OpenBuilds® OPEN RAIL™ Open Source Linear Bearing System

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OpenBuilds® OPEN RAIL™ Open Source Linear Bearing System by OpenBuilds Jun 13, 2012
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The OpenRail™ system was created by Mark and Trish Carew of http://www.OpenBuilds.com

UPDATE V9.Zip added to include VSlot® Extrusion Framing System

OpenBuilds™ Parts are now available in many easy to use and share formats!
Including STEP / IGES / SolidWorks / SketchUp Please see the OpenBuilds Parts Resource section here to grab'em. http://www.openbuilds.com/resources/categories/openbuilds-parts.5/
Thank you and all the best with your builds!
Mark Carew

Example builds

Open Rail is a new Open Source Universal Linear Rail System designed to be used in conjunction with various sizes of readily available T-Slot aluminum extrusions.
The Open Rail system will be made of 6061-T5 Aluminum with Black Hard Coat Anodized, Type III, which means we will have the ability to use both metal v wheels for heavy wear light duty applications and plastic v wheels for quiet light duty applications. This, along with Open Rail's unique ability to adapt to many different aluminum extrusions configurations makes it the most versatile linear rail system available today. The linear V guides have been around for a long time. The problem in the past has been mounting them to existing extrusions. This can be difficult and unconventional. Open Rail was designed to make installation a breeze (easily installs with included screws and t-nuts) and completely customizable unique to each machine.

NOTE: The pictures included are quick renderings to give a few examples of what could be possible. They do not represent complete machines...Yet! :)

Thank you
OpenBuilds Team


Dream it - Built it - Share it™

Where can I get it?

Check out the link for videos and more info:

A few key features that make the OpenRail attractive to the Maker in us all, is the ability to span the t-slot with pre-drilled holes and use t-nuts for easy mounting to t-slot extrusion.

Open Rail will be hard coat anodized (harder than tool steel) http://www.matweb.com/reference/anodize.aspx.

The Open Rail system is versatile in that it has the ability to overlap and create a single double v rail extrusion system as well as fit onto other extrusion configurations.

But most of all, what we feel is the most important and exciting aspect of the Open Rail system is the ability to bring this to the open source world so that others can build from it. Our intention is to share this idea completely with everyone who wants to create with it. When the drawings are final they will be open to anyone who wants to create the Open Rail. There are no commercial limitations so small maker businesses are free to sell these extrusions to help further seed this system to others. We are working to have dies made overseas so that the guys over there will not have to pay large shipping to have an inexpensive and customizable linear rail system for making their next cool projects.


Just uploaded a new ZIP that contains lots of different formats (Thanks to George and Scott)
including an updated version of the SketchUp model which has been cleaned up a little and now contains a new extrusion we did not know was compatible 8020s series 10 profile! Download the Zip and Check out the SketchUp for more.

*MK - http://www.mknorthamerica.com/store/series-25/profiles.html
(Check sketchUp to which ones will work)

*Bosch - http://www13.boschrexroth-us.com/Framing_Shop/Product/Default.aspx?category=10101
(Check sketchUp to which ones will work, there may be more of these out there. Just added a few we found)

*8020 - http://8020.net/T-Slot-5.asp
(10 series profiles (fractional) - 20 series profiles (metric) - 25 series profile (metric) Check sketchUp to which ones will work)

*Misumi - http://www.misumiusa.com/CategoryImages/AluminumExtrusions/Extrusion-Browser.html
(Check sketchUp to which ones will work)

*OpenBeam - http://blog.openbeamusa.com/
(Works with smaller screws with OpenRail stacked double. Take a look at the SketchUp)

*MakerBeam - http://www.makerbeam.eu/
(Works with smaller screws with OpenRail stacked double. Take a look at the SketchUp)

This is a short list of some of the extrusion profiles OpenRail is compatible with (Check the SketchUp for sizing with the profiles you want to use) We are sure there are more If you find them please let us know in the comments.

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Hello 3DPDude. Your projects sounds exciting and yes, the 20x40 V-Slot Linear Rail would be a great fit!

Hi OpenBuilds!

I am planning to build a huge 3D Printer. I am going to use 2040 V-Slot Aluminum Extrusion (from your store) to make the 1000mm1000mm750mm frame. (I will also be using two vertical lengths of 2080 extrusion to support the frame) Will the 2040 Size be able to support such a size? I think it will, I just wanted to make sure. Thanks for your help in advance!

Hello ose_nathan. Yes, OpenRail is compatible will all sizes of V-Slot.

We wish you the best with your Build and can't wait to see it!

hi everyone, i'm a photographer from indonesia, an i want to make a slider camera use openbuild part. can i ask you something about the plate ?can i use this plate for v slot rail 20 x 40? or anyone have a size i can use for it?thanks before.

Is there any way I can extended multiple short Vslot bars.

Essentially - for instance using (10) 10ft Rails that would be able to break down and store away.

I'd like to make a modular long distance V slot rail - so what i'm asking is...

are there any slot attachments to extend the length of the rail without impinging the rollers ability to travel the entire length of the rail?

Jason, I would not try to use a 3D printed version of the OpenRail™ system for a CNC router as it just will not really stand up the forces. Your best bet would be to grab some inexpensive OpenRail from the OpenBuilds Part Store and then you can mount it anyway you like. This way you are sure to have a precise rail system that will not break or wear down on you.
You can find OpenRail here: http://openbuildspartstore.com/openrail-linear-rail/
Hope this helps, and all the best with your Builds!

Would this work well for a CNC router, more specifically the 'X carve' ?? As I'm building a custom X carve and I really need something that isn't going to break and will be reliable. My 3D printer is tuned really well so the dimensions will be 99.9% accurate and there will be no problems with the fused layers coming apart.

the amount of money, filament and time you would spend printing out open rail, you might as well buy it from Openbuilds for a 100% more reliable and faster solution. In the long run it will be much cheaper than printing. I've used their products on a number of my home machines and I HIGHLY recommend it. They're simply the best!

Thank you for the kind words and support my friend! The entire OpenBuilds community loves to build and it shows though the dedication put into sharing builds with the world! We are honored to be a part of this great group of builders.

Great stuff! High Quality!

Uploaded a DXF file of Open Rail. The hole spacing from center to center is 50mm

We just wanted to do a quick update of Version 1 (rough) drawings for a couple of the OpenRail V Wheel Designs. In addition to the standard Delrin V Wheels, these will also be available. You can see that we have a break on the outside as well as the inside which will allow us to use these wheels on interior v tracks for future design considerations. There is still much work and testing to be done but the prospect of having the choice between metal and plastic v wheels is awesome!

This is a compatibility test between Open Rail and OpenBeam. As you will see, we designed a few examples models to try out and we picked one to build from there. Its working great!


Hey guys,

After doing some searching for different extrusion profiles, we found that by adding an oblong hole pattern to the OpenRail we were able to make the OpenRail compatible with a lot more extrusion profiles out there from many different companies. We only did a few as an example but we are sure there
are more. It looks like all the 20mm and now 25 mm profiles will work! So this is really exciting news for us all. This allows you to use extrusion local to your country as well as give us all a much larger selection of many unique profiles available from lots of different companies out there.

the new file has been added to the downloads above! Looking forward to seeing all the cool creations you guys come up with using Open Rail

Great idea. Joined your kickstarter.

The link to the MISUMI Series 5 extrusion profiles seems to be broken. Only get "404 Page not found".

Thanks for the support jmichalski!

The link should be fixed now thank you

Misumi 5 profiles

The site can be a bit overwhelming to navigate at first but once you get the hang of it its really nice.


Nice work, looking forward to integrating these in some new designs. Should allow for great flexibility.

Now if you can supply these faster than makerslide, you might be on to something ;)

Should be ok with that, since we reached the goal everything above will help to add to the stock. We also hope to see Open Rail being made and or distributed in several different countries as well.

do you think that you can achieve your target of 10-15 usd per meter after kickstarter

We believe that we can. As of now the most expensive part of the process has been the hard-coat. This mainly has to be outsourced. We are still shopping to find the best price without giving up on quality.

Love it, Mark. I told the guys in the local space about it..the hit kickstarter up as well! Good luck!!!

Thanks Tim. We really appreciate it! The support from everyone has really been uplifting and has kindled the fire of creativity.