Upgraded Greg's Extruder for Makerbot

by bongoboy23, published

Upgraded Greg's Extruder for Makerbot by bongoboy23 Jul 27, 2011
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Upgraded Greg's Extruder for Makerbot by bongoboy23 is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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I have changed one major thing and several minor things on the original design.

Major change - The original gear on the Makerbot meant for gripping the plastic can be used on this extruder. This translates to superb grip compared to using only the screw's threads to grip the plastic.

Minor changes:
-Flipped the mount, so Stepper motor doesn't run out of cable length.
-Extruder holes moved, mounts DIRECTLY onto the Makerbot.
-Small gear center hole larger to fit on Makerbot's Stepstruder motor.

The increased grip added to the geared extruder means you can get up to some nice speeds on your Makerbot!

Better Pictures coming soon!


First make sure you have a screw that can fit through the original gear on the Makerbot.
You will also need three 608 or 606 Bearings. (The scad contains an extra module for the 606 bearings, right now the stl and scad are set to a default of 608 bearings.)

The screw will most likely not fit in the 608 bearings tightly, so you might need to print a small washer like thing to make them fit tightly. Basically just a small cylinder with a slightly smaller cylinder cut-out in the middle. I trust you can do this on your own to match your screw size and fit your printer settings.

NOTE: It might be easier to just take a slice of paper and wrap it around the screw to act as a filler between a screw too small for the bearings/gears. Currently doing this for the Makerbot gear because its about 1mm too large for my screw. Works well for keeping the makerbot gear centered on the screw.

NOTE 2: Grinding down the screw on one side in the right spot might make it easier for the gear, as it will have a flat surface to grip to.

NOTE 3: Suggest flipping about x-axis, so the stepper motor for the thingomatic is closer to the entrance where the cables go in.

Print. Assembly is same as Greg's Extruder.

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I printed mine out and it looks great. It was pretty easy to bolt on. The only problem I ran into is one of the captured nuts cannot be accessed. I had to make a hole with a knife to get it in. What I'm really interested in are the print settings you are using. Is it possible to adjust the print-o-matic settings to work with this new drive? I would greatly appreciate you sharing what you had to change from the stock profile. Thanks for the great work, I'm hoping this fixes my feed issues.

I'm trying to install this (not easy as the mounting bolts can only be accessed from below) but none of the hole for the mounting boots seem to fit and the bolts holding the hot end in place are in the way.

Are you sure this mounts directly to the ThingOMatic?

Oh and before you start printing new ones, I suggest printing it flipped so the arm is on the right. Makes the stepper cables closer to the hole the go in, so you dont run out of cable.

Too late. ;)

I already managed to assemble it and just need some longer bolts now.

The cutout holes are there but about 2mm smaller then the nuts.

The too small hole I ment was the 4rth one. If it's a bit smaller then the 4th bolt would cut it's own way into the PLA/ABS and would helo in mounting.

(Quite a bit of force involved.)

Did Makerbot use 8mm shafts once?
Sounds a bit large for a stepper axis.
(Then I would have choosen the wrong version to print.
I choose theb 608 version since I always have some 608 bearings around.)

Did you intent for springs on the 2 tension screws?
I suggest to include a part list with M6x40
or M6x60 bolts for the tensioning as they are a rarely long size.

Oh, could it be that the 4 mounting bolts need to be shorter then the original ones? (Culd be worth mentioning.)

Once the printer is working again and some improtant things are printed I'll try to design a different pressure-bearin
g-holder. 2mm wider hole, axis going all the way through and space for an optional idler that gets moved by the filament and has the magnetic rotary encoder on it.
With the new, experimental pause-function that could pause the print (+lift the head and cool down) if the filament stalls.
I always wan
ted to do that but with my own extruder design I ran out of time.

Yes, Im sure this works for the thingomatic. This printed perfectly on my makerbot, and I am currently using it as my extruder.

Note that not every printer is the same, not only do they print differently but users have different settings, all which effect hout well the design comes out. This is why I included the OpenSCAD files, so that people who had problems such as these could edit the design a bit to fix tolerances.

There should be holes cutout in the design that make sure the bolts from the hot end dont get in the way.
-The holes for the bolts are suppse to be a little wide, they are suppose to move freely up and down. Nuts go in the nut-shaped cut-outs on top so hold the bolts.
-You should only need 3 bolts t
o attach the extruder. Three out of four aint bad. ;)
-I think its this design, I may be wrong, but the .scad includes both 608 and 606 holes so your not stuck using one bearing size.

Not sure how much help that is, but try modifying the .scad files to get something that works better for you.
you dont know OpenSCAD, its fine, neither did I. Just mess around with values and watch the design change, should give you a general idea how it works)

Looks like the holes for mounting this are to wide. The bolts move freely up and down in them.

Yet the holes for the hot end screw caps are to small.

Looks like the holes for mounting this are to wide. The bolts move freely up and down in them.

Yet the holes for the hot end screw caps are to small.

608 bearings have 8mm inner diameter.
The drive gear of the MK6 extruder has 6.1mm .
The large gear of this thing has 5.8mm or so.
Yet all three are supposed to be on the same axis.
Could it be that 6mm by 22mm by 7mm bearings are needed instead?

I'm going to try to mod this (or a similar greg's) to work on the Ultimaker (but still a Mk6 drive gear) and yeah, as far as I can tell you'll need 6mm ID bearings. Looks like I'm gonna order some!

Looks like a standard size would be a 606 size bearing, which is 6x17x6mm. So Hopefully this can be modded easily for that (I would imagine it wouldn't be an issue - I'll check it out in a bit.)

It's only one mounting hole that's affected.

The other 3 with the counter nuts worked.

The bearings would have to be 636 ZZ (6x22x7mm) instead of 608.

Same outher diameter but 6mm instead of 8mm for the axis.

The hole for the 608 bearing in the pressure block is not wide enough.

The stepper body collides with the extruder frame when trying toadjust the gears to mesh.

If the hole for the axis of the bearing in the pressure block would go all the way through, common M8 bolt sizes could be used as an axis three.

Can i confirm that you have only modified the gregs main extruder part, and so that those who have already printed the gregs parts can reuse the gears and idler space :)

Thank you!

I modified the other files too, but the original ones should work also.

-I mirrored the idler so the screw doesn't get in the way of the gear, but if you use a screw that reaches most of the way through you should be able to use the original idler.
-The large gear's nut cutout is smaller to fit the screw I used (screw is smaller to fit through the Makerbot gear inside
-Small gear is pretty much the same but I widened the center hole to get it to fit on my motor.

Since those changes were more to fit my specific needs, your original parts should work fine.