Cyrozap's Tech Projects

Computers. Circuits. Code.

My Apologies and Cellular Internet

Sorry about the downtime! That storm we just had (in the northeast US) knocked out our power for a few days, but it's back now and the server is fine.

During that time without internet at home, I went to the library to figure out how to tether my phone (use my phone's cellular modem to connect to the internet) to my computer.

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

In Other News: Fixing the "Fixed" Extruder

I believe that the repairs I just performed on the extruder are going to work this time! I tried building a test dodecahedron recently and my extruder just stalled on me. This has happened before, but I think I have found the problem. The pinch wheel was allowing the filament to slip next to it during extrusion, causing it to lose contact with the idler wheel and stop extruding to fix this, I simply filed down the pinch wheel. If this works, great! If not, I'll file down the pinch wheel more until it is impossible for the filament to slip. Actually, I think I'll just file it down anyways to prevent making ANOTHER cracked idler wheel.

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.

Extruder rebuilt!

Self-explanatory title is self-explanatory.

Long story short, I rebuilt the extruder for my MakerBot and will be testing it tomorrow. Then I will be able to see how well having less ceramic tape on the heater barrel works.


Ok, here goes:
I recieved the parts for the extruder on Monday, but didn't even touch them until Wednesday and I haven't yet attached the nichrome wire, thermistor, and ceramic tape to the heater barrel nor replaced the Idler Wheel yet due to time constraints. It's not that I don't have enough time—in fact I have plenty of time—but I don't have enough contiguous time. I need a good, constant 3-5 hours of total zen/focus while working toward the goal, otherwise, things could go horribly wrong. I need total concentration when I work.

Why do I need 3-5 hours to work?
Well, I first need to fix the hardware issues, then I need to figure out optimal skeinforge settings so this same problem doesn't happen again. Namely what I need to do is adjust the temperature settings to accomodate the lesser amount of ceramic tape I will be putting on the extruder. I'll probably keep the speed and infill density stuff the same as before I got the new skeinforge. I may want to print out a few dodecahedrons with the default settings first, then with my own, then I will compare the two and pick the better settings set.

I hope to be working on it over Thanksgiving weekend.

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.


Ok, so I finally fixed my server. At first, uploaded content wasn't displaying and only the home page was accessible. The uploaded content wasn't displayed because it couldn't be found, and it couldn't be found because it was storing the content in a different folder that the one it was looking in for the content. Only the home page was visible because the permalinks didn't change even after I changed the setting, so I changed it back to the default. They aren't in a very user-friendly format, but they do work. Oh, and the server still can't update itself, which is annoying, but I can do that manually, so it's ok.

Technical Difficulties

Ok, so when I tried importing the posts and other content from my old blog, it didn't work out too well. None of the posts below this one can be linked to, and none of the pictures show up. All the original content, however is still on the old blog at