Here is a view of the ABS carrier link where you can see the male and female elements of the link that allow the links to be snapped together to make the length needed. Each link is the same so there is only 'one' piece to the link and no other parts to be made to complete the assembly. I machined them from the full 10' length on my small SX3 CNC mill with 2D toolpaths, but this design could probably be cut with a band-saw and the milling done in a manual mill.
I ended up doing the inside relief for the female side of the links on my Gingery horizontal mill as the vertical milling toolpaths I started with were cutting too deep and breaking the tabs. I am sure with some alterations I could get these female relief toolpaths to a workable state but at the time I was more intent on getting a working prototype so utilizing the manual mill was just a quick option for me.
These are some awesome links! Could you provide us with the 2D toolpaths? Great work!
I second that! Would love to see these files. Thanks for sharing. This is a cool site, btw… I hope we get some momentum going on sharing in this community. Cool stuff.
Woot! Me too. Would love to see the CAD files. Maybe you could upload them to the CAD Files section.
BTW, I saw a similar DIY invention here http://www.8020cnc.com/cable%20carrier
Thanks for all the kind remarks!
Yes, I have seen the other cable carriers and for the most part the majority of them are simply copies of the carriers that are manufactured. Nothing wrong with that, except most are made of flat material and need to be assembled from about 4 parts. Flat material is easy to work with, but my design is a one piece link and every link is the same. No fumbling around and gluing the parts together and I believe in some ways this one piece link may be a stronger. I know I am biased due to this being my design idea, but the cost of the material and the simplicity of the design and how the links snap together are also a plus from my point of view. The other thing is if one wanted a smaller sized chain the CAD can easily be sized to fit other available plastic tube, and I have both 3” and 2” links already made with good results.