Help MakerBot understand what the community wants by sharing your ideas on the MakerBot Idea Torrent. Anyone can view and submit ideas. This will help guide research and development at MakerBot and keep track of who comes up with the best ideas.

An idea torrent "lets people submit their ideas, brainstorm them, and vote on them. The most popular ideas and requests are then easily assessable." You may remember when Dell started the Idea Storm site. The most popular idea was preinstalled Linux. Now they sell Ubuntu laptops. This system is also used on the Ubuntu brainstorm site.

If you've already submitted an idea on this wiki page, make sure you write a detailed submission on the idea torrent. This page will not be used to guide research and development. The ideas on this wiki page will be removed as they appear on the idea torrent.


  • Feedback mechanisms should be added.
    • Encoders on axes to close loop
    • Encoders on extruder, maybe stepper too?
      • Encoder on filament or pinch wheel, rather than on extruder itself
    • Heatsinks on anything that can get hot/warm that should be kept cool.
    • Thermocouple (the extra $30 is worth not having to deal with temperature tolerance issues)
  • Decouple HBP control from the extruder(s).
  • Single-board electronics with support for 4 steppers
  • Add option to decouple logic power completely from motor+heater power.
    • Logic can then be USB-powered (aka, a well-documented +5VDC standard)
    • Rest can be powered from wall or large batteries (lead-acid or power-tool packs).
    • Noise coupling between the two should be greatly reduced.
    • Eliminate dependency on high-power computer PSUs going forward.


  • Faster slicing and dicing of STL files (possibly a C-based slicer?) (see idea torrent proposal)
  • Stepper driven extruder support
  • Automatic zeroing of axes before print
  • Beginner mode in replicatorg/skeinforge (drop down menus for specific hardware setups to get basic printing out of the box)
  • RepG API/SDK (think: "oozebane calibration program")
  • when a new version of RepG is released a new wiki page/ blog entry is created to show how you get your makerbot running and calibrated using it
  • hollow parts with extra shells and internal 45 degree supports where needed (see ITP)
  • Skeinforge profiles for different colors. Different colors have different chemical and thermal properties.
  • Save skeinforge profiles for different plastruders (.35mm nozzle vs you .5mm nozzle plastruder)
  • Drop-down box choice for layer height profiles.
  • Support folder navigation in SD cards so we can do some organization of the s3g files. Support for longer filenames would be nice, but less of a priority than folders I think.
  • Automatic logging of prints - record STL filename, preset used, time to print, cc of material used, etc. (optionally, copy and save the entire preset used into a log file folder - the presets are not so big)
  • Better system for managing permutations of skeinforge presets, ie. identify a key variable to change then systematically manage various settings
  • Feedback of Z stage position while printing - allows for changing the filament at regular intervals, for a nice "striped" effect
  • Use the name of the machine you connect to to remember which driver and skeinforge profile to use.


  • Axis z-roids (or heavier duty than the standard ones) (see idea torrent proposal)
  • "Mega" Makerbot (i.e. larger build area)
    • isn't this called a mendel or mini-mendel?
  • Multi-extruder support (possibly mix-n-match between normal extruders and frostruder?).
  • Replace rod/bushing with linear bearings (or Mendel style rod/bearing)
  • Conveyor belt kit
  • Stepper extruder kit
  • Different nozzle sizes
  • Hybrid Plastruder+Frostruder for heated extrusion materials like wax and chocolate.
  • single extruder with 4 filament input (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to print any color at any time during the print
  • Larger Heated Build Platform
  • Replace z rods with stainless steel rods.
  • Countersunk screws on the build platform, to increase buildable area (See ITP)
  • More secure platform attachment system than the magnets - mine wobbles a bit, and causes problems with very tall prints


  • Shock/vibration absorbers between moving parts and the case (See ITP)
  • Build area encapsulation? (to reduce effects of drafts, more even object heating, probably gain some power efficiency by not heating the room so directly) (See ITP)
  • Insulate parts that are supposed to get hot (eg extruder hot end) for safety and efficiency.
  • Allow better access to power supply and X stepper/belt (and ideally Y stepper/belt) without significant dis-assembly.
  • Use more washers. Washers are sometimes good.
  • Move all steppers, electronics, PSU up or to the side, out of the drop-zone.

General Ideas

  • Better/clearer upgrade paths, more Things by MBI.. Mendel-style X & Y stages, wobble arrestors, etc
  • Support material
  • Periodic review of wiki instructions - occasional reports of bits that are "just plain wrong"
  • Skeinforge calibration guide (similar to what's written for the Frostruder)
    • All calibration steps need to be derivable from printed test parts, physical measurements performed on those test parts and intermediate calculations performed upon those measurements.
    • Create an illustrated guide describing how settings affect printed parts.
  • Sometimes cheap is the enemy of good. Some materials/parts could benefit from a slightly more robust/expensive versions (bearings, rods, etc.)
  • In the store, sell large 4 inch Kapton tape found on ebay.

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