The alternative to using rails for linear motion is linear rods. Linear rod comes in a variety of different lengths and diameters, but typically rod with a diameter of 8mm is used in 3D printer builds. Commonly made from steel and chrome plated for enhanced hardness, linear rod is less expensive to manufacture.
We offer a variety of smooth rods with different diameters and lengths, perfect not only for your 3d printers, but also for any DIY project requiring linear motion. Combine these with linear bearings and you get your perfect linear motion solution.
These smooth rods are manufactured for use in 3D printers, hydraulics as well as in CNC / linear motion applications, and are capable of standing up to frequent use without a problem.