Re: Need source for "X-Beams" aluminum extrusions for ER 1robot (evolution.com)

Are you looking for the exact same extrusion profile of X-Beams, or are you just looking for more 1" aluminmum extrusions? If the latter, you
can order a length from a local distributor (saves on UPS trucking costs) and cut it yourself. You'll save a ton of money if you're wanting a variety of stock. Assuming a price of .25/inch, a 4" piece is a dollar, versus $2.52 that Evolution wants. After enough of these you'll be able to afford a cutoff saw to make your job easier. With an abrasive cutoff wheel, deburring would be minimal.
As far as I know, the plastic connectors (which few people seem to like) are exclusive to the X-Beams product. Makers of similar extrusions, like Bosch and 80/20, offer different connector designs that many designers prefer.
The company that owns X-Beams also owns Evolution. That company (Idealab!) is/was under several shareholder lawsuits, which I'm sure have been a distraction. It's not surprising X-Beams folded -- it was a niche market within a niche market. No doubt they wanted to concentrate on more profitable ventures.
-- Gordon Robots for Less at Budget Robotics: http://www.budgetrobotics.com/ Author: Robot Builder's Sourcebook & Robot Builder's Bonanza
JCD wrote:

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Thanks for the input, Gordon! Good idea about getting a length of it and just cutting ... I'd thought about it since I have a diamond blade I used on some kitchen tile here recently. And I can use my dremel to debur it I believe.
As far as connector hardware, I agree about the plastic pieces. What I really wanted in that line was cheaper "t-nuts" and even the other metal connectors.
I'll give this some consideration and maybe spend a few $$ in the near future.
Thanks again! P.S. I have both of your books and they are great! Good job!
-- J.C.Deen http://www.WayCoolGear.com

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