Will - MakerBot Documentation

So I built a MakerBot (yay!). Maybe my build documentation might help some others with similar problems. Everything is pretty much in the order I did it but I did have to revisit the problem areas.



nuts in dino's are quite a tight fit
right side easy on small one
left side easy on big one
scared to snap acrylic
some nuts snap right in place while others need forcing with pliers
no super glue so i'm using "multi-grip" and hoping it'll be strong enough
the glue has dried now and it seems strong enough

Idler Wheel:
no superglue…. i'll have to come back to this i think
I don't really want to risk it using the multi-grip glue

Heater Barrel:
nichrome wire —> initially 30cm = 9 ohm
cut to 21 cm = 6 ohm
using probably something like 24 gage solid core wire
i'm hoping the solid core will be okay —> turns out solid core wire works

otherwise pretty straight forward
mine's not perfectly cylindrical but it doesn't matter

Opto Endstop:
the 1k resistor has been replaced by a 10k one? (i have 2 10k resistors and no 1k ones in all of my endstop packets)
I built one and tried to test it by simply hooking it up to power (5v) but i'm not sure i did it right
i'm going to wait until I have the other boards assembled to do a real test and decide whether they will work.
tested on stepper driver (before debugging) and it didn't work —> trying later with working drivers



used "hard oil" on wood = a natural oil; brought out the wood's natural colors well
oiled one side, let sit for 30 mins, rubbed excess off, oiled the other side, rubbed them down and left them to dry

Body Assembly:
very easy
just noticed the my z-guides are different form batch 3 (upgrade?)
not sure how freely z-axis should move
i might have to go back and re-align the bearings

ahhh! i snapped a piece (y-stage left) while trying to get a nut in. it snapped around the slide bearing and all the way down the piece
—> super glue fixed it pretty perfectly (very hard to tell which piece broke) and it seems to function fine.
Y-stage is very tight when both rods are in —> rubbing the rods in and out individually for a few minutes made it drastically better
When I initially fired up my makerbot I noticed the belt on the y-stage stepper was slipping because it wasn't smooth enough. I later followed Bre's suggestion of using 3 in 1 oil and steel wool.



SMD soldering overall was pretty easy once i figured it out

some initial problems:
i didn't leave it long enough on the hot plate
wasn't sure about how much solder paste to put down (turns out it doesn't really matter)
i also wasn't sure about how precise i had to be (turns out not very)
needed to fix bridges and solder through-hole components. some were easy some were really frustrating

hooked up motherboard to power and used usbtiny to program
pretty smooth…. a few hiccups but intuitive fixes (need to reset, let it find correct port, etc.)
the power LED doesn't ever turn on (wrong polarity?) —> yep. I did a terrible job of ripping out the LED too so it was non-functional by the time it was off. I just used a standard 3mm red LED and it works fine.

extruder controller wasn't responding
one of the atmega168 pins wasn't making a good connnection -> easy fix

servo driver tests:
#1 perfect
#2 gets hot (running at full power), trim-pot has no effect —> fixed connection pot and chip
#3 motor barely turns (very low frequency), probably something wrong with capacitor connections, trim pot has no effect —> fixed connection with pot and chip, i had soldered a resistor and capacitor in completely wrong

extruder tests:
thermistor reads 20 at startup
set heat to 50 —> ramps to 65 and settles back down (yes!)
extruder motor not responding —> tested all pins/connections on ADC1 and fixed where necessary (not many if any), added solder to pins on atmega168 (and desoldered bridges that formed)


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