Stepstruder MK6 Assembly 1.75 mm Upgrade

Tools You'll Need


The Stepstruder MK6 goes together pretty easily, but you'll need a few tools to speed the process along:

  • Scissors
  • 13 mm wrench
  • 2.5mm Hex Wrench
  • Tape

Parts You'll Need

To complete the upgrade from a MakerBot Plastruder MK5 to a MakerBot Stepstruder MK6 you need a fully assembled MakerBot Plastruder MK5 and a MakerBot Stepstruder MK6 Upgrade Kit.

Part List

Prep Work

Peel off protective coverings.

The acrylic parts come with a protective paper film that covers the surface. Use your fingernail or a small screwdriver to remove this film.

Disassemble MakerBot Plastruder MK5

Remove drive head

Remove the four M3x16 bolts securing the drive head.


Disassemble drive head

Fully disassemble the drive head into individual parts

Filament Drive System

In this step you will use plates A and B from your MakerBot Plastruder MK5. Plates C and D will come from your MakerBot Stepstruder MK6.

Add Plate A to stack.

Take Plate A and place it in front of you as shown in the picture.

Add Plate B to stack.

Find Plate B and place it over Plate A as shown.

Add Plate C to stack.

Plate C is two pieces of 2.3mm Black Delrin. Place plate C onto the stack as shown. Pay careful attention to the orientation of the parts.

Add nuts to Plate C.

Add four nuts to Plate C as shown.

Add Plate D to stack.

Plate D is the top of the sandwich. Place it on the stack as shown.

Bolt stack together.

Insert M3x25 bolts

Insert four M3x25 bolts into the holes as shown. These are for securing the motor. In this step they help keep the layers aligned.


Insert M3x22 bolts

Insert two M3x22 bolts as shown.


Hand tighten nuts onto the M3x22 bolts


Tape nuts on filament drive housing.

Place an M3 nut into each of the four holes and tape into place as show.

Attach drive gear to motor shaft.

Bolt the gear onto the motor shaft as shown. The bottom of the drive gear should be 4.9 mm from the top of the motor. Use an M5 bolt to set the height of the drive gear as shown. Ensure the set screw contacts the flat part of the shaft.

Fan mount assembly

Remove the fan connector

Using wire clippers clip off the fan connector as shown.

Strip the wires

Strip the ends of the fan wires and the black/red cable.

Add heat shrink

Place 1 inch of large heat shrink around both fan wires and 1 inch of small heat shrink around the black fan wire as shown.

Solder wires

Ensure the heat shrink is a few inches from the cable ends. Solder the fan wires to 24 inches of black/red wire as shown.

Shrink the heat shrink

Place the small heat shrink tube over the solder joint and heat as shown.
Place the large heat shrink over both solder joints and heat as shown.

Mount the fan to the bracket

Using two M3x16 bolts, two M3 nuts, and two M3 washers bolt the fan to the bracket as shown. Ensure the fan cable is oriented as shown. Ensure the fan label is facing the inside of the bracket.

Bolt motor to filament drive housing.

Add the motor

Place the motor on a flat surface. Ensure the wires are to your left when facing the motor.

Add the fan mount

Place the fan mount on the motor as shown.

Add cork gasket

Place the cork gasket as shown.

Add drive housing

Place the filament drive housing as shown.

Tighten bolts

Tighten the bolts evenly. The cork gasket should be evenly compressed on all sides as shown.
Tighten the bolts such that the drive gear is symmetric in the filament slot as shown.

Hot End Assembly

Remove PTFE tube

Extract the 3 mm filament PTFE tube by removing the nozzle.

Replace nozzle

Screw the nozzle back into the heater block.

Insert and trim the PTFE Tubing

Insert the small diameter PTFE tube into the larger PTFE tube as shown
Insert the PTFE tube into the thermal barrier tube with the pointed end at the nozzle. Ensure the PTFE tube is pushed all the way into the nozzle.
Using a razor knife trim the PTFE tube so that it's flush with the top of the thermal barrier tube as shown.
PTFE tubing must be inserted all the way
This cutaway drawing shows the full insertion of the PTFE tube. Note that it extends all the way into the nozzle. You can check this by pulling it out and measuring it (should be roughly 80mm) or by unscrewing the nozzle with the PTFE tube in place.


Bolt drive head to base

Insert four M3x16 bolts to attache the drive head to base. User tweezers to steady the M3 bolts.

Completed Stepstruder MK6, 1.75 mm filament configuration


Next Step: stepstruder-mk6-electronics-assembly

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