Aluminum Arms For the Replicator 2 & 2X

by bottleworks, published

Aluminum Arms For the Replicator 2 & 2X by bottleworks May 6, 2013

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For more Info, See: http://www.bctechnologicalsolutions.com/replicator2arms
Have you been having issues with your MakerBot Replicator 2 or 2X Z Stage arms warp or excessively vibrate? The Replicator series is a Revolutionary set of 3D printers pushing the limits of small scale 3D printing. As people reach new advances in desktop 3D printing, stability and consistency are critical. The OEM Z Stage arms are made of ABS plastic. Unfortunately, when the plastic arms are exposed to the heat generated by the HBP (Replicator 1 & 2X), they warp, sag, and otherwise move. This warping and sagging make it Incredibly difficult to have a consistently level HBP. As a result, constant tweaks and adjustments are required. Another issue is the low mass and flexibility of the plastic arms. During high speed printing, the OEM arms, lightly vibrate. These vibrations contribute to further distort the object being printed. This is less apparent in the Replicator 2, but artifacts continue to appear during high speed printing.
Virtually eliminate these issues by upgrading to custom CNC milled aluminum Z Stage arms. These replacement arms are made out of a single solid piece of 6061 aluminum.

  • The arms are designed to replace the original plastic arms.
  • There are 4 bearing retainers which you can print yourself, or can be purchased with included hardware.
  • 4 new LM10UU linear bearings for the Z axis included
  • No more constant adjustments due to unwanted arm movement.
  • Greatly reduced platform vibration (springboard effect).
  • Each set comes with step-by-step installation instructions in full color.

For users with 3D printed bearing retainers, free acrylic retainers are available. The 3D printed retainers can crack in certain conditions. Contact the support email for replacements.


Everything is to be printed with ABS plastic.
Print the bearing plates with 100% fill.
Print the rest with 10-12% infill, 2 extra shells.
The "full" back plate is an optional version that helps remove some "hidden" areas where plastic bits can fall into and get lost.

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Apr 23, 2016 - Modified Apr 23, 2016

Does anybody has an STL for the bearing retainers? Mine are broken and also got no answer. Will be great if someone can share a STL of them ...

Sorry for the delay. I've uploaded the file here and posted a notice on the web site about what's going on. If you emailed your address, I'll send you the updates as soon as I can.

Apr 18, 2016 - Modified Apr 18, 2016

I've ordered set of arms and glass plate in 16.03.2016, did not get any reply for my e-mails.
Please contact me.

Hello. If you got a Paypal receipt, the order has been placed. A notice has just been posted on the BC Tech web site. I will reply to your email as soon as I can.

I've been trying to get a hold of someone to see what is going on with an order that was placed. if someone could help out that would be great.

I'm sorry for the non-reply. Someone will answer your email shortly.

Still waiting for that email......

Do you respond to emails? Received defective parts after waiting for a lengthy order to arrive and would like to discuss so I can have my machine back together. Please advise

We have replied to your email...

My bearing retainer cracked and I haven't heard back from Bottleworks... Does anyone have the .stl for that retainer so that I could have a friend print me a replacement for now?

You have to give some time for a reply. Your USPS tracking number is 9400110200828747553817.

Thank you for your quick response! Great service. :)

Uhm isn't the title misleading? these objects aren't the arms... they're just the mounting hardware...
Where are the arms themselves?


Help! my bearing retainers just broke!!! Where I can get the stl files to print them ?

The updated laser cut replacement bearings are on the way.

Bottleworks, Are these still available for the Replicator 2X?
I have tried contacting through the website with what I would like to order.

Yes, they are still available.

Waiting on my 2X to come in the mail, then I will be getting a set of these. I have one of the original sets that were made for the Replicator 1. And have never been happier. Mind you thinking of getting the 3D printed files machined out of Delrin.

Do you have the part files for the piece that holds the bearing in place? Mine split in half and I need to replace it.

Hello. Please email support (at) bctechnologicalsolutions (dot) com . A set of the new acrylic versions can be mailed to you.

The backing plates are no longer required. The OEM is now reused. If someone has a kit with instructions to use a provided backing plate, please email me for an updated installation manual.

Excellent. Installation was easy - only problem was that bearing carriers split when left in hot room while waiting to be fitted. Combined with HBP mod makes for rock-steady printing, no distortion and don't have to keep levelling the BP!

what HBP mod did you do?

As described by bottleworks it was his aluminium arms and HBP that I fitted. Has made an immense difference to printing - I keep checking the bed for level, and the gap but have found that it does not move, so have almost given over checking ! With the bed at 95deg, Kapton tape with ABS slurry finished print surface is amazing with zero warping. Also zero warping using blue tape, but surface finish not as shiny.

Good to hear because I ended up ordering the arms and HBP for my FlashForge Creator, because leveling it constantly is super annoying.

He is referring to my HBP kit. You can find more info at: http://www.bctechnologicalsolutions.com/HBP/index.html

Ahh okay. Super fancy.

Great Product. Install went smooth and its working great.
Others can view my install video if they want to:

Mr. Works, I ordered a set of these arms, but did not notice paypal did not use my updated address, i sent you a email earlier today but am in a panic to get in touch and make sure you have the email with the correction. i look forward to installing these and really hope they go to the correct address

Hello. I have sent you an email.

Can you upload the STL file for the spring spacers?

What's the difference between the 2014_arms_back_plate.stl file that was uploaded 3/19/14 compared to the original one from 2013?

Corrected bolt spacing. At some point, I noticed that it didn't quite match up with the OEM arms. It was never caught because the backplate must be replaced. So, I updated the arms.... Consequently, I had actually forgot that I did that, until somebody tried to install set of arms with the updated drill pattern. If anyone was accidentally sent the incorrect version, please email me.

Hi I installed your z stage arms on my replicator 2 last night and when I went to level the build plate the z axis end stop switch kicked in and the plate was 1cm lower than the extruder. Should I have moved the switch

Hello. Check to make sure the endstop switch is in the location noted in the instulation manual. For support, please email me at support -at- bctechnologicalsolutions -dot- com . The comment section isn't a good medium to provide user support. If you could email me a photo of the Z-stage all the way to the top, that would be helpful in troubleshooting your machine. Thanks

Thanks will do tonight

Link to the arms is not working. How else can we fix the alignment issue?

This is a fantastic upgrade.

Installed modification today. Went well. Instructions and parts are top notch. Well done.

The machining and hole placement on these is PERFECT, making the assembly a snap. The provided instructions are clear and full of photos, leaving little doubt about what you need to do. My installation took about 90 minutes, but I went slow. Hint: after installing the arms on the two z-axis rails, DOUBLE check that the arms move up and down smoothly. The bearings are a little picky, but taking a moment to rotate them until there's no hang-up will save you a lot of time later. This kit is well worth the money and I would not hesitate to do it all over again. It saves you time if you buy the HBP and install everything at the same time. The HBP is the same high quality of manufacture and comes with quality instructions. Hint #2: buy an extra glass plate or two... you can always have one ready to go.

Installed easy and everything is a good fit.
Just did my first print and really happy with this upgrade.

Received and installed today. Fit and finish is perfect. Z-stage no longer "groans" every time it homes or begins a print thanks to the much better bearings included in the upgrade. Looks great, works great. Worth every penny!

Ordered today,
Just got a Rep 2 and this was something I noticed it needed from day one.

Hey Bottleworks. I had ordered the Full Set, would l still need to print these parts?

A full set includes all the needed printed parts (and everything not printed). So, no printing needed with a full set.

Very cool. Thanks.

8 sets remaining in stock and ready to ship!

At this time, 19 sets remaining for this ordering group. The ship date for this group is 2-3 weeks.

You included 4 bearings? That's awesome!

Wonder if this affects the warranty at all??

It's safe to say that MBI isn't going to cover damages caused by modifying your printer. But it would be hard for someone to cause damage. They really would have to be doing something wrong.