The free XTrackCAD
program is still going strong after all these years, despite other free programs such as SCARM which have come since, and the popular free version of AnyRail.
As far as I know, XTrackCAD
and 3rd PlanIt
(not free) are still the only other layout design programs which will export DXF files in a format which can be imported directly into Templot's background shapes as a design guide.
This has the advantage over using a screenshot as a background picture shape in that you can zoom in without it becoming pixellated and so work to greater precision.
So I thought I would post a new topic containing some old notes about this.
There is an old page showing Templot tracks designed over a DXF import from XTrackCAD at:
Note that the tracks shown in grey are background shapes imported from XTrackCAD, they are not Templot templates and cannot be adjusted using the usual Templot controls. But they can be overlaid as a design guide, and using the notch it is possible to align templates to them precisely: geometry > notch > notch on background shape
The maximum number of background shapes which Templot can support is 32000. For this reason, when exporting a DXF file from a large XTrackCAD track plan for use in Templot, it is very advisable to export the track centre-lines only, without the rails and sleepers (ties) -- i.e. not the full tracks as showing in this image.
XTrackCAD puts all the track details in one layer in the DXF file. You need this layer to contain only the track centre-lines, not the rails or sleepers. So you must change the settings in XTrackCAD first:
Turning off the sleepers is easy -- Options > Display > "Draw Ties" > None
Turning off the rails is not so obvious. In Options > Display >
, change "Two Rail Scale"
to 0 (zero).
Then with only the track centre-lines showing, you can export the DXF file, and finally import it into Templot:
background > shapes
menu item > DXF import
Remember to set the units to mm or inches.
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