Year of the Maker: Week Ten in Review

Yeah, yeah… I’m late posting again. You get a full refund of all the money I made off your viewing of my blog up to today (3/16/12).  :-)

The biggest progress I made was on linear bearings:

My old version and my new…

The longer version on the right is the new one. Being longer, it has much less play than the shorter, old version. However, it also produces LESS friction. What’s the secret sauce? The “teeth” you can see that touch the rod taper away along the inside of the bearing so that the only touch near the ends where they are needed. Negligible play, low friction: best of both worlds!

The other cool aspect of this design is that you cannot make these parts via a mold — they require a 3D printer to create if you want to make them out of a single piece. Traditional manufacturing processes would find this design to be problematic to say the least.

I’m hoping to have Week Eleven up in a timely fashion — with a nice bit of SketchUp + 3D printing in the works!

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