T-slot extrusions used to be somewhat mysterious, but today they are quite common thanks to their use in many 3D printers. However, it is one thing to assemble a kit with some extrusions and another thing to design your own creations with the material. If you ever had a Play-Doh Fun Factory as a kid, then you know about extrusions. You push some material out through a die to make a shape. Of course, aluminum extrusions aren’t made from modeling clay, but usually 6105-T5 aluminum. Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be an official standard, but it is so common that there’s usually not much variation between different vendors.
We use extrusions to create frames for 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC machines. But you can use it anywhere you need a sturdy and versatile frame. There seems to be a lot of people using them, for example, to build custom fixtures inside vans. If you need a custom workbench, a light fixture, or even a picture frame, you can build anything you like using extrusions. Continue reading “Getting Started With Aluminum Extrusions”
We had to do a double take when we saw this kickstarter campaign video – and we bet you will too. It seem as if some company called [Infento Rides] took generic 80/20 aluminum extrusions and built a viable commercial product out of it – that’s not something you see everyday. 80/20 is meant to be something that engineers use to build things like test rigs and manufacturing fixtures. It’s not exactly an item designed for the consumer or end user. But we think the DIY/teaching aspect of this idea really has
If you’re looking for [Santa] to put this under the tree this Christmas, you might be disappointed as it’s not exactly on store shelves just yet since the kickstarter campaign just ended – but we wish them well, and hope they come through.
If you’re old enough you may remember Erector Sets (they were mechanical equivalent of the 200-in-1 electronics kits) back in the day. Well, this type of product brings back memories of both. It’s a perfect tool for getting kids interested in making – sure, they aren’t “making” much, but we all start somewhere.
The one thing we would like to see is a more open-source type kit like the Chibikart. That and something a little less then the $300-$500 price range. But can you really put a price on teaching a child to build something, and starting that fire inside of them? Maybe not.
Continue reading “80/20 Extrusion Goes Main Stream”
There’s still quite a bit of machining that goes into a CNC mill build of this size. But using 80/20 brand extruded rail optimizes most of the build process into tasks manageable by the average basement hacker. That’s not to say that we think [Jim] is average. He took this mill from start to finish in just two weeks.
He picked up the set of three ball screws on eBay for $180. Two of them drive the X axis with the third moving the cutter assembly along the Y axis. The X axis travels along a set of precision rails instead of precision rods. He machined his own mounting plates to which those are attached. For now he’s not running the motors at full speed because the vibration starts to make the table shake. He may end up bolting the base to the floor once all is said and done.
We see this extruded rail used all over the place. We could highlight some other mill builds or 3d printers, but instead we think you’ll enjoy an extruded rail robotic bass guitar.
Oh, one last thing. We’re not against a bit of pandering. Below you can see the mill cutting out the Hackaday logo:
Continue reading “CNC Router Built With 80/20 Rail”
[Lou]’s been working on his own 3d printer: fabr. We find it appealing because the entry cost is quit a bit lower than something like the reprap. 80/20 isn’t that cheap, but you don’t need a large commercial laser cutter to build the chassis. The steppers he used appear to be inexpensive ones that can be salvaged from dot matrix printer. To drive it, he’s working on a custom microstepping board and hopes to eventually develop an Arduino shield to control the stepper drivers. That’s right, it’ll get an Arudino to act as the CNC control interface.