New Eccentric Spacers

The standard MakerSlide eccentric spacer (left, below) has two new brothers.

Eccentric SpacersBoth new members of the family are designed for plastic carriages.  They are wider (10 mm instead of 8 mm), have the edges chamfered on both sides, and have longer necks.  These features make them friendlier on softer materials, such as 3D-printed MakerSlide carriages.  One spacer is the same height as the original (6.35 mm, or 0.25″); the other is a diminutive 2 mm, for those low-profile applications.  You’ll probably need a thin spanner for it.

You can buy them here (tall) and here (short).


The Lasers Are Lasing

Our friendly neighbourhood people with light amplifiers by stimulated emission of radiation under computer numerical control have begun vaporizing stainless steel around what’s going to become eShapeOko plates.  A wondrous device that mixes pulverized extracts of remains of dinosaurs, transformed by tremendous pressure and heat over hundreds of millions of years, with filtered atmospheric air, and explodes as many as five thousand batches of this mixture every minute, harnessing the chemical potential energy of the dead animals first by converting it to heat, then to mechanical energy in the form of linear motion, then circular motion, and then back to linear motion, will convey them to us sometime next week.

Mini-carriage plate for MakerSlideIn addition to the eShapeOko plates, there are a few new items: standard MakerSlide carriage plates (OK, that one’s not new), a smaller, square MakerSlide carriage plate (right), motor brackets (almost identical to the ORD Bot Z axis motor brackets), and three types of belt anchors. These are for the camera slider and for your own MakerSlide-based designs.

Plus the surprise I’m still not revealing yet.

Bearings and Limit/Homing Microswitches Back in Stock

625ZZ and 625-2RS Ball BearingsI’ve just received a box of 625ZZ bearings (5 mm × 16 mm × 5 mm, for V-wheels and idler wheels), so they’re back in stock. Before these, we had the rubber shield variety (625-2RS, the odd ones out in the image), but I think the metal shields are less likely to rub against the shim washers (and easy to fix if they do: just squish the shield, push it in a little).

I also discovered that the store thought there were six limit switches left in stock, although I was looking at a bag full of them.  I fixed that! Stepper Shield; Also, Our Own Version

asl_stepper_shield_assembled_2ASL_stepper_shield_PCB_topThe Arduino-compatible Stepper Motor Driver Shield (with PCBs from our friends at Reactive Substance) will be back in stock next week.

In the meantime, I’ve been playing with KiCad and making my own shield.  I got some prototype boards made, and assembled one to test (right).  It works perfectly, but the board layout needs a few tweaks.

The beta boards (left) aren’t as gorgeous as the matte black Reactive Substance boards, but I’m partial to the traditional green PCB.  The final version will probably be blue.  I could not resist some bling, though, so the boards are ENIG (which means they’re nickel-plated and then gold-plated on top).  It makes soldering very easy.

The New Camera Slider

Camera SliderHere’s a teaser sketch of the new camera slider (click to enlarge).  The belt anchors are different from the old one, but otherwise it’s almost the same.

It’s made of a standard MakerSlide carriage plate (green) and a motor mounting bracket almost identical to the one used for the Z motors of the ORD Bot (yellow).  The buckle-like belt anchors (blue) should be easier to use and sturdier than the earlier version.