Looking for people outside the US to source top pantograph kits

shipping these kits from the US costs as much as the kit, and even with ‘6 day international priority mail’, I’ve had kits take over a month to get to their destination (and in one case, be missing all the small pieces)

So I am looking for people outside the US who are willing to get the arms cut (laser or waterjet) by someone local to them, order the small parts, and then sell the people ‘near’ them (i.e. someone in Australia to sell to the others there)

These arms work very well with the larger routers that seem to be the standard outside the US.

I do not want to collect any money or payment for this, I’ll help you by providing the files, walking you through things, etc. You find the place to cut the arms, you order the parts, you decide on your price, and you keep whatever profit there is

metric top pantograph.dxf (876.8 KB)
here is a dxf of the arms, modified to have a 6mm hole instead of a 1/4"
(6.35mm) hole

you need
1 center bar (part 1)
4 horizontal arms (part 2)
2 vertical arms (part 3, the j shaped arms)

add to this

6x bolts (6mm)

6x nylock nuts (6m)

8x nylon washers

12x metal washers

(get washers with holes that are snug, not loose to the bolts)

2x master links for #25 roller chain (similar to https://www.ebay.com/itm/25-Connecting-Link-QTY-10-for-25-roller-chain-1-4-Pitch-Master-Link/321580064636 )

2x half links for #25 roller chain (similar to https://www.ebay.com/itm/Qty10-25-Offset-LINKS-FOR-25-ROLLER-CHAIN-25-ROLLER-CHAIN-Cheater-LINKS/371835414982 )

2x hairpin cotter pins (3/32" 0.90mm diameter similar to https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cotter-Pin-Hairpin-3-32-Dx2-1-2-L-PK25-2UJN5/132311526453 )

when you get the half-links, you will need to run a drill through them to make
the cotter pin fit through (the bars with the half link have one end smaller
than the other), put the tiny bit in a drill press and hold the link in pliers
and move the link over the bit, otherwise you will break a lot of bits. you want
to wiggle it a bit or get a slightly larger bit to make the fit a bit on the
loose side so it’s easy to put the pin through the link

you will have to run a drill or reamer through all the 6mm holes, you want them
to be a snug fit to the bolts.

you want the bolts to have a shoulder on them instead of thread all the way to
the head, this is so that the moving parts are not rubbing against the thread
(everything is hard enough that it should take years to wear, but not having it
threaded should make it last almost forever)

P.S. if anyone in the US wants to start doing this, I’ll be happy to sell off my remaining kits and let you take over shipping them. I’m doing this to help people improve their machines, not to make money off of it.



What material and what thickness do you recommend the arms to be made from?

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Welcome to our group. I’lll let @dlang give you more specifics but I think i’s 1/2 stainless steel.

Thank you

*3/16" (~5mm) stainless, mill finish.

1/2" would give us the ability to heft some pretty heavy spindles! :smiley:

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Thickness is what #25 roller chain will clip to, 3/16" (just a hair over 4.5mm,
so 4.5mm would work very well)

I’ve been getting them cut from stainless so that there’s no need to paint them
to prevent rust/corrosion that would cause them to not move smoothly. Another
option would be anodized aluminum (my supplier told me cutting them from
aluminum would save $2-4 per set, but the minimum cost of annodizing is $95. I’m
not ordering them in large enough quantities for this to be break-even)

any other suggestions are welcome.


Maybe a bazar like precious plastic has would be helping - they share their machine details so people can produce them locally and sell them for little more than production costs.

Edit: I happen to work next to a Laser cutting company, I can get a quote there. Could cover Leipzig/Berlin and germany.
But I still suggest a plattform (or join forces with PP mentioned above].


I’m happy to have anyone use the plans (or adapt them). I’m not familiar with
precious plastic.

there are minimum costs (so getting 1 set made costs almost exactly the same as
getting 5 made)

and the costs drop quickly as you go to larger volumes, getting 20 made only
costs about twice as much as getting 5 made (and larger volumes get even

This is espcially the case when looking at the small parts. you can pay $4 each
for half links, or you can get them for about $0.50 each in quantity (on a slow
boat from china). If you go into your local hardware store and buy a washer,
you’ll spend $0.07 per washer, or get 500 for $3 online (or even 100 for $4 from
your local hardware store)

So I expect that someone would probably invest a few hundred dollars/euro to get
a bunch of kits made and then ship them out as people order them rather than
people making them one at a time.


I opened a new topic in the random section if you want to check out precious plastic (or click here)

Thank you for your insanely valuable work so far!
I worked in a cnc company, so I am familiar with production costs and all the buzz around it :slight_smile:

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Cool, I can get prices for water jet and laser cut from local companies on the uk


I’ve sent the file to my waterjet guy today and will come back with an idea of cost of having the parts cut today, will have to look in to the cost of all the other little bits.

Just to add I did a similar thing in the UK for OX CNC machine plates.


No other Maslow in the Middle East. The idea is challenging. Tax free agreement shipping to the US :slight_smile:
Can you guys forgive me for throwing in 2 “off-topic” questions?

  • is the shear force divided between the 6 joints?
  • how thin could a steel rod be to fit a bearing? (After a research this clears if there is there is a reasonable joint diameter).
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@plexer, did you get any reply?

@jeecee Hi, not yet no I’ve just chased him today as I may have used an old email address, I’ll follow it up with a phone call next week.



I will have the quote on monday, my contact no longer works at the place and someone new had taken over that’s why my email didn’t get replied to


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ping, any progress on finding someone to cut them?

@dlang hi unfortunately my waterjet guy had an issue opening the DXF file in his software which is pretty old apparently, what format dxf was it saved as and any chance you could save it as an older version?


I exported it from onshape, I’ll take a look at it tonight.

David Lang

@dlang thanks

I could have them made here in Norway, plenty of lasers and waterjets here, and I have regular contact with them already (day job) :slight_smile: Packing and shipping is easy, as we have our own postal department here at work :stuck_out_tongue:


sorry for dropping the ball on this

you should be able to go to https://cad.onshape.com/documents/e635c24e358635f51da4b399/w/1a5fbe4cd80729d361057eaf/e/3caa1ab84e40a3b1c2bd5311 right-click on sketch1 (left side) and export to dxf and try different versions

Here is a version set to version 2000 instead of 2013
metric top pantograph - Sketch 1.dxf (959.1 KB)