V-Slot aluminum extrusions from OpenBuilds are an open-source, high quality extruded aluminum profile building block that has an extremely smooth linear v groove rail on all 4 sides. It's precise, easy to work with, and allows you unlimited design control through it's modular nature. V-Slot is compatible with readily available, off the shelf, T-Slot components. Building with V-Slot is much like working with lumber. You can cut it with a chop saw and the rest is as simple as turning a screwdriver to make the connections.
All extrusions and accessories are open-source You can be extremely flexible with your designs, allowing for rapid iteration and experimentation Modularity allows mix and matching of parts and the use of standard, off the shelf components The extrusions and accessories provide great strength and precision to your system The extrusions are easy to work with; just cut to the right length and throw it in Your system is easily scalable
Only available in up to 1.5 meter lengths For a system you do not plan to modify or hack, cheaper structural linear guide systems may be available at the sacrifice of hackability and scalability Component cost can add up quickly Limited use to smaller scale FarmBots
Cutting V-slot aluminum extrusions with a hacksaw.
20131013_111810.jpg Filing V-Slot extrusions with a jewelers file.
V-Slot extrusions can be easily cut with a horizontal band saw or a chopsaw with a carbide blade. If these tools are not available to you, you can use a standard hacksaw and get through an extrusion in just a couple minutes. With this method however, your cuts will likely not be perfectly straight which may be problematic if you want to butt your cut-edge up to another extrusion. In any case, it is recommended to take a small file to your cut-end in order to remove any burs and sharp edges.
3D part files for the OpenBuilds extrusions and other components can be downloaded in various formats from our GitHub here. The OpenBuilds website may have more up to date files available.
V-Slot extrusions and accessories are sold by OpenBuilds, a US based supplier and the creator of the system. In Europe the V-Slot can be obtained from makersupplies.dk. The plain aluminum extrusion (20x20mm) goes for $10 per meter and available in up to 1.5 meter lengths. For the flexibility, modularity, strength, precision, and manufacturability you get with this system, it is well worth the price.