first off i want to offer an apology for having offended the moderators and other members here by a reply
i left to a thread in the upgrades section.
i have noticed many times on this and other forums where owners have
stated a desire to have access to aluminum parts for their ft5 units. for well over a year i have had these parts made and have given 20 something kits to friends who have the Ft5. i really had no desire to manufacture and sell these kits. there are a few reasons why offering these kits was not of interest.
1 considering cost of material, time, expense etc there is really no money to be made in short run orders. it is more so a way to help other owners of the FT5 and share far more than a profit consideration.
2nd as i was discussing this with other owners and began to see how much interest there would be for a kit, another company had stated they were well on the way to making a kit and would be offering it soon. being there are only so many ways to design the kit so that it is a true bolt on, using kit supplied hardware, based on the original design, weight and strength most kits are by design going to appear the same. i find that sometime forums are both helpful but clicky. sometimes simple opinions, suggestions, offerings are taken as being intrusive. i felt the forum had no need of 2 competing companies producing the same parts.
3rd as stated and as we are finding out, any company with the ability to machine these parts also has a huge work load and commitment already ahead of them. the expense of a vmc, running it, maintenance, etc projects like there usually are done in down or slow time. or just as a simple matter of wanting to help and assist other people with a similar hobby and machine. there are hours spent to draw the parts, run them through the cam program, debug, manufacture jig and fixtures. to make it worth while the machine time is best spent making as many as can fit into the machine and be easily handled. 1-10 kits is a lost of revenue. I am on many forums beyond 3D printing and have seen many many times where someone is going to design, build and offer many upgrades, addons, changes etc that all come to pass with very limited if not zero production. as in the other sellers case, being a prototype shop, or having other commitments once they realize the expenses they all seem to fade off, or many times will sit idle waiting for 20-50 commitments to a kit then make a production run.
Having many times over the past year given this thought, having made 30 kits and taken every expense into consideration, knowing that the entire concept of 3D printers kits seems to be based on get as much as you can for as little as possible the math just wasnt there to offer the kits. knowing the short falls of the melamine parts, that many kits wont ever make it to assembly before an issue crops up. i have tossed this around many times and come here as well as other places to get a feel for how badly an aluminum kit is needed still.
having noticed the newer FT5 will now be supplied with non melamine parts i was thinking the need for the kit is going away even more. yet i still see people are wanting, asking and are waiting.
i am willing to make these parts but do prefer a production run of 20-25 kits per as my jigs are set to run 25 of each part at once. so i am going to poll to see how much interest there is in the kits.
i am offering kits for the following. these parts are all made from 1/4" 6061 are direct bolt on using the hardware
that was supplied with your kit. any exceptions, inclusions, added features as noted on the respective part.
it is made as light as possible, being narrower then the one in the kit, it has an offset on the X limit switch
side to maintain the correct homing location, on the opposing side, another offset was created to allow 2 pockets that will hold snugly 2 of the green connectors supplied in the kit. this allows your hot end, thermistor in one, 2 cooling fans in the other. it makes removing/installing your extruder far easier. the connectors if used with the hot end supplied in the original kits current rating will safely allow the hot end current. to date not one has shown any sign of an issue.
the lower end on the back side has provisions for adding mounting the parts cooling fan duct that is downloadable for printing on Ft5 support page. those holes are threaded and bolts supplied to hold the duct
the top and bottom supports are made so they are a very slight press fit on the lugs to the front and back of the mount. each end of the top and bottom support feature a recess groove. these grooves are locks and guides for the 4 bolts that will assemble the extruder mount. being a slight press fit easily done by hand, adding these grooves ensures the extruder mount remains intact and stationary. even should a bolt get loose, your print wont be effected. the fronts of the top and bottom are drilled and tapped allowing you an easy way to add some mount you may need for leveling the bed, adding a level sensor, as well as a filament guide and cabling support. being there are 4 extra holes drilled threaded it will be far easier for any one to design and add anything they would like later vs having to remove to drill their own.
the pictures will show printed cable holders that were used to support the wiring for the extruder and a built in filament pull guide,
X motor mount is a carbon copy of the melamine part with slight change for assured belt alignment.
Y belt mount, and mount for the extruded cross bar are pretty much carbon copys. the internal non needed areas are machined away to make it lighter, it is 2 pieces per side and will be pressed fit and assembled when shipped.
a 1 piece design will be replacing it
cable chain support has been designed a few ways and based on feedback from the other kits this was the design most wanted. a lighter design was made but it allowed too much induce harmonics and vibration and was ditched
for those wanting the main frame braces. they as well carbon copies of the originals,with exceptions that there are dedicated tops and bottoms. the bolt spacing was moved on the tops to spread them out further to as the originals are too close to the end of the extruded. this carries the support further down the extruded. the bottoms bolt spacing was left stock so no mods had to be done to assembled printers.
i have designed a Z limit switch and flag/adjuster mount that has been ZERO issues as of now they are printed parts but will be offered in aluminum or perhaps a non conductive yet strong composite. aluminum is no issue if care is take during assembly. these switch mount bolt to the bottom of the Y motors. they do require a bolt change. they bolt to the front 3 lower bolts on the same principle as the extruder. given the fact the y motor is adjustable for belt adjustment, the switch mounts are also adjustable with slightly more travel then the Y motors will have. not everyone will use the same exact belt length during assembly. the mount will work whether your Y motor is fully forward or fully back. the trigger/flag/adjuster is an arm that goes under the table. wraps around the linear sleeve bearing and uses its bolts to attach. 1 extra hole is drilled in the bed platform to add support to the back the arm. a 3mm bolt around 25-30mm is used to trip the switch and adjust Z home. an end cap is used on the end of the bolt. a thumbscrew as used on the heat bed is used to ensure the adjustment remains.
once set i have printed well over 50 rolls of filament and never had to touch either z adjustment.
as i have a need to swap out more melamine parts and design them i will offer them. please remember, this is not my job or done as a money making effort. so most of the parts i design for this printer are done as my own needs arise.
shipping makes most sense USPS.
i have not settled on a price as of yet. they will be in line with the other vendor so as to not step on his toes.
ideally it has to be based on whether or not there is enough interest.
if done in batches of 20-30 the costs can remain low.
if there is little interest ill just let this pass by
if there is enough interest i have a few extras from the last run. shipping can begin this week.
currently i am thinking
gantry kit $50
frame brackets kit $50
for those wondering about payments, i will only accept paypal. unless you wish to send a postal
money order. once it clears your parts will ship.
parts color finish
a powder coated pre machined color, leaving machined edges in silver is offered
as is or
powder coated in your choice
you have a choice.
fully powder coated or
pre machined colored with machined edges
i want to state again i am not doing this a money making venture but more as a way to help other fellow