Yeah, we’ve talked about that a bit in the various discussions on expanding the machine. Esp. See http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 600#p41850
The ideal to me (after adding Dave's 24" suggestion) would be:
- SO3 full kit — what’s currently shipping — despite the poll, this will probably be the most prevalent design
- SO3 mechanical kit — nothing but end plates and hardware (except for M5x16mm used in the base, see below) and the tools
- SO3 electronics — Carbide Motion micro-controller/stepper driver and motors and pulleys and power supply and USB cable (I’d really like to see that be a premium, 6 foot cord w/ferrite bead(s)
- SO3X — 600mm rail, matching front/back plates and cross strap (S3067)
- SO3Y — 2 600mm rails, 2 edge straps (S3063), 1 center strap (S3064)
- SO3X+ — 1 rail long enough for a ~24” work area (exact length to be determined), matching front/back plates and cross strap, motor extension cables
- SO3X++ — 1 rail long enough for a 48"—60” work area (exact length to be determined), matching front/back plates and cross strap, motor extension cables
- SO3Y+ — 2 rails (same length as in SO3X+), 2 edge straps, 1 center strap
- SO3X++Y+ext — this would need to be added when both an SO3X++Y+ were combined — a suitable number of additional center (central?) straps — probably better as just a combined SKU
- SO3Y++ — 2 rails long enough to make a 96" long work area, 2 edge straps, 1 center strap, 4 side supports and suitable hardware
- SO3X++Y++ext — see one less plus above
You’d need a mechanism for calculating how many M5x16mms were needed.
That’s a lot of SKUs, but not a lot of machine sizes (note that 48 might be 60 or some number in-between or slightly larger):
- 16 x 16
- 16w x 48
- 16w x 96
- 24w x 16
- 24w x 48
- 24w x 96
- 48w x 16
- 48 x 48
- 48w x 96
The problem is, that’s only barely more machines than SKUs... I really doubt that a reasonable number of people would build the
- 16w x 96
- 24w x 96
machines that the additional SKUs enable, so might as well cut to the chase and just offer 6 machine kits? (and a reasonable number of expansion kits for people who want to upgrade?) — the two ext SKUs would probably be better folded into the matching kits — I don’t think eliminating the extra lengths of steel when doing the smaller option would save much (and I don't think it'd be worth doing the 16ext and 24ext options as noted above --- I guess worst case those parts could be sold separately).
I think it would be better to require people buying expansion kits to self-source a Wasteboard — could one have a fixture which would fit over a PEM nut and allow drilling a pilot hole w/o damaging the threads? If so, assemble the frame, have the Wasteboard cut at a home center, clamp the frame and Wasteboard together on two tables, arrange so hole is over empty space, drill pilot hole from below, drill and countersink hole from top, insert fastener, repeat. Loosen all fasteners before installing Y-axis rails.
That of course assumes that the frame design is sufficiently rigid to stand up to the sort of abuse that sort of thing would invite. I’m certain it would work at the two 48x16 sizes, and think it’d be okay at 48x48, but the 48 x 96 size worries me —one could get a lot of leverage by lifting the machine at a single corner and I’d worry about stripping out the steel fasteners in the aluminum extrusions. I suspect that we’re going to need some sort of formed / bent / tubular steel along the Y-axis at the two longer sizes — therefore, I nominate the 48w x 16 kit for initial development and testing and volunteer to try out an early prototype.
If it weren’t for that sort of thing, I’d think we could do a modular Wasteboard in standard sections, but the shipping costs on that for the large sizes would become a problem.
Anyone got a brilliant design concept for a torsion box / frame / bed at a suitable size?
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets