Cyrozap's Tech Projects

Computers. Circuits. Code.

MakerBot Fixes and Upgrades

Well, I just bought some new parts for my Makerbot. First, because my build platform broke, I bought the MakerBot Heated Build Platform Kit. I decided that, since I was switching back to ABS, I should be using a heated platform. I also didn't want to pay for a normal build platform now and pay for a heated build platform later when I'll really want it. Second, I bought the Magnetic Rotary Encoder PCB. I got 3 samples of the chip a while ago, so I just bought this because it may come in handy in the future. Also, I wanted to practice soldering SMT parts by hand. Finally, I bought the MK5 Drive Gear Upgrade Kit because it's just so much better than the current one.

5% off MakerBot Industries Cupcake CNC 3D Printer

I just got an email from MakerBot because I entered in the Thingiverse contest (which wasn't a very smart idea—see this post):

As a small thank you, if you'd like to get a MakerBot Industries Cupcake CNC 3D Printer, you can use the code M4K3R to get 5% off until the end of the month.

This offer is valid on any item in the MakerBot store.

Failures and Succeses

This post summarizes the events of the past few days:

  • MakerBot randomly stops during large print (Mendel extruder), causing blob; blob makes print fail epicly.
  • Happens again; no idea what's going wrong.
  • I tighten the X/Y belts.
  • Happens AGAIN!
  • I sleep on the thought.
  • I tighten down the extruder.
  • I take a trip online to the MakerBot Google group; find out what I have to do.
  • I fix it.
  • I happily print out Mendel parts.
  • :D

Mendel Extruder

Extruder working better than EVER!

I printed a dodecahedron today. It printed fine, but plastic was building up on the nozzle.

Why was this? Because the extruder was extruding faster than the build base was moving.

Why is this good? Before, the settings I used worked with my extruder just fine. Now, because plastic is building up, it means that the extruder's motor speed is faster than it was before, meaning that it has become more efficient. This is probably because of the modifications I made to it (especially the filing job I did on the pinch wheel). I modified the Skeinforge settings and am going to print out another dodecahedron momentarily.

I'm so excited!

From MakerBot #000117 'Spartan'

Rebuilt Extruder Creates More Problems

As I said in the last update for this, I rebuilt the extruder. Yay!

The rebuilt extruder

But there is a slight problem: the extruder, for some reason, extruded for a while, but then just stopped. I think I just need to tighten it down better (I did it by hand first). Ugh. This run-it-for-a-bit-and-then-it-breaks-and-I-have-to-fix-it routine is really getting on my nerves.

MakerBot Extruder Woes

So I decide to finally fix the extruder. In doing so, I found more problems than I thought existed.


  1. Idler Wheel has cracked
  2. Insulator Retainer has cracked
  3. Nichrome wire insulation has turned to powder
  4. Overheating caused kapton tape and ceramic tape to burn
  5. The barrel and nozzle are full of eels ABS.

I have ordered replacement parts.

MakerBot pictures!

Ok, I finally got around to getting some pictures organized, so here they are: