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Working size vs rail length?

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If I want to print or mill or engrave something 2 feet ( or 610mm or whatever) long, how long do the metal tubes (rails, this term is carried over from other projects I have looked into) need to be to allow the working area to be that big?

This is to figure the size of an area I need to have this do what I need before I get started on the build. So, I have studded the Mechmate.org machine, and it is about 2 feet wider and longer than the cutting area. (To cut a 4x8 sheet of plywood, the machine takes about 6x10 footprint on the shop floor).

vicious1.com has a calculator to help you find this number. If I remember correctly, I think you have to add about 10.5" to x and y axis tubes.
The z tubes and threaded rod need to be about 5" longer than your z height. for instance, I have a 12" rod, and about 9" of z axis movement.

There's a link to a tubing length calculator on the thingiverse page. i don't know right off hand, but I went with the recommended 30 inch leangth and after adjusting my ends tops for tool size (print head). I have a viable work area of 440mm square. i can get a bit more out of it but I start to roll over the ties on the belt. workable I could easily get around 500mm if I shaved down my tool. I have fans and level proves sticking out the sides quite a bit. so you could probably get what your looking for at just under 4 foot rails. it really depends on your tool size.

There are calculators for it, and the default values are 11" on x ,and 11" on y. so a 2'x3' one is 35"x47"