Alternatives to Makerslide

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Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby Pseudologer » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:38 am

Short version:
Building an ORDish Bot and a Shapeoko derivative; looking for linear guide rail systems similar to Makerslide (perhaps slightly heavier duty) currently available but overwhelmed by choice and marketing hyperbole.

Long version:
So I’ve been after an ORD Bot and a Shapeoko for a while now but I’ve been unlucky enough to miss both pre orders. Since there is a great deal of uncertainty about when the next batch of either is going to become available (and even when they do become available it will be months before they ship) I decided I’m going to build my own from scratch due to urgent need of such tools.
I’ve studied the designs of both machines and they are pretty straight forward to reproduce (all the hard work has been done for me thanks to Bart and Edward :) ) and I’ve worked out basically every detail except the replacement system for Makerslide. There’s so many linear guide rail systems out there and I have no idea how to choose one over the other - particularly since so many company websites don’t list prices.

Ideally the linear rail system would be:
  • Cheap - I'm prepared to pay more than I would for makerslide because of time restraints, but I'd like to keep costs down
  • Accurate - As accurate or more so than Makerslide
  • Similar capacity - Ideally I'd like to use a slightly heavier duty system for the Shapeoko, but anything equivalent to Makerslide is acceptable
  • Affordable hardware - If at all possible I'd like to avoid being shafted (pun only half intended) on all the bearings and wheels
  • Available - :P

I'm part way through polishing the shopping list/BOM for mass consumption (think identical to the BOM available, but sorted by distributor, shipping estimates included and revised sources along with links to part pages) so that others can copy me if they wish, and once I have this linear rail system sorted I'll put up CAD files as well - Pseudo's Impatient-brand ORDish bot and Shapeoko! :)

Thanks in advance for any help :)
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby canadianavenger » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:30 pm

You'll probably be interested in OpenRail then.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ope ... ing-system
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby greenvandan » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:58 pm

Keep in mind that if you change the rail system, most of the design work will have to be done over, connections, clearances, etc. IMHO it would be better to go with the Makerslide from Inventables and wait the 45 days lead time, use that time to set up the electronics and figure out the software situation. I've looked into various slide mechanisms for some projects at work and I think there is no real simple alternative anywhere near that price range. I just got some light duty slides from Misumi, I don't think they are nearly as strong or accurate as the Makerslide and I paid $60 per rail/carriage for 650mm. The OpenRail could work, but again you'll have to wait. The only other option might be to go back through the posts and look at what Bart put together for his original laser cutter. Basically it's the same thing as the open rail but you have to glue a steel rail onto the 20x40 extrusion, you could beef that up to a 20x80 or 40x80.

I just realized that Inventables is offering another ShapeOko batch, Bart has also mentioned making several ORDbot kits available.
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby canadianavenger » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:46 pm

OpenRail is inspired by MakerSlide and is claimed to be fully compatible, so it should work as a drop in replacement if desired. The downside is that it is not available today, but the project is fully funded so should be available soon. You can still get on the rewards on kick starter and get early access.
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby awesomenesser » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:09 pm

canadianavenger wrote:OpenRail is inspired by MakerSlide and is claimed to be fully compatible, so it should work as a drop in replacement if desired. The downside is that it is not available today, but the project is fully funded so should be available soon. You can still get on the rewards on kick starter and get early access.


It is almost fully compatible the only issue is that you will not be able to use the front (side where V rails mount) to mount anything else. For example the motor plates on the Hadron mount to the single open rail in the front of the makerslide. So you would have to redesign a few parts to make it fully compatible.

It does look like a great way to make a sturdy cnc XYZ table using much larger extrusion and metal V wheels because of the hard anodization. (I am still thinking about whether I want to back or not...)
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby WhiteB0rd » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:57 pm

awesomenesser wrote:
canadianavenger wrote:OpenRail is inspired by MakerSlide and is claimed to be fully compatible, so it should work as a drop in replacement if desired. The downside is that it is not available today, but the project is fully funded so should be available soon. You can still get on the rewards on kick starter and get early access.


It is almost fully compatible the only issue is that you will not be able to use the front (side where V rails mount) to mount anything else. For example the motor plates on the Hadron mount to the single open rail in the front of the makerslide. So you would have to redesign a few parts to make it fully compatible.



Hmm... think about that.... do the X or Y carriage v-wheels actually go all the way to the end? Nothing says the rails have to run the full length of the extrusion.


WB
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby awesomenesser » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:37 am

WhiteB0rd wrote:...
Hmm... think about that.... do the X or Y carriage v-wheels actually go all the way to the end? Nothing says the rails have to run the full length of the extrusion.
WB


Yes the wheels do travel to the edge of the makerslide, but it is possible to use open rail after a little redesign. The only spot where there is really an issue is in the X axis idler mount and the motor/idler mounts in the Y axis. Also note that the idler/motor brackets use the edge of the makerslide rails for alighnment so both screws will be needed when using openrail.
P1030168.JPG
The V wheel does reach the edge of the makerslide.


Here is an simple drawing of how open rail could be used. Either cut a slot in the open rail or in the idler/motor brackets for belt tension.
P1030167.JPG
Example drawing of a openrail idler mount.
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby Liberty4Ever » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:19 am

I also missed out on the initial Hadron kits, but with a lot of extra effort and extra postage for multiple shipments, I did manage to scrounge almost all of the parts for a Hadron. I just finished the mechanical assembly and am starting on the electrical stuff now.

In my initial frustration, I thought about designing my own version of the Hadron, but with Delrin rollers designed to roll in the T slots of readily available aluminum extrusion. I'd get a good brand like 80/20, Misumi or Bosch for the best straightness and dimensional accuracy.

I'm glad I talked myself out of that and went with the Hadron. It's pretty sweet, and I'm more of an electrical guy than a mechanical guy. And now, with Automation Technologies promising $400 Hadron kits in 2-3 weeks, I'd be even less inclined to roll my own.

http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com/products-page/featured-cnc-products/3d-printer-mechanical-platform-no-controller

If for some reason you'd like an extruded aluminum framed 3D printer and didn't want to design your own, there's the Bukobot.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deezmaker/buko-3d-printer-raising-the-bar-of-open-source-3d

http://deezmaker.com

Check out the print quality with .1 mm layers.

http://deezmaker.com/i/Bukobot-3D-Printer-Resolution-Test-01.jpg

It uses aluminum extrusion for the framework and real honest to goodness linear rail (albeit low cost rail). It's expected to be delivered in August, but you missed the Kickstarter offering and would be in the back of the line on that one, too.

I don't have a comment on your Shapeoko, but I think your best bet for least hassle and fastest time to print would be to pre-order the Hadron at Automation Technologies, and start ordering your extruder and electronics and getting ready for the build. There's a lot to be done up front. Even more for guys like me who are building our first 3D printer. I'd advise spending time reading the Hadron build logs on this forum. The Hadron is new enough that a lot of us are learning what mistakes you can avoid. Reading and maybe making notes in the printed assembly instructions would certainly save you a lot of time and grief later.

Check with Inventables.com. They might have some pieces of MakerSlide that aren't advertised. That's where I got mine.

After I make a couple of Hadrons and am fully geared up for quality printing, I'm going to make a Laser 2.x, although scaled up a bit.
Apparently, I didn't build that! :-)
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby Digitalmagic » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:58 am

(removed duplicate comment)
Last edited by Digitalmagic on Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Human has 20 nail ... extruders.
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Re: Alternatives to Makerslide

Postby Liberty4Ever » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:26 pm

Forgot to mention:

Bolt on aluminum rail system, also available in hard anodized.

http://www.vgrooverail.com

I don't like bolting it on, and I'm not sure I'd completely trust cyanoacrylic bonding (although that's how Bart attached the rail for his laser). But it is another option, and I do like that it's readily available and it can be added to any size aluminum extrusion. Makerslide should come in more sizes! With or without hard anodizing! Same day shipping! Give it time and it will.
Apparently, I didn't build that! :-)
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