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Makerbot

I've pre-ordered a Cupcake CNC kit from the newly opened Makerbot store. The reprap project is something I've been following for years, and I'm excited to be able to get a no-mess version of the product.


Assembly:

My build experiences are located here.

I've put some troubleshooting experiences here too.


MakerBot Table:

I found a good way to store the makerbot is a wheely table. I can keep all my parts handy but still be able to move it around as needed.

This one is a "Becvan" from Ikea, and cost $100 Australian dollars. It has two legs and two fixed angle wheels, and is surprisingly sturdy.

The laptop is dedicated to the makerbot and can be VNC'd into over WiFi. This allows remote monitoring of the status, but since I can pretty much tell from anywhere in the house where the print is up to from the 'tune' the bot is making, maybe it's not such an added feature.

Adding a powerboard at the back helped neaten up the cables, and keep everything self-contained. For a bit of stability I've used some hot-melt glue to keep the makerbot and laptop power supplies from drifting around. It'll peel off nicely and won't destroy the finish.

Printing:


Here are some objects I've printed. Most of them are models from Thingiverse.

Chess Rook: (1hr 18 minutes)

This is huge. I saw the model in Thingiverse, and thought, what a great little thing to print. It was only when it started laying down the raft I got the true sense of scale. The base is about 40mm across! This is the biggest object I've printed so far.

Although it's very lightweight, the inside is very sturdy. The sparse infill is fantastic to see being laid down.

Unfortunately the ramparts were a little to fiddly and broke off while I was cleaning it up. This may be my fault as I ran SkeinForge on the STL file, rather than trust the GCode file jmne posted. It's possible different slice-and-dice settings in SkeinForge will give better results.

Bre's Watch: (a long time):

This was pretty cool.

The first time I printed this the raft curled up on one of the sides. It wasn't a problem until about half-way through the print, when the extruder head hit the side of the piece and lost steps. It then started to print the watch face about 15mm off where it should. The second attempt came out pretty nicely. There was still some curling on the edges, but it's pretty good.

I'm still undecided about the best way to remove rafts from the print. Peel them off one by one, or cut the edges and leave them attached? I kind of butchered the base of this model by peeling off more than I should, so I won't show a photo of the bottom of this one.


T-Slot cleaner for a mill: (8 min)

These'll make a handy present for a couple of people I know with mills.

This came out really nicely. The 2D shapes seem quite easy to print. No overhangs, corners are really clean. I'm quite happy with this.


Idler Pulleys for the Makerbot itself: (19 min)

These were fun to make. I'm going to install these on the Z axis belts when I'm finished.

There's a slight droop on some sections of the overhand, but I don't think it'll majorly affect accuracy.

RepRap Toppers: (7 min ea.)

These print really quicky, but don't seem to handle the overhangs well.
Also, I think the holes are not quite sized correctly for the top bolts. I'll probably edit the model a little in future.



Dodecahedron Model: (17 min)

Before and after fixing the extruder. Much better.

An assortment of Dodecahedra:

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