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Printer Construction

Day 5

posted Aug 5, 2010, 10:27 PM by Jonathan Dowdall   [ updated Aug 24, 2010, 11:39 PM ]


Still waiting for the new motherboard.  Put the plastic spindle holder together and stacked everything up.  The connections in the box were the tightest so far ... I actually had to sand down the nubs before it would fit.  The design could be improved a bit, every time the spindle is replaced it will be about a 20 minute job to swap out the old spindle.  Also noticed that the servo boards power up when the stages are moved (the motors are generating current when moved), hopefully this isn't damaging the boards ;-)

Day 4

posted Aug 5, 2010, 10:24 PM by Jonathan Dowdall


Testing the electronics and ran into the first unhappiness of the makerbot ... looks like the motherboard isn't working.

Trouble shooting

The motherboard didn't power up

  • our supply is the one on the right. Short pins 14 and 17 to get the power supply to start.  Then set the multi-meter to read volts, put the black lead into one of the ground pins, and test each of the voltage level pins (1, 10, 20) .  How to video
  • The power supply look good, so the motherboard has issues 
  • checking the motherboard
    • solder joints
      • all of the joints look good
    • power switch
      • plugged in the power connector to the motherboard and shorted pins 14 and 17 and the motherboard turned on!
After a few email with the nice guys at makerbot they are sending me a new motherboard!!

Day 3

posted Aug 5, 2010, 10:21 PM by Jonathan Dowdall


About 10 man hours spent doing the electronics, extruder, and z stage.  Had Mike helping, so it was a great time!  We really wanted to get it working but it was not to be tonight ... had to call it quits at 2:30 am (monday morning ;-)

Day 2

posted Aug 5, 2010, 10:19 PM by Jonathan Dowdall

The body went together really nicely.  It looks like it takes me about double what they estimate for each stage of assembly.  There are great videos and step by step photo instructions too.

Day 1

posted Aug 5, 2010, 10:16 PM by Jonathan Dowdall   [ updated Aug 5, 2010, 10:19 PM ]


The kit is great, I like the construction method (bold and nut with the laser cut panels).  I'm surprised that the wood makes such a great building material. 

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