What size of aluminum plate for all parts?

What size of plate do I need to cut out all aluminum parts?

Also, does anyone know of a cheap place to buy online in the US?

Also, do you think a lower grade of aluminum would be good enough? 5052 is cheaper and seems to me like it would be strong enough for the job.

Sorry I cant answer most of this but as far as cheaper aluminum, as far as I can see you would be causing future issues if you went with a even slightly weaker aluminum. For the talks about a next generation there have been mentions of going even stronger so that it reduces wobble and adds flexibility for greater distance and versatility.

We’re using ~5mm thick 6061 aluminum plates. We have them waterjet cut from Big Blue Saw (based in the US).

While you could get away with using a lower grade aluminum, it will introduce more wobble/flex into the system, which we don’t think is worth the cost savings. We actually used to use 3mm thick plates, but upgraded to 5mm thick because we weren’t happy with the amount of flex/wobble at 3mm.

@roryaronson I appreciate your reply, and I’ll stick with the 5mm 6061 aluminum.
But I am interested in cutting the parts myself, so how big of a sheet will I need for everything? Also, is there a schematic I can download for these parts? I’ll most likely be using a jigsaw and drill press, but I can’t find any drawings to go by to get the measurements right.

You’ll want to print out this .DXF drawing at full-scale and then use it as a template: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-wExYzQcnp3N0gtdVRWaVA5UkE/view?usp=sharing

Whenever I open the .DXF file it is sized very small (about half the size of a sheet of paper), so do you know what it needs to be scaled to for an accurate template?

Because the .DXF standard is unitless, you need to know that the parts are in mm. I think that translates to a sheet size in the range of 500x500mm, approximately.

That gets me really close to the right size, considering I measure the screw holes at 5.35mm when I scale the drawing to 500x500mm.

Can someone tell me the exact diameter that the holes should be? I’m sure I am close enough, but I appreciate accuracy.

Most screw holes should be 5.5mm in diameter

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I think I know the answer to this question, but is 3/16" (4.7625mm) 6061 aluminum plate an acceptable substitute?

Thanks for reading.


That is what I bought for this. I haven’t built mine yet, but I figured it is close enough to not make a noticeable difference.

Sorry for the late response, but yes 3/16" plate works just fine (most of our prototypes are built with 3/16" actually!

I believe the answer you were looking for was 2020 inches, or get a 2ft2ft to give yourself some wiggle room.

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Finally an answer, thanks lol. I ended up figuring it out and bought a 12"x48" sheet that I was able to get cheap :thumbsup:

I didn’t check the dates, yeah that took a while :-/. For future reference you can take any dxf file and upload it to big blue saw and if you get a quote they will tell you the size of the sheet they are using so that is a quick way to estimate, and easier than any other way I know of. It’s even shorter than booting AutoCAD and I already have it installed.

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