MakerSlide is a really cool system consisting of:
- 20x40mm aluminum extrusion profile with a built in v-rail
- Delrin "V" wheels that ride on the v-rail
- Plates and hardware to put it together
Where To Purchase
MakerSlide is available for purchase from Inventables (North America), Amber Spyglass (Europe), Makerslide Europe or from MakerSlideAsia (Oceania). Accessories for the MakerSlide system are available for purchase either from Inventables or from the MakerSlide store, or the regional vendors listed previously. If you are finding it hard to get MakerSlide shipped to your country you could consider OpenRail which is fully compatible and more widely distributed, having completed its Kickstarter campaign.
MakerSlide Tips and Tricks
Here are a few tips and tricks that might help using MakerSlide on your ShapeOko:
Notice that the plates have two different sized holes. On the left is a 5mm hole that perfectly fits a 5mm bolt. The hole on the right is 7.12mm. An eccentric spacer goes in this hole, and a 5mm bolt goes through the eccentric spacer.
Eccentric spacers have an off-center hole in them. Turning the spacer will allow you to adjust the distance between the wheels up to 1.2mm.
TIP: Use a Sharpie marker to color the side of the spacer on the face closest to hole. This will allow you to see the orientation of the spacer after inserting a bolt and attaching the wheel.
When you insert the eccentric spacer in the hole, orient it so the marked side of the spacer is pointing away from the other hole.
With the eccentric spacer oriented with the marked side away, the wheels will be as far apart as possible. This will make it easy to slide the v-wheels over the v-rail extrusion.
With the mount plate on the v-rail extrusion, use an 8 mm open end wrench to turn the eccentric spacer to snug the wheels to the v-rail. Tighten the wheels until they are just snug. Do not over-tighten the v-wheels.
Bart, the creator of Makerslide, gave the following advice on tightening the v-wheels: loosen the eccentric spacer until the v-wheel does not rotate when the carriage is moving and then tighten just (and no more!) until the v-wheel rotates when moving the carriage. Overtightening will lead to the v-wheel wearing out.
Instructions for this are in Assembly step 8
Dealing with a Broken Tap
A broken tap is unlikely if one:
- is careful,
- is patient,
- uses lubricant,
- and above all, doesn't force it.
But broken taps do happen. Sometimes removing the broken tap can be tricky, especially if it broke off at, or below, the surface. In these cases one option is to dissolve the tap. Since the tap is ferrous, and the MakerSlide is aluminum, one can do this with kitchen chemistry. If all other methods have failed, follow these steps and use caution: Dissolve a Tap Broken in MakerSlide.