Extruder Plunger for the Replicator 2
by Big-E, published
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Hyappo, these are installed in the extruder block, the two-piece black plastic housing that's screwed to the stepper motor in the extruder. refer to "CLEANING THE DRIVE GEAR" section in the manual or at http://www.makerbot.com/suppor...
To install this piston, once you've followed the removal steps in the section I referenced, you need to remove the two screws that hold the extruder block to the stepper motor and carefully pull the top half off the block, being careful not to lose the parts inside;The factory plunger may fall out. remove the old plunger from the grub screw/nut/o-ring assembly, replace with the printed part. replace the plunger, grub screw/nut and o-ring assembly, and reassemble the block , screw it back on to the motor, and replace the stepper motor/extruder block assembly into the gantry carriage in the reverse of removal. It is not so much an improvement, as a replacement for a part that wears over time. Sorry if I wasn't more clear with my oridinal description/instructions as posted!
this replaces the derlin plunger in the exrtuder block. this is the part that presses the filament against the extruder gear.
If the factory installed plunger wears down (from a groove being formed from friction) filament won't feed properly, and no adjustment of the grub screw will fix the problem. you can turn the plunger, but eventually, it will get a groove worn into it again. eventually it wears down so much, you need to replace the plunger. This part is meant as a replacement. it may not work as well as a derlin plunger, but it does work. and the fact that you can print them makes them more accessible, as you can't always get a replacement form makerbot when you need them. it's meant to keep your machine printing while you are waiting for a replacement, I've not done any long term tests, but they seem to wear well. I never meant this as a permanent replacement, but you can always print more, and replace them as needed.
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Print one at a time, you can print multiple plungers on a plate, but they tend to pop off the build plate sometimes, printing them solo makes for the best results, and they print quickly too.
Install in your block like the factory plunger, may sometimes be a little tight on the grub screw, but it can be twisted on to the threads easily if this is the case.
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