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PridgeoK
2008.01.13, 07:45 PM
Free software = good food.

Here's a template I made up for Google's Sketchup. It's (hopefully) fairly accurate, but I only have the mini-96 to measure with calipers so unfortunately it's not going to be perfect for you lucky 50cm groupies. :rolleyes:

edit: Measurements removed...

Enjoy,

Kevin.

NOTE (Dec 2008): Updated this initial file for the Mini 96. Has the colours and starting grid properly. See post #15 below - I took a crack at the Wide 50cm format track down there as well, but I need some help finishing it.

PridgeoK
2008.01.13, 08:52 PM
Just for fun, I made a track with a ramp as an example, something that's always been debated in the threads I've read, and I figured this would be a way to get an idea of how it looked 3d-ish. The perspectives you can get with this program are pretty amazing.

I only have a mini-96 and an explansion, so I don't have a ton of pieces to play with, and I only have a limited space to put the track, so this 12x8 area is almost it (I can actually make some extra space on my patio going towards the back door of the basement, but really the base area is this rectangle. Maximizing the usable space has taken up plenty of my life, especially since it's raining here until May (LOL!).

A few quick tips to making use of Sketchup:

- spacebar to get back to the select tool (arrow) then click in a blank space to deselect everything
- then move around with the hand (H)
- or pivot the camera around using O.
- Select something (space first, remember)
- then press M to move the piece around
- Press control, then M and you'll make a copy of the piece first, leaving the original where it is, which makes track making easy.
- Rotate the pieces 90, 180 or whatever and you're set to make your track as big/little as you want.

I found my poor old computer dragging a bit using the program, but maybe it's just my install... For a free 3d package, I found it very well done. One hand on the KB, one hand on the mouse, and you can get used to it pretty fast.

What I did find weird was that simple things you'd want to do (like putting a hole through a solid object after it was made) was awkward... I found it easier to make a 2d model, make a vertical line the distance you want it to fill, then use their tool to stretch it out to that point... touchy in some places (like 3d height adjustments), but once you get the hang of moving particular end-points to the specific point it needs to fit onto and it works quite well.

Hope this helps someone out,

Kevin.

RCPMini-z
2008.01.13, 11:10 PM
I couldn't open any of the files. :confused:

PridgeoK
2008.01.14, 12:22 AM
I couldn't open any of the files. :confused:

Did you grab Sketchup (personal version) from Google's website?

http://sketchup.google.com/download.html

Let me know - if you're still having trouble, I'll repost. -- actually... just looked at my attachment, and I tagged the wrong example file I wanted to upload. Fixed that up... give'r another go?

Kevin.

PridgeoK
2008.01.16, 09:55 PM
The more I use the program the easier it is. For sure it's a bit touchy - snapping pieces together is much easier if you zoom in and take one end-point and drag it over to another piece exactly where you'd want it to connect. Works well when you get used to it, but not that easy when you're zoomed out.

Also, very easy to highlight a complete corner section (for instance) and either duplicate, rotate or move that set as a whole, just like you'd do in Visio or Autocad. Moving in the 3rd dimension is pretty simple as well, which isn't so necessary with most of the RCP tracks you'd actually build... most everyone builds a big 2d set anyway, it seems.

All in all, I definitely like it better than Visio (which I have), though I can't compare it to something like Autocad (which I don't have). Cost is definitely right, and it's a whole whack better than the rcp-track builder!

Kevin.

RCPMini-z
2008.01.16, 11:35 PM
My computer doesn't recognize the file type. Haven't been able to open the original program file.

edit: I just saw your google download post. I am doing that now.

PridgeoK
2008.01.17, 02:41 PM
My computer doesn't recognize the file type. Haven't been able to open the original program file.

edit: I just saw your google download post. I am doing that now.


Good stuff. Let me know if you get it going! I didn't spend much time trying to put any colours or even bottom panels on the pieces (you can see that in the underneath view from my last example images I think). The program does let you paint on textures and such, but I haven't played with it enough to put your own textures on... I'm sure you probably can though.

Being the free version of the program, they don't make it as bloated with features, but it seems powerful enough to make some very accurate diagrams without a huge effort. Since the pieces for RCP are so modular, this was a piece of cake to put a track together once those foundation pieces were made. The basic features provided seem to be enough for 95% of what you'd do on a day-to-day basis from what I can tell. Need more than that and you would probably be willing to dish out the ca$h for the professional version of the product or move up to those other well established diagram packages.

I'll make a few more tracks over the next few days (maybe this evening I'll have some time) and post some more jpgs. Might copy one or two of the well-known races of late, if I can track down a diagram of those, just to make a comparison. If we know where the drivers were standing when they ran the race we can see the track from their perspective, which would be a very cool view.

Regards,

Kevin.

PridgeoK
2008.01.17, 11:11 PM
Here's a familiar track. This is just to compare the sketchup modelling against the mock-up. The image size isn't exact, but the layout is. Cool to see it from another perspective as well.

Kevin.

PridgeoK
2008.04.07, 05:30 PM
I've spent a bit of time updating my template since I purchased the add-on kits for the mini-96. Having one of all of the expansion sets makes for some pretty cool track layouts.

I'll attach the updated template as a ZIP file (since this forum doesn't like the sketchup extensions), and add a few JPG example images. Unfortunately, the file is 3mb... I'll try just chopping out the indivudual peices and saving that to try to get under the 488kb limit the forum posts allow. If you want the full file - just fire me a PM and I'll e-mail it to you.

Updated are:
- all of the new pieces in the long 45 kit, which has the pieces which cover the wide radius inside corner kit and the chicane kit.
- coloured the kit using these colours (not super accurate, but looks good enough for me): Straight rails: Grey 002, RCP Top = Asphalt_New, the rest of the RCP = 007 (dark grey, near black) and RCP Corner rails: A08 (Red ...sorta pinkish)...
- templated sets: The mini-96 full set, the expansion set (36 blanks + 24 straights), the chicane, long45, and inside corner kits.

Also included in the full archive is a re-org of the pieces into pre-organized rows to make it easy to make tracks.... easy enough for anyone who wants to re-organize this into more appropriate configs for thier preferences... I have it set up with lots of long straight 3-wide rows, but it's going to be messed with anyway when you make a track. The main sets are grouped in this one to make it easy to throw things around.

Check out the JPG images for some previews. :D

EDIT (Apr 13): Realized the diagonal straight pieces (tD) are grey, not red. My bad.

Kev.

ruf
2008.10.13, 07:22 PM
Awesome work! Care to do the 50cm tiles too? ;)

PridgeoK
2008.10.13, 07:34 PM
Awesome work! Care to do the 50cm tiles too? ;)

heh - I'd love to! I don't have any of the wide tiles to measure though. :( If someone wanted to give me a set I'd gladly take the time to make the template (j/k). Once I finally invest in the wide track I'll do it anyway... but that's going to be a while the way my finances are going. ;)

Sketchup's pretty wild in what you can do - you can apparently paste in your drawings into Google Earth and have it displayed when people zoom in on your area. For our purposes, just sketch up the facility your track sits in, publish them both to Google Earth and people can zoom in, do right to the room and show your layout right as it is, or will be, directly where it's going to be. It'd put a pretty wicked twist on larger events - especially since it'd all be true to scale.

That's an awesome layout though. It's got too many turn pieces for the track I have, unfortunately.

Kevin.

PridgeoK
2008.10.13, 08:01 PM
Ruf - just realized that the layout you're drawing is an idea for the track you organized the purchase of from rharris - that RCX 2008 track set. I drooled over that track for a while, as you can imagine (I'm sure others did also). ++:cool:

ruf
2008.10.13, 08:13 PM
It's not an idea anymore... :D
http://reflexracing.blogspot.com/2008/10/new-deep-layout-at-ocrc.html

Oddly enough, this layout turned out great! I usually like to plan the tracks ahead of time with a track builder, but this one was kind of thrown together by 4 different people. I was expecting it to kinda suck, but the flow turned out really good.

We got lucky that no one was willing to pay the shipping prices. rharris lives about 20 minutes away from OC/RC, and the owner of the OC/RC wanted to expand, so it was a no brainer. We've got a great club coming up there now! :)

If you'd be willing, I can take measurements of the 50cm tile for you. I'm still learning my way around Sketchup. Are there any other track building software/webware since rcptrackbuilder went dodo?

PridgeoK
2008.10.13, 08:37 PM
Nicely!! :D

Not too sure about different products to use though. This one's really nice since it's freeware and powerful. That's a combo you don't get very often. I've seen the ray-traced output that auto-cad and a few other products can produce and it's eye-candy for sure, but so far I can't find anything to compete with sketchup for templating things on the cheap.

The product has a learning curve - no doubt about it. But ya - if you want to take some sketches - even hand drawn - and send 'em to me, feel free. I'll draw them up. It's pretty easy to do now that I have the hang of it. I'll PM you my e-mail address.

Kevin.

PridgeoK
2008.12.17, 03:05 AM
Awesome work! Care to do the 50cm tiles too? ;)

At long last, I managed to go race with a pretty awesome group here in BC's lower mainland and actually remembered to bring the calipers. Between races, I made a bunch of notes, and voila, the Wide RCP template is now made. :cool:

Here's the bulk of the Wide RCP pieces in a sketchup template file (zipped), plus a few screen captures of the pieces, and a familiar test track.

The crew I raced with have the wide radius inside corners as well as the 45 degree set, but I didn't get a good chance to examine the 45 degree set in detail, thus only have a few of the pieces written out. If someone (anyone?) has one of these puppies and can send me a PM with more of the pieces and their dimensions, I'll gladly whip them up and add them here.

I don't know anyone who has the big nascar oval/wide radius outside corners either, so I may never get to diagram those unless someone here online helps me out (or I win big on the lottery). Even hand-drawn diagrams will do.

Also - I didn't get a good view of the start grid tile. Could someone post a good image of it, or take some dimensions of the grid itself?

Hope this helps some of you guys who want a good, easy, free tool to template tracks on.

Kev.

NOTE: I made this in metric... but Sketchup seems to default to imperial measurements, which although fine, isn't how I took the measurements. Switch it to metric by going into the Window/Model Info menu and changin the format to "Decimal" and use "Millimeters", leaving or setting the precision to your preference. Then you'll see how modular the tracks really are. V.nice tracks, in my opinion. I have no doubt that my measurements are *not* exact, but should be pretty close.

PridgeoK
2008.12.18, 02:07 AM
I've sketched out two tracks that are semi recent from the forums just to get some example tracks to look at. First is the HFAY Large Track for December, and the second is the Inside Line track they did back in November, I believe. The picture of their tracks is in this post:

http://mini-zracer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=325001&postcount=22

I sorta guessed a bit at the far end pieces...

Also, to make the 45 degree corners, I sorta fudged those pieces a bit... if you open the sketchup file you'll notice the holes don't line up on the diagonal pieces, and I'm sure the rail lengths are wrong... but since I don't have those pieces myself and didn't get a good look at them, I'm just making do.

So there you have it. That's pretty much all I'm going to do with the Wide 50cm format RCP template until I get some of my own or someone wants me to add more to it. Looks good enough to me and should be easy enough for anyone else to make use of. ;)

Kev.

edit: I should note here that I upgraded my version of Sketchup when I made this to v.7... so the sketchup track files here probably won't open with the older versions.

HaCo
2010.03.24, 02:56 PM
Thanks for this library. I have saved every tile as a component and also made groups of 4x4 straight/corner etc. Put these in a folder and op that folder as a Library. From then on you can drag and drop new tracks.

And why don't you design the building (or room) you're using for your track so you can see what fits (and doesn't). Put the room on a different layer and lock it :)

Maybe I will look out how to make script for sketchup so it counts the amount of tiles.

PridgeoK
2010.07.14, 02:31 AM
Hey HaCo,

Haven't checked this area of the forum for a while, as you can tell.

Here's a few examples that I did quite a while ago of the area I have in front of my place... it's not complete, as you can plainly see, but ya - shows a bit of what can be done. Now to put it into Google Earth & zoom right in. OKay... maybe not directly for my house... but for a venue, perhaps that would be cool.

http://mini-zracer.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=30195&d=1279088894

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http://mini-zracer.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=30196&d=1279088902

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http://mini-zracer.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=30197&d=1279088910

Kev.

GP40X
2012.07.14, 10:47 PM
Anyone have a template for the 30012 Mini-45 kit? Hate to revive an old thread but wasn't sure where else to put it.

PridgeoK
2012.07.15, 01:03 AM
Nope. :(

Haven't been playin' with the cars for a while, nor with Sketchup. If someone were to send me a sample of those new pieces (hint, nudge, ;)), I'd whip one up for you, but... alas, I don't have the piece to measure. I thought that they may have posted dimensions in one of the other track threads here in mini-zracer, so that could conceivably be replicated...

Kev.

PridgeoK
2012.07.15, 01:03 AM
BTW: welcome to the forums!

monkeyZ
2012.07.25, 11:28 PM
Thanks for this! Totally Awesome!

PridgeoK
2012.07.26, 02:40 AM
Thanks for this! Totally Awesome!

Glad you like it. It's not quite the quality of the rendered autocad slick & tidy goodness that [DustyWeasle] (http://www.mini-az.com/) shows off periodically around these threads, but it's free and relatively easy (once the learning curve is climbed a bit).

If you end up using it, post some of your work! It's always good to see other people trying it out!

Kev.

(ps: Hope Dusty doesn't mind me linking to his site there... his tracks do kick ass.)