Design software

Anyone tried "AnyRail"?
I've seen a site with a few layouts done on this software and they looks pretty much ok. I have to confess that I'm more of a pencil and paper type
of chap but I'm running out of space to work and thinking of taking the plunge and designing the new layout (The Dormouse Line Mk7) on the computer but I'm a bit concerned about learning curves and the like. Also does it handle flexitrack well? I've tried a few software packages in the past and it's like banging your had against a brick wall.
... and that's to everyone who replied to my last. Nice to see the group isn't as dead as it appeared.
--

All the best,

Chris

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On Sun, 18 Dec 2011 20:52:05 GMT, "Chris Wilson"

I've had that problem too.
They all seem to assume you're using train set track and fixed curves. Even those which do flex-track seem to use it between pieces of set track. But if you want track that is all gentle curves I haven't found one that works for me.

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On Sun, 18 Dec 2011 13:21:10 -0800, Christopher A. Lee

If you want one for curves, then Templot is your application. It's quite a complex beast to get your head round and I know that a few people have given up on it because of this. But it is soon going to be free to download and use, so might be worth a punt. This is the download page
http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_postx.php?post_id 771
which is showing the software not yet ready for download but it is scheduled to be available in a week or two. The information will be available on the Templot forum.
http://85a.co.uk/forum/index.php
Jim.
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On Mon, 19 Dec 2011 07:59:53 +0000, Jim Guthrie wrote:

I bought it some time back but couldn't make head or tail of it. After two house moves since, I no longer have the disks.
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A very strange business model.
That and the "how many different colours can I use" website. Ugh!
MBQ
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On 19/12/2011 4:37 AM, Christopher A. Lee wrote:

I tried Templot, too. A wonderful case of "excessive precision"" IMO. Fact is that flex track forms a natural easement (spiral), and crossing/turnouts/etc can be drawn directly on the baseboard and built to fit. Just make sure that any curves are at least your minimum design radius, preferably a few inches larger. Sight along the track as you install/built it, and eliminate any kinks before permanent fastening.
In my experience, computer-aided layout design is vastly over-rated. It's also a trap for the unwary. NB that's it's computer- _aided_. The program isn't a substitute for drafting skills, it's an assistant. If you can't draw a decent scale sketch of your layout the old fashioned way, the computer can't do it for you. But if you can draw such a sketch, then for the typical layout (up to small bedroom size), paper and pencil is faster, and more than accurate enough. For the person who wants only to design his/her own layout, layout design software is a poor investment IMO. Even when it's free.
OTOH, if designing layouts is one of the sub-hobbies that appeal to you, the investment in money and time will be worth it. But that's another discussion, I think. I've found the free programs very quirky, since they written by one person to suit his own style of working. The "selct track pieces and plunk 'em down" types are not nearly as intuitive as you might think, and no two work the same way, so trying them out is really an exercise in finding something that feels comfortable for you. For serious planners, a commercial CAD program is much better: they all assume what may be called standard ways of working. But they also cost money.
IOW, OP's question is not nearly as simple as he perhaps thought it was. It implies (and demands) many ancillary considerations.
HTH Wolf K.
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I think you have missed the point (ouch!) of Templot.
Its primary function is to provide templates for the construction of turnouts.
It so happens that you can also use it for plain track, complete layouts and in any scale/gauge combination that you may wish.
Regards.
--
Bill Campbell

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On 19/12/2011 12:24 PM, Bill Campbell wrote:

I know. That's why I referred to "excessive precision". ;-)
My template-free method: first lay the two outside running rails, adjusting them to get nice flowing curves (except perhaps in the frog area, we use straight frogs here.) Then locate the frog point, and lay first one, then the other frog rail (each filed to a point). Then the closure (wing) rails, the points (fabricated on the workbench, and slightly longer than needed, to permit filing to exact length), and finally the check rails. The closure rail begin where the flangeway between them and the running rails is 2x the minimum flangeway. Locate the frog point about 1/2-way between 2x min and 2x max gauge between the outside rails.
I used track gauges to hold the frog rails while they were being soldered, and to locate the closure rails. NMRA gauges ensured flangeways, check gauge, etc. were correct A a long-wheelbase 6-wheel bogie was used for testing. The only fiddly bit is the points, which I've made several different ways. The one that worked best was to solder tabs underneath, drill both the tab and the tie-bar, and tap the tie-bar for 00-90 screws (don't UK equivalent). The points are held to the closure rails by means of slightly sloppy railjoiners. Since the turnouts were built of fit into the flow of the tracks, there were/are no awkward spots.
I got to where I could build turnout in under 30 minutes.
[...]
HTH Wolf K.
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wrote:
Wolf,

But if, like me, you prefer to build as much as you can off the baseboard, then Templot does the job, including all the complex curves with easements. My current layout has had all its track built off the boards and I'm now in the process of laying it all down. With the situation of my layout - an oval cramped into a smallish bedroom, building the track on site would have been quite difficult.
I'm also building pointwork for a friend and have planned his layout in Templot with his input and sent him a full size plan. The turnouts I build will fit this plan exactly and he will build all the plain track to join them up.
But I do agree that it has a fairly steep learning curve and like most complex programs, requires a fair bit of application from the user to get good results.
Jim.
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On 20/12/2011 6:56 AM, Jim Guthrie wrote: [...]

All excellent points, and nicely illustrates how the choices we make at the start entail different consequences. "You can't go home again", to quote some literary guy. ;-)
Wolf K.
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On 19-Dec-2011, Jim Guthrie wrote:

Arggghhhh!!!!
Tried it before - demo years ago I gave it up as I only have one lifetime. And yes I know that for those who can use it it's a bit of a dogs dangly bits with regards to hand made pointwork and so forth but I don't (although I suppose I should try) make my own track.
--

All the best,

Chris

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<Jim Guthrie> wrote in message
<snipped> : If you want one for curves, then Templot is your application. It's : quite a complex beast to get your head round and I know that a few : people have given up on it because of this. But it is soon going to : be free to download and use, so might be worth a punt.
It would seem that Martin's business model, not having a 'crippled' (no print and/or save) preview software for pre purchase testing, seems to have been his un-doing. Whilst he might well have lost sales from those who were not prepared to splash out getting on for 50 GBP on software that might not have suited their needs (there being no refunds), the more problematic [1] issue seems to have been -in Martin's own words- all the very basic support requests he was receiving and because he had charged for the software he was duty bound to reply to, many of these people probably would never have bought the software had they been able to play with a preview copy [2]...
Martin and myself crossed swords many times on this very group regarding aspect of his business model, I won't go over it all again (Google is your friend if you want the gory details), what I will say is that I am pleased that he is planning to make Templot available (as Freeware?) together with the ability to make a donation to aid further development - my only problem now is whilst I have no problem in making such a donation I do have every problem in doing so via (IMO a very un-trust-worthy) Pay-Pal. Sorry Martin, in time, another payment method perhaps... :~(
[1] also the use of a machine-number derived unlock key seems to have also caused him, and those with genuine copies and reasons why they need to move the software between computers, a lot of extra grief
[2] Templot, like most fine scale modellers, uses the correct terminology for trackwork, not train-set/RTR terms, so one either needs to understand these or be prepared to educate yourself
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Doesn't AnyRail have a free trial download? Certainly used to as that was my route into it.
I can only say that having tried it I paid hard cash for the full product - anyone who knows me would claim that alone to be a rarity!
So .... tried it, liked it, bought it and still use it but would not claim to be an expert. Very good forum support at http://www.anyrail.com/forum_en/index.php where you can get further views.
S
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I've had a play with it now and treated myself to an early Christmas prezzy - CAD for the CAD illiterate, I was really surprised at just how quickly I got up and running with it. I've got some basic designs/layouts now - which obviously will need tweaking but as it'll be a month or two before I can start to build I'm in no rush.
--

All the best,

Chris

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wrote:

Do you have a URL for it? Thanks.
--


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http://www.anyrail.com/download_en.html
The free version is fully functional, but limited to 50 pieces of track.
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wrote:

http://www.anyrail.com/download_en.html
The free version is fully functional, but limited to 50 pieces of track.
Yes, but if you're really tight (I was at first!) you just do your design in 50 piece sections - if your plans are that large!
Steve
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On 18/12/2011 20:52, Chris Wilson wrote:

No. I use Xtrkcad, which is free and seems to work OK.
--
Jane

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+1
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Tried that a few years ago and couldn't make head nor tail of it ... well perhaps I managed a bit better than that but was't to impressed.
--

All the best,

Chris

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