Tag Archives: Replicator 2

Andre at @MakerbotSupport is my hero for patiently helping me fix our Replicator2!


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.

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Video of the Snap Together Robohand I made with @dylanmryder:

Here is a 61-page PDF of instructions from @Makerbot for the Snap Together Robohand :

http://thingiverse-production.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/30/48/5d/92/b1/Snap_Togeather_Robohand_Instructions.pdf

And here are the downloadable files from the Thingiverse for the pieces of the Snap Together Robohand:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:92937/#files

Here is my previous post about it: https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/3d-printed-prosthetic-hands-social-justice-and-other-4th-grade-achievements-with-dylanmryder/

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December 20, 2013 · 11:47 am

3D-printed prosthetic hands, social justice, and other 4th grade achievements with @DylanMRyder:

A little while ago, I shared the above video with the faculty. I wanted them to know we were much nearer the time when the 3D-printer would be a plug-and-play technology that didn’t require constant maintenance and attention. I also hoped to reinforce the awesome possibilities of 3D-printing and it’s impact on the world. (Remember how President Obama included a plug 3D printing in this year’s State of the Union address?)

Dylan Ryder and I were (at the time) trying to get our Makerbot Replicator2 to successfully and consistently work. I was antsy to finally print out some 6th grade math models, while Dylan and his students in the Maker Club were excited to build and assemble a robot hand. Dylan had been hoping to also initiate a prosthetic limb unit in 4th grade and bring the hand as an incentive. After watching the video I sent, Kate Berten, a 4th grade teacher here at The School at Columbia University, contacted Dylan about prototyping a social justice-inspired unit in the Spring about assistive technologies. As it turned out, the hand Dylan’s students were waiting to print was the same prosthetic hand that the kid in the video was wearing!

The installation of our new updated spring-loaded motor block has allowed us to finally build a Snap Together Robohand. Now, I just have to buy elastic string this afternoon in order to complete the working model…

photo

Here is a 61-page PDF of instructions from @Makerbot for the Snap Together Robohand :
http://thingiverse-production.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/30/48/5d/92/b1/Snap_Togeather_Robohand_Instructions.pdf

And here are the downloadable files from the Thingiverse for the pieces of the Snap Together Robohand:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:92937/#files

And here is another inspiring video of a class working to design a prosthetic device for their classmate: http://www.fox19.com/story/24256073/northern-ky-seventh-grader-gets-help-from-her-classmates

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Got our @MakerBot #Replicator2 working again – yay! My fingers are sore – nay. #edtech

Zen and the Art of Makerbot Maintenance…

I’ve just spent multiple hours over multiple days troubleshooting why our Makerbot Replicator 2 has been printing out curly plastic cotton candy instead of a continuous stream of melted filament. I searched Makerbot’s documents, support forums, Instructables, YouTube, and other sources. In the end, here how I (at least temporarily) solved the problem:

1. Sean Justice is an amazing resource and told me to invest in some vegetable oil. I am taking his 3D fabrication course at Teachers College this semester. I’ve previously taken a photography course with him, and I’d like to take every course he offers. He shared what others have shared with him: The Replicator2 works best with PLA (plant-based) rather than ABS (petroleum-based) filament. PLA doesn’t have any natural lubricants in it, so you should dip the 3-inch end of the filament in oil and load it into the printer frequently and maybe even before each built. This worked amazingly for exactly one build.

2. After much searching, I learned that Makerbot is offering an upgraded drive block for free (!), and you just have to pay for shipping.
Request the parts here: http://store.makerbot.com/extruder-upgrade
Follow the installation instructions here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/downloads.makerbot.com/support/extruder-upgrade/MB1476_Extruder_upgrade_Support.pdf

3. In the meantime, I spent a few hours repetitively playing the unscrew – disassemble – examine – reassemble – tighten game and making sure everything was free of filament shards and well-greased. Finally, I adjusted the plunger inside the original drive block and it’s printing really well again. Yay!

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