THK's newest actuator has 200 percent higher load capacity than the original Type GL, using two caged ball type LM guides (Type SSR and Type SHS), and four raceways, instead of the standard two. It goes up to twice as fast as conventional types (at 5m/sec, and accelerations over 5Gs), due to the lack of metal-to-metal contact, plus tests show noise levels up to 15 dBA lower. It lubricates itself with gaps between rolling elements that retain grease. An aluminum extrusion base makes for a lightweight, strong construction. It comes with metric mounting holes, but inch mounting holes are available for the same price. Ball screw and belt-driven versions are available, the former with a QZ lubricator. They come in standard lengths of up to 3m, with custom lengths available. Accessories include bellows covers and a LaCS Scraper.
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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