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Building the Thing-O-Matic

posted Aug 29, 2011, 11:50 PM by Jonathan Dowdall   [ updated Sep 28, 2011, 9:47 AM ]
Bought a new 3D printer from MakerBot.  This one is a Thing-O-Matic (TOM) and has several advantages over the Cupcake (the old printer).  

The two main features that made me take the plunge are the automatic build platform (ABP) and the redesigned Z-stage.  The new Z-stage will allow taller builds.  I could never build anything nice above about 2 inches tall with the Cupcake.  The automatic build platform features a conveyor belt as the print surface.  The conveyor belt is turned on after each print.  This allows the queuing of multiple prints in a row ... which will be fantastic for big robots with lots of parts (no more babysitting the printer!).

One problem that I noticed with the ABP is that it hits the wiper ... not sure why this was moved from the first design of the ABP.  It was also a bit difficult to tune the potentiometers for the X Y Z stages because all of the electronics is internal, but the cables aren't long enough to set the base board to the side.  So I had to improvise a bit ... sorry Swiffer! 

Would be nice to make some TOM jacks to hold up the printer during calibration of the electronics.