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Red Dot Sights (Reflex Sights) on Spotting Scopes

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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 14:15   #51
Vollmeise
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The height of the outer collar is 2.5mm, the inner diameter is 54.2 mm.

Cheers!
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 14:28   #52
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did You think about a turnable mounting plate? Should be easy by printing a collar with a socket at it's side (with just a hole in it) and a 360° turnable plate, locked by a screw.
That's about what I had in mind. I was even thinking of using a standard 1/4" tripod screw for this to make it "even more standard".

Here's a NATO rail I made for mounting on a telephoto lens collar (so that when it's turned up, you can mount a sight):

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On the other hand, I don't like really like the tripod screws since they have so wide slits no screwdriver really fits, and you have to use a coin. If the screw head is recessed, as in the NATO rail, a round coin will not even reach the screw.

My hope is to get the angle right and end up with a fixed part. That will eliminate one possible source of mis-adjustment.

It will be short enough to leave it on at all times (I hope), and I'll only remove the sight itself.

Since my sight needs an extra adapter, NATO-to-11-mm-dovetail, and this adapter has a single screw with a big knob, that will be quick. Good thing I bought the wrong kind of sight ;-)

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The outer collar's height should not exceed too much height, as you need enough space to place your fingers to tighten the threadened cover ring. This ring is tapered, so its not easy to apply much force. I'm thinking about turning a new ring with a more finger friendly shape to tighten it with some more force if necessary.
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The outer collar's height should not exceed too much height, as you need enough space to place your fingers to tighten the threadened cover ring. This ring is tapered, so its not easy to apply much force. I'm thinking about turning a new ring with a more finger friendly shape to tighten it with some more force if necessary.
Agreed, when I was looking at my design, I thought "I probably made the walls too high". Of course, working in plastic (laser-sintered nylon powder), I thought a bit more material wouldn't hurt. Great idea to turn a new ring, I'd imagine it will help a lot to keep alignment intact!

(Do you do the CNC stuff yourself, or do you have it done at a shop? I'd imagine the latter option would be quite expensive. Something like my cheapo plastic version might come at 20 EUR, so it won't cost me an arm and a leg to replace it if I get the angle wrong.)

Tschüs!

Henning
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 15:42   #53
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Moin!

(...) That's about what I had in mind. I was even thinking of using a standard 1/4" tripod screw for this to make it "even more standard".

Here's a NATO rail I made for mounting on a telephoto lens collar (so that when it's turned up, you can mount a sight):

Attachment 650924

(...)
(Do you do the CNC stuff yourself, or do you have it done at a shop? I'd imagine the latter option would be quite expensive. Something like my cheapo plastic version might come at 20 EUR, so it won't cost me an arm and a leg to replace it if I get the angle wrong.)
That really looks great, how sturdy are these nylon printed parts? I got no experience in 3D-printing and it's about time, I guess.

And yes, I do that metal stuff by myself, using my 3-axis CNC mill and a small conventional turning lathe. My workshop still lacks a 3D printer so far.

Tschüssken :-)
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 16:49   #54
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That really looks great, how sturdy are these nylon printed parts? I got no experience in 3D-printing and it's about time, I guess.

And yes, I do that metal stuff by myself, using my 3-axis CNC mill and a small conventional turning lathe. My workshop still lacks a 3D printer so far.
So far, I've not made any parts that would really load up stress on the material.

I've mostly been using 3 mm wall thickness, which felt really strong.

In this picture ...

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... the clamp of the big sight mounting for the Kowa has 3 mm thickness. You can easily bend the ends together without much force, but the material springs back when you release it.

The small white rail (which goes on a hotshoe) experimentally took a 450 g target scope without sagging. That was just for fun, normally it only takes the red dot sight, but I was pleased it held up so well.

Thin stuff like the base ring of the accessory thread sight mounting is a bit more of a concern, thus my attempt to bring some load on higher walls (which get in the way of screwing on the cover ring).

The advantage of 3D printing is that you can do arbitrary shapes, and it's all produced in one go. I'd guess CNC-milling all the slots in the rail would have been quite time-consuming ... the 3D printer just adds stuff whereever it's needed, regardless of complexity.

I don't actually have a 3D printer, but use online services for printing. The black parts in the picture are from shapeways.com, the white rail is from meltwerk.com. Meltwerk often is cheaper, but the prints from Shapeways seem to be a bit more refined. Shapeways also offers printing in other materials, even steel, but that tends to be more expensive.

(I just checked a somewhat slimmer version of the accessory-thread sight adapter, and Shapeways say in steel it's just over 50 EUR.)

The laser-sintered stuff you get from the service providers is pretty homogenous. The exact printing process seems to require a lot more attention if you're using a typical consumer 3D PLA printer, not only because you have to fiddle with the process parameters until it all works, but also because depending on the intended purpose of the part, you'll want to have the layers oriented in a certain way so they bear the load, or can be printed most accurately, etc.

I don't think a consumer 3D printer can beat a personal CNC mill, but I guess it will be a nice addition since it has a quite different set of strengths :-) In fact, I read that some people prefer to buy the CNC mill first, and then use it to build a 3D printer that's way better than what you can buy in the store!

However, I'm sure a CNC mill requires a lot of knowledge about metal working, so I'm not tempted to buy one right away - though looking at your beautiful mounting, I'm almost tempted ;-)

Regards,

Henning
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 19:20   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vollmeise View Post
Here are some more detailed photos of the red-dot sight mounting. All parts were made from a plate of aluminum alloy (AlMg4,5Mn), thickness 10mm. Planned with CAD, machined with a CNC-mill.

The sight itself can be mounted and detached, all I need is a 3mm hex wrench.
Maybe I'll replace the hex socket screws by knobs one day to be more independent in the fields..
Beautiful craftsmanship Vollmeise

I just wondered if the collar was shaped like a retaining spring washer whether it would be possible to clip it into place almost instantly - I'm not sure how practical this would be, or even which material would be most suitable but the thought of a "snap on" sight mount is quite appealing.

This the kind of shape I mean.

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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 22:52   #56
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Hi Torchepot,

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I just wondered if the collar was shaped like a retaining spring washer whether it would be possible to clip it into place almost instantly
With plastics that don't damage the thread, that could work. I guess you'd still have to unscrew the cover ring first, and screw it back on after, but you'd have eliminated the need to remove and replace the eyepiece.

For another variant of the "front tube" adapter, I considered a quick release lever. Now I'm wondering if it would be possible to leave of the cover ring and clamp the adapter in place with the quick release, using the threads and the few millimeters of stationary eyepiece above that.

In both cases, the difficulty probably would be to get repeatable alignment. If you leave the collar on the scope, you don't need to realign it if you re-attach the sight-bearer.

Here's the quick-release version of my "front tube" mounting ... I gave up on this when I realized it only works without the stay-on case, and it takes too long to remove the stay-on case on a regular basis:

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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 09:02   #57
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A snap on mount sounds cool. Maybe the snap on part shouldn‘t be snapped on the scope‘s thread directly, due to some reasons. First, much force would be necessary not to loose it by accident and second: there would be no way to snap it right without further steps of alignment.

How about an additional plastic collar (with some notches for repeatable alignment), being was placed firm and permanent around the eyepiece thread? A snap on red dot mount could be shaped much more sturdy then and no damage of the thread is possible. Placing a V-shaped notch in the inner top circle position can make it self aligning furthermore. That V-notch then has to fit in a roof-top shaped counterpart, placed in the permanently mounted eyepiece collar for self-alignment.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 10:10   #58
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How about an additional plastic collar (with some notches for repeatable alignment), being was placed firm and permanent around the eyepiece thread?
Good idea! :-) Here's a quick sketch (using OpenSCAD):

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The lower ring is screwed on by the cover ring as before. The four posts providet the anchoring points for a quick-release ring. The upper ring has a bigger diameter and only serves to stablize the mounting. Through the holes between the posts, you can screw down the cover ring firmly.

I could also imagine a U-shaped snap on adapter, which each leg snapping on two of the posts. That might eliminate the quick-release without requiring as much bending to open it as with an almost-closed ring.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 10:52   #59
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Placing the base mount by forcing down the threadened eyepiece ring only doesn’t seem to be the best solution, as my experience with the aluminum collar shows. No matter how much you tighten the cover ring (by your finger‘s force), the collar can be turned by accident anyway.

If the base ring was mounted more like your very first sight clamp (with a back screw to close the clamp), one can mount it directly around the accessory thread, without the cover ring. The plastic clamp won‘t damage the thread and should be more save against rotation by accident. The anchoring points are cool for repeatable alignment, I‘d keep that idea.

Last edited by Vollmeise : Friday 12th January 2018 at 13:23.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 11:30   #60
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If the base ring was mounted more like your very first sight clamp (with a back screw to close the clamp), one can mount it directly around the accessory thread, without the cover ring. The plastic clamp won‘t damage the thread and should be more save against turnament by accident. The anchoring points are cool for repeatable alignment, I‘d keep that idea.
Thanks for the tip! I'm not sure it will work as the dimensions are so small, but it's worth a try.

Here's another shot of the snap-on adapter. A bit difficult to make proper tangents in OpenSCAD, at least for me, so it's still a bit rough:

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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 12:22   #61
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To shape the snap on bracket more sturdy, you could place a kind of elastic hinge, like in my draft below. This would lower the risk of material fracture when bending. The thickness of the hinge could be lower than the rest of the collar (unlike my sketch shows).
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 13:28   #62
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To shape the snap on bracket more sturdy, you could place a kind of elastic hinge, like in my draft below. This would lower the risk of material fracture when bending. The thickness of the hinge could be lower than the rest of the collar (unlike my sketch shows).
Excellent sketch. I'm beginning to get some doubts: Tightening the screws will stretch the material and give a realiable mount to the scope. However, it will also move the anchor posts relative to each other.

I'm also thinking that maybe round psots are not optimal. Prism mountings like the NATO rail or the various astro rails have the advantage you can be sure that the two parts align each other parallel to a defined surface, while with a circular post, you only get a single contakt line at a not so clearly defined position.

Something like this perhaps:

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That leads me to the thought that the snap-on bracket needs to be under constant tension when mounted. In my design program, that probably means that I have to make it a bit smaller than geometrically matching. Otherwise, it will probably "rattle" around in the tolerances.

Tschüs!

Henning
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 14:26   #63
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Just a thought - this design looks like it will be specific to the Kowa scope. If the part that is fixed to the scope (semi)permanently was more like Henning's original bracket but was instead strapped around the barrel of the eyepiece (with a snap on connector for the rest of the sight mount) then it could probably be adapted to fit almost any angled scope.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 15:01   #64
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Hi Torchepot,

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Just a thought - this design looks like it will be specific to the Kowa scope. If the part that is fixed to the scope (semi)permanently was more like Henning's original bracket but was instead strapped around the barrel of the eyepiece (with a snap on connector for the rest of the sight mount) then it could probably be adapted to fit almost any angled scope.
With the zoom eyepiece, there are just a few millimeters available that don't turn when you zoom, so I' afraid it's not very practical.

As there seem to be no standard dimensions between different scope types, I'm not very optimistic it will be possible to design a standard mounting.

My original bracket can be customized (before 3D printing) to fit any scope with a cylindrical tube below the pull-out dew cap, but of course it's incompatible with about any stay-on case. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with it. (It might be worth a thought to make the "tower" removable with an astro-style dovetail rail at the base.)

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Henning
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 15:13   #65
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Hi Henning

I'm not too familiar with the Kowa zoom - when you say a few millimetres wouldn't that be enough? If the fixing was a bit like a cable tie it could fit any size diameter eyepiece. A tiny block of plastic with a snap on attachment for the rest of the mount and a reusable cable tie might be a very cheap and simple option.

Cheers

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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 15:44   #66
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Hi Phil,

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I'm not too familiar with the Kowa zoom - when you say a few millimetres wouldn't that be enough?
Maybe for avoiding rotation around the barrel axis, but I fear you'd get elastic deformation leading to elevation misalignment.

The attachment ring version has the advantage of fitting against a surface on the body.

Of course, you could try and combine clamping around the threads and around the eyepiece. However, I'm not sure that would gain much, and you'd lose the option to change the eyepiece with the adapter mounted.

For the Kowa, another possibility would seem to be a mounting running around the scope exactly where the black band of the tripod mount is. This would probably fit into the stay-on case, but most likely prevent rotating the scope around the longitudinal axis.

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Henning
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 15:50   #67
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Had a closer look at the Kowa and the collar for the TSN-PA7 looks ideal

http://www.kowaproducts.com/digiscop...oping_Adapter/

Nice and secure with plenty of room to attach a mount. I don't know if the collar is available separately though?
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 15:59   #68
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Hi Phil,

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Had a closer look at the Kowa and the collar for the TSN-PA7 looks ideal
Good find!

(In fact, Kowa could probably add a little NATO rail to the TSN-PA7 main part, and our problem would be solved :-)

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Henning
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 16:02   #69
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You should suggest it to them (remember to ask for royalties)
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 16:58   #70
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Hi Phil,

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You should suggest it to them (remember to ask for royalties)
I've actually been in contact with Kowa Germany. They said they have seen quite a number of home-built sight mountings, but usually these were based on metal bars mounted between tripod and scope, using extra-long tripod screws, and didn't work so well. They liked my "big clamp" mounting, and even gave me a free stay-on case to cut apart and re-work to fit the mounting.

I haven't done that yet because I keep coming up with new ideas for different mountings. (And because I heard sewing is a difficult skill to learn! ;-)

Here's my favourite from last year ... it would have required a hole in the left-hand side of the rear of the stay-on case:

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It's not finished, so the screw connections etc. are not included. I also planned to reduce the long arm to a very short one with the rail rotated by 90 degrees to mount the sights sideways to save weight and space. However, Vollmeise's accessory mount idea at the moment seems to be more promising!

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Henning
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 17:27   #71
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That's very encouraging that they gave you a case - maybe you could contact them again and see if they'd give you a couple of collars from the TSN-PA7 (one for you and one for Vollmeise )

Between you I'm sure you could make something that they might be interested in producing as an accessory.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 20:45   #72
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To shape the snap on bracket more sturdy, you could place a kind of elastic hinge, like in my draft below. This would lower the risk of material fracture when bending. The thickness of the hinge could be lower than the rest of the collar (unlike my sketch shows).
Looks like a turtle! ;-)

It's good advice, though. On my digiscoping adapters, I really made the parts I intended to bend too stiff so that it's hard to get the phone in and out :-/ Pays off to shape the part to exploit the elastic properties, I was slow to learn that.

Trying to incorporate the "prism mount" idea, I found that the central part actually doesn't need to bend, only the "legs". Here's what it looks like ... note that the flats of the "U" are deliberately wider than those on the ring:

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Does this look workable to you?

Tschüs!

Henning
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 21:46   #73
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I think the last prism mounted version will be much less sturdy regarding rotation than the 4-pin-snap-on version. These kink points of 45° won't deliver much resistance and furthermore just very few force against snapping off by accident.

I'm thinking about quite another version now, kind of a permanent collar with a "hot shoe" mount, like for photographic flash devices. The "Flash" aka red-dot sight (or other accessories) will be inserted from above and held down by a simple self locking latch mechanism.

Last edited by Vollmeise : Friday 12th January 2018 at 22:02.
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Old Friday 12th January 2018, 23:45   #74
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I think the last prism mounted version will be much less sturdy regarding rotation than the 4-pin-snap-on version. These kink points of 45° won't deliver much resistance and furthermore just very few force against snapping off by accident.
Hm, I'm envisioning it as being self-centering against rotation, as rotating it off-centre will lose contact on all flat faces simultaneously. That's just the picture in my head though, maybe round posts are really better.

With "snapping off", do you mean "detaching" or do you mean "breaking off"? I think the "spring" of the printed parts is quite good. This adapter has a very long and thin "tail" which needs to be bent a little to accept the phone, and it's still a bit too stiff for my liking:

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Quote:
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I'm thinking about quite another version now, kind of a permanent collar with a "hot shoe" mount, like for photographic flash devices. The "Flash" aka red-dot sight (or other accessories) will be inserted from above and held down by a simple self locking latch mechanism.
Sounds like that might eliminate the rotation problem entirely.

Are you familiar with the astro rail stuff? Some drawings here (but they seem to come in many varieties):

https://www.highpointscientific.com/...lescopes-r50st

Tschüs!

Henning
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Old Saturday 13th January 2018, 09:39   #75
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Hm, I'm envisioning it as being self-centering against rotation, as rotating it off-centre will lose contact on all flat faces simultaneously.(...)
This is true, as long as there are just weakly acting forces. The contact is a frictional connection only, with a very low coefficient (plastic surfaces) in addition.
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With "snapping off", do you mean "detaching" or do you mean "breaking off"? I think the "spring" of the printed parts is quite good.
I meant detaching. The round openings all of our various designs enclose the cylindrical pins in a way which enables a positive connection. Positive connections are to prefer relating to sturdyness (In German: vgl. Kraftschluss / Formschluss).

Relating to your very last design posted (post 72): if I try to pull the yellow clamp to the left (to detach), the 45° angle of the four prism surfaces will lead more than 70% of the force (sin45° x F x frictional coefficient) sidewards causing the yellow clamp's shanks to open. The opening of the shanks depends on the material's elastic modulus (E-Modul) and shape then.

Using positive connections and no details leading forces in unwanted directions will provide less surprise, I guess :-)

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Are you familiar with the astro rail stuff? Some drawings here (but they seem to come in many varieties):

https://www.highpointscientific.com/...lescopes-r50st
I'm not familiar with that, they look interresting! And by the way: did I thank You for the two links to meltwerk and shapeways? They gave me great inspirations too, thanks for that!

Tschüss!

Last edited by Vollmeise : Saturday 13th January 2018 at 10:57.
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