This platform runs on a rolling ring drive and reciprocates automatically without motor reversal. Linear speed can be adjusted on the fly with a control knob on the assembly, without changing speed or reducing gears. No electronics or programming is needed - speed and travel direction are controlled mechanically. The platform is low maintenance, with no hydraulics or pneumatics, and only a light shaft lubrication once every three months in the linear drive. Adjustable end stops can increase or decrease length of travel. Precision-machined components limit vertical and horizontal platform movement to within ± 0.001 inches, and rolling ring bearings compressed against the shaft inside the drive make for zero play and backlash-free motion. A modified reversal mechanism makes for smooth, jarring and jerking-free reversal.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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