I’ll never forget Jupiter first light through my 4.5in homemade reflector slapped together with a hand drill, some MDF and a tub of glue. I was 18 years old, impatient, careless, hasty and completed all projects in less than 8 hours. or then not at all.
It’s a bit different nowadays. Mirrors wait 15 years in a box for the perfect OTA to install them into. Nothing short of a stroke of genius at the cutting edge of ATM deign propelling us to stardom in the ranks of all 946 of us. Meanwhile the stars have risen and set 5472 times just waiting to have their photons hit up by the perfect telescope. These particular photons should feel special! After rescuing a 12IN F3.3 parabolic ex-military laser firing test mirror from an industrial waste pile and getting it re-coated by the same company that made it 40 years prior with some Hilux 97% reflective coatings, that mirror should feel loved.
So a bit of care in the design department is warranted. I CAD everything up these days before going near a tool. The only thing I would say is that i’m not using the homemade crayford focuser in the CAD. And those Alt. bearings are being replaced with an experiment in untried bearing technology….ooooh a bit of suspense.
And the actual 3D printed Spider tensioners (I 3D rpint everything these days including my son and wife’s Xmas presents) and welded mirror cell ready to go into the OTA: