Our Makerbot Replicator2 stopped functioning properly last month. The X-motor refused to brake when it neared its home position and made a horrible grinding sound as it attempted to force its way past the frame.
I searched for hours and located tons of FAQ forums, suggested fixes, blog posts, and videos for replacing various components. I learned that there are three end-stop switches (X, Y, Z) attached to three end-stop cables (X, Y, Z) which communicate with each motor cable (X, Y, Z) to stop each motor (X, Y, Z) once it reaches its home position. I also deduced that since our X-axis end-stop switch LED was no longer lighting up, it was either the switch or the cable or both that needed to be replaced. I opened a support ticket at Makerbot, crossing my fingers they’d still be willing to help even though the Replicator2 has been discontinued.
<wishful thinking>Bring it back! It’s the best printer ever!</wishful thinking>
Andre was the support representative who responded to my ticket, talked on the phone with me (!), and agreed that it sounded like I needed a new end-stop cable and possibly a new end-stop switch. When the parts arrived, I traded out the old for the new, but the X-motor ceased to run at all. I tried pairing all the different motor cables with all the motors and noticed that the X-motor cable wouldn’t power any of the motors. Andre talked to me AGAIN by phone and told me to troubleshoot by switching out the green circuits on the Mighty Board (underneath the unit) which communicate with the motors. It turned out we had a bad chip powering the X-motor, so Andre sent me a replacement. This worked! The first thing I printed was a replacement fan for the extruder as I noticed we were missing some blades on the original part.
Thank you, Andre! I love our Replicator2, and I’m so glad it’s back up and running! I also appreciate that I now have a much better understanding of how the printer functions and how things attach below the surface.