Cost of material is one of the factors that is holding me back at the moment. I found a couple of different suppliers of the linear slider elements I need to get the basic frame movement off the ground, but it seems that what I need will cost more than I can afford at the time.
No Problem – Time to get creative.
I am currently putting my energy towards a Ultra Low cost linear guide system, that will use commonly available (and affordable) components. I have already built and rejected two variants of the idea, and while the last one was exceptionally stable, the movement was a bit on the stiff side – would have made the motors work much too hard. I am still thinking of keeping these for the Z-axis… We will see.
The goal is to have a smooth, easily moved but stable and accurate linear slider system, for less than R50 (about $5 these days) for 50cm length, with the sliding elements included. The prototypes will be fabricated from common materials, but the final design will be fully printable, save one or two low cost vitamins. More later.
When complete I will post the design on Thingiverse for the benefit of the Open hardware community.