Race track design tools, software

jdensillegg Sunday, 1/24/2021

I just got sucked into this whole thing a few weeks ago, so I might be missing something obvious. It seems like most of the community focuses on the cars but the thing that appeals to me the most is the creative track designs. 

I haven't been able to find any specifics on what people have used to lay out thier tracks (napkins?). Working in the engineering field, this is unacceptable to me. So I've been laying out my track in Sketchup. I do appreciate the helpful nature of the Diecast Racing community, so I'm making an active effort to contribute content that others may find helpful.

Most of my track will be made up of various Crash Circuit/Crash Racers components along with orange track, so I thought it would be worth the time to create fairly accurate models of each of the track parts. If you fancy doing some track design in Sketchup as well, just search for "Crash Circuit/Racers Track Parts" in the Component 3D Warehouse search field.

I am curious as to how(or if) others design their tracks before they start putting everything together.


Discussion

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redlinederby 1/25/21
Site manager

Wow, thanks! Looks like you've done a lot of work modeling those pieces...I'm sure folks will try all that out now that it's available.

Generally speaking (and for myself), my track layouts are done as doodles in a sketchbook :) Then just trial-and-error building. Especially since track has some play in it when building, you can get a way with a lot.

I have a few sets of the Crash Racers that I have yet to do anything with, so I might try the Sketchup thing. But you'll also see a lot of tracks that are total homebrew with cardboard or plastic or various other materials, which obviously doesn't lend itself to hardcore planning.


  • Thanks! I'm really excited to experience the actual build. I do love all the little bumps and rolls that most of the tracks have. I'll be sure to document the "as designed" vs. "as built". — jdensillegg
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Chaos_Canyon 1/25/21

For the Canyon, the design process was based on a couple of rough sketches first, then I went to using scale measurements to layout how and where I wanted the track. Then to test that it could do what we wanted we started with laying out orange track (single lane) and some single lane corners to test fall, speed etc to get an idea of where the bases needed to go then every part of our track is built by hand, so it was all custom. This causes a lot of headaches and takes a lot longer to put together, as it's not so easy to adjust once it's made, like you can do with traditional kitsets - it still worked well enough but there has always been lots of tweaking once you start securing things into place as angles change and cars that were making it suddenly don't and so on. 

I have remade my track again when I launched the new canyon and tweaked a fair amount of it over time as more racing takes place as you learn where any issues are on your track. I know even kitset courses can have the same issues, where you need to add a small lift in a corner or angle a small section of track with a wedge etc. 


  • Thanks! That's very helpful. I love Chaos Canyon's layout. A lot of fun races on it. The gold standard for Rally tracks. — jdensillegg

That is so awseome that you created specific track pieces in SketchUp!  I wish I had the space to build an open track because I would totally use your 3D models to design the layout!  Well done!

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