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Hive13 CNC Projects
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Hive13 Project

MakerBot X Y and Z stages.jpg

Status: Complete
Start Date: 07/01/2009

No Longer Hive13 Equipment
List of All Documented Equipment
Owner/Loaner: User:DaveMenninger
Make/Model: MakerBot Cupcake CNC (google)
Arrival Date: 08/2009
Does it work?: No
Certification Needed?: yes
Contact: Dave Menninger
Floorplan: 1A

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MakerBot Status

As of 02/21/2011: MakerBot is fully functioning with heated build platform and MK5 extruder!

Using the MakerBot

Please only use the MakerBot if you are on the MakerBot Operators list (found on the wall next to the MakerBot).

Best Practices

Please follow these guidlines when using the MakerBot. If you don't know what any of these means, ask!

  • Power on the MakerBot first, then open Replicatorg.
  • Preheat the extruder and heated build platform manually from the control panel.
  • Do a test extrusion manually from the control panel.
  • Skein your model using the skeinforge profile called hive13_custom.
  • Use a raft.
  • Print from the SD card.

Commissioning parts

Are you interested in having something printed? Contact User:DaveMenninger or visit Hive13 on MakerBot Monday and we will work with you to get something made.


MakerBot Upgrades

Make More 3D Printers

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

New Design Projects


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 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.
    • We need shorter screws for this. The machine vibrates quite a lot and some nuts have unscrewed themselves.
  • Belts need to be adjusted
    • x axis is much too tight. This causes it to be very noisy.
  • Everything needs to be tightened up
    • Over time many nuts and bolts have become loose. The extruder was actually missing a nut.
  • 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
    • May be ways to level the build platform
  • PID constants for the extruder need to be adjusted. It appears that the integral constant is off (lots of overshoot and undershoot).
  • oozebane settings need to be set correctly.
  • May be worth it to fine tune the settings in machines/Cupcake.xml so that movements are very precise. Currently just extrapolated from the default settings.
  • Extruder
    • Since the X, Y, and Z axis controllers were upgraded to the Hive Stepper Motor Controllers we now have extra stepper controllers for a stepstruder.
    • Tighten up the bolts on the hotend. One nut was missing and the rest are not tightened at all.

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.

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