design for sliding door track roller - R&D modeling needed

Discussion in '3D Design Requests' started by redslider, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. redslider
    redslider New Member
    The General Idea:

    I have an idea for a type of track-roller system for sliding doors that does not seem to be available anywhere..Present systems mainly use overhead tracking (hanging doors) which are klutzy, subject to failure and often need to be hidden with valences and other devices. You've seen their wheels and kits at Home Depot and such. 'Barn door' sliding systems are even more unsightly (despite mfgs. hype about how "artful" they are.). Bottom sliding systems require attaching wheels & hardware to the bottom edge and/or side of the door itself. Also klutzy. In many situations, these solutions can be nearly impossible to install. My idea returns to a simple but effective method of making sliding doors slide easily and quietly.

    Imagine a familiar item - the kind of common roller tracks that are often used to slide packages from a warehouse dock onto a waiting truck, or carry items along an assembly line. Two rails joined by a series of cylindrical ball bearing rollers. The rollers can range from, say, 1.5" to 3" in diameter, and the supporting rails from 2 to 6 inches high. The distance between rails can range from a foot or so, to 3 feet or more. Generally these conveyors are made out of steel.

    Now, imagine those rails reduced in size to a miniature track-roller system, a channel about an 1.5 inches wide with side rails 3/4 inches high and rollers about 5/16" in diameter. The rollers might be covered with a sleeve of nylon (for silent sliding) or even made of nylon if it was tough enough to withstand the weight of the door ( 40-125lbs) with little distortion. The sides of the channel ( "rails") might be nylon channel might be about 1" to 1.5" inside width and a 3/4" height, punched for accepting miniature ball-bearings (which are commercially available). That's the general idea - a channel track with 'pin rollers' that could be embedded in a 3/4" dado in a wooden floor.

    The Proposal:

    Sorry, but I have no skill-set for either designing this item, modeling or marketing it. Nor could I afford much to pay for it if it could be 3d printed (except, perhaps for the bearings which would have to be bought separately and assembled)). I'm a poet and we don't much operate in the world of enterprise (or wealth). Still if it's a worthwhile idea, perhaps one of you would like to take a crack at it? You'd have to design and do the project, secure the patents and market it to some manufacturer. A small cut for me would be nice. That's the idea. If you think it's something you could do and would want to take it on, let me know and we can talk it. I think it represents a good opportunity for someone with the right skill-set.

    Why This - Where the idea came from:

    I was building some Shoji Doors for my home porch enclosure (see below) and tracking became a central issue. Nothing on the market would work in my situation and I discovered the things that I imagined might work did not seem to exist. I did finally handcraft a wooden track lined with HDMW tape. It works ok - but isn't ideal, especially with changes in weather, tape wear and such. The 'miniature roller track' seemed the best solution to the problem.

    sliding shoji.jpg
  2. Vidalcris
    Vidalcris New Member
    Look interesting ;)

    But if i understand correctly you want something like this :

    There is a lot of rails like this in the market, but maybe i misunderstood something :p

    Anyway i'm working with Sodidworks for around 15 years now, so if you want something specific i can make it for you really fast.
  3. redslider
    redslider New Member
    Wow, Vidalcris, you found something in the general idea in one day. I spent two weeks looking and found nothing. congratulations. Can you send me the link or search words you used for your item. Its not exactly what's needed, but maybe I can hunt something down from there.

    The sketch below is crude, but gives a little better idea. As you can see, the rollers must be recessed below the top of the track channel. The channel itself serves as bottom guide for tracking the door. As I said, I really can't afford to pursue this, but offer it as an open idea which someone might like to take up for fun and profit. Glad to talk more to anyone who would like to try. If it really has no equivalent on the market, might be profitable for them too. I do plan to fabricate one sometime, using flanged miniature bearings and a piece of steel channel. Shouldn't be difficult, but I haven't the time for that now.

    Thanx for looking into the matter - Red

    sliding track.jpg
  4. Vidalcris
    Vidalcris New Member
    I found them Here.

    The roller need to be as big as possible if you want them to roll correctly, this is why you will not found exactly what you did in the sketch :)

    Anyway if you need someone to create something with solidworks i'm here for you, i understood your needs !

    Have fun ;)