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Spring-loaded Replicator 2 Drive Block

by MakerBot, published

Spring-loaded Replicator 2 Drive Block by MakerBot Feb 22, 2013

Verified Files

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Description

Based on the excellent work of Thingiverse users whpthomas, emmett, and whosawhatsis, this design incorporates a spring-loaded arm to squeeze the filament between the drive gear and a bearing with a constant amount of pressure. We added improvements to the designs, such as a hole below the drive gear to guide the filament into the hot end.

MakerBot Replicator 2 owners will love the ease of this system for keeping filament running smoothly, and we salute the innovative MakerBot users who contributed to this design!

UPDATE! The hardware parts for this replacement are available for sale in our online store. Go to store.makerbot.com/drive-block-hardware-kit.html.

UPDATE! Rev2 files are now uploaded, and there are STEP files for anyone who would like to take a closer look at the design. There is also a version of the Base that can print without support material.

Recent Comments

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Thanks for the model! It really helps! Original pressure part is complete sh*t.. :( This one rocks!
Nice nice nive !!

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Instructions

You can find a video of these instructions here: youtu.be/ZdOS5NP5eaE

As well as the three printed parts, you will need the following:

The 2mm and 2.5mm hex wrenches that came with your MakerBot Replicator 2
1 M3 Hex Socket Shoulder Screw, 4mm diameter x 10mm length shoulder
1 Compression Spring, 0.360"OD, 0.276"ID, 0.630" Free Length, 32lbs/in spring rate
1 M3 x 6mm Flat Head Cap Screw
1 Ball Bearing, 4mm ID x 10mm OD x 4mm width

1. Print out SCHDrive.thing. The files are precisely oriented to work well with support material as generated in MakerWare. Use the following settings:

Layer height: 0.20 mm
Infill: 10%
Shells: 3

2. Remove the support structures from the drive block base and bearing arm.

3. Unload any filament and switch off the MakerBot Replicator 2.

4. Remove the motor wire harness connector from the port at the top of the extruder motor.

5. Use the 2.5 mm hex wrench to loosen the two bolts at the lower corners of the front extruder fan. Pull the bolts, fan guard, fan, spacers and heatsink about a centimeter out of the extruder as one piece. This will free the motor. Pull the motor assembly out of the extruder.

5. Set the motor assembly down on a work surface. Orient it so that the motor shaft points up and the motor connector is on the side farthest from you.

6. Use the 2 mm hex wrench to remove the two bolts holding the drive block to the motor.

7. Remove the drive block. You can put the drive block and bolts aside. You will not need any of these parts to complete this part replacement.

8. Add the new drive block base to the motor so that the flat side rests against the top of the motor, the large hole at the center fits over the drive gear, and the two bolt holes in the base line up with the bolt holes farthest from you on the motor.

9. Add the small flathead screw to the bolt hole on the right of the drive block base. Screw it in using the 2 mm hex wrench.

10. Set the bearing arm down on your work surface with the flattest side facing down. The bearing arm is roughly L-shaped, and on the short side of the L you will see a short post pointing upward. Add the radial bearing to this post.

11. Add the bearing cover to the bearing arm so that the flat side faces up, the more rounded end fits into the round depression at the corner of the bearing arm, and the less rounded end partially covers the bearing. Press the cover on until it is flush with the edges of the bearing arm.

12. Fit one end of the spring over the round bump on the drive block base. The bump protrudes horizontally from the lower right corner of the drive block base.

13. Orient the bearing arm so that the bearing is at the left and the bearing cover faces up. Then line up the corresponding bump on the bearing arm with the other end of the spring.

14. Pinch the front side of the drive block base and the long side of the bearing arm together to compress the spring. Compress the spring until the bolt hole in the bearing arm and the remaining bolt hole in the drive block base line up.

15. Push the shoulder bolt through both bolt holes at the corner of the bearing arm and into the bolt hole on the motor. Use the 2 mm hex wrench to tighten down the bolt. You might have to push down hard on the hex wrench in order to get the shoulder bolt to thread into the hole in the motor.

16. The new drive block is now fully assembled, and you can return the motor assembly to the extruder. Slide the motor assembly back into the extruder.

17. Making sure the fan bolts at the front of the extruder line up with the two lower bolt holes on the extruder motor, tighten the bolts into the motor using the 2.5 mm hex wrench.

Note: Make sure you are able to push the bearing arm down. If the bearing arm will not move, the fan bolts are probably too tight.

18. Return the motor wire harness connector to the port at the top of the motor.

That's it! Start printing and let us know how it works out!

What are Verified Files?

Verified Files are ready-to-print files for your MakerBot Replicator 2. They’ve been pre-sliced and tested on our machines. All you have to do is download the files to an SD card and start 3D printing!

Thanks for the model! It really helps! Original pressure part is complete sh*t.. :( This one rocks!
what is the bearing?
Jul 30, 2014 - Modified Jul 30, 2014
I was getting quite a few extrusion problems with this upgrade. At first I was able to avoid the problem by pausing the print and having the printer "load" a couple inches of filament just before some complex geometry (to push some bubbles out of the nozzle and give the gear a fresh bit of filament to bite into), but I later discovered that there was insufficient force applied to the filament, causing the nozzle to jam and grinding the filament down to a thickness that the gear couldn't grip onto.

Solution--> I put a 2mm thick washer under the bottom end of the spring, giving it just a little bit more force, and I haven't had an extrusion problem since! (Knock on wood)
I printed this something last year and have only had a small handful of prints where it has stopped extruding, the last of which was a month or two ago. This, combined with a leveling calibration print and a dial indicator mount have given me the reliable repeatability I had expected when I bought my Replicator 2.Thank you for designing this and putting it out there for all of us to use!
I have tried this upgrade multiple times and I can't seem to get good prints from it.I have assembled the upgrade using the kit bought directly from Makerbot, and I have ensured I have printed and assembled the parts properly. Basically, when I print, or even just use the load filament utility on my replicator 2 the filament doesn't extrude as fast as it should. If I was to compare the upgrade to the original grub screw drive block, I would say the stream coming out is half the speed of the grub screw drive block. I am pretty sure this is due to insufficient force being applied to the filament.Can anyone help me with this problem as I have had to resort to using the grub screw which has been working but occasionally results in the clicking problem resulting in failed prints.
I had a similar problem and discovered that the set screw was loose on the grub screw. Loosened it, aligned it with the flat side of the shaft on the stepper, and re-tightened, and that fixed my filament "drive" issues. A secondary problem though was that the spools on my Replicator Dual sometimes drop the filament between the back and the spool. When it gets hung up there it can break the filament.

Just printed out the dual version of this (#70306) in PET+ and having some issues with what I believe is a bridge support that seems to be printed in the inset. May end up reprinting it in ABS to see if I can get a better print to work from.
I have these on my two replicator2s at my school. They make all the difference in the world. I did have one issue that I just fixed so I thought I would share. One of my replicators stopped printing and would make stringy prints that were not working. After disassembling I discovered that the lever arm was rubbing against the place where the grub/set screw was on the notched wheel. Either over time the lever arm deformed or I did not have a good print in the first place. Fixed the problem by reprinting the whole mechanism and the replicator is going great now!
I just recently got a Replicator 2; this came with the printer.
will this work on the Replicator 1?
Since I have installed this upgrade the motor in the driver block is getting really hot. It is much much warmer than the heat sink. While printing I cant hold my finger on the back of the motor for more then 4 seconds where as the heat sink is just warm to touch.

Is this a problem?
I'm having a problem where, when printing on the 2X, the spot for the spring to attach to on the mount keeps getting burned, and sagging in and upwards. This has happened on 6/6 prints
Will this work for the Replicator 2X? Or is it specific for the Replicator 2?
Was going to order a kit from makerbot's website but then i noticed that they wanted $15 to ship something that weighs almost nothing to an address inside the lower 48... This could fit in a padded envelope and cost like $4 for shipping :-/
I ended up ordering one anyway, I spoke too soon. I tried finding the parts from amazon and it was going to be almost double the price... Sorry makerbot keep up the good work :P I own up to my mistakes :)
I have found that soap push pumps are a good source of strong springs. Usually they can be had for as low as $1 soap included.
Don't order the hardware kit from Makerbot - I'm at 2 weeks and the order is still processing!
I ordered mine on 6/28/13, it is now 9/3/13 and I still haven't gotten it! WOW!!!
Seem to work a lot better than the original Replicator2 plunger. Print width seems much more consistent
Really one of the best explanations and I did it in minutes!! You rock, Alex! Thanks!
Hey, I just got my Replicator 2 and am in the process of learning how to use it and calibrating it. I'd like to upgrade the extruder but seeing as I only have the Replicator 2, I can't print an ABS replacement. I don't see one at the Makerbot store, where else can I get an ABS version? I don't think I'd spring for an aluminum one at least not until I've sufficiently experimented with the stock extruder.
I mirrored a copy so I could replace both my extruders on my dual head Replicator 1. Works great, gonna tell my Replicator-owning friends.

You should post a mirrored version since that's not easy to do in Makerware as it was in RepG (and Makerware won't print something flipped in RepG)
Printed and installed it using parts ordered from Robosavvy and it works brilliantly.
Just replaced the injection molded pieces. So far it's working much better. I have 4 brand new rep2's and MBI did the right thing and sent me the replacement parts for free. Now just waiting for a new thermocouple, one of them crapped out. Jhorel, agreed, they should be shipping the rep 2's with the upgrade already installed.
just got the hardware bits from mcmaster ($40 overnite) and printed this out.

worked like a charm. My printer is finally printing reliably. was able to print things using the high resolution setting on makerware successfully where before it was a 80%+ failure rate. Now it's 100% success so far (3 copies of the printed parts).

ordered the injection molded one, but that will take a while. MBI should be shipping all replicator 2's with this mod.

Thanks all
I haven't gotten my kit yet but I hear that the printed parts melt and warp over time. Also someone mentioned that you could get a injection molded one and it took me a while but I finally found it...

store.makerbot.com/extruder-upgrade.html?utm_source=MakerBot+Customers&;utm_campaign=43f102128a-Replicator_2_Extruder_Upgrade_5_14_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2a6be7f082-43f102128a-407817429

It is free for people who already one the rep2 but there is a 6 week wait.
This doesn't allow me to order. I put my serial number in and nothing happens :/
Does anyone know where i can get the kit in the UK? Makerbot are trying to charge me $40 to send it!
Works great, but beware if you print this thing in PLA it will have a limited lifespan. Mine warped after a few weeks of heavy printing and I could no longer print. I should have printed more than one! Anyway, I just bought the injection molded version from the Makerbot store and I'm back in business!
By the way here is the part link to where Makerbot gets there springs

centuryspring.com/Store/item_detail.php?StockNumber=71140S

Unfortunately they bought 30,000. Here are the part numbers for the other items
you get these from McMaster Carr

91294A126 Metric
Flat Head Socket Cap Screw, M3 Size, 6MM Length, .50MM Pitch, Packs of 100
90278A317 Metric
18-8 Stainless Steel Precision Socket Shoulder Scrw, Hex, 4MM Shoulder
Diameter, 10MM Shoulder L, M3 Thread
7804K1 Miniature
High-Precision Stainless Steel Ball Bearing - ABEC-5, Double Shielded, for 4 mm
Shaft Diameter, 10 mm ODD
thanks! just bought 50. ;)
Hi All. Im just going to add my 2 cents worth. I could not print at all with my Rep2 when I first got it. Bilby in Australia eventually printed me a WHPThomas version of this and I have had no Problems with filament since, Except for the clear filament that came with the unit from makerbot. It jams in the extruder for no reason and blocks up after about an hour. After some research and measuring I found 2 things. 1 The filament varied from 1.7mm to 1.9mm in different areas and through this didn't jam in the feeder is jammed in the heat pipe. 2 I found out through the supplier that the filament from Makerbot has issues with moisture. I cant remember the exact story but the explanation went along the lines of dont use the supplied filament. I havent used it and have had no failed prints due to filament. Granted I have had plenty of bad prints but most are now due to me being slack in the setup. In regards to Emmets prints i have done many and they have worked out perfect. I agree that if you want print his objects, you need to do a proper setup and read his instructions. In regards to Maker bot I think that they should be sending every Rep2 owner the updated feeder for free. You have made a good product but you are now subjecting it bad publicity simply because you are not supporting your users. Its obvious that the feeder is useless and needs to be replaced. On a final note I love my printer and couldnt imagine life with out it.
Hello Community and MB. As with a lot of folks here, our Rep2 has been dismal right out of the box. This fix looks promising but we are in a situation where we cannot even print the shark, let alone this fix. If there is a resource out there that we can purchase these printed parts please let us know. We are in DC and will pay overnight shipping for a well made, usable kit that works for a Rep2 purchased only two months ago. Thanks.
If you live in germany, you may wont pay the high shipping costs. We found some similar parts in a german online shop: 3d-drucker-community.de/forum/3d-drucken/3d-drucker/makerbot/118-filament-einzug-mit-feder-lagerung?p=238#post238
Am I the only one that is having problems printing these parts. I have a replicator 2 and firmware 7.2 and the makerware software 2.02.09 and everytime I try and print the lever or the cover the area around the larger hole is not printing solid. It's like 2 walls but there is no layer of plastic on the bottom of the cover near the large hole and no layer of plastic on the top of the lever near the large hole. I've tried going back to my 7.0 firmware and that didn't help. Thanks in advance
Woops my software version is 2.0.2.9. I just tried printing with the medium quality which uses the makerware slicer and that one printed ok. I'm gonna try them all this way. I wonder why the skeinforge slicer is not working properly usually I don't have issues with it. I even tried repG and had the same problems.
I've only had my Replicator 2 for about 10 days. Lots of issues with inconsistent flow, rafts, and supports. Have leveled the modeling surface more times than a kid on a trip can say "are we there yet?". Will this upgrade address this?
Thanks!
Woops my firmware is 2.0.2.9. I just tried printing with the medium quality which uses the makerware slicer and that one printed ok. I'm gonna try them all this way. I wonder why the skeinforge slicer is not working properly usually I don't have issues with it. I even tried repG and had the same problems.
$2000 PLAYED OUT!!
IT COULDN'T BE SOLD!
IT COULDN'T BE SOLD!!
IT COULDN'T BE SOLD!!!
IT COULDN'T BE SOLD!!!!
IT DOESN'T PRINT ANYTHING!!!
DON'T BUY REPLICATOR 2!!!
DON'T BUY REPLICATOR 2

IT SUCKS!!

IT DOESN'T PRINT ANYTHING!!!

IT COULDN'T BE SOLD!!!!
Well.... The only thing I have to say: Replicator 2 sucks!!!

It doesn't print anything!!! I think it couldn't be sold!!!

I leave an advice: DON'T BUY IT!!!!!!
Anyone needing a left side block, or blocks for an original Replicator, or Replicator Dual should use my newly posted thing thingiverse.com/thing:64919
You can tweak the settings to use parts that you can easily source locally.
Anyone needing a left side block, or blocks for an original Replicator, or Replicator Dual should use my newly posted thing thingiverse.com/thing:64919
You can tweak the settings to use parts that you can easily source locally.
Anyone needing a left side block, or blocks for an original Replicator, or Replicator Dual should use my newly posted thing thingiverse.com/thing:64919
You can tweak the settings to use parts that you can easily source locally.
When you say "M3 ... 4mm diameter" do you actually mean an M4? I is a leetle confuzed.
Nah Vik, They mean a shoulder bolt. The threaded part is M3 and the shoulder part is 4mm diameter and 10mm long. most engineering supplies stores would have this. but don't go looking for one at your local hardware store.
Does anybody know where to buy the spring in the uk, . $40 postage from the us seems excessive.
Yes please can someone help if they've managed to buy any of the parts in the uk, is anyone selling it as a kit?
I don't see SCHDrive.thing anywhere inside the download. I'm hoping this solves the issues I'm having with a brand new Replicator 2 with inconsistant material.
Is this some kind of funny joke? Plastics axle for bearing? 3.6mm ABS cylinder will break easily, and PLA won't stand the burning temperature that the stepper motor generating; Unnecessary tolerance compensation suggested that the design is verified with a terribly calibrated 3D printer; Avoidable overhang in the screw socket;

OMG, are you really?
Did you print it and give it a try before trashing?
only asked because mine works fine (as of commenting) and in the six months following has worked flawlessly
FYI, this won't work on a Replicator 2x. Makerbot actually changed the design of the extruders on the 2x and implemented a bearing and spring approach similar to the design of this Thing. However, I still can't use my less expensive filament with the new 2x design - it still jambs. The cheap filament ranges from 1.7 to 1.8, so apparently 0.1mm of filament variation is too much to ask the new 2x design to handle. It's a bummer too, because the filament was about 25% less expensive than Makerbot filament. Otherwise, I've been pretty happy with my 2x purchase.
You should be using better filament. There is plenty of cheaper stuff that doesn't have a larger diameter swing like your cheap stuff does.
How do you mirror a part in MakerWare so that you can print a replacement for the left extruder on a dual extrusion Replicator 2x?
where is the SCHDrive.thing file mentioned in step 1 of the instructions?
emmet must be receiving free PLA (:)). This is indeed a product defect. While emmet's designs are intriguing (cute, but require too much horsepower for practical and/or large horsepower / long term use), one cannot build his designs without the modification as there are too tight tolerances for even remotely practical application with the factory extruder design.
No, Emmet's designs are challenging, but they're not impossible. They just require a well calibrated printer. But I've printed pretty much everything he's designed, on a Replicator (original model). It does require careful calibration of speed, temperature and filament diameter, but it can be done.

Note that he provides source to all of his designs, in OpenSCAD, so you can tweak the designs to be printable on your printer and filament.

I have no idea what you mean by "too large horsepower" or "this is indeed a product defect" in relation to Emmet's designs being printable.
Harsh! -1
Does anyone have a handle on which of these mods work best. I'm currently printing using the wphthomas version of the extruder fix. I must say it works pretty well but I'm still having a hell of a time getting makerbot natural PLA to print reliably for any parts that take more than an hour or so. I've printed this mod by makerbot and I've ordered their hardware kit to complete it. I'm just wondering if anyone can comment on which fix is the best fix out of all of these. I'm just trying to get to reliable printing and say goodbye to these air prints once and for all. I'm so tired of making things 4 or 5 times just to get one good print.
McMaster.com Parts
Spring: 9657K288
Shoulder Screw: 90278A317
Ball Bearing: 7804K1
Cap Screw (100pack): 91294A126
Why do the specs for the spring on McMaster differ from what is listed in the description in length, spring rate, etc.? Is this a "close enough" similar spring or the actual one from the kit? (The rest of the part specs look identical.)
I couldn't agree more!
I have sent more than a dozen emails to support & received all the standard advice but after many days of effort still get intermittent flow and associated "clicking". It *APPEARS* that this is the solution to my problem (someone please verify). But NOBODY at Makerbot has mentioned this solution! I'm sorry... but this is just outrageous! Is Makerbot relying on its user community to redesign its product AND keeping it a secret? Just outrageously irresponsible, unprofessional, and inexcusable. Needless to say... I'm a little beyond upset.
Well, they announced this design on their blog and featured it on Thingiverse, so it's not terribly secret. I can't say why they didn't suggest it to you - their reps (at least some of them) have been telling people about the community extruder designs for months. So they should certainly be telling people about this new design.
Given that this is out of stock (and priced to profit rather than to repair) can anyone point out the appropriate parts on a site like McMaster Carr? I have had a hard time locating the spring in particular.
One other point/question for Makerbot. It appears that the settings in the original Makerbot slicer profiles were tweaked to compensate for the original plunger design. Have you worked out replacement profiles that work better with the new extruder design?
There's nothing about this design that would require a different profile - the diameter of the gear didn't change, just the mechanism for pressing filament against the gear.
True, the gear didn't change. However, a flat delrin plunger tensioned by a screw and o-ring will not give consistent positive engagement with the drive gear in the same manner that a spring loaded bearing does. If you dig into the default profiles that shipped with the Makerbot, it appears that they fudged the filament size and multiplier to compensate for slippage in the drive mechanism.
Look at it this way - if the original mechanism worked reliably, this upgrade wouldn't offer any noticeable improvements in performance.
The plunger and spring tensioned design have the same geometry and profile because the gear is the same. The plunger behaves the same as the spring tension when adjusted to proper pressure on consistently sized filament, with no slipping, etc. The advantage of the spring tensioned design is that it deals better with variable sized filament, and that you can manually release pressure for loading and unloading filament. But same gear = same profile.
Week 1, I disassembled the extruder and was amazed that such a marginal design could actually work with any consistency. I quickly upgraded it using the whpthomas design and have been very satisfied. I think it is brave and kind of noble for Makerbot to embrace rather than suppress the improved design. Yes, they are acknowledging that the original design is inferior. Yes, they are charging a few bucks for the parts kit (BTW, I paid almost $8 just for the bearing I used) But in the grand scheme of things, this is how an innovative company who supports an innovative community should work.

We have several other CNC machines - the Makerbot is, by far, the least expensive of the lot. To my knowledge, none of these other equipment companies have ever offered free or low cost performance upgrades to their equipment -- (and lord knows, some of them could use it).

Only in our current age of class action suits would a company be
criticized for being so open with improvements to their product!
I'm hardly in a position to say anything because my printer is of my own design and my extruder is a qu-bd.. But ,, if makerbots extruder behaved anything like the qu-bd extruder I bought , i would be inclined to agree with some of the other commenters. I could not print anything with the extruder the way it was sent to me.. I had to buy a drive gear. just that simple.. Qu-bd is also aware of their problem noted from their own forum although they still try to defend their design.. We didn't pay for an experiment ,, we paid for something that worked.. had I wanted to spend days trying to figure out and fix the problem I would have just designed it myself from scratch as I did the rest of the printer. I'm not screaming lawsuit here , I'm just saying do what is right ,, makerbot as well as qu'bd knows who bought their products ,, ,, at the very least send them the parts so they can fix it themselves..
I would be tempted to agree with you if the marketing pitch had no been so focused on the product performance.

I am not after legal redress. Nevertheless this issue should be addressed..

There is no reason why MBI cannot acknowledge that the "early" versions of the printer were flawed and deal with that by issuing replacements, That happens all the time. The total cost involved is minimal and the benefits should be obvious.

Or are we all to have differing extruder designs that may or may not function correctly when used with the supplied software? That is another recipe for disaster.
Whoa, $40 shipping fee to sweden for the hardware kit, that's hefty.
Gotta love world shipping. Makerbot it out of it's kits so I got the RoboSavvy package shipped to USA.
Yes, it's probably much cheaper to source the parts locally than to ship them from the US.
Printed my parts. Now waiting on the mechanicals - then will install on my Rep2. I have two 'original' Replicators (both working fine) but may do the swap on them anyway.
Would this work on a single head Replicator 1?
I'm gonna get this! so awesome, sometimes my filament has problems
The .thing and .STL files are not actually the same version of the drive block. The .STL version has a cylinder shaped protrusion on the lever to catch the spring. The .thing version has more of a mound.
What was this designed in? Would you mind sharing the original files, to make it easier to mod? I'm interested in tweaking this design to fit the Replicator 1. I've been using Emmett's original design for ages, and it's been fantastic, but you've made some nice improvements.
Yes, absolutely! We will have those for you soon, and you can mod at will.
Excellent! Thanks. What was it modeled in, btw?
Solidworks
I say: Free plastics for Whpthomas, Emmet and Whosawhatsis!
They just saved the Replicators :)
Oh-o it's the end of the world
This is strange. Makerbot is providing a "fix" for their extruder design in the form of a "you make it, buy the additional required parts, and test it yourself" format. Doesn't that imply the original design is flawed? Most, if not all of us realize the original extruder design is flawed. A few of us (me included) designed our own solution to the Makerbot extruder problem. And indeed while I did not publish mine, I find it quite questionable that Makerbot is publishing a "you fix it yourself" solution, based on previously published work by others, to a widely recognized manufacture defect. Only in New York. Sigh.
emmett - in reply to popz
Meh, it's hard to get a design perfect the first time around. I'm just happy to see that we the community improved the design enough that they've embraced it. The machine itself can print its own upgrade and now Makerbot's giving you one more option on sourcing the vitamins. This kind of back and forth is healthy, in my opinion.
I disagree with your position. Did your automobile come with an "experimental" warranty? Fortunately for me (at least), I have a CNC mill and was able to machine a solution that is similar to yours out of aluminum. The major difference between the various designs here (including yours) and mine is that mine was made out of aluminum and in addition has an adjustment screw through the compression spring to facilitate "pre-load" (e.g. as in a motorcycle shock absorber). For me to have to design such a fix is minimal since I observed the problem, had the machinery to fix it, and was able to do so, even though it was a major inconvenience and as well as a major let down. For almost everyone else, being sold a 3d printer as "expertly designed" (I believe you referenced as such in your PLA solution), what can be said other than they are left with a machine that was not indeed "expertly designed". By definition, if this Thingiverse item was posted, the original must not work.
Make dozens of them out of alum. and get a box of each of the parts, combine them into "kits" then sell on ebay as cnc machined alternatives to the plastics ones... ???? .... Profit!
In the works darkskynet, in the works. Don't know if I can market them here though. Target price is $40.00 US.
lol your comparing technology that began in 1769 to to the technology of 3d printing. I'm sure the first fords have been improved throughout the years and adjustments where made as problems came up. you sir have made a totally moronic statement. The replicator 2 will work fine without this mod, but will work better with it.
I disagree, this is not "open source" community hand-holdiing, This is a commercial outfit that sells goods for profit. Many hours of my precious time were wasted fixing something that should not have been broken in the first place and for which I paid good hard cash. I would have earned enough to buy many of these machines at commercial rates for my efforts. The least that could be done would be to send out replacement parts to those who bought the machine in good faith and were severely disappointed and let down by the manufacturer. IMHO Makerbot should reward you at commercial rates for your efforts.
laird - in reply to zenod
You're starting with the assumption that the original design didn't work, when of course it did. The new design is better, of course (I've been using Emmet's for months, and love it) but before that I printed hundreds of things, including some prints that filled the entire build area - the printer worked fine. Making improvements doesn't mean that the previous designs were faulty - that kind of legalistic logic is what's killing innovation in many industries (e.g. aerospace, where airplanes are stuck with ancient engineering because of exactly this threat).

Of course MBI is a business, but they're a business that can sell at a relatively low cost because they're operating as a part of an open source community so they're benefitting from community participation in R&D and support. So, for example, when Dan and Jetty improve on the firmware, MBI can incorporate those improvements and make their products better (which is a good thing for all involved). Ditto for RepG, Skeinforge, etc. - all are open source, meaning that many companies and people are contributing to and benefitting from the R&D and support for their own reasons, in contrast to the closed 3D printers where the vendor has to cover 100% of those costs. That's why an HP 3D printer is $17K, and an MBI 3D printer is under $3K. It's not that HP is stupid or inefficient, it's that HP is spending a lot more on development, support, marketing, etc., so they have a higher cost model than MBI, which has a community sharing development, support, and effectively is (via "word of mouth") a strong sales and marketing channel.

While I think that sending upgrades out for free to current customers would be very cool for MBI to do, as it would earn a lot of good will, let's given them credit for giving the new design away for free for people to download and print for themselves, produced a training video of how to install it, credited the people whose designs it's based on, documented the non-printable parts for people to source independently, and they sell the parts for $12 for people that need them. When high end 3D printer companies introduce improvements, they don't give the designs away so that customers can print their own, they sell upgrades to the new model, and then generally only to customers on a rather expensive maintenance contracts.
With respect I'm going to have to disagree that it worked. I have a trash bin full of failed prints to prove it. I have a replicator dual, and that design is the poorest I've ever seen. It has a fixed distance plunger, that you increase by swapping out washers....

This doesn't account for _any_ deviation in tolerance at all.

I'm very excited that I can print out the solution, but am also not happy that I have to do it myself. I agree that this should be something makerbot makes, and sends out to customers in good faith.

Any good manufacturer would do the same. There is a basic flaw in the tension system that prevents makerbots' own high quality filament from successfully completing jobs. If this were an automobile as someone referenced, this would be a recall because the end product would have an intolerable failure rate, and wouldn't comply with any standard whatsoever.
your doing something wrong then, I'm new to printing and mostly just printing off thingiverse, I have gone through probably 8 full spools already and my success rate is probably 98%. If your failing so many prints you need to look into why, it may not be tension related. in the beginning i had issues and it was all heat related despite everyone making the bed leveling the biggest deal when that really doesn't need to be touched after its leveled once.
Sorry, I disagree again. The X, Y and Z axis perform admirably. The extruder is flawed. This is not the "Replicator 2x' (e.g. "experimental"). This is the Replicator 2. Most reasonable mechanical engineers would evaluate this design as flawed. To advertise it as a "professionally designed" 3d printer is almost right, but not complete. The extruder design is flawed, period. If not, makerbot would not have released a "new" design that we must build ourselves as well as purchase springs, etc. The "upgrade" they produced based on the design work of others should be sent to all owners of Replicator 2 devices for free. Again, I designed and machined my own solution in aluminum to avoid the PLA heat related problems. I may be assuming something incorrectly here, but I would assume very few Replcator 2 purchasers have CNC mill capabilities to machine their own solutions. I would not recommend a Replicator 2 to anyone interested in reliable 3d printing based on simply the extruder design.
its 8 bux get over it
zenod - in reply to laird
As my original reply seems to have disappeared, here is the short version:

As the original post stated "the extruder design flaw is well known".

As you agree, MBI is a business. This printer is not "open-source".

I did complain, fix my hardware and point out serious flaws in the software. If I did not support the company then I would not bother. Friends tell the truth.

Bottom line: I bought a 3D printer, not an experience. Replacing the defective parts requires MBI to move to a different level of maturity.
I agree!
My post has been removed as well.
Clearly there is a major problem here.
zenod - in reply to laird
I made a response to this and it disappeared into a moderation queue. That's sad and I hope the original response is posted.
Are these parts right in the kit? The spring doesn't look the same - store.makerbot.com/drive-block-hardware-kit.html
Can this work on the original replicator?
If you remove the plate on top of the extruder, it can. It's only designed for the Right extruder, but you can mirror the parts and use it for a left extruder on a dual machine too.
Thank you MBI for posting this and addressing the extruder issue.

Since it is a .Thing file it looks like you want us to use MakerWare
to slice it. What resolution(s) will work? Can it be sliced at Medium
or does it need to be sliced at high resolution?

Will MBI be sourcing the springs and screws in their online store?
No design files? This does not comply with the Share alike clause of the designs it was derived from. Adding the NC clause is also not compliant with that license.
Sorry about that NC inclusion! Just a slip of the mouse, which has now been fixed.
interesting redesign
There's an STL now!
You can save the .thing as an stl in Makerware. Or rename it .zip and open it as an archive.
Thanks for that information! It's still pretty weak they didn't upload the design files. :/
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