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Design and Theory

Shafting is a key component in many linear motion machines and devices. Though shafting was designed for use with linear bearings, it is also useful for many other applications.
In order for shafting to be used as a linear guide, it needs to be properly mounted.

The two most common shaft mounting methods are:
  • Continuously supported
  • End supported

Continuously supported shafts are attached and supported along their entire length. This configuration is used when loads are high or more rigidity is desired. They require open bushings or re-circular linear roller bearings to be used as the support would be in the way of a closed linear bearing.

End supported shafts are supported at both ends with the middle of the shaft clear of the mounting surface. This configuration is used when the loads are light or deflection from the shaft is acceptable. In end supported applications, closed bushings are used since the middle of the shaft is clear of obstructions. 

The above video discusses shows the differences between continuous vs end supported

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