Pseudologer wrote:Long story short I've a bunch of friends that want things made in productions of 30 or so and ways to parallel print etc would make that much easier.
Since kicking in for two of the dual extruders from QU-BD, I'm kinda obsessed lately with a quad printing ORD Bot, with each print head the master of its own 4"X4" build area domain. I'm still thinking about how to wire them so I can easily flip a switch and select one to four extruders, so I can print 1, 2, 3 or 4 objects at once. If I select 1, it should have access to the entire 8"X8" build area. If I select 2, each should have access to a 4"X8" build area. With the off-center extruders, that would require another 4" of travel in the X and Y directions, and the build platform would be off center in the framework.
I'll almost certainly end up with at least two ORD Bots anyway, so I'll probably keep my original as the prototype and low yield production printer, and just dedicate another Hadron to a quad 4X4 production printer. As inexpensive and flexible as ORD Bots are (compared to other plastics manufacturing methods) I could build custom ORD Bots tailored to the products I want to manufacture.
Pseudologer wrote:I'm still trying to buy an ORD bot and with Inventables basically making that difficult so far I've been looking into buying all the parts myself; If you come up with a beefed up design that works well then I'll probably build that instead.
I can sympathize, having just finished my Hadron scavenger hunt, with much time spent searching and begging for scraps and leftovers, and paying a lot of extra shipping costs because I had a lot of smaller orders. Such is the danger of living on the bleeding edge. Things are moving fast in the 3D printing world, and that's why I think it's a good time to jump into the small scale manufacturing aspect of 3D printing. It's almost ready for prime time, IMO, and maybe I can help it along in that direction while my little internet based business benefits from the advantages of being among the first to make use of this new manufacturing technology.
Inventables has their hands full trying to keep up with demand for ORD Bots. If they could stock them, they would sell a lot of them. I think their recent pre-order offering wasn't fully funded, not because of any technical flaws in the ORD Bot or any lack of interest by the market. On the contrary, I think most of the market didn't jump on that deal BECAUSE of their immediate desire to have an ORD Bot. I know that's why I didn't sign up. I didn't want to wait to see if it was funded, and then wait another 45 to 60 days after that. I decided I'd beg, borrow or steal the MakerSlide, and make any other parts I couldn't get. Even if I couldn't get MakerSlide, I was going to design something that was very ORDish based on regular old Misumi extruded aluminum. Inventables has been running ragged on Shapeokos as well as MakerSlide and ORD Bots. I think they'll get on top of this soon and we'll be able to buy improved Hadron kits (no Z axis wobble?) with short lead times.
Personally, I like MakerSlide better. OpenRail seems to add the inaccuracies (non-straightness) of extruded structural framework with the inaccuracies of trying to extrude straight rail, with the inconvenience and inaccuracy of lots of T nuts and manual assembly. The hard coat anodize is nice. Being able to use different sizes of extrusion is nice.
If I wanted to improve on MakerSlide, I'd extrude the rail sections larger and then machine them on custom equipment more accurately than they could be extruded, and then hard coat it. Of course, the cost would go way up. Or, I'd come up with some clever way to make machined stainless rail as inexpensively as possible that's ready to be bolted to Misumi aluminum extrusion, although the people making round rail and circulating ball carriages are doing a pretty good job of getting the quality up and the cost down.
Actually, MakerSlide would be ideal for most of my uses if it was kept as straight as an extruder can make it, it was hard anodized, and (this is the kicker) it was readily available all the time, cut to length, shipped the same day, with a large variety of plates, V wheels, bearings and eccentric mounting hardware. I think the biggest single issue keeping more people from using MakerSlide is... they can't get MakerSlide. Inventables is definitely working on it, but if their value is being a stocking distributor, they need to be a stocking distributor and stop having these pre-order lotteries. Kickstarter is great for unfunded inventors and entrepreneurs with a great idea to get funding from the community and gauge interest before investing a lot of money, but it's a lousy ongoing business model IMO.
Once MakerSlide takes off, offering versions in 40X40, 20X60, 20X80 and even 40X80 seems like a natural next step in the development. There are tons of applications where MakerSlide is accurate enough and the cost needs to be lower than THK and others can manage. Heck, the ease of design and assembly are huge benefits to MakerSlide as well. Kudos to Bart! And good luck to Inventables!