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SCARM - Simple Computer Aided Railway Modeller

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  • Member since
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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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SCARM - Simple Computer Aided Railway Modeller
Posted by Mixy on Sunday, January 30, 2011 3:14 PM

Hello dear friends,

I want to introduce my freeware layout design program, called SCARM, which you can download and test from www.scarm.info/index_en.html. It has lightweight and intuitive user interface, 3D view and many other cool functions and features.
I will appreciate any comments concerning SCARM here or by email – scarm at scarm dot info.
I was not sure where to post this topic, so I do it here - please excuse me if I'm violating some of the forum rules.

Mixy,
from Bulgaria

Tags: Software
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Posted by JamesG on Sunday, January 30, 2011 4:21 PM

Mixy
... I will appreciate any comments concerning SCARM here or by email – scarm at scarm dot info.

I am sure you have done a good job, but since I only work with MAC it is not for me. Good luck with your effort.

 

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Posted by Hamltnblue on Sunday, January 30, 2011 6:50 PM

The biggest problem I see right away is that it doesn't have HO in the most common manufacturers sold in the US.

Springfield PA

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Posted by tony314 on Sunday, January 30, 2011 10:15 PM

Hamltnblue

The biggest problem I see right away is that it doesn't have HO in the most common manufacturers sold in the US.

 

I noticed that as well.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 30, 2011 10:47 PM

Mixy:

I give you a lot of credit for taking the time to design this program. I purchased 3rd PlanIt a long time ago and I enjoy using it a lot. If your freeware can come anyware close to duplicating 3rd PlanIt or any of the many other CAD programs then you will have done a great job. I only spent a few minutes experimenting with your program but it seems to be fairly intuitive.

I wish you great success.

Thank you for your contribution to model railroading.

Dave

P.S. If I were you I would follow the suggestions above about offering North American options.

  • Member since
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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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Posted by Mixy on Monday, January 31, 2011 1:04 PM

Thank you guys,

I acknowledge that there are no American track producers included, but this is just because I don’t know them. I know only Atlas, but they have no full geometrical data (mainly for turnouts) in their web site, which is needed to build appropriate track libraries. I will be very thankful if you can guide me with manufacturers and their online resources, where I can found track dimensions and track geometry examples. This is the only way for me to build a track library and to check track geometry, because I have no real tracks to see and measure them.

Mixy,
from Bulgaria

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Posted by Hamltnblue on Monday, January 31, 2011 3:31 PM

You might start with their free RTS track laying software. It might have teh info you're looking for.

http://www.atlasrr.com/righttrack.htm

Springfield PA

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Posted by Train Modeler on Monday, January 31, 2011 3:44 PM

Keep after it.   I use Peco, Shinohora and Atlas mostly.   Atlas HO C100 should have their specs built into their righttrack software.   I believe that Walthers HO C83 is made by Shinohora.     We use mainly C100 and C83.

Richard

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Posted by steinjr on Monday, January 31, 2011 4:06 PM

Mixy

Thank you guys,

I acknowledge that there are no American track producers included, but this is just because I don’t know them. I know only Atlas, but they have no full geometrical data (mainly for turnouts) in their web site, which is needed to build appropriate track libraries. I will be very thankful if you can guide me with manufacturers and their online resources, where I can found track dimensions and track geometry examples. This is the only way for me to build a track library and to check track geometry, because I have no real tracks to see and measure them.

Mixy,
from Bulgaria

 You can find descriptions of a lot of track dimensions for a large number of turnouts on the XtrkCad yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XTrkCad/), in the files section.

 You might also want to have a look at XtrkCad, which is a freeware program that does what you apparently want to do - but already has a fairly large installed base.

 Smile,
 Stein

 

 

 

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Posted by Hamltnblue on Monday, January 31, 2011 9:06 PM

Hey Mixy. Here's a link ot Peco's turnouts using true scale for each.  maybe it will help:

http://www.peco-uk.com/page.asp?id=pointplans

Springfield PA

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Posted by Mixy on Tuesday, February 01, 2011 1:18 PM

OK, I am starting with Atlas. More libraries will come soon :)

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Posted by Hamltnblue on Tuesday, February 01, 2011 3:46 PM

The Atlas RTS software also has a flextrack option, allowing you to shape it.  That would be a good feature as well.

Springfield PA

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Posted by Mixy on Tuesday, February 01, 2011 3:59 PM

SCARM also has flex-track shaping and I thing that it is more intuitive and realistic than RTS. Try it or see the demo videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u60zaHUbJyU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9PSJBtMa2U
See FAQ section in www.scarm.info/index_en.html for more info about flex-track modelling with SCARM.

Mixy,
from Bulgaria

  • Member since
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Posted by Mixy on Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:41 PM

New version SCARM 0.6.0 released.

Added following new features: parts list, libraries grouping, extended multilanguage support and some Atlas and Bachmann track libraries. More libraries will come soon :)

Download it from www.scarm.info/index_en.html.

Mixy

  • Member since
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Posted by Mixy on Monday, February 21, 2011 9:34 AM
New version 0.7.0 of SCARM is released :)

The most important new features are Print and Print preview mode for WYSIWYG layout printouts. See how below:

To print the whole layout in SCARM, just press "Print" button from the toolbar – the program will automatically fit the track route onto the page and will print it on the default printer.

If you want to see the page with your layout before printing, press "Print Preview" button from the toolbar – this will activate Print Preview mode.

If you wish to print given part from the track route, make sure that Print Preview mode is active ("View" > "Show as Print Preview" must be checked), move and/or resize the drawing to get desired layout part into view and then press "Print" button - SCARM will print the page exactly as it is viewed on the screen. Remember that you can edit your project and make all other things no matter whether you are working in normal mode or in Print Preview mode.

If you make changes while working in Print Preview mode, so layout orientation is no longer optimal, toggle off and then on again "View" > "Show as Print Preview" – SCARM will set the page orientation according to current layout orientation. Press "Fit to Page" button from the toolbar if you wish to fit the layout on the page. Actually, switching off and on the "Print Preview" button does the same thing for you.

If you wish precise control over the printing process, select "File" > "Print" and set desired options in the print dialog box.

Note: If the layout has a baseboard defined and there are tracks outside baseboard contours, those tracks will not be taken into account when SCARM calculates layout position and size in the printable area.

I hope that print features in SCARM will be very useful, but if you have suggestions or other ideas about better printing, please let me know.

Mixy,
from Bulgaria
  • Member since
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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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Posted by Mixy on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10:34 AM

 Hello again,

The new version 0.8.0 of SCARM is ready :)

Most important new features are standalone installer, support for turntables and baseboard editing. There are also many corrected and updated libraries, due to some errors like doubled track names, doubled item numbers and some new parts. If you are using a turntable that is missing from SCARM library files, let me know and I will add it in the next update.

Mixy

  • Member since
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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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New verision of SCARM with realistic 3D terrain
Posted by Mixy on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 8:03 AM

The new version 0.8.6 of SCARM is ready :)

The most important new feature is automatic 3D terrain generation. It will allow realistic 3D representation of the layouts, which have defined heights, bridges and/or tunnels. For example, here is a simple layout with shape of the digit '8' with two stations and with predefined heights of the tracks:

If the tracks in the lifted middle section are set as bridge, the layout will look as follows:

If the tracks in the other (lowered) middle section are set as tunnel, the layout will look as follows:

To look through terrain, you can switch to “Wireframe” mode, using View > Terrain > Wireframe from menu bar in 3D viewing mode. To make terrain invisible, use View > Terrain > Invisible.

Quality vs. Speed of terrain generation is controlled from Tools > Settings > 3D View. It is recommended to keep Automatic setting, which is default – the program will automatically adjust quality/speed of terrain calculations according to your layout. Large layouts with complex track development will require more time for rendering of the terrain. You can turn off terrain generation if you prefer old, flat baseboard view or if terrain calculations are too slow for you.

Terrain engine will help for better visualization of multileveled layouts and is cornerstone in SCARM development, because all future 3D objects with assigned heights depend on the terrain shape. I will create terrain modeling interface so you will be able to create your own mountains and valleys in SCARM.

Also, some bugs were fixed and now it is possible to zoom while modelling flex-tracks. Check also the Portable page in the Settings - it will be useful for those of you who prefer to use SCARM from USB memory sticks.

Hope that you will enjoy the new features – more will come soon ;)

Download the new version from www.scarm.info/index_en.html

Mixy

  • Member since
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Posted by Mixy on Sunday, July 01, 2012 1:48 PM

After some delay I am happy to announce that the new version SCARM 0.9.16 is ready for download from http://www.scarm.info :)

The most important new feature in this release is the ability to work with texts on the drawing plot. Versions 0.9.x also have build-in interface to create figures and make 3D objects of them, such as houses, train stations, platforms, roads and much more. There are also some new and updated libraries, including dedicated object library with some US signals and many small improvements and bugfixes. I hope that you will like the new version of SCARM :)

Mixy

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Posted by Never2manyTrains on Monday, July 02, 2012 4:07 PM

Keep up the good work Mixy, you're really starting to make this a very well rounded program.

Moderator of Facebook community page: Model Trains & Railroading Tips

Contributor for: Model Train Hobbyist Blog

  • Member since
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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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Posted by Mixy on Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:06 AM

Thank you, Never2manyTrains :)

The new version 0.9.18 of SCARM is ready and published on www.scarm.info ;)

It contains many improvements and updates, together with some important bugfixes. See the list with the most important changes in this version in the following SCARM Blog post – www.scarm.info/blog/general/scarm-0-9-18-released

This release should also fix one known issue – empty snapshots in 3D viewing mode, seen on some PCs. If somebody have met this bug, please update SCARM and try 3D snapshot feature again.

I am continuing the development of SCARM and the next version is planned to appear in much shorter period than last one :)

Mixy

P.S. If “Check for Updates” feature in SCARM 0.9.17 reports that there is no newer version of the program, download the installer directly from the website. The old version info file may be cached on your PC and it will need some time that cache to expire.

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Posted by Jay Dubbs66 on Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:17 AM

Thanks for this program.  I have used it now for a few months and am very happy with it.  It has helped me with my layout and I will continue to use it in the future.  Very easy to use and fast learning curve.  Only thing I can say is zoom functions take some time to get used to.  The libraries are very good for what I am using.  Best thing is it fits in my budget at this time.

JW

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm.

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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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Posted by Mixy on Friday, May 17, 2013 12:09 PM

Thank you :)

And here is it – the new SCARM v. 0.9.19 is ready. Download it from www.scarm.info ;)

It contains many improvements and updates, together with some bugfixes. See the list with the most important changes in this version in the following SCARM Blog post – www.scarm.info/blog/general/scarm-v-0-9-19-released.

One new key feature is the ability to set user-defined joining tolerances and global minimum radius for all flex-tracks – see the new Edit tab in the Settings window. Also, all placed flex-tracks now are showing the dimensions of their sections and can be modified and divided after laying. I need to update the documentation about this, but in short, just select the flex, right click over it and use "Reshape" or "Split" commands from the context menu.

I hope that you will like the new release :)

Mixy

P.S. If "Check for Updates" feature in SCARM 0.9.18 reports that there is no newer version of the program, download the installer directly from the website. The old version info file may be cached on your PC and it will need some time that cache to expire. If the website also shows v. 0.9.18, press F5 key to refresh it.

Tags: Track , design , Software , layout , Plan , edit , free
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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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Posted by Mixy on Saturday, May 25, 2013 4:01 AM

IMPORTANT

A new bug-fix update SCARM v. 0.9.20 was released today. Download it from www.scarm.info and install it to patch the old version of the program.

The latest version fixes two critical bugs, found in v.0.9.19.

The first issue is connected with the procedure for removing doubled control points in the baseboard and the figures, which can cause problems with shapes, containing holes inside. This should be now fixed and the holes will not be affected as before.

The second bug is related to the flex-tracks and user-defined minimum radius in the settings, introduced in v. 0.9.19. It may cause previously saved project files, containing flex-tracks to be loaded incorrectly, with flex-sections disconnected and/or reshaped to the bigger user-defined minimum radius. The issue also affects copy/paste of these flex-tracks. This is now solved and the user setting will not interfere with the flex-tracks already placed, saved or copied and pasted from the clipboard anymore.

I am really sorry if these errors are caused you troubles in your work with SCARM. I cannot guarantee that something like this will not happen again, but I can promise that my reaction to the tracked problems will be as fast as possible.

See the list with all changes and fixes in this version in the following SCARM Blog post – www.scarm.info/blog/general/scarm-v-0-9-20-released-bug-fix-update.

I hope that you will like the new release and will forgive me for the eventual problems with the previous version of SCARM :)

Mixy

P.S. If "Check for Updates" feature in SCARM 0.9.19 reports that there is no newer version of the program, download the installer directly from the website. The old version info file may be cached on your PC and it will need some time that cache to expire. If the website also shows v. 0.9.19, press F5 key to refresh it.

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Posted by Mixy on Monday, July 08, 2013 2:00 PM

Here is something, that may be interesting and useful to many of you: How To Create Hills And Valleys in SCARM. It may be of help until the interface for terrain shaping in the program is completed.

Check also the blog posts for June: www.scarm.info/blog/2013/06 - hope you will like them ;)

Mixy

  • Member since
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Posted by Mixy on Monday, August 05, 2013 4:46 PM

Hello again,

I am happy to announce that the new SCARM version 0.9.21 is ready and published for download on www.scarm.info.

It comes with new features, new and updated libraries, some bugfixes and many improvements. The most important new feature is flex-track automatic point-to-snap-and-join function with auto shaping of the curved part. See more about this update in the following blog post: SCARM v. 0.9.21 Released. There is also a short demo clip, showing how fast and easy is now the flex-track joining to the other tracks on the layout.

Here is the list of SCARM Blog posts for July: www.scarm.info/blog/2013/07.

One of the articles in the blog is about Running SCARM on Apple Mac and may be of interest for those of you, who want to try using SCARM on Macintosh computers.

I hope that you will like the new version of SCARM and the articles in the blog :)

Mixy

P.S. If "Check for Updates" feature in earlier SCARM release reports that there is no newer version of the program, download the installer directly from the website. The old version info file may be cached on your PC and it will need some time that cache to expire.

Tags: Software , layout , 0.9.21 , Apple , Mac , model , SCARM , train
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Posted by bigpianoguy on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 6:44 PM

I see that you have incorporated Bachmann's EZ Track into your track library. Excellent - I'm downloading your program and I'm looking forward to using it. Can the final result be saved in other 3D formats (probably answered in your FAQs...) ? I'm hoping to integrate it into an existing scale layout of my apartment....

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Posted by bigpianoguy on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 1:01 AM

Mixy, I downloaded it & have been using it for the past 2 hours! I find it extremely easy to use and the 3D views are striking!

Of course, now I have to get someone up the ladder to see exactly how I tracked my yard, but after that -  I can see I'll be busy...

Thanks ever so much for this! Now if the final layout could be translated into other 3D formats, like 3ds, lwo, dxf, obj, or even .skp, then I would know that life is indeed worth living...maybe in a future edition...

  • Member since
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Posted by Mixy on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 2:22 AM

Hello Bigpianoguy,

I am glad that you like SCARM :)

At the moment, there is no possibility to export native 3D data, but this may appear in some of the future versions of SCARM. Don't forget to check the documentation and also SCARM Blog, because there are many useful tips and advices about how to use SCARM and its advanced features ;)

Mixy

  • Member since
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  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
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Posted by Mixy on Sunday, August 11, 2013 2:03 AM

IMPORTANT!


There is an issue with SCARM 0.9.21 that may affect Copy/Paste functionality in the program on certain PCs. Please upgrade to SCARM 0.9.22, which was released yesterday on www.scarm.info to fix the problem.

The new version also enables offline documentation and Parts List to be displayed on Windows 8 PCs. See more about this bugfix update in the following blog post: SCARM v. 0.9.22 Released.

I am sorry if these bugs caused any problems and inconvenience in your work with SCARM. If you see another problems, please report them here or in SCARM Blog and I will try to fix them ASAP.

Mixy
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 54 posts
Posted by Mixy on Thursday, September 05, 2013 11:19 AM

The list of SCARM Blog posts for August is here: www.scarm.info/blog/2013/08.

Mixy

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