Adjustable Extruder Drive Block Upgrade for Replicator 2X

by CreativeTools, published

Adjustable Extruder Drive Block Upgrade for Replicator 2X by CreativeTools Mar 9, 2014
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The purpose of this design is to enable fine-tuning of the pressure applied to the filament by the idler ball bearing.
It is based on these previous things:

  • http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:136589
  • http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:52203.
    Note: This is not intended to be a replacement for MakerBot's original extruder block! Since the Replicator 2X Desktop 3D printer is suited for power-users who like to experiment, this adjustable extruder block offers an alternative way of gripping the filament and pressure fine-tuning. Please do not attempt to replace your original block if you are not comfortable disassembling your current extruder and fix any issues. If you try this design, make sure to save the original parts and follow the instructions below carefully.
  • http://bit.ly/1eaYi3p (instructions)
  • All parts can be 3D printed!
  • Offers step-less filament grip pressure adjustment
  • Built-in filament dust filter with sponge
  • Cover plate to protect stepper motor cables and connectors
  • Fasteners and ball bearing can be re-used from the original
  • Sturdy design
    Parts list
  • Base left (3D-printed part)
  • Base right (3D-printed part)
  • Lever left (3D-printed part)
  • Lever right (3D-printed part)
  • Bearing cover left (3D-printed part)
  • Bearing cover right (3D-printed part)
  • Stepper motor cable cover (3D-printed part)
  • M3 Nylock nut (2 pcs)
  • M3 countersunk screw - 23 mm (2 pcs)
  • M3 countersunk screw - 6 mm (2 pcs)
  • M3 hexagon screw - 35 mm (2 pcs)
    Tools and materials
  • 2 mm hex key
  • Water pump pliers
  • Beak pliers
  • A few drops of super glue
    Version history

    This design is a variation of current Adjustable Drive Block Upgrade for Replicator 2 and 1, which in turn is a variation of Spring-loaded Replicator 2 Drive Block, which also derived from three other previous designs.

    The MakerBot Replicator 2X Desktop 3D printer is best suited to 3D print models made of ABS plastic filament. In contrast to 3D printing with PLA plastic, ABS requires that the process occurs in temperature-regulated and stable conditions. Therefore the 2X has a heated build plate and enclosure to keep the inside of the machine warm.
    Being an experimental 3D printer, the 2X requires that the operator understands its capabilities and functions. For instance what temperatures and print speeds are best suited for differens shapes and sizes of models.
    A simple rule of thumb is that the top hood is only needed when larger 3D prints are made. By adding or removing the hood in conjunction with leaving the front cover open or closed, one can regulate the temperature in which the 3D printed model is made. The temperature and flow of the air in the room where the 2X resides is also a factor to take into account.
    It is notable that temperatures around the extruder mechanism can raise significantly when the enclosure is fully closed. During 3D printing the air around the printer reaches typically 50 °C to 60 °C.
    It is important that the plastic parts of this adjustable extruder block are 3D printed in ABS plastic (not PLA) at 100% infill to give them the best strength and heat resistance. Please note that this is an experimental design and is not intended to be foolproof and work perfectly in every situations. If you try it, learn from your experience using it. :)
    We designed the parts to be as sturdy and strong as possible to be able to cope with 3D printing temperatures for ABS.

By Creative Tools


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Can you upload the base parts without the support? I have printed it and the support is a pain in the A## to remove to fit the stepper motors.

I fixed the model and did a remix in the link below. Great model bud keep up the great work!!!


Base pair mod with no supports for easy clean up
by Selphb

I fixed the model and did a remix in the link below. Great model bud keep up the great work!!!


Base pair mod with no supports for easy clean up
by Selphb

You could also print this with PETG. Has the temperature performance of ABS without the warping inherent with ABS. Still requires a heated bed, though.


Hello, I'm attempting to print this for my Flashforge Creator Pro Dual extruder machine, and I keep running into trouble when I print the "lever pair" file. I'm using Simplify3D as my slicer and it looks ok on the screen, but it will only print about half the z-height before it just quits (about 3 attempts so far). Is this likely a problem with my printer or is there any way it could be related to the file? Thanks!

Thanks for posting your comment.

If you consequently have the same 3D print fail from the same file, it could probably be a corrupt file on the SD card or the actual card being faulty.

If you re-slice the file each time and get the same fail each time, then you could have an issue with the slicer. Try using FlashPrint and see if it gives you a different result.

I re-sliced the file in Simplify3D and that did the trick. It looks great! I'm just waiting on my screws before I can give it a try. Thanks very much!

Excellent! :) We're glad it solved the issue.

One more question-- the axial ball bearing is not mentioned in the list of materials. Is this removed from the original extruder assembly?

Yes :) You can re-use the original bearing.

With this work on a replicator 1 dual?

Thing will not fit the original MakerBot Replicator Dual 3D printer. It was made for the Replicator 2X. Please consider the following design regarding the original Replicator.

Adjustable Drive Block Upgrade for Replicator 2 and 1

Out of the several including spring extruder upgrades I've tried, this is working the best.

:) We're glad to hear that!

Can you make this to fit replicator 2 dual? This one is to thick for my replicator, the hole for the filament is in wrong place:(

Sure! Do you mean the standard Replicator 2 (black MakerBot 3D printer for PLA plastic with only one extruder)?

Then this is the one you can download and 3D-print: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:136589

Adjustable Drive Block Upgrade for Replicator 2 and 1

Hello, I have a replicator 2X and PLA only prints on the right side, is this normal then ??

The MakerBot Replicator 2X can extrude many different kinds of plastic filament such as PLA. Since the right and left extruders are identical mechanically it makes no difference which one you use for PLA. Nevertheless it is important to have a small fan that cools the PLA filament for best results.

PLA plastic "wants" to be cooled down as fast as possible during 3D printing. On the contrary ABS plastic wants to be kept warm during 3D printing so that the part won't warp so much. That is why the MakerBot Replicator 2X has enclosed build volume.

For best results we recommend you to use ABS plastic on the Replicator 2X.

Thanks a lot for your response,

When i first bought my 2x i purchased some ABS and PLA filament, I just ran out of ABS and have like 3 spools of PLA, im from Mexico so getting your hands on some filament is pretty hard. Should I just buy more ABS or can i do some upgrades so i can print with PLA, the problem im having at the moment is that the PLA gets stuck on the extruder, I have been adjusting it on the extruder but i didnt any luck with it, a normal size string comes out the extruder when I push it down but if I stop pushing it stops coming out, also when i pull down the lever on the extuder it stops as well, thats why i was thinking about printing this design, i have very little scraps of abs, about 100 grams, its plenty so i can print any upgrade i guess.

Thank you !

Thanks for your comment acereto! PLA filament is more sensitive to heat. If the temperature of the metal tube/channel in the extruder which guides the filament down to hot melting part is too high, then the PLA filament will soften and expand outwards against the walls of the tube, thus jamming it. ABS, Nylon, etc, is not at all as sensitive to this as PLA. You need to make sure to make sure the following things are adjusted for best PLA prints.

  • The two heat sink fans need to work 100% and effectively cool the extruder. Make sure all the blades are there. If you miss some you can 3D-print this replacement http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:186979

    • Make sure the filament is lubricated with some common oil (as used for bicycle chains, etc). This will make it easier for it to slide down the channel towards the hot-end. You can 3D-print this thing for good lubrication http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:492067

    • When printing with PLA adjust the temperature of the bed to 55 °C and open all the lids of the MakerBot Replicator 2X. Make sure the inside of the printer is well ventilated so that the PLA can cool quickly during print. Some people even place a strong fan or hair dryer in front of the 3D-printer and blow cool air into it.

The hole reason why the Replicator 2 is so good at 3D-printing PLA is that it has a powerful built-in cooling fan to attached to the extruder, which blows cool air effectively onto the 3D-printed part.

Cooling fan replacement blades
Universal Filament Filter and Lubricator

I'm currently running that one, but It looks nice with the integrated filament filter. I have a flashforge with two extruders, the one you link to fits perfect, I just mirrored it to the left extruder, but the filament filter feels like an nice upgrade?

Sounds great that you could use the extruder block upgrade. We recommend that you use any of the following filament filters. They will make the filament and extruder run more smoothly.

Universal Filament Filter and Lubricator
Replicator 1 - 2 - 2X Filament dust filter

Thanks CT , just down loaded and will try to print them tomorrow :)

You are welcome! :) Good luck!

Comments deleted.

sadly the down loaded zip file has the wrong part ? it has a file called machine feet for replicator :(
could you please upload the correct files so I can fix my printer . thanks

Thank you for noticing this Senyac! We just tried to download all the files at once (via a ZIP-file) and can confirm what you say. The contents of the ZIP is a single STL file called: Machine_feet_for_the_Replicator_2_and_2X.stl

This is probably something which is wrong in the Thingiverse server database and we don't have any way to fix this. Nevertheless if you click on each individual link of the separate STL files, then it will download the correct versions.

I love it. it saved my replicator 2x. because the old extruder assemblies completely failed after about 110 hours of building time. i printed this extruder assembly and now it's awesome again!

We are really glad to know that our extruder upgrade for your MakerBot Replicator 2X re-ignited your 3D printer! :-)

this is the best upgrade the 2X could ever get. Complete control over the extruder feed tension. Nicely done!!

Glad you liked the upgrade and that you find that it gives you good control.

Very clean and thoughtful design! Great looking photography too!