Some SUPER impractical solutions to chain sag

For the record I don’t see this as a very viable idea but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s sort of fun to think about. And I’ve seen a lot of really good ideas evolve from some pretty bad ones, so who knows.

What if the chains were replaced with something rigid? Imagine a super long rack and pinion. The pinion would be driven by the motors and the 10 foot long rack would connect to the sled…

Of course you’d need a huge space for something like that with these giant “whiskers” whipping around.

Along similarly unrealistic lines I also was daydreaming about a complicated chain that had internal locking mechanisms in each link. As a link passes the sprocket the last tooth trips a little “lock” in the link that locks it with the link down the line. It would have to be a lock and unlock system (i.e. winding chain clockwise unlocks each link while winding chain counterclockwise locks each link.)
The locking chain idea could even be designed so that the chain is always stiff (locked) and is only flexible (unlocked) while a sprocket tooth is in it. This way you’d have stiff chain on both sides of the sprocket but it would flex over the sprocket.

Good inventions don’t come about without a little day dreaming…right?

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I had already considered this more as a test to rule the chain sag in or out by using lead screws instead of the chain, you could either have the thread on the sled with the motors on the corners of the frame which would require a large area under the work area if still used in the landscape format. or if you put the motors on the sled and the threads on the frame it would require a large area above and beside it.
finding lead screws long enough with no flex might be another… chalange… but in the spirit of this thread… easy right

having a chain that only bends in one direction is very possible (see
for example

it would eliminate chain sag.

But it would be expensive

Just pull some hydraulics of an excavator :star_struck:

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you could hinge the racks and ride the pionions from the sled

then you could have a square work area of about a square meter

here’s a mondriaan to get an idea of the madness
rack pinion

Maslow ‘Mondriaan’
Thisone makes it into MoMa for sure