Update (20121127) NEMA 17 brackets came in! And even more surprisingly: we like them!! I just put them back online again. It is possible to order the brackets again. Finally!
Now we are waiting for the brackets of our second manufacturer.
Here is a picture of what the bracket looks like (the right amount of holes and a polished look).
Currently there are two manufacturers working on NEMA 17 brackets for two beams. Here is a link to an earlier blog post (20121026) about this.
The information we get on the first company is not that good. They made the choice to make them with sheet metal instead of aluminum (AlMg1). This to make them stronger they say. Now the brackets are ready, but there is the question whether or not we want to have them polished, see picture. The answer is yes we want them polished! This will take a few more days. Probably they still will be in by the end of November. This is when we expect a new batch of black anodised beams in, so good enough for us. We have been waiting this long, we can wait a little longer.
We are very optimistic about the second company. Pictures of the finished product we have not received yet. However we did receive good drawings and good feedback. The company even pointed out to us a flaw in the info we gave. That is why we are optimistic and are hoping we can get our servo brackets made there as well. We are working on this. Here are some drawings of the NEMA 17 brackets and the servo brackets.
We are proud of MakerBeam version 2.0. To increase corrosion resistance and increase surface hardness the beams are now anodised. As a bonus it also allows dyeing. We went with black. It looks good, but more importantly could work well in fields that use photography. Next to the black anodised beams we also sell clear anodised beams. This clear anodised version resembles the classic starter kit the most.
It was difficult to improve the profile and still completely stay in line with its distinct MakerBeam T-slot profile and width and height of 10mmx10mm. We think we succeeded. The new design has a thicker core. We hope this will strengthen the beams. The thicker core definitely has other bonuses. It gives you the possibility to thread wire on top to fit a M3 bolt. This will make MakerBeam even more versatile.
Changing the core also made the slides a bit wider. This increases the chances that standard, of the shelf, M3 6mm button head screws will fit. Whereas they just did not fit before.
There is a bit more info about the screws in our blog post from June 14th 2012. Here is a link.
On 18 November Frits Lyneborg of Let’s Make Robots fame posted a video featuring MakerBeam (after 2:43). Now it has almost been a month since his video ‘3D Carver of Invisible Stuff’ came online on the Make Magazine blog. And what a month it has been for a small webshop that is trying to build a name! We were overwhelmed by the demand that followed this video. The MakerBeam Starter Kits were flying of the shelfs that week in mid November. It was awesome!
Ofcourse we were pleasantly surprised. We had our worries too. We were contemplating to order a new batch just before. That week we knew we had to order. We tried to speed things up but there was a moment we were looking at almost empty boxes.
Luckily we had ordered longer beams before. We knew there was a demand for the 900mm beams. There were some people that even had requested this length. We were really happy these arrived. Meanwhile we also had to order bearings, eye plate kits, cap nuts and more.
Shortly after, the batch of beams we ordered arrived. With this arrival we were almost fully stocked again. Only the production of shorter beams (<150) was delayed and so we created a Longer Beam Starter Kit. It has proven to be a good substitute for some people or even more to their liking.
And the regular starter kits? We just have to wait a little longer. We still do not have a set date yet for the arrival of the shorter beams. The manufacturer expects them to have them ready before the holidays. Then they need to be shipped to us. We hope to be able to ship the starter kits early in the new year.