Extending belt length

So there were many discussions on how can we extend the length of the belts we use.
The spool size limits us to about 13? ft, and if you want to add a piece of wire/rope/etc. between the belt ends and the anchors, it is possible, however, you will need to be very precise to get good accuracy.

Another idea I had in mind, since I have retracted and extended the belts literally hundreds of times, is to make it so that you don’t have to take the machine off the frame to zero the belts. One of the ways I thought about was to have these little “stops”, that would snap onto the belt at some distance from the end. This way, at startup the machine could retract belts up to those “stops” one by one, without needing to retract them fully, off the frame.
I’ve even designed these little stops, but never had a chance to test the whole thing:

Partly because this adds a whole other procedure for setting it up.

So today I think I had an even better idea:
Why don’t we just extend the belt end with a printed “extender” of a pre-defined length?
This way we can add a bit to the frame dimensions, and utilize the belt fully. Also, if this proves to work, we could think about switching to homing the belts one by one (while complying other belts), and with this extend part present, we won’t need to take the machine off the frame.
Belt_clip.stl (471.6 KB)
extender.stl (394.7 KB)

So I’ve put together a quick design for what this extender could be:

I think these are even stackable?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

If anyone want’s to experiment with the concept, I’m including the files for the 3d parts, as well as a custom-built firmware, where the belt end length is set to 330mm (belt end + the length of the extender part).
Belt_clip.stl (471.6 KB)
extender.stl (394.7 KB)
EXPERIMENTAL_330mm_beltend_firmware.bin (1.6 MB)


rather than doing rigid arms, I would do belt brackets that could be adjusted (and you can count teeth)

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