I just spoke to the fabricator. They’ve started cutting our MakerSlide yesterday, and expect to finish and deliver it next week. As soon as it arrives, we’ll unpack it and put it back in stock (and camera sliders and basic sliders too).
I just got the quote for extruded MegaRail.
Based on that, it seems the retail price of MegaRail 80 will be £40 for a 1 m length, and MegaRail Z will be £4.50 for a 250 mm length, or £12 for 1 m.
To compare, this is how much the rail for a 1 m × 1 m gantry-style CNC router table or milling machine would be:
- 4 × 1 m MakerSlide (for a dual-rail gantry) + 1 × 250 mm MakerSlide: £52
- 3 × 1 m MegaRail 80 + 2 × 250 mm MegaRail Z: £129
I would say that’s not a bad price for the huge increase in rigidity.
MegaRail Z will be available in 250 mm (to be determined: could be 275 mm), 600 mm, and 1000 mm.
MegaRail 80 will be available in 600 mm, 1000 mm, 1500 mm, and 2000 mm lengths. I’ll try to get 2700 mm lengths too, but those would ship only within the UK.
Assuming reasonable carriage widths:
- A machine with a 1500 mm gantry can cut the entire width of a full sheet of plywood, MDF, or chipboard (2440 mm × 1220 mm). With indexing, it can cut a whole sheet in several operations:
- a 1500 mm × 1500 mm machine can cut half a sheet without resorting to indexing, or an entire sheet in two operations;
- a 1500 mm × 1000 mm machine can cut a third of a sheet in one go, and it can still fit a whole sheet through and cut it in three operations, with indexing;
- a 1500 mm × 2700 mm machine, if it ever became available, could cut a full sheet in one go.
- A 1000 mm × 1500 mm machine can cut a third of a sheet of plywood, or an area the size of an A0 sheet of paper (but a slightly longer and narrower shape than A0).
I just spoke with the fabricator. MakerSlide is going to be cut next week. Their saw operator was off sick, and they didn’t want to have a less experienced person cut the MakerSlide, because it’s so easy to damage. That’s reasonable, but communication could have been better.
I will send another batch of invitation emails today or tomorrow. Orders will have a lead time of about three weeks. The current batch is almost exhausted: some orders will be fulfilled from the current batch, some from the next batch. Here’s what we still need for the next batch:
- MakerSlide: on order, see above, although there’s still some stock for some eShapeoko sizes;
- Some laser-cut parts, most critically the mid-span supports. Ordered today, normal turnaround about a week (unless they’re very busy);
- Misumi profiles for the frame, and M3 insertion nuts: ordered today, normal turnaround 5-8 days;
- Most standard fasteners and some nylon spacers: ordered today, normally delivered next day. (Got shipping notifications for both while writing this post. The nylon spacers took a grand total of 16 minutes from payment to tracking number. Now that’s efficient! It helps, though, that all they have to do is stuff them in a shipping bag — there’s nothing fragile to protect. Still, very impressive for a small company.)
- Packing the baggies of small parts: we’re already working on this, and expect to finish before the stock of already packed parts runs out.
We’re good on all parts with long lead times, such as belt pulleys, V-wheels, leadscrews, bearings and so on.
NEMA 23 Motors
The good news is that they’re on their way. The bad news is that the ship is scheduled to arrive on 4 March, not mid-February as I was led to believe, and it’ll probably take another week for the local shipping company to unpack the container, load our motors on a truck, and deliver them to us.
I’m emailing the people who bought backordered NEMA 23 motors with the unpleasant news tonight.
MegaRail 80 and MegaRail Z
I’m promised a quote tomorrow! I already have quotes for the dies, and I’ve settled on designs for both.
More on that soon.