ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
April 24, 2019 11:31PM
I'm excited to announce a new take on linear motion, one that uses common 2020 aluminum extrusion, and provides a number of advantages over current linear motion options used on 3d printers and other related machines.



The new slides are modular, and can be used in any number of configurations from one to four surrounding a rail. This allows for parallel rails to have carriages that don't bind, or other applications to only use the number of slides that are needed to control the desired degrees of freedom.

Based on feedback from this forum and others, they come in two variants, one with plain steel ball bearings and one with polycarbonate treads over smaller ball bearings.



The slides work on almost all 2020 extrusion profiles (V-slot and T-slot). The bearings can also be pre-loaded, to accommodate various rails, or provide a stiffer assembly.

Lastly they have four M4 pickup points per slide, so you can mount brackets easily to any face of the carriage. The pickup interface is open source, and brackets are available as well.

Any feedback is welcome. What features are you interested in? What applications would you like to see them on?



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2019 11:41PM by gmedlicott.


Modular Linear Slides for Aluminum Extrusions [www.exoslide.com]
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
April 25, 2019 09:27AM
Hmm cool stuff. I'll have to get a piece some time & test it out.
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 07, 2019 03:42PM
Thanks! A quick note, two slides are the bare minimum for a one carriage / one rail combination to control for rotation about the rail axis. Three or four are recommended for a stiff stand-alone carriage.

Two or more slides also gives you a feel for how the nest together. The black ABS housing doesn't contact the rail, and is spaced off by 1mm when attached to an adjacent slide.

https://www.exoslide.com/configurations




Modular Linear Slides for Aluminum Extrusions [www.exoslide.com]
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 08, 2019 04:53AM
Very nice !

3030 version would be nice too.
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 08, 2019 09:15PM
Kinda pricey - $40 for a 4 sided slide. Is a 2 or 3 sided assembly rigid enough to use stand-alone?
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 09, 2019 02:27AM
Quote
Pippy
Very nice ! 3030 version would be nice too.

Thanks. A 40mm version is in development (4040 or long side of 2040). 3030 is a bit of an odd size, though I have had some very interested people so we'll see.

Quote
LoboCNC
Kinda pricey - $40 for a 4 sided slide. Is a 2 or 3 sided assembly rigid enough to use stand-alone?

For a single stand alone gantry, three slides can be used when the load is mounted to the middle slide. A fourth is needed if a load would be mounted to an end slide (of a three slide setup). In theory, two could be used if you had a very stiff L bracket that picked up on both slides.


Modular Linear Slides for Aluminum Extrusions [www.exoslide.com]
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 09, 2019 03:55PM
Quote
LoboCNC
Kinda pricey - $40 for a 4 sided slide. Is a 2 or 3 sided assembly rigid enough to use stand-alone?

Not compared to a good linear slide. A 3-sided set would work fine it seems for deltas. I really hate the linear bearings for polished rods, they seem to gum up and go bad pretty often, so I am wondering if these could replace those as well.

Hmm
DLC


Kits: He3D K200 Kossel, Folgertech Kossel 2020 upgraded E3Dv6, Anet A8 upgraded E3Dv6, Tevo Tarantula enhanced parts and dual-head
Scratch: Large bed Cartesian, Linear slide Delta, Maker-Beam XL Micro Delta
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 09, 2019 08:28PM
Quote
dlc60
Quote
LoboCNC
Kinda pricey - $40 for a 4 sided slide. Is a 2 or 3 sided assembly rigid enough to use stand-alone?

Not compared to a good linear slide. A 3-sided set would work fine it seems for deltas. I really hate the linear bearings for polished rods, they seem to gum up and go bad pretty often, so I am wondering if these could replace those as well.

Hmm
DLC

Plastic or steel rollers on extruded aluminum is never going to produce a great linear slide. The main problem with linear bearing on round rods is that people aren't using ground and hardened rods, which is a must.
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 09, 2019 10:08PM
Quote
LoboCNC
Quote
dlc60
Quote
LoboCNC
Kinda pricey - $40 for a 4 sided slide. Is a 2 or 3 sided assembly rigid enough to use stand-alone?

Not compared to a good linear slide. A 3-sided set would work fine it seems for deltas. I really hate the linear bearings for polished rods, they seem to gum up and go bad pretty often, so I am wondering if these could replace those as well.

Hmm
DLC

Plastic or steel rollers on extruded aluminum is never going to produce a great linear slide. The main problem with linear bearing on round rods is that people aren't using ground and hardened rods, which is a must.

I believe every word of that. But I am curious about this stuff. Eventually I'll build my $3000 dollar printer. But not quite yet. smiling smiley

DLC


Kits: He3D K200 Kossel, Folgertech Kossel 2020 upgraded E3Dv6, Anet A8 upgraded E3Dv6, Tevo Tarantula enhanced parts and dual-head
Scratch: Large bed Cartesian, Linear slide Delta, Maker-Beam XL Micro Delta
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 05:27AM
Quote
LoboCNC
Plastic or steel rollers on extruded aluminum is never going to produce a great linear slide. The main problem with linear bearing on round rods is that people aren't using ground and hardened rods, which is a must.

I guess they'll be very much like v-slot and wheels.
VDX
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 06:09AM
... what's more sensitive or problematic -- dust on "perfect" hardened surfaces ... or "averaging" the joint position with a bunch of plastic rollers on aluminium confused smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 08:02AM
So, being a user of vslot+wheels for linear motion for 3 years now, I fail to see the reason for all the negative references to it.

For me, it's been accurate and reliable. Maybe the sentiment is due to poorly made Chinese wheels? I have excellent accuracy and repeatability on my printer. Sure there are better options but they shouldn't be necessary in all circumstances.

Or have I misinterpreted the above comments?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2019 08:04AM by obelisk79.
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 08:13AM
Quote
VDX
... what's more sensitive or problematic -- dust on "perfect" hardened surfaces ... or "averaging" the joint position with a bunch of plastic rollers on aluminium confused smiley

Indeed but hard plastic roller on Al may be enough for a hobbyist 3D printer.

Anyway far better than ball bearings on EMT conduit (galvanized) or soft steel tube, AL profile that generates their own metallic dust smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2019 08:28AM by MKSA.


"A comical prototype doesn't mean a dumb idea is possible" (Thunderf00t)
VDX
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 09:21AM
my comment was not negative -- rather to make some considerations about needed and possible accuracies with different settings and problems (and costs) cool smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org] -- Deutsche Facebook-Gruppe - [www.facebook.com]

Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 10:39AM
As always, engineering is a trade-off. "Good enough" is always the point that you go to, because there's no such thing as perfect. At some point there will always be imperfection in any motion system, that's why engineers and machinists always work to "within tolerance."

Cost is one factor, and though it is less expensive than a good linear guide, for moderate lengths ( <500mm ) it's about comparable for an inexpensive linear guide, so there would have to be some assurance to me that it's of at least comparable quality. I have a shopping cart open in another browser tab with a couple of MGN12 linear guides which are $36 CAD for 500mm slides. If you add in the cost for the aluminum extrusion, that's about half the price of what these would cost me for a 4 side slide. I'm well aware that these MGN12s aren't always the best, but once again, "good enough" is the aim. I'm not 100% sure of how much variance is acceptable, but I'm pretty sure that I'll see it when it's been exceeded. If anything though, I'm pretty sure that the slides aren't going to be the weak link in most 3D printers. After all, currently I'm running on LM8UU bearings on hardened rods, and that's good enough. The slides are for the next project, which I think I want to do a different way.

These do offer some more flexibility in mounting options, and the ability to extend to a longer motion with relative ease, but at the core of the matter, for shorter lengths, the linear guides are comparable, they require a slightly different design is all.


MBot3D Printer
MakerBot clone Kit from Amazon
Added heated bed.

Leadscrew self-built printer (in progress)
Duet Wifi, Precision Piezo parts
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 10:46AM
Quote
MKSA
Quote
VDX
... what's more sensitive or problematic -- dust on "perfect" hardened surfaces ... or "averaging" the joint position with a bunch of plastic rollers on aluminium confused smiley

Indeed but hard plastic roller on Al may be enough for a hobbyist 3D printer.

Anyway far better than ball bearings on EMT conduit (galvanized) or soft steel tube, AL profile that generates their own metallic dust smiling smiley

This is where I am coming from. Hobby printers are, for the most part, experimental, non-industrial usage. I continually hack on mine just for the joy of learning. I like toys.

I have not had great (long-term) luck with _any_ priced linear bearings on the rods that I have used. The McMaster-Carr catalog makes me break out in a cold sweat... The drylin bearings have fared better than that metal ones for quiet and non-grinding, but the jury is still out for length of service. My nylon-coated bearing wheels (shower door?) in v-slot have been the most reliably accurate printer of the many that I have tried. I have found that my delrin wheels develop flat spots if left alone for several weeks. Finally, I know that quality linear rails are the bomb, but have not been excited about paying $160 per rail on a $400 printer.

This product shows potential for both delta-style rail mount and bed-slinger style "rail" use. I have a Cartesian design in my head that I will modify for this transport type.

having fun,
DLC


Kits: He3D K200 Kossel, Folgertech Kossel 2020 upgraded E3Dv6, Anet A8 upgraded E3Dv6, Tevo Tarantula enhanced parts and dual-head
Scratch: Large bed Cartesian, Linear slide Delta, Maker-Beam XL Micro Delta
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 02:29PM
Quote
obelisk79
So, being a user of vslot+wheels for linear motion for 3 years now, I fail to see the reason for all the negative references to it.

For me, it's been accurate and reliable. Maybe the sentiment is due to poorly made Chinese wheels? I have excellent accuracy and repeatability on my printer. Sure there are better options but they shouldn't be necessary in all circumstances.

Or have I misinterpreted the above comments?

The ExoSlide design was born out of a desire to still use 2020 (or other) rails, but have a LEGOtm like system of building linear rails to limit the degrees of freedom of the carriage. This extends to the 20mm bracket, which positively locates to a slide to then mount a rail perpendicular.

Compared to V-slot, they have four distinct advantages: a smaller carriage envelope of 46x46mm vs 60mm+, wheels that roll vs. rub (due to 45' contact of V-wheels), the possibility to make parallel carriages that are not over-constrained, and a much easier mounting solution.


Quote
dlc60
This product shows potential for both delta-style rail mount and bed-slinger style "rail" use. I have a Cartesian design in my head that I will modify for this transport type.

If you're looking for design inspiration, the printer in the original post will be open source with all the CAD files published. I'll have a write up on it soon hopefully.

Also a broader note on cost comparisons vs. linear rails, the printer mentioned above in its current (not pictured) iteration uses 12 ExoSlides total over 6 rails (avg 2 slides/rail). Similarly, the Ender 5 kit I'm working on has 6 ExoSlides total over 3 rails.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2019 02:32PM by gmedlicott.
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 10, 2019 02:55PM
Quote
obelisk79
So, being a user of vslot+wheels for linear motion for 3 years now, I fail to see the reason for all the negative references to it.

I'm certainly not against v-slot and wheels obelisk, infact, I like the idea, it's a good cheaper solution for the home printer. Not everyone wants to or has a need to spend $1000+ to satisfy their need for stiffer bigger whatevers.

I guess with any bearing system or roller system you could add dust guards/brushes around the mechanism or such like to keep the surfaces a bit cleaner .. IF need be

Anyway, I'm all for the OP'er to give this a go. Without people trying new and interesting idea's and thought's (whether they succeed or not) we'd still be living in tree's. All idea's are valid, nay sayers never make good designers.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2019 03:05PM by Pippy.
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 13, 2019 01:12AM
do i get anything for noticing a grammatical error?

[www.exoslide.com]

" The slides are universal, and mount heat to toe"
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
May 13, 2019 02:04AM
Thanks, and fixed. I'll have to fire the copy editor, wait, thats me!


Modular Linear Slides for Aluminum Extrusions [www.exoslide.com]
Re: ExoSlide Linear Slides for 2020 Extrusion
September 26, 2019 04:07PM
What would you choose metal vs Polycarb wheels/bearing.
why offer both?
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