoyable learning experience.


Let me tell you give you a sneak peek of the work in progress stuff:

  1. Realistic Sounds: To be added using a simple amplifier and a speaker. That's the easy part, I still have to work on the code. Planning to fork this from TheDIYGuy999
  2. Electronic Coupler Control: The AutoCoupler already has an easy release mechanism. A servo will be used to actuate the release hook. This will enable the coupling and decoupling of trains without any manual intervention.
  3. More tracks: Wye turnout, Double Crossover turnout, Lapped turnout, Tracks with Ballasts - These are some of the tracks I'm working on.
  4. Advanced Loco Remote: Espnow based remote for controlling multiple locomotives at the same time. It features an OLED Display and encoder to have an advanced control over the layout. Check out the code at github

I plan to add more models to this project, improve and update existing models whenever necessary.


Future Ideas:

  1. Automatic layout control: An advanced layout control system with open source softwares like Traintastic, DCC-EX. This can be very helpful for controlling large layouts with multiple locomotives.
  2. More Parametric Tracks: Crossings, Turnouts can also be made parametric, allowing even more flexibility of custom layouts


Open Source:

These Tracks, Locomotives, Wagons are Open Source. You have the ability to customize and personalize your own model railway, and also share your own modifications and improvements with the community. This will help to create a collaborative and supportive environment where you can share ideas and learn from one another.


I hope you enjoy printing and building these models!

Share your suggestions and ideas in the comments


Updates:

2023 Jan24 - Instructable published

2023 Feb4 - Added GP60 Locomotive

Anything Goes Contest

Fifth Prize in the
Anything Goes Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • Cold Challenge

      Cold Challenge
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest

    48 Comments

    0
    hilkek
    hilkek

    10 days ago

    The trains are really nice, To bad you didn't provide the files is a sat or step format, STL files are very problematic.

    0
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Reply 7 days ago

    I have provided all the source files in STEP and Fusion formats.
    https://github.com/DragonRailway

    STL files are provided only for 3D printing purposes, I wouldn't consider it as source.

    0
    hilkek
    hilkek

    Reply 5 days ago

    Thank You so much. your stuff is very nice very well done. could please put out one of the track intersections. Thank you also for your very quick response. It was so gratious of you.

    0
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Reply 5 days ago

    Thanks for the reminder. I have now added STEP files for Crossings and EasyRailer also.
    Let me know if there's anything else I should add.

    I have not added STEP files for straight and curved tracks since STEP files are not parametric, it wouldn't be of much use to the user.

    0
    hilkek
    hilkek

    Reply 18 minutes ago

    Thank you so much. Your work is very impressive.

    1
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Tip 3 days ago

    GP60 is also complete now

    GP60_1_pxl.jpg
    1
    Ashu503
    Ashu503

    Reply 2 days ago

    looking good!!

    1
    AnandM54
    AnandM54

    3 days ago

    Ohhh wow, amazing explanation and added lots of info!! Wonderful!!

    1
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Reply 3 days ago

    Thank you. I think I should make a separate instructable explaining the control system in detail. This instructable is more focused on explaining the design of the railway models.

    1
    AnandM54
    AnandM54

    Reply 3 days ago

    Ohhh!!

    2
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 days ago

    This is a very impressive build!

    1
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Reply 3 days ago

    Thank you! It's an on going project. I will be adding a few more models to this project.

    0
    simonrichardson666
    simonrichardson666

    10 days ago

    Hi, this is a great idea but was wondering if this would be compatible with steam engines say for instance a UP Big Boy which would end up being 446mm long (engine only)?
    Do you have any plans for adding steam engines for this layout?
    Thanks.

    0
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Best Answer 7 days ago

    There may be some user contributed in the future since there are a few others who also want steam locomotives for this railway.
    Steam locomotives usually require large turning radius and are relatively complex to design.

    0
    simonrichardson666
    simonrichardson666

    Answer 7 days ago

    I am planning on making a Big Boy for this railway and also for the os railway as well as that would make a nice sized model. I have the Rivarossi Big Boy and will make it using the system it has where the 2 8 wheel bogies rotate independantly so it can move round on standard model railway tracks. Will take a while though as I don't get a lot of time to myself with the nightshift job I do but I'm certainly gonna give it a try.
    First thing I'm gonna do is make a 8 wheel bogey motorized to see if it will go round the curved tracks and then take it from there.

    1
    Ashu503
    Ashu503

    11 days ago

    Hello will u add GP-39 locomotive? Thx

    0
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Reply 10 days ago

    I have already completed the GP60, It still needs to be tested.
    The files will be released when the manual is complete.

    And regarding GP38/39, I don't have plans to design it. However there's already a model available on thingiverse for OS Railway. You could modify it to work with our Railway.
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4390600

    0
    d7nku76
    d7nku76

    Question 10 days ago

    Many thanks for this. It’s stunning. I was hoping that you will be able to answer my question. I have an flashforge adventure 4 3D printer. I can fit the model to print on my printer if I scale down by approximately 10%. Obviously I will scale down everything by 10%. What other issues do you think I will have to consider?

    0
    Rambros
    Rambros

    Answer 10 days ago

    I would recommend you to split the body and print.
    Since scaling the model would make the motor incompatible, The motor wouldn't fit in the bogie, the gear wouldn't fit on the motor. There would be a few other hardware issues also.

    1
    The Mod
    The Mod

    10 days ago

    It looks kind of like the lego train set XD