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Rollercoster ... of love... Say WHAT?

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So I've become fascinated with model roller coasters and marble runs/coasters.

CoasterDynamics makes some awesome sets. Or rather they did. Like this one:

I would buy it if I could find it and if it wasn't like $500USD. I'm mean I'm fascinated but not that fascinated.

So I was sitting there replacing some filament thinking if I could find some kind of round relatively hard but still flexible material for the tracks, I could print the rest and use small diameter PVC pipe for the larger parts of the structure.

Twirling a piece of filament I broke off to to get a better end to the filament on the spool to feed into the printer, I kept thinking what could I use?!??!!

Then it hit me, I could use pencils whittled down ... No WAIT !!!! The filament !!!! It's perfect! 2.85 PLA is hard but flexible and very consistent in diameter.

The only problem is that looping coasters have wheels that run on at least 3 sides of the rail. This means the filament needs to be mounted as a rail using less than 90 degrees of the circumference I can't figure out a way to "clasp" the filament using < 90 degrees.

Anyone have any ideas? Is there a way to "weld" PLA? Is there another way of mechanically attaching it? Glue?


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If you are in the chapter "how can I use thingies?", what about using some... pins :)

Cut the two ends so that you get a pretty hard transverse. Then you can heat end and then just pin it in the filament. It will automatically glue. The other end could be trickier. Perhaps a soldering iron could be used to heat it, but you also have to provide a thermal break, e.g. a clamp attached in the middle.

Alternatively, just lay down the two parallel filament wires and press a heated pin on both.

Just a couple of thoughts :)


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I would print some bars it could be as simple as a square bar (2x2mmxwidth between the tracks) where you leave a small circular indent in the ends so you can glue the filament against it. The width of the track will be quite constant since you print it. I would glue it with super glue. It does not have to be that strong and since you have this rounding in the ends of the bar you can have enough contact area.

Does that make sense without making a drawing?


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Hmmm, those are some interesting ideas. Keep them coming!

I have considered pins but going all the way through. That has the problem of ruining the smooth outside.

But you got me thinking. Let say I take a small piece of metal and bend the ends up such that the "ears" are a little wider than the track width. Then, in a jig, I could place two parallel pieces of filament. Then heat the metal crossbar and press it into the jig (which would have an alignment pin in the center and a matching hole on the crossbar) such that the filament melts onto it. The ears could have a hole in them so some filament melts through forming a little rivet.

Hmmm, would need to test that.... Need to get some small bearings...


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