Special profile slots have been designed into aluminum
extrusions to provide a fastenerless approach to installing Bishop-Wisecarver
Tracks, which are used in linear guide systems. The slots feature multiple
angled fingers, which deflect to accommodate the track as it is forced into the
slot. This method of assembly results in
tight coherent fits between the tracks and extrusion slots. When two opposing tracks
are installed using this approach, track parallelism is guaranteed. This parallelism is necessary for the
subsequent installation of a wheel plate, which rides on the tracks. The skillful work to fabricate and setup
parallel track surfaces has been eliminated.
Extrusions can be tailored to accommodate any of the four standard sizes
of Bishop-Wisecarver track to meet the customer's load and size requirements.
Since the slot's fingers deflect during track insertion, variations in the
extrusion slot width, or track thickness, can be readily accommodated. This results in consistent interference fits
of the tracks within the extrusion's slots. Bishop-Wisecarver Track
is traditionally mounted to substrates using fasteners. This requires the track to be pre-drilled, or
drilled and threaded, dependent on the customer's mounting preference. Multiple fasteners are required and the setup
to achieve track parallelism requires skilled adjustment. The integrated QuickTrak system eliminates
the use of fasteners and drilled holes in track with associated cost
savings. Furthermore, the parallelism
between opposing tracks is guaranteed by virtue of the track's reference
shoulder, which is positioned against the top edge of the extrusion's slot. Variations in product dimensions can be
accommodated without affecting the interference fit and track retention
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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