MakerSlide and NEMA 23 Update


Just spoke to the factory.  I am not happy.  They have not finished cutting our order.  They still have to do the 250 mm lengths and one other length.  They think they’ll be done by noon tomorrow, and they’ll call after that to arrange delivery.

NEMA 23 Motors

The shipping company have revised their invoice and I have paid it.  They will let me know the delivery date once they go through customs.

MakerSlide and NEMA 23 Update


I just spoke to the fabricator. They have finished cutting our MakerSlide, so all that’s left is to arrange delivery. But they work short days on Fridays, and the person who can do that has already gone home. So, next week!

NEMA 23 Motors

The ship is in port and they’re unloading the containers. I got an incorrect invoice for customs charges, so I’ve asked them to amend it. That should not cause a delay, though. They expect to deliver the motors to us on Thursday.

All-in-One Status Update


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.

Sparrow L-100

More on that soon.

eShapeoko and MakerSlide Update


We should have our store completely restocked the week of 19 January.


All but three paid kits are now shipped, and I started working on the next cycle.  If you reserved a kit, you will receive an email in the next day or so.  It will be either the invitation to place your order, or an estimate of how long the wait is likely to be.

Complete eShapeoko Kits

No, we still won’t do them as such, but I’m reminding you that you can read this purchasing guide to find out what else you need to have a complete, working machine.

NEMA 23 Stepper Motors

There are very few of these left in stock.  More are on their way from the supplier, but I made a larger order this time, so I opted for the slow boat.  Very, very slow boat, it turns out: they’re still at least a month out.  When the stock runs out, we’ll continue to accept orders for them, but they will not ship until we get them at some point in February.  This means we’ll hold your entire order until the motors arrive.  (I’ll explain this clearly in the store, but my experience is that at least one in ten customers will not read that, so I have to keep on top of it and send emails.  A warning during checkout would be better, but the store can’t do that.)

The Exciting Bits

New Profiles

I’m designing two new aluminium profiles, one inspired by Edward Ford’s Shapeoko 3, the other an older idea that languished until Edward’s announcement.  I’ll post more about this soon, or you can read about the larger profile here.

3D Printer

I may have mentioned this before: a few months ago, I started working on a new 3D printer.  It’s based on MakerSlide, and it’s superficially similar to Bart Dring’s ORD Bot.  I still plan to finish the second prototype and get it going.  It’s not a revolutionary product by any means; it’s just another option, with similar performance as some existing products.

I also have a design for an extruder (cold end only) that will be very simple and very compact — if it works.  I’m not saying more about it until I have a prototype.