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Alternatives to Steel?

Posted by aamcle 
Alternatives to Steel?
September 09, 2019 03:28AM
Good Morning All.

I think I've settled on a build that uses the Ultimaker motion system.

The X and Y linear guides/smooth rods rotate and I'm wondering if there is a way of reducing their weight simply on the principal that less weight allows for more speed.

Although the rods that support the hotend/extruder don't rotate reducing their weight would still be beneficial.

What trusted and tried alternatives are there to steel?

I've seen posts about Carbon Fibre tubes and a little information on the Igus site about aluminium rods.

I would appreciate any information you can post on this subject or links to information.

If you have used something other than steel how did it work out for you?

Many Thanks.


Many Thanks
Re: Alternatives to Steel?
September 13, 2019 05:06AM
Aluminium and carbon fibre are common replacements for steel rods. I'd avoid carbon fibre for the perimeter rods as they need to transfer a torque, and depending on the fibre directions they can be prone to cracking when a torque is applied. I'd go for aluminium, using reinforced plastics as a linear rail and bearing surface has always seemed weird to me. That being said, if you're just concerned about moving mass, you could avoid having the perimeter rails spin. Put the pulleys on a separate, thinner rod to reduce the inertia. You can use a fairly thin rod if all it's doing is connecting the pulleys on either side of the axis.
Re: Alternatives to Steel?
September 13, 2019 03:05PM
Thanks Trakyan
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