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Hive13 CNC Projects
CNC Router Build, DIY CNC Router, Gigabot, Hive13 CNC Projects, Hive13 Stepper Motor Driver Board, Inkjet Eggbot, MakerBot, Mendel, Plasma CNC Cutter, Shapeoko CNC Router

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Hive13 Project
Status: Active
Start Date: 07/01/2009

New Page Layout

This page needs a little bit of an overhaul. Work in Progress...


MakerBot Status

As of 02/02/2010: Replaced PTFE insulator. Back in business!


MakerBot Upgrades

  • LCD Screen

Make More 3D Printers

  1. Print a spare extruder for MakerBot
  2. Print Mendel parts
  3. 2nd MakerBot
    • Frame
    • Electronics
    • Plastruder

New Design Projects

Commissioning parts

Are you interested in having something printed? Contact User:DaveMenninger and we will work with you to get something made.


Things we designed

s|frameless|none</flickr> Hive13 coin:
s|frameless|none</flickr> Randomized Parametric Snowflakes:
s|frameless|none</flickr> Hive13 Logo

Other Things We've Printed

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Story So Far

Buying the Kit fundraiser

Building It

Even more photos can be found at:

Day 1

Here is how far I got on Day 1. DaveMenninger 06:02, 14 August 2009 (UTC) MakerBot Day 1 Progress.jpg

Day 2

Here is how far I got on Day 2. DaveMenninger 05:01, 19 August 2009 (UTC) MakerBot X Y and Z stages.jpg

Day 3

Here's how far I got on Day 3. DaveMenninger 05:06, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Testing / Calibration

Minor Issues

  • z-stage stepper was wired backwards. (In all likelihood the other steppers are backwards too, but they are currently left as-is).
    • fixed this by just plugging the z-stage stepper motor into the driver board backwards.
  • z-stage was getting caught on the screws holding on the electronics on the side. was unable to descend.
    • fixed by screwing the screws out a bit. we should find shorter screws, bigger stand-offs, or put the screws in the opposite direction.
  • slight asymmetry of circular objects.
    • y-stage belt was very loose, x-stage belt was slightly loose. tightened them up.
  • build platform not perfectly level
    • still working on this. it is a combination of leveling the top of the y-stage and keeping the z-stage perfectly parallel to the bottom of the bot

Extruder not extruding consistently

We had problems with extruder not extruding for quite a while. We could get it to print consistently by applying downward pressure on the ABS filament during printing, to prevent it from halting. Eventually we started to play with the settings in Skeinforge and were able to get much more consistent results if we increased the nozzle temperature and slowed down the filament feedrate. Since making these adjustments we have had barely any halting of the filament.

We recently did an extensive rebuild of our extruder head and we now have the opposite problem, it is extruding too much now. The rebuild included the following upgrade // maintenance sub-projects:

  • First we dismantled the extruder head and nozzle completely. In doing this we discovered a couple issues. Molten plastic had been squeezed between the threads of the nozzle and the brass tube and completely encased the thermistor. This was causing our temperature readings to be too low, thus causing the nozzle to overheat which led to our second problem. The entire brass tube filled with molten plastic and then overflowed out the top of it causing a lip. This lip along with the large mass of now hard plastic made the extruder strip the plastic filament.
  • Installed the extruder upgrade kit from Makerbot
  • Installed a wider idler wheel from cleveland.

Since we bumped the gripping power of the extruder motor, we have two new problems, the extruder runs too well, while doing small infills, it will extrude a large quantity of plastic that it will run into in later layers. The second problem is that it starts to push the plastic before it is fully melted, this caused one of the retaining washers to break in half.

Object solidity

We're still working on this, but we found we could increase the solidity / watertightness of objects by tweaking several settings in Skeinforge. I don't have access to what settings we changed, but I will try to remember to look them up. Objects are not perfectly watertight yet, but we are closer.

Heated Build Platform

  • Heated aluminum plate constructed
  • initial heating tests successful (12V applied directly to 8 ohm nichrome wire)
  • still need to:
    • add thermistor to heated plate
    • find patched makerbot software to support heated build platform

Photo of Heated Build Platform


Video of Raftless Printing with Heated Build Platform

Misc Links

places to get 3d object files