A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
As promised, we are adding segments (same value as the other segments) to the modular track switch system to make Rail Yards for your LEGO® train layout! With 2 additional parts which make a segment: the Rail Yard Diverging Track (left or right turn) and the Rail Yard Adapter Track, you can make as big a ladder as you wish. It connects to the Split Track (right with right or left with left) and uses the Parallel Track Coupling for the last track. The Rail Yard Adapter Track has a special length so that tracks of the ladder always end nicely aligned - depending on the position in the ladder you’ll need none, 1 or 2 adapters to line up the segments. For a totally finished look, we also made Bumper Tracks available as a segment in a set of 3.
The parallel tracks of the ladder run at a distance of exactly 8 studs. There is no limit to how many ladder tracks you can add. All switches can be automated with 4DBrix track switch motors, if desired.
Below is an example of how many segments you would need for a 4 track ladder, including 6 Bumper Tracks.
Here is what you can do with 24 segments
At the end of the Kickstarter we will send you a survey to let us know which segments you need. We will also update nControl by the end of the campaign with the new track segments so that you can use it to decide which segments work best for you.
LEGO® trains are fascinating and beyond fun to play with. We have created a range of custom train tracks to give you the extra flexibility you need to create the train layout you always wanted. Build double crossovers, single crossovers, continuous curve or parallel track switches using a combination of our modular LEGO® compatible tracks. They are made of the same ABS material as LEGO® and we had the color custom made to match the dark bluish gray.
In total you can build 16 different switch combinations for your LEGO® train layouts.
The Split Track can turn either right or left and the control mechanism can be on the inside or outside to allow you to make compacter layouts or to ensure the ground throw / motor does not block over-sized train cars. The split track comes with a bright yellow ground throw to switch manually. The ground throw can be removed to install the 4DBrix track switch motors.
The Diverging Track can go right or left and comes with either a Continuous Curve Coupling to create a perfect circular curve or a Parallel Track Coupling to create a parallel track along the original one. With two diverging tracks you can create a single crossover with an 8 stud space between the tracks.
The Split Intersection is designed to create double crossovers: a double crossover requires 4 split tracks and 2 split intersections. The resulting double crossover is 48 studs long and 24 studs wide.
Design and Automation
Now imagine you could fully automate and control your train layout and feel like a railroad engineer or centralized traffic controller. Our train automation system for LEGO® switches is designed just for that! The modular track switch system is fully compatible with our automation system. Click the motor onto the switch, connect the motor to the controller, open our nControl software and you're ready to roll!
nControl is our planning and automation software that will help you design your layout, manage your inventory, automate your layout or even simulate an automation scenario. nControl is free to download on the 4DBrix website. The modular switch tracks will be added to nControl so they can be used for layout planning and automation.
You can pledge for any combination of segments that you wish to have - as a multiple of $11 per segment ($10 for early bird pledges). The yellow Ground Throw is included with the Split Track segment.
Here are some examples of pledge set combinations. After the end of the campaign we will send you a chart so you can tell us exactly which segments you would like.
Shipping will be automatically added to your pledge based on the destination. We ship worldwide. Depending on your location, you may be subject to import duties and tax upon delivery. Early bird pledges will be shipped first.
We have already invested in a few 3D printers to get this project started. We have also worked with a 3D filament supplier to develop a custom dark bluish gray color. The project funding is to get it off the ground, integrate the system in our planning and automation software nControl and allow us to cover upfront expenses.
3D printing is a process that works by laying down many successive thin layers of material. As a consequence, thin lines are visible when looking closely and it does not have the same glossy effect as injection molding - even though we use the same ABS material. Each product is made individually and we inspect each one for defects. You can expect slight visual variations, this is normal.
Note on Intellectual property
LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site or products. We respect the intellectual property rights of the LEGO® group and do not infringe on any patent rights. Our products are complementary and compatible with LEGO® tracks and trains.
Risks and challenges
The design and testing stage has already been completed and we have produced prototypes for each part and used them in an actual layout, as you can see in the videos. We are currently commercializing other 3D printed LEGO compatible train and monorail tracks. We have had great feedback from our consumers when it comes to the quality of the 3D print, clutching power and color matching. So the process is in place and we have customized our 3D printers to produce custom colored LEGO compatible tracks. This means that there are hardly any risks regarding the technology itself or the consistency of the prints. However, 3D printing is time consuming so depending on the final amount of pledges, we may have to spread out the delivery, which we will communicate clearly. Depending on the pledged amount, we will increase our manufacturing capability through additional customized printers to meet our commitment.