This page if for a tutorial on how to run the makerbot. Page is under construction. Bold indicates separate pages that have not been written yet.
For this tutorial I will be using mb short for makerbot. Not to be confused with motherboard.
The makerbot should be placed in a place that is relatively level. The main thing to realize is that the z axis floats on a couple nuts so it needs to be level with the platform more then the machine itself needs to be level. Make sure you have power for both a computer and the mb. Another thing to consider is that the reel handle needs to be free to move. The mb uses a fair amount of plastic.
When the z axis drives into the platform (I like to call it crashing) it lifts up off the nuts. So the first thing I like to check is to make sure the z axis is level. The easiest way to check it is to use a highlighter. Pick a side and bring the axis up to the highlighter. Then use then go to either the back, or the front of the same side. It's easier to do the sides versus diagonal. Then do the other side. Next lower the z axis so that it barley touches the platform. Plug it in and turn it on. Make sure the switch on the bottom of the motherboard is turned on.
Download replicator g. Install instructions here. Plug in the makerbot. Go under the machine tab. Select the serial port and select the port. The makerbot we have has an automatic build platform, however it is currently just being used as a heating build platform. So select the cupcake heated build platform. Click the connect button. See WTF is wrong for errors.
Click file open. Browse to file location and click on the file you want. It will bring it up in the 3d box. If it appears that your model is not there don't fear. Click scale. If your model was sae then click the inches > MM button. Replicator G is default in MM so if your model was written in MM. You can scale it by changing the value in the box. 1 is the reference point. So if you you put in 0.9 it will decrease by 10%. However now its referenced back to one so in order to return it to the original size you need to put in 1.1 (increase it to 10%.) The move tab will move the STL on the platform. ADD MORE
Please visit the setting dump page for config setting and editing instructions. If you click generate g-code and get a prompt to save a new toolpath click no. Then go up to File and save it as a diffrent STL. For some reason you need to save it that way to get it to work, don't know why. If you have not edited the config settings then go head and use the cupcake-hbp setting. (note it works but not very well) Do not use a raft when using the heated build platform. It will just meld into your model. I have never printed with support materials, so if anyone has or has the time to try it; msg happyk on the forums and let me know how it works. Click generate g-code and let it do its thing.
I like to go into machine, then control panel and preheat the makerbot. It's not necessary, but it is recommended. Make sure the platform is centered on with the head. It does matter because Replicator G will set that as home. Go head and throw 220 into the target temp; (HIT ENTER) and 110 in the platform temp. You can set the platform to 120 but it will be lowered to 110 per the g-code. You should hear a click of the relays kicking on after hitting enter. Let it heat up. Click make current position zero. If you want you can click enable on the motors to lock them. If you changed the filament then head here. After your temps are good then go head and close the control panel.
There are two methods to building on the makerbot. If you want you can build to a file then upload it onto an sd card, or you can leave your computer hooked up and just hit build. If you build for the sd you still need a computer to tell it to start. For this tutorial I will only talk about the second option. (It is more reliable imo) If you want you can also set the preferences to display the temp while building. However this doesn't update while its in the warm up part of the build. The Heated build platform may or may not do a wipe. If the z axis goes straight up then you need to click on a box after the extruder has ejected some filament. If it shoots off to the side then it is called a wipe and its automatic. However in my experience if you have a wipe in the beginning then you will have one in the end and you need to get your part off the bed before it wipes at the end.
So now you should have a lump of plastic you call a part. Grab a scraper or a screw driver and carefully peal your part of the platform. The reset for the next part is simple. Manually move the platform to center again and bring down the z axis so that it is barely touching the platform. If your comfortable with the makerbot you can go straight to 7, however I like to go back to 6 just so I can see it reheating.
Edited by Happyk