Exporting track data from No Limits to CAD Software

Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:12 PM

Hello. Does anyone know if there is a to export No Limits track data(points, splines...) to use in a real modeling software such as CATIAV5? CATIA is a CAD software that gives the ability to do detail designfor every part on the roller coaster including stressanalysis. But without NoLimits it is very time consuming to get aquality track in a small amount of time. CATIA can read a number ofdifferent file types including .iges, step, .stp, .3dxml, .cgm, andmore. Is there an easy way to convert a NL track file to any of these types?

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:18 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

I believe there is an app out there that will create a 3DSMax model from your NL model. I'm thinking of one of the popular third-party programs like Elementary that some NL users make use of.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:11 PM

Matt's half right: the closest I can think of is Gravimetric Studios' NoLimits Construction Kit which could export track/supports/terrain/etc. to .3ds format. Unfortunately, you needed to buy a license in order too unlock the .3ds exporting ability, and such licenses are no longer available because the developer has stopped supporting the program. At the moment, short of writing a conversion program yourself or potentially speaking with the NL team directly (and likely paying them a sizeable chunk of money) to see if they'd write you something, you're sort of out of luck. If you check around the NL forums though, you can usually find someone with a licensed version of the Construction Kit who'll export it for you, but unfortunately the forum I would have recommended was CoasterSims, which at last check is still undergoing a worryingly long hiatus. Best of luck?

I feel like I said "unfortunately" at least once per sentence in that post. That's depressing.


Bill
ಠ_ಠ

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Friday, July 24, 2009 2:17 AM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Ah yes the Construction Kit. Now I remember the dilemma of not being able to get a license anymore. Perhaps this feature will be available in the eventual release of NL2. Based on the recent news update, it sounds like many of the third party features for NL1 will be native to NL2. :)


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Friday, July 24, 2009 12:04 PM

Alright. Thanks for the info. I think I had actually downloaded the constrcution kit at soe point but never used it. Maybe I will get lucky and find somone who has it and get them to send me a file. Any guess when NL2 will be released?

I tried another idea. I opened the LochNess Monster model in NL and got the coordinates of all 15 nodes fromthe station to the bottom of the first drop. I placed points in CATIAusing those coordinates then splined them all together. Pictures hereare of the result. I placed a couple random footers to help with heightperspective. From some angles it looks very good but from other viewslike the top (if you look at the shadow) you can tell that it doesn'tlook exactly right. There are curved lines in places where the spineshould be straight. I guess I just need to add more points. Any otherideas?

Also, is there an easy way to get the exact node points from NL?I thought you could right-click or something and it would tell you the exact coordinate of the nodes or am I making that up? Instead I had to put the cursor over what I thought was the center of the node and hope it was accurate.

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Friday, July 24, 2009 1:08 PM

Exact node points: Double-click the node you want, read values off the control panel that pops up. Gives you the Bezier handle locations too if that helps at all. Only displays them to two decimal places though so depending on how closely packed your control nodes are you may run into accuracy issues.

Also you might starting out with a recreation or generally a coaster that's a bit better put together than Loch Ness Monster. IIRC that was one of the ones included with the first release of the program, before some of the more talented hand-builders started popping out of the woodwork and/or before the near-perfection that's possible with things like Elementary and FVD. [edit: Actually, a great place to start would be the Flying Dutchman track that came with the Flyer update (1.6 I think). I've heard that the track data was imported directly from Vekoma in order to help showcase the Flying Dutchman, so theoretically it should be the most accurate recreation out there.]

Also a disclaimer is that I'm running NL 1.7, and know that the vertex panel wasn't included in the initial release of the program, so depending on how up-to-date you are, your mileage may vary.

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:15 PM

Bill
ಠ_ಠ

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Monday, July 27, 2009 9:44 AM

I remember you could click on the nodes in v1.7. I just got a new computer and I loaded an earlier version before that ability was added so I'll have to find my 1.7 upgrades. Once I get back up to speed I'll look into the flyer track. I didn't know that was direct from the manufacturer. How did they manage to get that data? Thanks for the help and I'll let you know how it goes.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 4:35 PM

Alright, I took your advice and installed No Limits v1.7. I've decided to take a stab at the Vekoma Flying Dutchman style track first, since it is the closest style to the track I have already built. I recorded the first 65 node coordinates from the NL track and created points based on that data in CATIA V5 R16. The track is much more smooth than the Loch Ness Monster model. Two decimal places is plenty of accuracy for me. A few pictures of what I have thus far here. Still guessing on all the dimensions.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:22 AM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

No definitive date for releasing NL2. It's progressing about as fast as the Flying Turns. I'd give it a couple more years.


AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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