by MakerBot, published
Plastruder MK5, Do or Die!
After strenuous testing which logged hundreds of hours of continuous extrusion, we are supremely excited to offer the all-new Plastruder MK5.
Designed for reliablity, low maintenance, and ease of use, the next-generation MK5 revolutionizes the MakerBot's extrusion mechanism.
Hot End Reinvention:
This story begins with the complete redesign of the extruders' heating element, barrel, and nozzle. Our goal was to take user feedback and our experiences the MK4, and return with the most robust, most reliable, and longest lasting extruder possible.
In close consultation with our manufacturers, we opted for precision machined stainless steel throughout the hot end. Every part was totally redesigned and pushed to the limit before we included it in the final product.
Each component screws tightly together, creating rigid connections and no room for leaks or loosening over time. The result is an all-stainless hot end that feels heavy and strong, and extrudes smoothly for hours and days without issue.
The heating element has been reinvented too: Nichrome wire has been replaced by two matching power resistors that screw-mount directly to the stainless steel MK5 Thermal Core. The resistors receive current straight from the Relay Board, and they heat evenly to produce a consistent temperature perfect for reliable extrusion.
Sayonara Idler Wheel:
You may notice the reduced footprint and profile of the MK5 Plastruder. It's thinner, sleeker, and the motor housing is smaller. The reason for this is the complete "Paxtruder" inspired redesign of the filament guide mechanism. Now simply twist the thumbscrew to push the Delrin plunger into place, and your filament guide is set. No moving components, and the low coefficient of friction and high strength of Delrin means that the filament will slide over it smoothly and meet with the MK5 Drive Gear with no variation. It's a simple design, and it's simply effective.
The Gear that Drives It:
The MK5 Drive gear, released earlier this year, has become the defacto standard drive gear for MakerBots around the world. It's custom machined stainless steel, lasts ages, and is easy to clean without removing from the plastruder body. The MK5 Drive Gear grabs filament with 100% greater push strength than the MK4 Extruder Pulley. The proof is in the pudding for this item- it's already in successful use around the world.
With the larger surface of the MK5 Thermal Core to heat, the extruder needed more juice to get hot. For this reason the MK5 is powered by our Relay Board Kit, already in steady use with our Heated Build Platforms.
The Relay Board comes standard with enough outputs to run the Plastruder MK5 and the HBP simultaneously. By using the relay, the MK5 doesn't draw the power load through the Extruder Controller. Translated- Steady power, without wearing on sensitive circuits or microcontrollers.
The combined effect of our innovative new components, redesigned filament guide, and stainless steel construction is tremendous. It's a totally reinvented extruder that mounts easily to existing CupCake CNC Z-stage, and makes your machine better instantly.
Full documentation located here: http://wiki.makerbot.com/plastruder-mk5
Note: I uploaded some profiles to use with the MK5 titled s1,s2,s3. You have to put them in the right place in your home folder. On a mac, they are invisible files so you have to make those visible as well. I used this tutorial to see the invisible files: http://www.macworld.com/article/51830/2006/07/showallfinder.html Should be irrelevant when ReplicatorG 0019 comes out because Adam will include these profiles in it. - Bre
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