3D Printing Track Switch Board

Introduction: 3D Printing Track Switch Board

Hi! I hope you all are having a good day. In this Instructable, I will be showing you how to design a track switch board that is especially designed to incorporate a track piece, a servo, and an ESP8266 to allow for efficient switching of the train track rail. I hope you enjoy this Instructable and found it helpful!

Supplies:

  • OnShape Designing Program (onshape.com)
  • The internet
  • Servo
  • ESP8266
  • Track Piece
  • Polar 3D (polar3d.com)

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Step 1: Create an OnShape Account

In order to start designing your track switch board, you will need to create an OnShape account. You just need to go to onshape.com and sign up with your google account or some other form. Once you make your OnShape account, you will be able to start creating 3D designs!

Step 2: Create a New OnShape File

Once you sign into your OnShape account, create a new OnShape file. Make sure once you open the file, you have an isometric view of the three planes to begin working on your track switch piece.

Step 3: Create a Corner Rectangle

In order to start the track switch piece, you need to see the planes from the top view. You can do this by clicking Top side of cube on the top right corner of the screen.

Once in Top view, click on the Sketch button on the left side of the function bar on the top of the screen. Afterwards, choose the Top plane to choose the surface to start sketching the track switch. Once chosen, click on the rectangle grid button (if you hover over it, it should say Corner rectangle (g) underneath the button).

With the corner rectangle function chosen, click on the center point of the top plane and drag out to create a rectangle. Click out and the parameters for the dimensions of the rectangle should pop up so that you can insert the dimensions of the track switch piece.

The dimensions of the track piece is 75 mm x 140 mm. Please insert these two values into the two parameters provided for the created rectangle. Once you input these values, your result should be a rectangle that is 75 mm by 140 mm that will serve as the base of your track switch piece.

Step 4: Extrude Your Track Switch Piece

Once you have created your rectangle base for your track switch piece, it is time to extrude it to become 3D. In order to do this, switch the view to isometric using the camera and render options under the cube on the top right corner of the screen. Then, press the extrude button on the top function bar (it should be next to the Sketch option).

Step 5: Input Proper Depth of the Extrusion

A window will pop up with options to input depth. For this project, please input the depth to be 5 mm. Press the green check mark and the 3D extrusion for the track switch piece is ready for the next step.

Step 6: Create Rectangles for Edges of Track Switch Board

In order to keep the track piece in place, we need to create edges to outline the track and make sure it stays in place when we run the track. Thus, we need to create two new rectangles along the sides of the base you made before.

Create a new sketch with the created board as the base surface to draw new rectangles on. For the first edge, create a rectangle from the top left corner of the base to the bottom of the base board. The dimensions should be 5 mm for length and 75 mm for height.

For the second rectangle, draw a segment 65 mm from the right side of the first triangle using the line button next to rectangle button. From the right end of the segment, create a 5 mm by 30 mm rectangle. With this, you have created two rectangles as outlines for the edges of the track.

Step 7: Extrude the Outer Edges

Once the two edge rectangles are created, click the extrude button so that the edges become 3D so that it can keep the track in place. The extrusion should be 5 mm tall.

Step 8: Add Remaining Pieces and Reflect for Right Side Track Switch Board

Now, with the basic outline for your board, add additional details like the servo holder and the ESP8266 holder respective to the size of your servo and ESP8266. Continue adjusting the sizes and accessories until it fulfills your personal needs. When your track is ready, press the mirror function button in the middle of the top function bar and choose your track piece to mirror over the right plane. By doing this, you have created two track pieces that can be printed for both right-sided and left-sided tracks.

Step 9: Export File and Download It to Upload to 3D Printing Program

With your tracks designed, choose the left- or right-sided board that is needed from the parts list under Parts on the left column. Press control and click on the part that you would like to print. A menu should pop up and you should click Export. Another window will pop up where you can name your file. Name your file as is most easiest for you and choose STL for format, Binary for STL format, Millimeter for Units, Medium for Resolution, and Download for Options. Press Ok at the bottom of the tab and the STL should download to your computer.

Step 10: Create a Polar 3D Account

In order to print your 3D Track Switch Board, you need a 3D printing program in order to upload your STL file and print your design. For this project, go to polar3d.com and create a Polar 3D account. Once created, you can start making and printing your own projects.

Step 11: Choose a 3D Printer to Assign to Print Your Track Switch Board

In order to access available 3D printers, go to the menu bar at the top of the website and click Make. Under Make, you should see a list of options. Click on Printers to see available printers and click on the printer that you would like to print on. Just upload your STL file to your account and add it to the queue of the chosen printer.

Once your 3D print has started printing, take out the tray from the 3D printer and apply an entire layer of glue all over the surface to help the printer have something to stick to. After doing so, place the printer tray back into the 3D printer and patiently wait for your track switch board to print.

Step 12: Admire Your New Creation

Once your 3D print has completely finished printing, take it off the printing tray. Attach all of your pieces to your track switch board and enjoy your finished masterpiece! Good job!

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