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Linear actuator concept for CNC machines

by CarlosGS Jan 28, 2013
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Hey carlosgs!
I would be really gratefull if you could tell me how did you achieve that threaded rod is stable (it is not rotating)? On the YT short movie I can't see any additional guides or slides however the rod moves right and left. How did you do that? :)
Any help would be greatly appreciated.


What's the hardware used (screws, nuts, rod, etc)?

I built this but if the rod is not anchored it turns as well. I wanted to use this with a non anchored cage at the end. But now the cage turns too. :)

What size stepper is this designed for?

I downloaded and printed this awesome (good) working thing, just one question though.
Can u tell me what the steps per unit is for the standard nema motor?

Comments deleted.

hi carlos...I don't really understand how it works... do you have an explanation for dummies :-(

I'm surprised no one has build a scalable linear actuator on here we can use for robots since they aren't exactly cheap for small ones :)

I posted a very similar design for a linear actuator online, a while back. http://www.instructables.com/id/High-Torque-Steering-Mechanism-for-really-large-Re/step3/Hack-in-a-gearmotor-to-a-worm-drive-system/http://www.instructables.com/i... Anyway, I can confirm that this type of system works in the field. Great minds think alike!

Very novel take on an linear axis :)

But won't it take up more space as the threaded rod extends/moves outside the machine unless the motor is placed on the moving part?

Btw. the bearings looks like regular bearings shouldn't there be some thrust bearings in there as well?

Those are very good questions:
It all depends on how the mechanism is used. It can be a compact mechanism, capable of reasonably high loads for a small CNC machine.
For heavier loads (>10kg? I don't have the means to measure forces accurately), proper bearings should be used.

Take it as a concept, for our final CNC mill we will probably be using a similar mechanism but with spinning threaded rod. It is as compact but less complex.

Prusa Multi-Tool (mill, drill, printer..), coming soon ;)