3D Printed Linear Bushing
The spiral bearing design by open source Chris Log (based on a proprietary design) can be engineered for different force specifications. If we can replace a $30 bronze sleeve bearing, that means $600 savings for the drive system right in the bearings. Note that Plastic Gears are the Future, and likewise, high performance, high temperature plastics can go far in replacing metal counterparts. Plastic is 10x weaker than steel, but still - 5-10 ksi compressive strength of plastic is not insignificant.
It is useful to develop 8, 25, 50, and 75 mm versions (8 mm to 3" shaft) of these bushings for rapid prototyping, and possible applications even in tractor drive applications.
Linear bearings are around $1 each, cheapest right now is $1.25 each.
- Get a roll of POM filament - and print 240 of 4 gram bearings for $26 in materials, and ROI is $1.25*250 = $313 - $26 = $287 per spool at full price, and if sold at 50 cents, would make for $100/day revenue if printing 24/7.
Spiral linear bearing - uploaded openscad code, stl is too big. unzip and compile -File:SpiralLinearBearing.zip - One full set has been printed and is installed on a D3D here to be tested
- For 3" diameter shaft - High force low speed bushing, oil-embedded bronze bushing - $32 for 3" long - , down to $15 for 1.25" long
Other Available Designs
- Customizable, Thingiverse [https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2202854