Sunday, June 26, 2011

Flex cable carrier

I've never been happy with the way that Rapman handles axis and extruder cabling, so I decided to print my own flex cable carrier system.  I saw several possibilities in Thingiverse.  Most of them were knockoffs of existing injection molded parts, however, and printed very poorly.

A few looked as if they were designed specifically for a 3D printer like this one...

I didn't much like this one largely because of the large turning radius for the flex.  I wanted something more like this...

Since my wiring was considerably more modest, however, I wanted something with a bit sharper turning radius still.  After several hours of trying out alternatives in Art of Illusion, I came up with this as a first try.

It is shown here with #4 bolts 1.5 inches long.  It can work interchangeably with #4 UTS/SAE - 3/4 inch or M3 - 20 mm bolts.  With fasteners it costs about $1.50/ft.  Commercially available alternatives average about $12.50/ft.

The system can make a 180 degree flex within 50 mm.  The next move is to get a couple of packets of #4 bolts and nuts and print a few feet of this to try with the x-axis cabling.


dexhand said...

your design is good mr.forrest, Large flex degree and small enough. What is the purpose of the bolts?

The Editor said...

Looks very cool.
I'm currently upgrading my RepMan anyway. This looks like something I meight do too.
You are right that the existing ones often print poorly.

ParaScubaSailor said...

Good design! If I may ask, why did you not replace the fasteners with a clip system?