- 1 General Info
- 1.1 What is the Webmaker Bot?
- 1.2 How do I use the Webmaker Bot?
- 1.3 My model finished printing! Now what?
- 1.4 Where can I get more or different colored material?
- 1.5 Where can I find things to print?
- 1.6 How can I contribute to the Webmaker Bot?
- 1.7 Is the print material (PLA) food safe?
- 1.8 What can I use to glue PLA?
- 1.9 What can I do with filament spools that are not in use?
- 1.10 How can I design something completely new?
- 2 Specific Info
- 2.1 What settings should I use in ReplicatorG?
- 2.2 Troubleshooting
- 3 Contacts
- 4 To-do List
What is the Webmaker Bot?
The Webmaker Bot is a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer that we purchased in 2012 for the Toronto office. It lives in near the beer keg, just north of the kitchen area.
How do I use the Webmaker Bot?
The printer is very straightforward to use, but it's possible to permanently damage it if you're not careful! If you're unsure about how to use it, please ask for help! You can also abort a print that's in progress if things start to go badly.
Models you find online will come in STL form. You will need to install Markerware or ReplicatorG on your computer and convert the model into S3G that can be sent to the printer. You can copy your S3G file onto the memory card in the printer, or you can connect your laptop to the printer using the USB cable and print directly from ReplicatorG. You can also use netfabb to simulate your compiled GCode so you can see what each layer of the print will look like.
Make sure to notice the size of the model you're printing and also the estimated printing time. You should also level the build platform before you start printing. Select the appropriate item from the Utilities menu and the machine will guide you.
Sometimes you may need to use things in the toolbox beside the printer. Please put things back in the toolbox (not on the table near the printer) when you're finished. If you're performing maintenance on the printer, put screws and other small items into the toolbox while you work so that they don't go missing.
If you discover some new knowledge that would help other people, please update this document and share what you learned!
My model finished printing! Now what?
Wait until the extruder has moved out of the way and the build platform is lowered. Carefully remove the build platform from the machine and detach your model. Make sure to clean off all the extra bits of filament that may be stuck. When you're done, replace the build platform for the next person.
You should also consider keeping your model around the office for a day or two so that other people can see what you made! You can also take pictures and share them with @webmakerbot on Twitter.
There is a second build platform available in case you want to start printing another model while you clean off the first build plate. As a courtesy, please remove your model from the build plate as soon as possible.
Where can I get more or different colored material?
The Webmaker Bot eats 1.75mm PLA filament only! You can buy new spools in many fabulous colors here.
Where can I find things to print?
There are many models available on thingiverse. However, not all of them have been tested on the Replicator 2, or at all.
How can I contribute to the Webmaker Bot?
If you'd like to donate some funds for the Webmaker Bot, please send them through Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org. We use this money for upkeep and maintenance.
Is the print material (PLA) food safe?
PLA can be food safe, but the filament we buy is for industrial use so it may contain materials that are not safe to consume, such as additives or coloring. We can certainly buy some food safe PLA if there's enough demand for it.
What can I use to glue PLA?
Use epoxy or super glue. You can't use acetone to melt PLA.
What can I do with filament spools that are not in use?
If you switch filament spools, please store the unused spool in a plastic bag. PLA is best stored away from moisture. It's OK to leave a spool attached to the printer with the filament loaded.
How can I design something completely new?
Use a program like OpenSCAD. You can find lots of info if you search for constructive solid geometry. You can also modify existing STL models by importing them and adding or removing as you need. OpenSCAD in particular is picky about STL models, so if you have trouble compiling a modified STL, try running it through netfabb first.
What settings should I use in ReplicatorG?
Object infill (%)
Try using 10% for art objects, and 50% for objects that need lots of structural stability.
Layer Height (mm)
Try 0.35 for normal printing, as this will give medium-quality resuilts. Try up to 0.1 for high-quality prints.
Number of shells
This is the number of additional shells, since you always get one for free. For sturdy prints, add 2-3 extra shells.
This is the extruder speed while printing. The default is a little high, so you can experiment with lower feedrates. 20 produces good results but takes longer.
Travel feedrate (mm/s)
This is the extruder speed while moving between print sites. The default is a little hight, so you can experiment with lower feedrates. 40 Produces good results but takes longer.
We've had good results with temperatures around 240. This depends partly on the ambient temperature, so you might need to experiment.
Make sure this is set to 1.77mm.
The nozzle on the Replicator is 0.44mm.
The online documentation for the Replicator2 covers some common problems; Refer to it here. If you come across a problem that's not covered, please add it below along with the solution you used.
Filament stops feeding during a print
The plunger that holds the filament against the drive gear may be too loose. We are expecting a replacement part that requires no adjustment that should eliminate this problem, but it hasn't arrived yet.
Corners are lifting off the build platform
Try adding ear rafts to your print to help it stay on the build plate. This may also be caused by the build plate being too far from the nozzle. Take extra care when levelling the build plate before starting your print.
Please sign up here if you're available and willing to help others with the Makerbot:
- Alan Kligman (email)
- Buy a sturdy table
Buy some sand paper (for cleaning rough edges)
Buy some epoxy or super glue
- Buy a soldering pencil (for manually attaching PLA fragments)
- Set up a mechanism for letting other people know when you want to use the printer (so that everyone has a chance to use it)
- Buy a pair of calipers (for measuring filament width and printed parts)
- Buy some small pins (to use for alignment holes in multi-part prints)
Buy a pair of clamps
- Glue for build plate
- Digital calipers