Check this out.
Has anyone come up with a novel idea for a DIY way of protecting long lengths of linear rails. I have 9' Hiwin linear bearings mounted on 8020 and would like to see some examples of bellows or sorts for protecting them. Preferable minimal cost.
I saw that a little while back but the explanation didn't do it for me, I am not entirely sure whats going on there.
Yeah, the pictures aren't that great... Basically there are rollers at the ends of the rail. There's a piece of rubber sheet (or whatever) that is attached to the moving piece (foot of the gantry, etc.) that covers the rail and runs over the rollers, around the bottom of the rail, and back up to the other side of the gantry. So as the gantry moves, the rubber sheet moves with it and rolls over the rollers at the ends of the rail. The rollers are tensioned in some way (lots of different ways possible) to keep tension on the rubber sheet. There are metal covers on the sides of the rail that cover all inner workings and overlap the rubber sheet to seal out dust. Does that help?
Ya that makes sense, that simple. with all the pulleys and springs and wires it seems it has been made much more complicated. Just a simple screw type conveyor take-up would suffice for the tensioning i would think.
This was something i was thinking about due to its extremely low cost, and ease of assembly. Using buttons commonly found on jeans, and some plastic (shower curtain polyester or nylon is a cheap source) shown in the picture, the buttons are crimped on to the plastic and they will ride in the t-slots. Just letting the machine drag the covers along. I may test this out and see how well the buttons fit and slide in the track.
Usually when you do something like that, the head of the bolt or whatever in the rail twists sideways (in the direction of pull) and jams. Or at least that what carriage bolts do when you try to slide them in the groove of the 80/20. I bet you could make something like that work with stiffer material that held things in better alignment though.