Hi All,

It’s been over a week since the last update, and I wanted to put out a little post about what we’ve been up to.  It’s Thanksgiving season here in the states, so for the most part, thanksgiving break has been taking a lot of time.  I’ve also printed some proof of concept parts for the “secret feature”, and found some issues that bother me around how to strengthen and control the motion.  We’ve printed out another iteration of new linear motion system, but haven’t really tested it yet.  Already, I see issues in this iteration that should make it difficult to use, which will have to be addressed.  One interesting thing — U-Groove wheels — I’ve never seen a linear motion system based on them — yet I see plenty of V Groove designs.  I wonder if U Groove linear motion systems have something inherently wrong with them?  I haven’t found any data at all on the strengths/weaknesses of U Groove systems.  This is important, since my hybrid motion system uses a U groove wheel and 2 Igus plain bearings.  I wonder if I could do it all with just the U Groove bearings?

Cold extrusion in the garage is turning into a pain, as temperatures are now dropping below freezing, and the garage drops below 10C, making printing near impossible with the current extruders. I’ve been mulling over a new, “vertical mount” extruder design that merges elements of Wade’s and Ron’s extruders, and has a very narrow footprint.  This would allow stacking of groove mount nozzles close together in a dual extruder setup.  However, I’m loathe to commit to the design, as again, I’m not pursuing EasyMaker, and only it and the ShapeOko mill could mount such an extruder.  In Theory, a vertical mount extruder would also be good for a Rostock or other platform with a large Z footprint,and would be far more powerful/easy to maintain than current extruders by a large margin.  Finals are coming up, so I’ll likely go silent over the next few weeks, as my time/attention will be spent there.  After finals is Christmas/Travel season, so I don’t think we’ll do much there either.  I don’t expect to be back to any real level of design work until January.  When I get the time, I’ll have to decide if I should design an extruder or not.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy your holidays.  See you in a while!