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Linear Rail Gantry system

by PacManFan, published

Linear Rail Gantry system by PacManFan May 23, 2011

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Summary

This is my WIP of a linear rail system. It consists of 2 main parts, the shuttle and the rail. The rail has 2 v-grooves that the v-groove bearing of the shuttle fit into. The rail also has a linear rack that will mesh with the gear drive system contained in the shuttle.

The rails are designed to be connected together end-to-end so any length can be accommodated.

The shuttle will also contain a stepper motor propelling itself along the track via a gear.

I believe that with a little more work, I can expand this design into a full fledged 3D system that can be used for 3d printers, laser cutters, light CNC milling,etc...

I'm surprised how well the shuttles v-bearings ride in the track. Overall, it appears to be very stable. I may add some additional bearings between the shuttle and the top of the track to support heavier loads.

Instructions

I wouldn't recommend printing this because it is a work in progress, but if you insist, print it vertically for the best resolution. You'll also need to print 8 bearing halves for the 4 v-bearings.

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Nice work, have you considered recessing the nuts of the gantry wheels into the gantry frame?
If the nuts ever work loose you could make the recesses on the top deep enough for nyloc nuts

I'm not sure what nyloc nuts are called in other parts of the globe, so here's a link for those who may be reading this from outside the USA.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyloc_nut

Nice work, have you considered recessing the nuts of the gantry wheels into the gantry frame?
If the nuts ever work loose you could make the recesses on the top deep enough for nyloc nuts

I'm not sure what nyloc nuts are called in other parts of the globe, so here's a link for those who may be reading this from outside the USA.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyloc_nut

Nice work PacManFan! Reminds me very much of the recent maketslide project from the BuildLog Laser Project http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/93832939/makerslide-open-source-linear-bearing-systemhttp://www.kickstarter.com/pro...

I imagine it would run failry smoothly in relativley soft materials like plastic, but for harder materials with closer tolerances like steel this may lead to issues with sticking and jamming. Have you considered using a triangular arrangement of 3 bearings? This may lead to less problems with stif
fnesss
&
amp; sticking due to being over constrained compared to the current square arrangement of four bearings.

I truly wish listing thingiverse entries in the part list actually linked to the thing entry.

Where can I find the carriage itself?

The carriage, along with all the parts are provided in the .scad file. At the bottom of the file, there are a few variables that control the visibility of all parts, you may need to set them to "1"

and THAT is how that should be. Most excellent, thank you.

@Marcus - I'm planning on using a printed plastic insert to connect multiple sections together, so they will self-align. A threaded rod or superglue might be necessary to hold them together.

Cool design.

Maybe just make a slight step-in on the top of each rail section that inserts to the next one?

I found that Oatey clear multi-plastic (ABS/PVC/CPVC) gives a much stronger bond than epoxy or super glue. At Home Depot in the plumbing section, red
&
amp; white can, #30821.

I'm a big fan of JBWeld, though I know it is difficult to come by in some areas outside of north america. Epoxy that doesn't disolve in Acetone :)

@Jamo - What you see printed here are the straight gears. If you open the file, you'll see that I've already incorporated herringbone gears, and yes, they are difficult to print.

This is significant work. I'm not partial to belts that need periodic adjustment
&
amp; replacement. This would eliminate them.

Would herringbone gears be useful here? My understanding is that they would help align the shuttles, but perhaps this is unnecessary. Of course, they are no more difficult to print than regular gears. In fact, if it is to be printed vertically would the gears work better? or does it not matter since they are so small.

Any plans on how to connect rails yet?

Maybe a threaded rod on the inside, so they can be compressed

  • some structures on the edges, so they mesh and self-align well.

also waiting for connection system in this project.

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