Getting Side Tracked etc.

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online

side‧track /ˈsaɪdtræk/ verb [transitive]
1 to make someone stop doing what they should be doing, or stop talking about what they started talking about, by making them interested in something else
….. Don’t get sidetracked by the audience’s questions.
2 American English to delay or stop the progress of something
….. An effort to improve security was sidetracked by budget problems.

be on the right/wrong track
to think in a way that is likely to lead to a correct or incorrect result
….. We’ve had the initial test results and it looks as though we’re on the right track.

There a seeming multitude of such sayings but I will leave it at those two (both railroad derived)

Musings with Coffee: I’m sitting here this morning slowly waking up. I have just had my first cup of coffee and about to brew up a second and thought I would post up a bit of a – what’s what. Not a rant .. just mild irritation etc.

The Project: I have been working on a project for Walt Gillespie (of Rusty Stumps) and Rail Scale models – working up the CAD for a Cyclone Dust Collector. Walt provided me with a CAD drawing you see here. You may wonder .. “If you have a CAD model already .. what do you need to work up?”. The answer being that this is a CAD drawing that might be used in a video game. This may be considered much like a stage prop .. it looks nice and real from the audience but when you walk on stage and behind the prop it is nothing but wood framing, chicken wire and paper mache. A 3D CAD model suitable for 3D printing is the real thing (well .. relative ‘real’ in that it has depth, breadth and height .. virtually). That means I am using it as a guide to turn what is basically a shell into a 3D object for printing.

So. Yesterday I had just finished getting feedback from Walt on a file I sent him .. just the very top of the thing .. the little intake with the witch’s roof. We were finalizing things like wall and flange thicknesses .. some basic housekeeping so these things will be printable. Happy with the response from Walt I started to work .. and stopped.

Tangents: Normally when I stop in the middle of something like this it is because I made the mistake of opening Facebook and something “Shiny” will catch my eye and I will go off at a tangent (another saying that fits those at the top). This time I got to thinking that one of the hurdles we have when working on such a project is that we have this huge object on the screen .. when in reality it is really a small thing. Through the magic of CAD we manage to do what Alice did and shirk very small. There are times we need to step back .. shake our shaggy head (damn do I need a barber) and take a second or third look at what we are doing from a “real world” perspective.

Bemused Shock: I stopped at some point and sat back and thought .. “Darn. This is REALLY small!” .. and felt a bit uneasy .. ‘did I screw up the measurements at some point?

I opened up the file for the Dust Bin (that is the square box at the base) and made a quick measurement of the length of a side. “What?” .. it measures 22.28 mm …

“Oh NO!!”. I “remembered” when first looking at the drawing that it measured 88″ across the sides of the Dust Bin. What stuck out in my memory (such as it is) was that 88″ in HO is darn close to one inch .. after all .. 88/87.1=1.01″ .. and one inch is 25.4 mm … again .. “Ohhh Noooo!!”

All things considered it wasn’t THAT serious. I was still early enough in the project to make the changes needed but it was irritating to say the least. I consoled myself with that I had caught the error and went about correcting it. The first thing I did was to resize the Dust Bin to the “Correct” size.

So. The biggest change was wall thickness. Enlarging the model the walls went from ~0.7 mm to ~0.8 mm .. the flanges and brackets would need adjusting for thickness .. but not THAT big a thing .. other than time lost doing it .. again.

So .. for the next couple of hours I went through and re-sized all of the parts from the Dust Bin up .. until late and everything started to get blurry and bed was calling ..

…. then ….

I had resized the “Filter Barrel” (my name for the cylinder with filters inside it .. working much like the air filter on your car). I needed the diameter of the flanges on the thing and wanted to go to the original drawing to get those dimensions. Doing that .. I stopped. The diameter of the cylinder in the original drawing was .. call it .. noticeably smaller than the current “new and improved” cylinder in my CAD.

How much smaller? …………. same size as my earlier and smaller drawing.

I went back to the original drawing and measured the size of one side of the Dust Bin .. again ..

Well .. CRAP!!

No .. NOT 88 inches. It clearly says “HO Complete Cyclone Dust Collector” .. and the measurement?


That’s .. DECIMAL 88 inches .. and what does .88″ convert to in millimetres? … 22.28 mm

I had it right the first time. It was at this point I closed everything down for the night. “Tomorrow is another day” .. and all that.

Today .. is that day. Hopefully .. a good day.

A Modeler’s life” ..

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