Monday, January 31, 2011

Bolt tabs! (and another mod!)

While trying out the Makerbot Industries ABP, I found that I needed a way to catch the parts that came off the belt.

Now I no longer use the ABP much, but the platform is still quite useful for staring recently printed parts.

Originally, I had two strings holding up the platform, looped around the right and left x axis end brackets, but it kept slipping off, so I created the bolt tabs to prevent it from slipping.

The designs are on Thingiverse! Feel free to make some!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hex Game Tiles

My good friend Robert came to me with an idea for a board game, we sat and drew up the designs for the base component, and here are the first prints!

Skienforge (uhg)

Of all the problems I've had with my Makerbot, the biggest of them have come from Skienforge, the little program that slices up models into layers of gcode for the machine to print.

I've given up on using the MBI Automated Build Platform for the time being, the plastic belt curls up too much to print super thin (<0.25mm)

Even so, I've now gotten my 'bot tuned down to a nice 0.2mm layer thickness! Here are my primary settings:
  • Layer Thickness: 0.2mm
  • Width / Thickness
  • Perimeter: 2.5
  • Infill: 2.125
  • Flowrate: PWM 197 <- I know a lot of you who use MakerBots are probably cringing at this number, it's so close to the stall point of the motor. However, I love this flowrate for one huge reason: No Strings.
  • First Layer: 1.14 * Operating
  • Feedrates
  • Operating: 34 mm/s
  • Travel: 50 mm/s
  • Raft:
  • Base: 0.75 * Operating
  • Interface: 1.2 * Operating
  • First Layer:
  • Perimeter: 0.8 * Operating
  • Infill: 0.9 * Operating
I also use an outline with margin of 3, that way, I don't have to pull off the test extrusion, I just let it start the outline, and the test extrude hangs off the side nicely out of the way!

I gotta give a huge thanks to Coasterman for his post on His settings are the ones I use (with a tiny bit of tweaking) and they work incredibly well for me!


Quick post! Just colored in the last of the text on the front of my makerbot and I must say, it makes the whole machine look a lot more fun!

Disconnectable Extruder

The next mod that I did was to cut all the cables running from the controllers to the extruder, and insert a connector in between. The MK5 extruder has a 6-pin connector, 2 for heater power, 2 for motor power and 2 for thermistor reading. The connector on the controllers however, is a 12-pin connector. Currently, It has 6 open slots, which will allow me to connect other peripherals with similar connectors, such as the Unicorn pen plotter, or the Frostruder.

Indicator lights!!!

The first mod that I added to my Makerbot was a set of indicator lights, one for the platform, one for the extruder. They're a pair of 12V HO scale train streetlamps, that I've wired in to the MOSFET output on the extruder board. I have them wired in paralell with the relays that provide high-current power to the heaters. To go along with them, I've temporarily added some foam to hold them in place and indicate which one's which, but I plan to print a better bracket soon!

First post W00T!

Hello to anyone reading this, I'll be using this blog to share my experiences running a Makerbot Industries Cupcake CNC 3D printer. I'll share parts I make, Designs i create and modifications I add to my Makerbot. The blog will be tuned towards people who know at least a bit about the Makerbot, but others are welcome to ask any questions they wish about the machine and it's workings.