MakerBot Automated Build Platform Hack

Ever since I got a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic, the build platform has been an issue. The belt was uneven. This weekend, I took it apart and reassembled it with a new belt – and resolved the issue at the cost of two nuts.

Original belt illustration

Original belt illustration

Comparing the illustration on the MakerBot assembly instructions wiki, I realized that their belt is much more narrow than the ones I’ve got.

The result of this is that the silicone nozzle wiper sits on top of the belt, causing friction. Pulling on one side of the belt means that it warps and becomes uneven.

The obvious solution to this would be to cut the new belt, so that the wiper fits next to it, but this would be at the cost of printing area. Instead, I decided to place a nut under the wiper, to lift it off the belt. This way, I get a wider printable area, while avoiding a wobbly printing bed, so that I can print without a raft.

You can see the end-result to the right. Actually, it contains two nuts, as the length of the M3 bolts shipped with the kit fits in this configuration. The GCODE initialization places the nozzle just over the head of the bolt while it heats up, so I did not change it. The wiper also touches the wood during the first few layers when printing. However, this did not seem like an issue to me. The machine is strong enough to handle the increased friction.

This entry was posted in 3D Printing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to MakerBot Automated Build Platform Hack

  1. William Steele says:

    Yep, I had the exact problem with my CupCake. However, I didn’t use an additional nut… I simply used two washers under it.

    The issue with it hitting the bottom of the wood plate (or in my case acrylic) happend to me as well. It did effect the print quality of my unit slightly when it rubbed against it, so to fix it, I made sure my belts for the X/Y axis were tentioned properly so to minimize the amount of slack. The other thing you can do is to trim the top of the brush in half (so that it is only 1/2 as thick) near the top to reduce the friction ever further.


    • e8johan says:

      My idea was to use a washer instead, but I did not have any. Adding one nut meant that the bolt was too short, so I had to use two.

Comments are closed.