Mechanical Parts

Where to get motors, gears, axels, screws, pulleys etc, and how to use them. E.g. what are axel collars used for?

I am not aiming to give an exhaustive guide here. This is mainly to get you started. I will link to more in depth articles. The problem I am trying to address here is that when you start out you end up on a wild goose chase with google to find out stuff. I will focus on mentioning mistakes I’ve made which might aid in getting the right parts or using them correctly.

Norwegian-English Glossary

When looking for parts a problem for any Norwegian Maker is that you may have learned the terminology in english first, given the dominance of guides, books, videos and other material produced for english speakers in the maker world. So here are names on mechanical parts which may be difficult to determine from a regular online Norwegian-English dictionary.

  • Pulley - Reimhjul
  • Beam - Profil. So a aluminium T-slot beam, would in Norwegian be called “Aluminiums profil.” Notice that the T-slot word often is missing. In Norwegian “profil” means almost any kind of extruded beam, not just T-slot.
  • Lead screw - Trapesgjenget stang. Keep in mind when searching that a lot of the Chinese stores will have Norwegian fronts where the Google translate has been used. In those cases they will call it “ledeskrue”. This is a special kind of screw often used in 3D printers to move the XY arms of the printer accurately.
  • Bracket - Monteringsplate. A sort of plate with holes for attaching things. May have names depending on shape such as L-bracket or T-bracket. Use for attaching stepper motor, switches, circuit boards etc.
  • Axel collar - Aksel krage. These are parts attached to a rod or axel. They are made to be tightened with a set screw, so the attach to the rod without sliding sidways. You typically want something like this to prevent your axels from sliding out, and become detached.

Where to buy mechanical parts

A problem when buying mechanical parts is that the stores are usually made for professionals so it can be difficult to determine the right thing to get.

RS

rs has one of the largest selections of products. That is both a benefit and a problem. You can get electric motors, wires, screws etc lots of places. But if you want to get hold of things such as:

  • Pulleys
  • Actuators
  • Gears
  • Axel collars

And a whole host of other things then rs is the best choice.

Kjell & Company

kjell is a great choice in Norway because not only can you order online but they have quite a lot of stores you can walk into in city centers. If you just happen by chance to walk into one, it was probably not apparent to you that this is a store that caters to Makers. The reason is that most Maker related products are behind the counter.

kjell has all sorts of electronics (Arduino), soldering irons in addition to mechanical parts. Their mechanical parts are primarily from RatRig which sells components for people making 3D printers and CNC machines. The means sliders, T-slots and something they call V-slots which is really just a T-slot which is easy to roll a wheel along.

n00b

n00b is based in Norway which makes it practical to buy from them. They don’t have a lot of mechanical parts. They are more geared towards electronics and computer stuff. They are focused on providing stuff for educaton. However they do have a number of MakeBlock kits.