Smooth rods

Smooth rods DEFAULT

Smooth Rods

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Product Description

  • Designed for fencing, supports, railing, sign posts, frame work and other industrial applications
  • Excellent forming and welding characteristics
  • Cold rolled products have a higher yield strength, hardness and tighter specification than hot rolled steel
  • Meets ASTM A510


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Smooth Rods

Smoothing Rods

Buschman smooth metering rods are precision-manufactured to deliver consistent coating coverage, dependable performance, and long life that reduces costs and optimizes efficiency in your day-to-day operations. Whatever your application, Buschman can provide a smoothing rod tailored to your needs.

Smoothing rods are primarily used to apply clay coatings to paperboard and to distribute higher viscosity coatings evenly and smoothly. Many Buschman customers use a smoothing rod as a follow-up process to a metering rod or other coating method to create a smoother coating result, especially when using high viscosity coatings.

Buschman is the only smoothing rod manufacturer that manufactures everything in-house. Our quality standards are second to none, resulting in rods that ensure precision, consistency, and stability.

Buschman smoothing rods come in three standard varieties:

  • Plain stainless steel;
  • Chrome plated;
  • Ceramic coated.
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Smooth rod

Smooth rod


Smooth metal rod, used as axis.
Wikipedia none

A smooth rod is a metal rod usually used on the axis for components such as the X-carriage or print bed of a RepRap to slide on. The most commonly used diameter is 8 mm, but 10 mm and 12 mm are seen in more rigid designs as well. Stainless steel is a pretty hard steel, and doesn't rust, making them ideal to slide bushings on. (A smooth rod can be seen as a kind of cut-to-length construction material).

Minimum material requirements

Bearings/bushings have minimum requirements on rod surfaces to avoid exorbitant wear. For example, using a ball bearing on an aluminium rod wouldn't last more than a few hours.

Slider type Rod material
Ball Bearing Hardened steel, ideally > 60 HRC
Brass bushing Steel, stainless steel or hardened steel
Plastics bushing Anodized aluminium or one of the above

Not all rods are created equal, and lower quality rods might be too small or too big by a fraction of a millimeter, which will cause problems with the bearings. Unless you have adjustable bushings, ensure that your rods have precisely the correct diameter, or when buying, ensure that they are 8h6 (0.009mm) tolerance. Any bend in the rods will cause issues, so it may be useful to sight down the length of each rod to ensure it is straight.

Smoothing the smooth rod

This isn't required for rods which are made for bearings and bushings. Sometime you want to go with even cheaper rods, though, where this can reduce wear.

If the finish of your smooth rods is too rough, you can smooth it up by carefully sanding the surface with an 800 grit wet & dry abrasive paper, then a 1200 grit paper. Then put the final polish on the rod using metal polishing paste (the same stuff as what people use to polish their car wheels). In about two hours you'll have all your rods polished.

Testing wether a rod is straight

A simple procedure for checking straightness is to roll a rod over a flat surface, like a smooth table or a piece of window glass. Straight rods will roll evenly, curved ones not so.

Deburring smooth rods for 3D printers

Where to buy smooth rods and bearings  

RE: Where to buy smooth rods and bearings

Two or more years ago Tom Sanlanderer tested his Prusa rods on camera and discovered that they hadn't been hardened.  I think maybe it was his live build of the I3 MK3?  Prusa was watching the broadcast and said he would send Tom new ones, that a few unhardened ones had somehow slipped through.  Presumably, by now, this has been sorted.  So, just saying, given the difference in price, maybe you'll want to try Prusa again.

Anyhow, unless I'm mistaken, Thomson Industries is another common "go to" place for high quality rails and bearings.  I can't say for sure how they compare to Misumi, but I'm guessing about the same(?) since both have datasheets and specs.  Both have a series of youtube videos explaining their wares.

Of course, you could also try aliexpress roulette.  I got chromed hardened steel rods from there for my chinese CNC, and they have worked out much better than the originals. 

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Posted : 05/12/2020 4:00 am

Rods smooth

Misumi PSFJ8 8mm Smooth Rods for Prusa MK3/S MK2/S

High quality smooth rods from Misumi..

This is the ideal replacement for the original rods. The lower tolerance of these rods results in a better print quality and a quiter running of your printer.

Due to the hard chromed surface (58HRC), this rods are much more resistant to wear than the original ones.

Suitable for Original Prusa MK3/S, MK2/S.

Technical specifications:

  • Typ: PSFJ8

  • Diameter: 8mm

  • Diameter Tolerance: g6 (-0,005 /-0,014mm)

  • Material: [Iron] EN 1.3505 Equiv..

  • Surface Treatment: Hard Chrome Plating

  • Heat Treatment; Induction Hardened

  • Hardness: 58HRC

  • Package contains 2 rods

Product weight:0,29Kg
Kossel Delta Printer with smooth rods - dry run 2


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