I stopped by onlinemetals in Ballard ( A district of Seattle ), and picked up some aluminum for EasyMaker. I picked up an 11″x12″x1/10″ 6061 sheet for use as a print-bed, and I picked up a 4″ wide U Channel that will become the main plate. This is a huge U Channel — I’d like a 4.25″ wide, with much shorter U legs. But I can’t find that as an existing extrusion, and custom-extruding it requires 1 ton of material. I’d probably have to sell 10,000 EasyMakers to justify a custom extrusion! So, I’ll modify the main plate to use this extrusion. Everything will fit, but I may have to move a few things around.
This U Channel will make EasyMaker much stronger, and hopefully, a little cheaper. Aluminum can be water-jet cut, so any plastic plate I can replace with it should reduce overall costs, due to the cheaper machining costs. Combined with the 16mm rods and 4040 gantry legs, this is a heavy-duty upgrade. I have to verify that the weight changes of these upgrades doesn’t harm performance or price. So, I have to experiment with these changes to see what they’ll do.