C-Channel vs. V-Slot

I’m trying to find a cheap way to build a Farmbot without sacrificing quality, and I have some questions related to this post: Why use expensive T-slot extrusion?

To summarize it, the original poster says that C-Channels can be used as a cheaper alternative to the V-Slot Extrusions recommended in the BoM, and doing that would also allow a builder to use a cheaper alternative to V-Wheels, and a cheaper alternative to the belts.

My problem is that Farmbot is the first project like this I have ever done, and I’m struggling under the weight of my current mechanical ignorance. I have no idea whether he is correct or not.


  1. Can aluminum C-Channels be used instead of V-Slots with the current(v1.2) design?
  2. Is there a certain type of C-Channel I should look for?
  3. If they can be substituted, then what type of wheels should I be looking for to replace the V-Wheels? What kind of belts would you recommend

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

As far as I know, nobody has actually constructed a FarmBot using C-Channel and another wheel system. If you feel mechanically ignorant and are trying to save money then I wouldn’t suggest going down this route because oftentimes the prototyping process of figuring out a new way to do things results in wasted time and materials when things don’t work as you hoped they would right away. Plus, in my opinion the savings from using C-Channel would be negligible. The total cost of the aluminum extrusions used in FarmBot is only $140 (https://genesis.farmbot.io/docs/extrusions). You’re much better off saving cost by 3D printing your own parts and manufacturing your own plates which can save you upwards of $700, rather than trying to redesign FarmBot to save $50.