Friday, November 20, 2009

MicroRax Construction Kits

For anyone interested in incorporating dreams and ideas to reality, consider this recently released construction set called MicroRax. MicroRAX is a set of parts that can easily be used to assemble your latest project. It reminds me of the erector sets I used to play with as a child but much more. I wish I had had something as cool as this when I was younger.

The foundation of the kits consists of 6063-T6 aluminum t-slot profiles and nut plates that slide within the slot so that the various joints can be used to connect another profile. Connecting one of joints to the nut plate is done by using the 18-8 stainless steel, M3 x 5mm screws. There are "L" style joints, corner style joints, truss style joints and a 90 degree joining bracket. Getting started is fast and easy. After cutting your profiles to whatever various sizes you might want, the only tool you'll need is the included hex key to tighten down the screws.

I wasn't playing with my free samples very long before ordering the "Pro" kit, which includes 7 90cm profiles and enough of the joints and screws to turn several ideas into reality. A hex key and vinyl caps are also included. I've been working with my kit for almost a week now, trying out the various joints, making boxes, frames and containers. When I'm all done with an idea, I can disassemble it down to the pieces and start over. MicroRax makes it simple to go from idea to project to an actual device quickly and easily. STL files are available at Thingiverse for the profiles to include in CAD programs.

I looked through several of the blog posts at MAKE Magazine some of the other maker type sites and see where building my own enclosure for many of the kits available would not only be less expensive but by using frames and enclosures built using MicroRax., when the project has outlasted its usefulness and is sitting in a box in a corner with various electronic parts already removed for newer projects, the mechanical parts can now be disassembled and recycled for my latest idea also.

In the coming weeks, I will be posting some of my assemblies, frames and containers as examples of what the kits can do. The Starter kit runs $89.00 and the Pro kit is $192.00. I am more than happy with the variety and number of parts in the Pro kit and look forward to exploring the possibilities. Stay tuned.

I was not paid or compensated by MicroRAX for this review. While I did receive a free sample, this was not special treatment, as anyone can request the sample.

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