So I finally got my Replicator2 up and running consistently (that's a tale for a keg and a plate of nachos) and it gave me one good print yesterday, and now it seems to want to do its own thing and go off in abstract art land. Tower of Pisa prints are not what I need for my projects.
Should I slow the print down more than I already have or is there something else wonky with this ... lovely ... printer of mine? (shapes are two different models, but they all seem to enjoy going sideways on me)
According to Makerbot support, the replicator 2x is an experimental printer and is designed only to print ABS. (Which it does quite well). After years of experimentation, I found 2 inexpensive modifications to my print process that allows me to print PLA perfectly, and many others as well.
OK this is a HUGE Discovery for me! With two simple fixes, I can now print PLA on a Makerbot replicator 2X with Great detail for hours at a time! This same fix seems to work with every filament I have tested!!! So far printing 40 hours with no issues.
Not sure if this is a permanent fix but so far WOW!
I bought a Makerbot Replicator 2X in 2014 and I love it. Last year I put together a raspberry pi and loaded the Octoprint with the GPX plugin, and now my 2x can be monitored, and controlled from any pc or phone in my home, I can watch the print make progress through a webcam and get notified when the print job is done. And lots more!! Great Upgrade! For More info see https://octoprint.org/download/ or see the Octoprint group discussion on thingiverse.
For the past 6 years, I have been trying to print filaments besides ABS, and had limited success. Some times it worked with PLA and sometimes it didn't. most of the time it printed sloppy in the fine details, and the extruder jammed after about 10 - 15 minutes. But after all my studies, I have focused on printing PLA. (and the solution seems to work for all filaments). I even contacted Makerbot support (yes, they are still responding), and asked for a guide on how to use filaments other than ABS. Their response was that this was an experimental printer and it only prints ABS. Well I discovered that they may be wrong!
When Printing PLA, I use the standard recommended settings default in the Makerbot desktop slicer, with 210 c. extruder and 50c heated bed. But below are the two main issues that I struggled with.
Issue #1 ------ PLA prints sloppy because it does not cool fast enough in the closed chamber.
Fix -- Solution (cool the extruded PLA) Open the lid and door, and place a small fan blowing down into the box when printing with PLA. See photo #1 attached . Some folks have added special cooling fans, but for me it was just easier to add a fan and open the doors. I can get perfect prints now. See the photos with various filaments. See the baby yoda as an example It even printed with his mouth open and no support. I was able to print 6 of these (30 minute prints) back to back with no issues.
Issue #2 Heat Creep - PLA (and many others as well) swells as it enters the extruder between the thermal barrier tube and the nozzle. Once it swells, (it jams or plugs just before the nozzle) and extrusion stops.
Fix -- Solution - Replace the original Thermal Barrier tube with a teflon lined tube. I purchased 4 of these from Amazon. "BALITENSEN 4 pcs MK7/MK8 Extruder Thermal Barrier Throat with PTFE Tube - M6 x 30mm Heatbreak for 1.75mm CTC Wanhao 3D Printer Part". They were really low cost. 4 for $8.90. See the photos attached. The only issue I had is that the original Makerbot OEM has a groove cut in the upperpart so you can use a wrench to remove the tube from the hot end when it comes time. I was able to make the groove with a file in about 1 minute, so not a issue.
Note in order to remove the nozzle, I had to remove the entire hot end then take it apart and remove the heating element. so I could put a rod through the aluminum block (where the heating rod was) and get torque to remove the nozzle without hurting the ceramic cover. See the photo showing the socket, and screw driver. I actually put the screw driver handle into my vice, then I could easily and safely put as much torque as needed on the ratchet wrench to remove the old nozzle. See the Fargo 3d youtube video at this link -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok6J8FnCsaw The video shows how to replace the ceramic cover on the hotend, but the first part of the video show how to remove the thermal barrier tube (you do not need to replace the ceramic or remove the thermocouple).
See photos attached: I was able to print the benchy torture test in ABS, PLA, PETG, and TPU, with no issues!! I also printed some PVA (water soluble support) to make a molding form to cast a Silicone insulator to replace the delicate Ceramic ones on the Makerbot OEM.
My replicator 2 prints and then the filament stops feeding i have to keep pressing the lever on the drive motor every minute when i press the lever it sounds with a click like if the filament was glued to the gear and after pressing it extrudes fine, i cleaned the nozzle the drive gear made a cold pull, i even took everything apart and cleaned the nozzle heating it up with a torch, cleaned the throat aligned everything and nothing i am puzzled dont know what else to do hope someone can have an idea of what I’m missing