20mm Plastic T-Slot

by ProtoParadigm Dec 14, 2011
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This is great thanks! Does anyone have a cura profile yet? Or suggested settings for cura?

I see in the picture it looks like 2040 t-slot (blue). Do you have an STL for that too? Thanks for your great design!

I suggest that someone design some printable T-slot that allows the post printed item to be reinforced with small inexpensive all-thread rods, perhaps 1/4 inch. If done in the center void, this could also assist in connecting beams. For the very small voids in the corners, using inexpensive stainless steel wire, scuffed to improve grip, and epoxy filler would significantly improve rigidity.

Threaded rod sounds like a good idea and all but the core of the rails is only .35inches wide. I created a design that does it but there isn't much material left.

T-Slot rail with Quarter Inch Hole for Threaded Rod
by Crixe


what do you suggest opening these files in? when I open them in sketchup make (despite having selected "mm") it's opened as meters, and it just makes things extremely tedious to work with.

could you possibly upload the double width version of this, i would prefer to use that for parts of a project i'm working on, otherwise i need to make one myself

Hi, nice approach and easy printing here thanks for this. But I am missing a collection of connectors with and without threaded support for different arcs and directions and extenders, do you know some?

Comments deleted.

Does enyone have a profile for slicing it so the outout looks like the one on the picture ?
I mean printing it using consecutive loops.


im wanting to print this to build a foldarap but the slot width is not big enough if any body could edit this and give me the stl it would be greatly apreciated it needs to be a 20mm x 20mm m6 slot with a slot width of 6mm

Has anyone tried to slice this with slic3r?, i set 0 infill, 2 perimeters, auto wall with and they come hollow. Im printing the 20mm test piece at thins moment, but it looks good (and hollow). Also, anyone did any load testing of this beams?, they might be very useful to build printers and geek toys down here (Argentina) where aluminum extrusion is really expensive.

Nice! Is this design based on any commercially available plastic beam design, and if so which one? I would imagine that extruded parts are stronger and can be used for longer beams but combined with printed custom parts.

like this idea but I would like a printed joint if possible, like little plastic pieces that would go in the slots to join them together besides welding them


We tried several versions of something like this. In the end creating a secure connection ended up consuming too much of a beam's useful length to be material efficient to make beams of any appreciable length. Secondarily you lost the use of the slot in the beam for most of the beams length.

We have built fairly large structures using individual small beams latticed with the friction fit hardware. Very stable, very strong.

is there any way you could upload a 200mm, 50mm and a 75mm beam?

I have tried making them from the sketchup files but nothing that i export out of sketchup prints the same as the 100mm beam stl that i downloaded. (i get a box on the inside of the tslot that is not connected)

i have make a pretty great profile in skeinforge that will print the 20mm and the 10
0mm stl files i downloaded here perfectly now.

thanks for uploading these, I have been printing a ton of them

You're using the push/pull function in sketchup correct? Would you email a copy of that beam to
lt; contact (AT) ProtoParadigm (DOT) com
gt; and maybe we can see what the problem is. If you are familiar with DXF, they are also available in that format. If we can't get that figured out we can put up an stl of the length and beam to use.

Looks really awesone; do you have any load testing results?

We are setting up a run of testing for Rapid Prototyped T-Slot with an engineering department at a local University. Using some of the lab equipment from the Civil Engineering department we plan on comparing different materials, grades, tool-paths, joining methods, etc.. We should also have a Stratasys join the games and see how it does against the hobby class.

Still can't get over how clean these printed using the custom profile settings included. Making me rethink my settings on everything I print now!

This looks great! I was wondering what shell value did you use?

I used 3 shells and the profile settings given...only way I could get it to completely print solid.

Any chance you'd consider throwing together a panel for these? It'd be awesome to kick it off before going to bed and coming out with 12 sections :) It runs me nearly 2 hours a 100mm section currently.

That can happen. It may be an easier route using Skienforge's multiply plugin and just have it make a grid. If you are going for fast it might be worth a dedicated profile. With a layer height of 0.4mm and a trace width of .5mm (or .4mm depending on T-slot breed) we're below 20 minutes a 100mm beam without needing a fan at the nozzle. Less time if doing multiple beams at once and the beams have a chance to cool before they are hit again. Packing them tight together you can get a couple meters from a single press of the 'build' button.

blah. Those numbers are incorrect. They should have said:

Layer Thickness - 0.4mm
Trace Width - 1.0mm (or 0.8mm depending)

These have given us good fast results. Just make sure if you're using a Thing-O-Matic that the filament feeds oh-so-smoothly, or else you can get waves in the beams from the cantilever raising up a miniscule amount as it tries to pu
ll in more filament.

What extruder/nozzle diameter/flowrate are you using that allows you to print at 0.4mm layer height and 1mm thread width fast enough to get a 100mm beam to print in 20 minutes? I'm having trouble getting my ToM MK7 to push ABS that fast... The best I have come up with takes about 45 minutes.

We were using a Makergear Extruder; 3mm plastic, .4mm nozzle. Just now starting on profiles for MK7. What linear speed are you moving at?

I've been printing 2 at a time as I've been trying to get a good fast skeinforge profile worked out... I had to slow my profile down because I was occasionally getting failures where it would jam at about 80-90mm tall... so now it's taking me a little under 2 hours to print 2 using an Mk7 at feedrate 30 and 0.4 layer height and 0.5 thread width (and 3 extra shells to print the 2mm thick beams) I'm having difficulty printing at 1mm thread width unless I slow it down to like 20 feed rate.

Printing these is making me want to try the experimental 1.5 mm diameter nozzles that MakerBot sells. :)

i am running a .35 MG nozzle with .3 layer height so that probably explains the 50 min per beam i am getting. I am running 50mm/sec on an old cupcake.

i cant get them to print any faster than about 50 min each (i have been printing 9 at a time), mine dont have any holes on the internal structure of the beam except for the center hole. they are turning out really nice but without seriously affecting the structural integrity i cant figure out how to get them to go faster.

My Prism mendel uses misumi extrusion. Have you tried a printing profile that is compatible with misumi or 80/20?

Or have you tried an m4-sized channel? I could remove the 'tongue' on the prism parts that goes into the 6mm channel on the misumi rails and make a 'fully printable frame' branch.

We did look at some of the popular aluminum T-Slot extrusions. The concern was the increased cost of the bolting hardware and thinner wall thicknesses needed to accomodate it.

There is a profile in the 'pt4' (which will probably be renamed 1pt6 to reflect wall thickness) that is meant for M4 hardware. I tried some hex and square nuts in the channel and they work well.

I do like some of the profiles associated with aluminum extrusion that have larger corner cavities, b
ut sadly, they do not lend themselves to the quick and sturdy method we're using for printing. Requires to many jumps.

I have yet to find a use for these, but they look terrific. Any chance of a dxf so I can extrude in openscad? I don't know how to get them from sketchup.

Yes, we'll throw that up here in a little bit. Any preference on DXF format?

wow those are pretty