Having designed the parametric railway track models with an option for printing them without sleepers I decided it was worth coming up with a small parametric tool to help set the rail spacing when fitting them to sleepers or other surface. You can find these models here:
The tool presented here is designed to hold the tracks at the correct spacing while glue is drying. The “deck” can be used to put heavy objects on to keep things flat while gluing. The tool can accommodate moderate curves.
Refer to the images to help identify the parameters you need to adjust.
Depending on the nozzle size you are using, you may want to tweak the
NozAll parameter. The default is 0.2mm which suits my machine with its 0.4mm nozzle and hopefully will be suitable for most users. With a finer nozzle you will be able to reduce this figure.
If you are after a variation on this that is just a spacing tool, go to my website and you will find this tool and a simpler one at the bottom of this page: Parametric Railway Tracks
With the PLA I used for the rails and the track setting tools, I found that the track setting tool slides on the rails quite smoothly and easily. While I can’t think of an application for this at the moment, they will make great gliders for something.