MakerBot/Set Up & Run The MakerBot

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Purpose[edit | edit source]

The purpose of this MakerBot Cupcake CNC procedure is to assist future HCC engineering students with the 3D-Scan project. By completing this procedure, a future team working with the MakerBot will not only understand how to operate it quickly, but also advance to the next step in the project.

MakerBot Cupcake CNC Procedure[edit | edit source]

Setup[edit | edit source]

1. Log on to a computer near the MakerBot Cupcake CNC.
Logging onto a CL computer near the HCC MakerBot
2. Open the “Engineering” folder on the desktop.
Opening the Engineering folder
3. Click on the program called, “ReplicatorG.”
Opening Replicator G
4. Plugin the power cord to the MakerBot and an outlet.
5. Plugin the serial cord to the MakerBot and the computer you are currently working on.
6. Turn on the MakerBot Cupcake CNC, the power switch is on the bottom left of the back side.
For more assistance, view this video: Setting Up the MakerBot Cupcake CNC
7. Using the connect tool in the top Replicator G menu, connect ReplicatorG to the MakerBot. If the connection is not recognized in ReplicatorG you may need to select a different serial port or rescan for other serial ports. This can be done by going to the “Machine” drop down menu on the tool bar in ReplicatorG.
Selecting the connect tool
Selecting or scanning other serial ports
8. “Machine HCC Makerbot ready” should appear in green at the top of the ReplicatorG screen. And more of the tools at the top of the ReplicatorG screen are available to use.
Confirming the Replicator G - MakerBot connection is complete
If the box is not green, check the devices in the Control Panel for exclamation points. Unplug the Serial cord and plug it back in to check that the device is the MakerBot. If it has an exclamation mark, right click the device and go to properties > hardware > properties > Driver > Update driver > Browse my computer... > Type or Browse... C:Users\your_student_login_ID\desktop\engineering\replicatorg\drivers. If the device is still not working and it still has an exclamation point, reinstall the drivers again using the same process. If it does not work a second time, make sure that you typed the folder containing the drivers correctly by navigating to it through "My Computer" Libraries or the Browse button in the troubleshooting process.
Confirming the Replicator G - MakerBot connection is complete
9. Place the black wire into the MakerBot Cupcake CNC motor. The motor is located in the center of the top side of the MakerBot.
Placing the black wire
10. Tighten the screw. The screw is located on the right side of the motor.
Locating and tightening the screw
11. The setup of the MakerBot Cupcake CNC is now complete.

Uploading an STL file onto ReplicatorG[edit | edit source]

1. In ReplicatorG, go to the File drop down menu in the toolbar, select “Open.”
Opening an STL file on Replicator G
2. In the “Open” window, go to “Desktop” and open the STL file you want to print.
3. The picture of the file should appear on ReplicatorG. To view the model of the object, use the “View”, “Move”, and “Rotate” commands located on the right side of the ReplicatorG window.
Viewing the object in Replicator G
4. Scale the model to the size you desire, but make certain the size is consistent with the tolerances of the MakerBot Cupcake CNC. NOTE: MakerBot Cupcake CNC will print up to any size below 10mm x 10mm x 15mm.
Scaling the object in Replicator G
5. Click “Generate GCode.”
Generating GCode
6. If you made any changes to your model, a "Save model?" window will appear. Click yes if this is the appropriate scale of the model you want to print.
Saving the model
7. In the GCode Generator window, select SF35-cupcake-HBP as a Skeinforge profile.
Selecting Skeinforge Profile
8. Select or unselect the “Use raft” check box if you want to create a raft.
Checking the raft box
9. Click Generate GCode at the bottom of the GCode Generator window.
Generating GCode for the model
GCode Loading Screen
10. Click on the gcode tab. In the ##th line that reads: M04 temp 220 (temperature 220) change the first number (220) to (180).

Printing[edit | edit source]

1. Click on the control panel tool in the ReplicatorG tool bar.
Opening the Control Panel Window
2. In the “Control Panel” window, set the “Target Temperature (C)” to 180.0 and the "Platform Target Temperature (C)" to 110.0. This heats the wire to its appropriate melting temperature and heats the platform to cause the filament to stick to it better. This could take a few minutes.
Note: Sometimes (usually after stopping or finishing a build) the temperatures will drop and continue to drop even after re-entering the target temperatues. To keep the temperature up click the reset button in the Replicatorg window (to the right of the control panel), close the Replicatorg program, open it back up, and re-enter the target temperatures. Wait a couple seconds to see if the temperature stops dropping and/or starts to increase. Repeat this process as needed.
Setting the Target Temperature
3. Moving the X, Y, and Z jog controls of the Homing feature in the Control Panel Window, center the motor over the work table. Line up the printing head (extrusion nozzle) so that there is a very short amount of space (1-2mm) between it and the platform.
Centering the work table
For more assistance you can view a video using this link:Centering the Work Table under the MakerBot Motor
4. Click on the gcode tab. In the ##th line that reads: M04 temp 220 (temperature 220) change the first number (220) to (180).
Due to the thermistors calibration error the new target temperature for the MakerBot is 180, and this has not been changed/updated for the gcode generating process. This line of code tells the MakerBot to wait until it reaches that specific temperature, so this number must be changed.
5. Now wait for the motor’s current temperature to reach the target temperature.
Recognizing that the current temperature has reached the target temperature
6. Once the motor is centered and heated, click the “Build” tool in the ReplicatorG toolbar.
Using the Build tool
7. A message will appear stating that the MakerBot will do a test extrusion and the material from the motor will be released. Remove the material from the work table and click the “Yes” option on the "Continue build?" window that appears.
For more assistance, view this video: MakerBot Cupcake CNC Test Extrusion
Confirming the test extrusion
8. Once the MakerBot begins to build, wait until the nozzle moves to the right and begins extruding the support platform. Most likely, in every build you will need to use the manual controller to move the printing head so that the supporting base of filament is spread flat.
As an example, here is a video of the MakerBot Cupcake CNC print a wrench:MakerBot Cupcake CNC Printing
9. Sit back, relax, and start making!