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Anybody tried maglev?

Posted by larsrc 
Anybody tried maglev?
July 13, 2009 10:27AM
Upon noticing that DealExtreme has rare earth magnets for very cheap, I've been thinking about making a Rep(St)Rap that uses magnetic levitation for its rails. We'd obviously still need side stabilization, for instance like what the McWire has, and we'd have to be careful about where we use ferromagnetic materials, but being able to reduce friction to zero would be interesting. Should make it possible to do a McWire setup with belts instead of leadscrews.

Thoughts, ideas, issues? Anybody tried this already?


Re: Anybody tried maglev?
July 13, 2009 11:15AM
When using skate bearings the force to overcome the friction is so low that it is not a major issue. What has a greater effect on the print speed is the force required to accelerate the mass of the print head / print bed that is being moved.
At least this is the case on my machine.

I think this is why the makerbot gets very fast print speeds using a small lightweight print bed.

However a maglev reprap would be very very cool smiling smiley
Re: Anybody tried maglev?
July 13, 2009 03:31PM
... a magnetic 'levitation' setup is not rigid enough for a cartesian bot.

I developed some micropositioning stages with magnets and ferrofluid as linear stages and actuators - it's friction free and highly precise until nanometer resolution, but you need a position measuring feedback in the same accuracy and the behaviour is like a strong damping squid.

I could work very good with 0.03mm thick glassfibres and nanowires positioning and sticking them in pin-holes, but the forces and maximum speeds were useless for reprapping in the sub-millimeter- and millimeter-range ...

Re: Anybody tried maglev?
July 15, 2009 03:30AM
I would expect magnetic bearings to have major issues with mechanical feedback from
the printing-head-assembly.
Think about the material-feed tugging at the head and the mechanical momentum of
the fast moving head.
It would need to react extremely fast and accurate.

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Re: Anybody tried maglev?
July 15, 2009 04:01AM
... maybe in this post: [dev.forums.reprap.org] (especially the atached images and links) you can find informations and basics ...

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