Written By: Bill Griggs - Sep• 24•11

Makerslide unwrapped

First peek at Makerslide


Barton Dring the creator of Makerslide sent his Kickstarter supporters news that the first batch of Makerslides has been received and will be shipping soon. Dring posted an update which talked about his trip to the aluminum extruder plant to take delivery of the first batch of Makerslides. From reading the report it sounds like the visit would have been very  interesting on it’s own, even if it didn’t include delivery of the much sought after rails.

If I understood the process correctly the extrusion process involves preheating an  8 diameter 3′ long  Billet of aluminum up to 1000 degrees and then “smooshing” it through a giant machine similar to a Play-Doh fun factory. Then the metal is allowed to cool on long racks before it is cut into much smaller pieces, heated treated in an oven and anodized. All these steps are necessary to bring you the Makerslides.

After Bart brought the slides home he had to unload the truck and stack the Makerslides neatly way for processing. The 15′ long extrusions will be cut to size to provide each backer of the Kickstarter project with the right amount of material. The Makerslide project was successfully funded on June 8th, 2011. In that short time Barton Dring has taken the idea from computer screen to production.

Makerslide is a linear bearing system designed to keep costs low, standardize parts and increase the ease of use in DIY CNC projects. Home built CNC equipment either use expensive, commercial linear rails or base their machines on parts found at random through ebay. Available lengths do not always fit well with DIY designs making the design process even harder. Makerslides intends to move away from the common DIY practice of using rollerblade bearings on gas pipe, Bushings on drill rod shafts, drawer slides, and old scanner parts to build machines. Such systems are often difficult and time consuming to fabricate. The Makerslides concept is a reduced cost version of the v groove bearing system, integrated into a basic millimeter based t slot system. It will use Delrin “V” wheels instead of steel.

It will probably take a while to sort all the parts for each order and double check everything but I am excited about getting my hands on some of this material to build a project. I will provide details of whatever I create with my batch of Makerslide. For your viewing pleasure, here is a tour of the Makerslide workshop.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.