Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Official Makerbot filament feed guide replacement is now installed.

As previously stated, after a couple of weeks after buying my Replicator 2 I had problems with "air prints."  The prints would seem to start and then in the middle they would mysteriously just stop. This was caused by a defective design combined with natural variation in filament diameters.  The original design had a hard plastic nub with only a small o-ring to act as a spring, so that as it wore down and it hit a narrow spot on the filament, the printer would stop feeding plastic.  You could adjust the printer to work again, but this involved taking off a fan and fan housing from the side and messing around with a small hex set screw.  

I saw where many other people were having similar issues, so I downloaded the fix file that someone had put onto thingiverse, ordered parts from various sites, adjusted the printer one more time the old way, and then printed the new part in pla plastic.  

Over the summer Makerbot offered a replacement injection molded part with the springs and bearings and screws to finally fix the issue.  So I ordered it and waited about 5 months to receive the part.  I threw it on a shelf because the fix I had in place was working just fine.  

I had not printed in a while, and started to print something about 3 weeks ago.  I noticed that the filament would not feed and the replacement part was broken, after about a year of use.   So I installed the factory replacement part and began printing again. :D

So far the factory replacement part has been as good as the part that I printed from the internet.  Here is hoping that the fix will last the life of the printer. :D

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