In terms of feedback, there are applications that require absolute feedback, whether that be rotary, single turn, multi-turn, the idea of in a power loss not losing position. There are absolutely applications where that’s required and examples would be extremely high value parts. If you have coordinated motion where, imagine, that you’ve moved X, Y, and Z and you’re somehow inside the bowels of a part and now you’ve got to extract it—if you don’t know where you are, you can’t find your way out. There are actually requirements for those applications and it will be a mix of rotary, rotary single turn, multi-turn, I should say, what I will call, mechanical and electrical, single and multi-tun, and then also linear.
There are starting to be more and more linear encoders, where instead of just relying on, what I will call, the shaft position to tell you where you are, you want to have something that’s closer to point of interest. You’ll see in demanding applications more and more linear encoders, but if you look at most 3D printing, most 3D printing does not involve complex motion paths, where in the event of power loss there are routes, even in the event of power loss, if the system does not back drive you can kind of relocate your extruder head close to where it stopped and resume prints that could be 500 hour prints at the 400 hour mark.
It will be one of those cost performance things. At the point and time that absolute feedback gets closer and closer and closer incremental feedback, everybody wants it—it’s just when is there a gap in price that forces the decision for one or the other. If I can go ahead and get absolute feedback at the same price, I’d do it every time.