We keep seeing incredible 3D printer design experiments, and this is another we haven't written about yet: the T-Rep3. It's a RepRap-based device made from the highly versatile T-slot aluminum extrusions. The T-slots make this 3D Printer very rigid (and inspires its name, too, we suppose). Like the GrassRoots Engineering design we posted the other day, this printer also uses linear bearings for its axis movements. Why?
we found linear bearings much easier to use. They are smooth running, almost self-aligning, and will support huge side loads without complaining. They actually seem to become smoother the more load you put on them.
And of course the linear bearings are also smaller in size than other approaches.
The T-Rep team details a cooling experiment on their blog, in which they mounted fans near the print head to see if they could improve the quality of tall and thin prints. Amazingly, their experiment proved fans provide only "marginal gains", and instead they settled on using Skeinforge's Cool plugin (which simply waits extra time for layers to cool down before proceeding.)