The end is near!
About a week ago, a last minute semi-major design change was made that is going to require addition time to get the new parts, along with some revisions to the assembly drawings I've created (exploded views).
Instead of using a piece of 400mm x 80mm x 20mm aluminum extrusion for the front and back plates, I changed it to a piece of 10ga steel, the same material the custom side plates are made from. The major reason for this was assembly. Although it wasn't difficult to assemble with the aluminum extrusion, it was tedious. Each of the 4 mating points required a double 90d angle bracket, and each bracket required 4xM5x8mm bolts, 4 washers, and 4 insertions screws. The total cost of each mating point was roughly $2, plus each extrusion was roughly $8 for a total of $24. The new design consists of a single plate with 4 slotted holes, to make the connection one simply slides a bolt and washer through the slotted holes and into the tapped end of the Y-axis linear rails (makerslide).
Here's a picture of the old design sitting next to the new design:
The old method required sliding everything into place and then tightening each bolt while keeping on eye on squareness. Again, it wasn't difficult, but there were a few times that I needed to loosen, adjust, and re-tighten the connections because I had originally bolted them out of square. That whole process probably took 20 minutes. The new process takes about 5 minutes.
Here are a couple more pictures:
That last picture looks pretty gnarley! I usually have my test pieces cut on a laser, but on short notice had these cut on a CNC plasma machine. Plasma are great for a lot of things, but cutting tiny 5mm slotted holes isn't one of them! The final versions will definitely be laser cut.
That's it for now, let me know if you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat about DIY CNC!