This iteration was mainly about trying to reduce the time needed to postprocess the link elements after each print. Ideally being able to print chain segments instead of individual links. The current click-snap system was overly complicated, so it was replaced with a simpler one.
After playing with tolerances I found a sweet spot for my Prusa i3, where a printed chain segment can easily be broken into it's constituent links, but the joints still are solid enough to create a support structure when interlocked.
Being able to print segments is definitively and improvement, but printing complete chains will be even sweeter. So I was thrilled when Printrbot announced their new product, the Printrbelt, an "infinity Z" FDM printer.
Hopefully we are slowly but surely getting closer to the regolith munching machine I fantasise about.
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