New Spacers, Belt Clamps and Belt Tensioners

I’m back home, more tired than when I left.  A small pile of orders is waiting to be picked, packed, and posted.  They’ll go out tomorrow.

I’m always trying to make the eShapeOko kit better.  I made three changes:

  • Thicker nylon spacers.  They have 50% larger cross-section, so they should help make the X carriage more rigid.
  • New belt clamps.  The kits now come with laser-cut belt clamps which take M5 screws and nuts to tighten.  They are a neater solution than the zip ties.
  • Redesigned belt tensioners.  The new ones are longer, and instead of a half-circle cut-out for the head of the top X rail screw, they now have a large round hole.

All kits from the third batch got the new belt clamps instead of the zip ties (a pleasant surprise, I hope), and some got the new belt tensioners.  The fourth batch will get the thicker nylon spacers, too.

Speaking of spacers, I have a sample of aluminium spacers on their way to me.  If they’re good, they’ll go in the store as an upgrade.  Aluminium spacers help make the X carriage even more rigid, and they allow the bolts to be tightened much more without fear of squeezing the spacers.  I’ll offer them in kits for dual-X (twelve 25.4mm spacers plus two 6.35mm spacers) and individually.  I haven’t ordered any 19.05mm spacers in aluminium, because they’re used only for the single-X (no point in making the single-X carriage more rigid) and for the spindle mount (where nylon is perfectly fine).

Also on their way are Pololu drivers (green, black and the new purple ones), emergency stop push buttons, and a few other little things.

New Open End Plates for eShapeOko (and ShapeOko)

eShapeOko dual Y with LXPWe now have the new end plates that allow the eShapeOko to be extended in the X direction.  As an important bonus, the machine is now open to the front and the rear, so you can machine long objects even on a small machine.

This image shows how they are used.  You can now stretch the machine by lengthening the X MakerSlide, the X belt, and the two connecting members for the new plates.  The part number for the new end plate is EM-LXP.  As you can see, it’s not identical to Edward’s new end plate.  It has the two eShapeOko belt anchor slots, plus one for the belts-on-top configuration currently used on the X axis.

NEMA17 and NEMA23 Motors in Stock

I’ve just added three NEMA17 motors to the store: one 0.9° per step, and two 1.8° per step (the most powerful I could find, and a lighter one).  I also added a 0.9° NEMA23 motor (small for a NEMA23, but twice as powerful as the NEMA17), but that’s not in stock yet.

I also added a very nice 24 V 5 A power supply.  It’s a laptop-type power supply: a completely enclosed brick, with no vents or fans — a plus if you’re producing dust and chips.

Idlers and Stepper Shields Back in Stock

I put the smooth idler wheel kits and arduino-compatible stepper shields (bare PCBs and complete kits) back on sale.  They will be shipped on the 26th of February.  I also listed the 3/4″ and 1″ spacers that have been out of stock for a while, but they will ship at the end of the month.  Still working on the V-wheels and eccentric spacers.

eShapeOko Batch Three Update

We got the remaining MakerSlide from Harry Raley yesterday.  I checked it for dings and other flaws, marked them out, then I worked out a cutting plan around the defects.  I’m going to cut it now.  All the other parts have been here for some time, and they are counted and packed.  We’ll put the rail in the boxes tonight, and book the packages for collection by the couriers on Monday.

eShapeOko Kits Back On Sale

The eShapeOko kits are back on sale, with delivery by the end of March (hopefully sooner than that, but no promises).  There’s a new option: the “open” end plates, very similar to Edward Ford’s “new end plates”.  They will be available separately too, as soon as I manage to get a few pictures and write some instructions.

We’ve had a problem with the store, where registration did not work.  It should be fixed now.

We’re working to pack and send the third batch (the MakerSlide is finally on its way to us — sorry for the delay), and the fourth batch looks on time for the beginning of March.

We’re slowly getting better at this, but I might end up writing some form of stock keeping application myself anyway.  Several of the products share parts, which means simple software that thinks, for example, that we have a number of stepper shield bare PCBs and another number of stepper shield kits doesn’t really work.  What we really have is a number of PCBs and a number of baggies of parts, and when someone buys a kit, they get a PCB and a bag of parts, reducing the stock of bare PCBs available.  And that’s a simple example: it gets more complicated with V-wheels, idlers, bearings, MakerSlide, eShapeOko kits with options, open end plates and so on.

By the way, more stepper shields are on their way from Reactive Substance and should be here in a few days.