Table of Contents
Here is a page that answers a lot of the questions we get emailed.
When will you have X back in stock?
We have long lead times on some of our parts so sometimes we are out of stock. You can sign up for product email alerts on the product page of each product, and you'll get an email when it's available again. Often when we get items back in stock, we tweet about them at http://twitter.com/makerbot. You can get the updates sent as SMS text messages if you want to be the first to know when things are back in stock.
My electronics parts worked but now they don't. What happened?
Occasionally with boards assembled by the purchaser, electronics fail. Often it is a cold solder joint or a trace that has been burned by a power supply with too much juice. Electronics are susceptible to shocks, especially the kind that you get when you rub your feet on the rug.
You may want to visit the forums or the google group and ask for help. If you do, make sure you give as much information as possible and take pictures and videos of the problem if possible so that others can help you figure out what's going on. Most digital cameras have a macro mode (flower icon) which can be very useful when trying to focus small objects such as the components on a circuit board.
We haven't seen any problems with boards that are bought fully assembled, but that doesn't mean that you can't destroy them in creative ways.
Check out our customer service policies at http://store.makerbot.com/customer-service.
I tried to use your store to order a MakerBot and got an error, I can't make the order complete.
Sometimes international credit card transactions over $1000 are automatically blocked for security purposes. You will need to call your card provider and alert them to the transaction. If you get rejected for a 'duplicate transaction' let 60 seconds pass before trying to process the transaction again.
I'm a teacher and I want my school to buy lots of these things. How does that work?
Many institutions have bought machines from us using a credit card, Check, or Purchase Order.
Please log in and create an account in our store prior to sending in a PO.Please fill in complete billing and shipping information in your account. You use the online order form to generate your own invoice to move the process along, under "payment methods" select "online quote" and enter an identifying number, and press "Place order." This is a quote for your order and can be submitted to your purchaser with the unique number attached. Your order number will look like this: "1000xxxxx." Please submit this number with your final PO via fax or mail.
Do you sell fully assembled machines?
Buying a kit is better because part of the experience is learning how it works. Because there is some tuning for each individual machine, putting it together teaches you how it works so you can adjust it for your own purposes.
My credit card has been declined. What's wrong?
You card was declined the first time through, and the processor won't try to run the transaction again as long as the CC information remains identical. I'd double-check that all the information is correct, especially the billing address, expiration date, and name - if you have a middle initial on the card, you need to enter that in the name field, as well.
If you're sure all the information is correct, the next step is to contact your bank and make sure there's no hold on the card. If the transaction still won't go through, drop us a line and we can process the card manually as a last resort.
Can you assemble my MakerBot for me?
Sure! We now sell our Custom Fully Assembled MakerBot Thing-O-Matic in the store!
I want to be a distributor! (How does that work?)
Please send us a note with details introducing yourself and your business and level of distribution experience. You can send your request to support_at_makerbot.com
I want to make a new invention, should I get a MakerBot?
Get a MakerBot! It's a great tool for prototyping! Check out Thingiverse.com to get a feel for what you can do with a MakerBot and then get to work! Even if you don't have a MakerBot, you can upload your STL file and see what it looks like when other people make it with their machines! Go for it!
I want a bigger bot! Can I just scale everything up?
We built the Cupcake and Thing-O-Matic to work perfectly at this scale. We've been working on prototypes to make it bigger and it's not as easy as just scaling. There are a bunch of variables and we're staying up late at night hacking on them so we can come out with a bigger machine someday. Should that stop you from trying it yourself? Go for it!
A part of my machine has broken, do you have a warranty on items?
We have searched to offer parts that are the best quality for price possible but we make no guarantees. There are lots of creative ways to destroy the parts we send out to you and often user error is at fault. We offer replacement parts and you can buy them in the store! If the part arrives dead on arrival let us know and we will make that right, but once you've used it, you'll have to buy a new part to replace it!
Do you ship to ___(insert country)? How much will it cost?
Shipping is calculated before checkout. If you go into the store and begin the process of ordering your kit, you will find a shipping calculator that will give you a shipping estimate for anywhere we are legally allowed to ship to. We've shipped to most countries, so it should be no problem. If you don't trust your countries' postal system, we recommend shipping via UPS instead of via USPS. USPS forwards packages to national postal services around the world for delivery.
Can I have a free MakerBot for my FIRST robotics team?
We are a small company and don't give machines away. FIRST is awesome though and we encourage you to fund-raise for a machine to make your robot rock. Send us a description of what you are trying to do, maybe we can help publicize your endeavor!
Three dimensional printing? When did this happen?
3D printing technology came of age in the last decade, but with the MakerBot it recently became available for the desktop and at consumer prices. We shipped our first Cupcake CNC kits in 2009. Check out http://thingiverse.com for examples of objects created on the Cupcake CNC.
I've heard that you are working on super awesome stuff. How long do I have to wait?
Our development is measured in cups of coffee and there really is no precise predictability for innovation. We're working hard to make improvements on the machine and we have some ideas for bigger machines, but it's hard. When we get there, we'll release it and until then, you can buy the Cupcake CNC and hack on it to bend to your will in the meantime!
Ack! It's expensive to ship small packages to Europe!
It is expensive and we wish it wasn't. We tried using the cheapest option to ship to Europe and we can't do that anymore because it took up to 6 months for them to deliver with that method and there was no tracking and about 1/5 of packages would just disappear.
What tools do I need to build a Cupcake CNC Kit?
You will need:
- Soldering iron * You'll need to make four easy solder connections to hook up the Plastruder Mk4
- Electronics solder
- Pliers, preferably needle-nosed* These will help you tighten down nuts
- Hot glue gun* A dab of hot glue will help keep the bearings from coming loose
- Super glue, or white glue* A bit of glue can be used to make sure the magnets don't come loose from their press-fit bearings
- 1/4 inch hex wrench
- some 3 in 1 multipurpose oil/lubricant
- wire cutter
- stripping tool
Houston, We Have A CupCake Problem!
The Cupcake CNC is a DIY device, so there are lots of possibilities as to what could be causing an error. Have you tried printing from an SD card? Sometimes the USB connection from the computer sending printer instructions to the motherboard slows, and can cause the extruder to create an error like 'the stage stops moving and the extruder continues to run'. In ReplicatorG "Print from SD card" is typically a more surefire way to have a successful print. When you begin a print from an SD card it is a good idea to disconnect the USB cord from your computer after starting the print. Check out the building from an sd card page.
You may also want to start with the "Production Pulley" file. Using the Replicator G Control Panel, wait until you have warmed up your extruder to 230c, and manually test your extruder by clicking "forward", and extruding a bit of plastic. If it extrudes smoothly and stops and starts appropriately, you are ready. Move your plastruder 20mm above the build platform before your hit "Build from SD card" to start the pulley build.
[when you load your .s3g files on to SD cards, make sure that the file name is 8 characters or less ie, "12345678.s3g" To speed up the process a bit, build to your hard drive, and manually drop the .s3g file on to your SD card when it is mounted on your computer.]
Also, after errors, it is useful to push the restart buttons on the motherboard and the extruder board, and quit and restart ReplicatorG. These may seem like basic instructions but they have solved a lot of problems for me. Build errors are normal responses to funny skeinforge settings or errors from bad model geometry.
-whew- I hope these aren't all too basic, but they are the steps that got me printing successfully and repeatedly.
Also make sure and check out in Replicator G, the header in the gcode of your files before you print, they often have model-specific instructions.