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Extrusion is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile. A material is pushed or drawn through a die of the desired cross-section. The two main advantages of this process over other manufacturing processes are its ability to create very complex cross-sections and work materials that are brittle, because the material only encounters compressive and shear stresses. It also forms finished parts with an excellent surface finish. Extrusion may be continuous (theoretically producing indefinitely long material) or semi-continuous (producing many pieces). The extrusion process can be done with the material hot or cold. Commonly extruded materials include metals, polymers, ceramics, concrete and foodstuffs.

Hollow cavities within extruded material cannot be produced using a simple flat extrusion die, because there would be no way to support the center barrier of the die. Instead, the die assumes the shape of a block with depth, beginning first with a shape profile that supports the center section. The die shape then internally changes along its length into the final shape, with the suspended center pieces supported from the back of the die.
--By courtesy of Wikipedia.


main article: Extruded Aluminum

Currently (In alphabetical order) the Cartesio, FoldaRap, MendelMax and Prism are using aluminium extrusions as framework.


Company Loc. Sells to company/private Material(s) Slot sizes (mm) Cut to length (mm) Minimum order Additional notes
80/20 Inc US, Worldwide ??? Aluminium 5.26 ??????
Alufab US ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Automation4Less US ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Bosch Rexroth US, Worldwide ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Easy Systems NL, FR ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
KJN - Aluminium Profile UK, Worldwide Yes/Yes Aluminium 6/8/10 Yes No
Maytec US, DE, Worldwide ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
MiniTec FR, UK, DE, ES  ??? Aluminium  ???  ???  ??? non-standard dimension
Misumi Europe Worldwide Yes/No (need VAT number) although some people were able to place an order after contact Aluminium 6/8/10 Yes No
Motedis AT, DE, ES, GB, GR, IT, PL, SE Yes/Yes Aluminium 6/8/10 Yes No
OpenBeam from US Yes/Yes Aluminium  ? No No like makerbeam but in 15x15mm
MakerBeam.de DE Yes/Yes Aluminium 3 various available No 10mm x 10mm MakerBeam profiles
OpenBeam.de DE Yes/Yes Aluminium 3 various available No 15mm x 15mm OpenBeam profiles
TriDPrinting.com US Yes/Yes Aluminium 3.5 mm Set Lengths No a 15x15mm captured nut
Valuframe UK  ? Aluminium 5/6/8  ?  ?

To be added:

Item24 Can be useful if you want to calculate the mechanical resistance of a 20x20 extrusion

See also