Paying It Forward | Hackaday

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It’s all those little things. A month ago, I was working on the axes for a foam-cutting machine. (Project stalled, will pick back up soon!) A week ago, somewhere else on the Internet, people were working on sliders that would ride directly on aluminum rails, a problem I was personally experiencing, and recommended using drawer-glide tape — a strip of PTFE or UHMW PE with adhesive backing on one side. Slippery plastic tape solves the metal-on-metal problem. It’s brilliant, it’s cheap, and it’s just a quick trip to the hardware store.

Just a few days ago, we covered another awesome linear-motion mechanical build in the form of a DIY camera rig that uses a very similar linear motion system to the one I had built as well: a printed trolley that slides on skate bearings over two rails of square-profile extruded aluminum. He had a very nice system of anchoring the spacers that hold the two rails apart, one of the sticking points in my build. I thought I’d glue things together, but his internal triangle nut holders are a much better solution because epoxy doesn’t like to stick to anodized aluminum. (And Alexandre, if you’re reading, that UHMW PE tape is just what you need to prevent bearing wear on your aluminum axes.)

Between these events, I got a message thanking me for an article that I wrote four years ago on debugging SPI busses. Apparently, it helped a small company to debug a problem and get their product out the door. Hooray!

So in one week, I got help from two different random strangers on a project that neither of them knew I was working on, and I somehow saved a startup. What kind of crazy marvelous world is this? It’s become so normal to share our ideas and experience, at least in our little corner of the Internet, that I sometimes fail to be amazed. But it’s entirely amazing. I know we’ve said it before, but we are living in the golden era of sharing ideas.

Thanks to all of you out there, and Read More Hackaday!

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