3D Printer

Our Adventure Begins...

We ordered the MakerBot Replicator July 4th, they confirmed shipment July 9th (so much for 30 day lead time, wow!) and it arrived Thursday, June 12th, 2012.

I documented the unboxing experience, and will post about that later.

After a day of cleaning the new workspace, we proceeded to set up shop!

Here you can see the Replicator Off, On and Warming Up. The internal light changes from blue to red when the heating elements are on. That is very cool.

First Run Experience...

When we ran the Startup Script, the leveling process went fine and the right extruder took the white ABS line easily enough, but the left StepStruder just didn't want to take the blue ABS line. It made a clacking noise the other StepStruder did not.
I consulted the MakerBot website, and read the FRE through again. I noticed it said you might need to be forceful inserting the plastic, and the line "You'll have to use to use some force, but as long as you're holding only the filament, you can't hurt your Replicator." and a Facebook comment from another Replicator owner convinced me to use needle nose pliers to hold the line a half inch above the grey rings and force the line in. That finally worked and both extruders were loaded. Fantastic.

I chose the cube in white plastic for the first test build. It went perfectly and was a joy to watch. They are not joking that this machine is practically melodious!

The next test build didn't go so well. When I tried the sharks in blue and white to test the dual extruders in action, globs of ABS stuck to the extruder, the support frame warped and peeled up for the white shark. Luckily, I knew what the problem was right away. In my pre-purchase research I found this excellent write up of another Replicator unboxing and first run experience! They mentioned they had this same trouble, and while they blamed the Kapton tape used for the build surface, they also acknowledged a drafty workspace! A recent experience making Dalek cupcakes informed me that the ABS plastic was cooling to quickly! I looked over other comments at the MakerBot website, and several people reported success with just 8 1/2 x 11 card stock over the sides. For the next build I also covered half of the front. This was the fix. I ended up removing the cover for the front, but have used it when I want to make several items in a row, to reduce warm up time. I also cover the top when the machine is not in use, to minimize dust or debris on the build surface.
I saw Facebook comments about acrylic cases/inserts for the MakerBot, and might look into that myself.

The third test build came out beautifully, and my son Sam has been thrilled to have a new cup to put the cube in and rattle around! Here are the cube and spiral in all their extruded glory!


Actually Making Something...

While I had been lurking at Thingiverse.com for months, my real interest only spiked when I got the email confirming shipment of my new amazing future tool. I knew I'd need something easy to test and impress friends. The Moustache and Monocle on a Stick was the obvious choice. Obviously.

I chose the thin stick version, downloaded the ReplicatorG software, installed that, connected my MacBook Pro to the MakerBot, loaded the STL file, output the gCode and clicked Build for the blue ABS in left extruder.


You cannot buy this is a store... yet... LOL, that is the next mission. Check out the progress photos.

Now What?

The next question is... what do you do with your own future tool?

Make More, Of Course! Buahahahaha


Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Past Articles - 3D Printer:
A Day Full of Fail - Friday, July 20, 2012
A Table Top Factory - Thursday, July 19, 2012
Building More Things... - Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Our Adventure Begins... - Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Categories: Artemis Tutorials | Artemis Missions | 3D Printer |