Update June Week 1

DSC_1598 This is the makerbot 3D printer that we’ve been working on for weeks and it’s now almost ready to rock and roll.

We spent most of last week trying to work out why it was moving 10cm rather than 1cm.

This week was spent reconfiguring the firmware trying to get it to move the correct distance.

DSC_1597 We took some shots of the motherboard for our own reference. It’s a MakerBot MotherBoard v2.4. It says Instructions are at wiki.makerbot.com/mb2, however, that page has since been taken down by makerbot as they’ve gone commercial. However, thanks to the wayback machine, the MakerBot Motherboard v2.4 article is reachable.DSC_1594

Much like the motherboard, the stepper motor board has similar scribes on the PCB. It says Stepper Motor Driver v3.3, instructions wiki.makerbot.com/smd3 (Wayback Machine).

DSC_1593Then there’s the extruder board, which says Extruder Controller v3.6, and docs at wiki.makerbot.com/ec3 (Way Back Machine). That’s it.

With all this information we should be configure it correctly and connect everything where it’s meant to go.

DSC_1588Our next job is to get the extruder and hot end correctly connected up.

At present it’s not wired correctly and there’s limited details on how it should be connected, so it may be a case of trial and error to ensure we’ve got the motor connected correctly.

DSC_1587This is the “MakerBot Automated Build Platform v2.0”, this is described as a bigger build area with a conveyor  which will clear the build surface area between prints, which is nice. From that I found the original Thing-O-Matic product for sale on there website in 2011 (Wayback Machine).

This lead to the official Thing-o-Matic documentation including the assembly instructions and user manual (Wayback Machine) as well as the MakerBot documentation on their current site. Which is useful.


Si and Kate were toying around on their laptops with SketchUp, producing 3D models, including a tardis (Kate being into Dr. Who is an understatement apparently).

They seemed to get stuck in pretty quickly, which was most impressive. It won’t be long before we’re knocking out Dr Who memorabilia left, right and centre.

DSC_1581Mikey came down again with his robot again, this time it was working, but it needed a tidy up job doing on the circuit, as well as needing to be configured to do a 360 degree turn.

Before we wrapped up, Mikey had almost got it all working. Details to follow.

DSC_1580The beast 3D printer was moving forward as well.

Now we’ve got the aluminium X/Y Carriages done we’ll be able to get it all joined together and ready to start moving the printer head (hot end).

The Raspberry Pi will need to be updated and have printrun installed, and the touch interface configured.

DSC_1579Here’s DanR on the case with the MakerBot 3D printer, trying to get it configured with the correct firmware so it will move the correct distances.

I believe we did get it working in the end through a process of trial and error.

DSC_1578Here’s the full crew getting stuck in with their various projects, or helping with existing ones.

It’s not like there’s nothing to do, we’ve always got projects going on and plenty of bits to play around with.

If you’re not sure about something, you can always ask.

DSC_1577I thought I’d do a quick tour of our storage room this week just to give people an idea of what we’ve got for you to play with.

DSC_1574The rack on the left has various tools, including soldering irons, saws, multimeters, hammers, screwdrivers, paint brushes, glue gun, to name a few. The rack on the right is our disassembly rack. These are components (such as motors) salvaged from various machines (such as printers, scanners).

Our other racks are crammed full of computers, computer components and an array of electronics and electronic devices. Far too much for me to begin to list, so you’ll have to take a look for yourself!

See you next week!


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