MakerSlide will soon be available at www.makerslideeurope.com
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**Update: 2m Lengths are available for UK residents please see here for more infomation**
What is MakerSlide?
MakerSlide was created by the brilliant designer and open hardware pioneer Barton Dring, and first launched in America with the help of his Kickstarter. The idea was a hit, and instantly found its way into many open source projects.
MakerSlide is an open source linear bearin system for CNC equipment that is low cost and extremely easy to integrate in any design. More affordable than the commercial systems, yet just as structurally sound and easily implemented, MakerSlide does away with those dodgy
homemade slides. Based on the tried-and-true system of V-groove bearings running on V-rails, MakerSlide integrates the V-rail into a widely used 20×40 mm aluminium extrusion profile, thus offering both linear motion and structural support in one piece. Delrin V-wheels run on the V-rail and stay true to several axes at the same time, creating a firm and sturdy linear bearing. To adjust the tension on the track, a small eccentric spacer is integrated into the axle of one of the V-wheels, making the system easily adjustable and simple to implement.
What's the aim of this project?
The goal is to be able to make MakerSlide available for builders, hackers and designers in Europe. MakerSlide extrusion is already available in America and Canada through Inventables, but the cost of international shipping surpasses most hobby budgets. If the funding goal is reached, a UK based manufacturer can do a small production run. Alongside manufacturing the MakerSlide extrusion, we are also going to get some of the MakerSlide accessories made. More on that below, in the rewards section.
Some MakerSlide Creations
The ShapeOko open source CNC Router, designed and developed by Edward Ford, is a simple yet effective design. It relies on the easy integration of MakerSlide to create an affordable router.
For you, current or soon to be ShapeOko owners, the following link shows a few ways this MakerSlide could be used to upgrade your machine (Link to be added at a later date, sorry)
The 2.x Laser cutter, Bart Dring's second generation laser cutter, makes use of the light weight aspect of MakerSlide, enabling the laser to perform better than some commercial ones.
The ORD Bot 3D printers are another one of Bart Dring's inventions. The ORD Bots are simple, perform outstandingly, and look good doing it.
MakerSlide can also be used in other non-CNC projects, here is a simple and low cost camera slider.
There will be many more MakerSlide designs hitting the open hardware community, some already in the pipeline. Discussion and development is taking place at both the buildlog.net forum and the ShapeOko forum.
MakerSlide Accessories - For MakerSlide to function, a few accesories are needed. These include
Delrin V-wheels and eccentric spacers. To build a working machine, a motor with pulley, belting and idler wheels are also needed. This project hopes to offer part of the V-wheels and the eccentric spacers. The eccentric spacers are used to tension the V-wheels onto the MakerSlide. The V-wheels consist of an outer Delrin casing (bearing the actual V groove), two ball bearings and three washers, all kept together by a standard M5 bolt. Unfortunately, we will only offer the outer Delrin shell and washers for sale, the main reason for this being the large shipping cost for heavy items such as bearings (the Delrin part is very light). The bearings are relatively common and available in almost all countries at lower prices than what we could supply them for (including shipping around Europe). Please see the FAQs at the bottom of the page for more infomation on the accessories.
We have worked closely with the Inventables store to insure all the other small MakerSlide accesories have reasonable international shipping charges; this means that any other components you might need can be purchased from them. The items they offer that might be of use include the standard carriage plate, pulleys, belts and belt idlers. Please use the following link to view their store Inventables MakerSlide Store.
To keep things simple and the delivery costs low, all MakerSlide will be in one metre lengths. Please also note that the delivery charge is not included in the pledge, and added on later.
MakerSlide is part of an open source project started by Bart Dring. We are working with and supporting the original creators of this open source design. In this case Bart earns a portion of each sale for each unit sold. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Please see the FAQs at the bottom of the page for more detailed information, including delivery.
Completing the project
If the goal is reached, I will give the go ahead to the selected manufacturer. For aluminium extrusion to be made, first a die has to be cut for the aluminium to be extruded through. Once the die has being created, production will start and enough extrusion will be produced to honour the rewards. I should be able to keep hold of the die, meaning that if there was enough interest and demand for more, another production run would be possible, at a lower cost.
It should take ~ 3.5 weeks for the production run to be completed after the campaign has finished, and another week for collection and packaging, ready for dispatch. Then the final delivery time will depend on your location.
This means the majority of backers should receive their rewards before the end of October (hopefully, if all goes to plan!)
If this project is successful and there is still demand, I will be able to start a small online shop offering MakerSlide at an even lower price. In the long run, I may also be able to manufacture the mounting plates needed for all of the three main builds, ShapeOko motor and end plates, ORD Bot mounting plates and 2.x Laser Gantry plates.