Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer

by MakerBot, published

Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer by MakerBot Dec 9, 2010

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Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer by MakerBot is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Fully Automatic

With the automated build platform it will keep printing and printing.

The automated build platform is truly a revolution in 3D printing. It allows you to have a print queue where your machine will clear the build surface between builds and print objects one after another. This turns your MakerBot into a little factory that sits on your desktop. Best of all, this is completely automated: you hit print, and the machine does all the work. Want to print 100 butterflies? Easy. Want to print an entire chess set? No problem. Want to start a business selling printed things that you've designed? Awesome. Have the bot do all the work while you design new things.

Extremely Reliable

The MK5 plastruder will give you thousands of hours of trouble-free printing.

We've invested many hours into designing, testing, and tweaking the MK5 plastruder. The result is an extruder that is extremely reliable, and very simple to maintain. The hot end on this extruder is essentially unbreakable and the filament drive system is one of the strongest on the market. We've run these things for thousands of hours with minimal problems. Changing the filament is a breeze with the filament pressure thumb screw. You can even swap the filament while the extruder is running if you're fast enough.

Higher Quality

The layer alignment is much better which results in nicer prints and higher resolution.

We've completely overhauled the drive system to give the optimum positioning accuracy. The entire system has been upgraded to sturdy 3/8" diameter linear shafting. This is probably overkill, but you can trust that the axes will be sturdy. We've also switched to self-aligning, sintered brass bearings. These are very forgiving to DIY assembly and provide a nice, smooth motion on the steel shafts. Last, but not least we've completely replaced the Z axis with a stepper driven, cantilevered stage. Guided by two of the linear shafts, this completely eliminates any Z wobble and results in nicely aligned layers. Using a high-angle lead screw, we were able to increase the speed of the Z axis from 150mm/minute to 1000mm/minute. This means the layer changes are almost completely imperceptible and reduces blobbing significantly.

Easier to Use

Connect over USB and hit print - the machine will detect its position and start printing.

The new electronics have been designed to make the printing experience even easier than ever. The motherboard now sports an integrated USB port, so you simply plug the MakerBot in with a standard USB cable. We've also added full endstop support so that you never need to touch the XYZ axes ever again. When you hit print, the machine will automatically home itself, heat up, and begin printing. All you have to do is sit back and relax while your MakerBot does all the work. Living in the future is awesome. Oh yeah, and the electronics are all inside, so you don't have wires dangling everywhere.
Technical Specifications

  • Interface: Serial over USB or print from SD card.
  • Size: 12" W x 12" D x 16" H (roughly 300mm x 300mm x 400mm)
  • Usable Build Area:
  • With Automated Build Platform: 100mm x 100mm x 100mm
  • With Acrylic Build Platform: 110mm x 110mm x 120mm
  • Generation 4 Electronics
  • Supports up to 5 stepper drivers (XYZ + A/B)
  • Connect over USB
  • Optional LCD interface support
  • Full endstop support
  • High current mosfets to drive heated build platform and extruder heater
  • Thermocouple support for accurate temperature sensing
  • Power Usage: XX watts, standard ATX power supply.
  • Works with both 110v and 220v power.
  • Theoretical XY Positioning resolution of 0.02mm (20 microns or 0.0008")
  • Theoretical XY Maximum Feedrate of up to 5000mm/minute (roughly 200 IPM)
  • Theoretical Z Positioning resolution of 0.005mm (5 microns / or 0.0002")
  • Theoretical Z Positioning Feedrate of up to 1000mm/minutes (roughly 40 IPM)
  • Accepts 3mm polymer filament
  • Capable of printing with ABS and PLA


Full documentation is located on the MakerBot wiki at http://wiki.makerbot.com/thingomatic


Acrylic Middle Plate (as of 2011-05-25):
MakerBot Thing-o-Matic MP887 REV-D .176 Acrylic.dxf

Plywood Lasercut set (as of 2011-05-25):

Automated Build Platform 2.0 (as of 2011-05-25):
Makerbot ABP MP1018 REV-F.dxf

All Apps

Upgrade this Thing with Thingiverse Apps

No results.

links to the stuff you have to buy, or what you do buy?

Would be cool if the link were working! :)

Comments deleted.

I was given one of the original first run Thing-O-Matics from a co-worker. I have ReplicatorG .40 downloaded, but do NOT know what device type and what settings I should be using, and the list is really intimidating. I am trying to find another user that might have the same unit and would share their settings with me?


Can you please post a photo of it. I will help narrow down the search as to your exact configuration.

I made it my background profile picture... best I can figure out on this forum.

Uhhh... how?


the background pic is hard to see. Try uploading to google drive and posting a link from there. Also look for a MK version on the acrylic of the extruder.

Says MK6 on it

I use the BHP MK6 (vanilla, not accelerated or volumetric, in replicatorG)

I use the BHP MK6 (vanilla, not accelerated or volumetric, in replicatorG)

That Should work, HBP MK6. I would suggest you upgrade to sailfish as soon as possible because it allows you to do a lot more with the printer. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:32084/#files
Also when you get more experience I would strongly suggest switching over to simpligy 3d as your slicer as it is much faster and is a lot newer. https://www.simplify3d.com/

Sailfish Firmware
by jetty

Yikes, simplify3d is a $150 purchase that makes my Free gift of an early generation 3D Printer no longer Free. I.o

It's just a suggestion for down the road. Replicator G still works but its horribly outdated now.

It's just a suggestion for down the road. Replicator G still works but its horribly outdated now.

Ok, I downloaded and ran the replicator G sailfish 40 R33 software and it attempted an update that appears to have succeeded does that mean I now have sailfish firmware?

Ok, I downloaded and ran the replicator G sailfish 40 R33 software and it attempted an update that appears to have succeeded does that mean I now have sailfish firmware?

It means you are now running sailfish. To verify you can check the version info on the printers on board screen/ control unit.

Ok, I downloaded and ran the replicator G sailfish 40 R33 software and it attempted an update that appears to have succeeded does that mean I now have sailfish firmware?

Ok, I downloaded and ran the replicator G sailfish 40 R33 software and it attempted an update that appears to have succeeded does that mean I now have sailfish firmware?

Ok, I downloaded and ran the replicator G sailfish 40 R33 software and it attempted an update that appears to have succeeded does that mean I now have sailfish firmware?

my question is - how do i upload these documents here

CaptainX / umang156
I have some old documents ... mostly copy paste from webpages dedicated to ToM when it was cutting edge ... how do i post these here.

CaptainX / umang156
I have some old documents ... mostly copy paste from webpages dedicated to ToM when it was cutting edge ... how do i post these here.

Assembly manual =???

Can anyone please tell me how to assemble (or make) this printer ?

I wonder if anyone from MakerBot still reads these comments. I remember wanting one of these so bad back in the day. Any thought about making these kits available again? I'd love to build one as a fun project. Just a thought, I mean even Nintendo is re-releasing the original again :)

I wonder who was the last person to build a Thing-O-Matic. Please reply to this comment if you have recently built one, just curious!

High there everyone, Im brand new here although i have been lurking for the past few weeks. I was wondering if anyone who has made this could give me an estimate as to how many grams of filament was used. The reason i ask is because my university has a printer, and i was going to print this one on it, but they charge by the gram on projects. Im trying to decide if it would be more cost effective to just buy my own spool and use it with their printer.
Thank you for your time!

My first day in this fascinating 3D thing!

The link provided for the instructions of the Thing-O-Matic is not working. Could someone check and help?

Thanks. L

Hi, I have a Come3d printer that is based on thing-o-matic, but the frame is in mdf. I want to make a acrylic frame (i have a laser cutter), but which acrylic I have to use with this model? 5mm, 6mm, 8mm? thanks

how much does it cost to build

Is this printer for sale? Can't seem to find a price or someone to sell it to me.

Hi, I don't know if this sounds stupid but has anyone tried to cut the lasercut parts by hand e.g. with an electric fret saw?

And are there labled plans with the exact measurements out there?


how do i get these parts?

Thingomatic X Belt
Thingomatic Y Belt
Thingomatic Idler Pulley

XY Motor Pulley
Thingomatic Z Axis Motor
Thingomatic Z Axis wire connectors
Thingomatic Z Axis Motor Nut

thanks alot :) cant seem to find them DONT_KNOW :'(

Hi, I don't know if you still need the parts, but i found the Motor on http://www.mbot3d.com/http://www.mbot3d.com/ they ship it with wire connectors and the Motor Nut.

You can buy the belts and the Pulley at


anyone got a good source of 5mm plywood in the states? Or can I get by with 3/16th?

I run a model shop, and plywood is often used in models, mainly plains and trains, so if you can't find what you need at a diy shop, try a model shop.

Where would you like design issues to be submitted? There are some interference problems with the ABP that it would be good to address in the next version.

Hey guys, I'm looking to get this cut using Ponoko. Has anyone done this already? Do you have the templates in EPS format? If not then I'll do it and share here.


  • Richard

Hey Guys. Great job on the new machine, it looks awesome.

I was just wondering if you could provide the information on the X and Y belting an pulleys. It seems to be missing from the parts list.

[not a member of the makerbot team]

The belt is a Gates GT2 timing belt (popular series) with the code: GATES GT 2MR193 2655MC which has 193 teeth with 2mm between each tooth and is 6mm in width.



It is likely that the be
lt is a custom order, so buying the exact one from another source may be a challenge. I've searched extensively and was unable to find where to buy the exact belt. You may have to modify the design, find a compatible belt, order from makerbot, or custom order the same one.

As for the pully, if you
find one with the same pitch, (nearly the same) width, and diameter, you shoud be good to go.

They are not hard to find SDP/SI has them. all pulleys and belts are GT2 (industry standard metric) 6 mm wide. Makerbot stepper motors have an odd 3/16 shaft while most other use 5mm. SDP sells both sizes. The belts go by number of teeth. In all a couple of minutes of web surfing and you's have everything you need. Be sure to flip the search switch in the upper left to metric or inch based on the bore size you need.


Hi. I'm working on a steel-belted version of the Thing-o-matic ABP to address issues of "curling" of objects due the extreme flexibility of the plastic ABP belt. I need to print ABP parts for "chop and paste" use (the ABP will need some tweaking to properly handle the belt). Any idea where I can find the ABP 2.0 files? I found the parts for the Cupcake ABP v1.0, but the T-o-M ABP files are nowhere to be found.



I haven't seen DXFs for APB v2 yet, but when they are released, they should end up here: http://svn.makerbot.com/tags/http://svn.makerbot.com/tags/

Maybe MakerBot Industries forgot to post the designs?

Hey guys,

how thick are the lasercut parts of the body assembly?

Thank you amish64, your explication about problem in dxf files works fine.

Rev. C and Rev. E acrylic middle panel are very different from each other... Rev. E appears to match current build instructions on makerbot wiki?

Also, Rev. E has things drawn on top of each other (at least this is how it appears in autocad)

Can anyone make any sense of this?

Maybe I meant Rev. D instead of Rev. E, though I could have sworn it was Rev. E when I looked at this page yesterday...

At any rate, there are cuts drawn on top of each other and I'm trying to figure out the actual placement of the slot for the stepper...

Matt -

Did you figure this out? Which one did you use?

Due to these DXFs having illegal characters, it makes viewing in some programs impossible (like AutoCAD, as most of you have found out).

Here's how you can fix the problems:

  1. Open the .dxf files in a text editor

  2. do a find and replace. you want to find the slash '/' characters and replace them with underscores '_'

  3. do another find and replace. you want to find the quote '"' characters and replace them with spaces ' '

  4. Save as .dxf and open as usual

The reason these characters are in the file is because the dxf file had descriptions such as "rod - 3/8" " which isn't allowed in the file format.

Hope this helps!

Note: ProgeCAD 2009 Smart! -free for non-commercial use. Opens the below *.dwf files with no issues.

Thanks! The ABP REV-D file had 177 slashes '/' and no quotes '"'. As you know - your fix works. :)

Hey guys,

Two questions:

  1. Any chance of providing STL files so I can make my own?
  2. If I do make my own, is it possible to donate?

Great work! 8-)

My problem with the DXF files is that I am not able to print them out. I can see them using Turbo Cad but nothing comes out in printing.

Hello guys!! when is time to sold de generati
ón 4 electronics in the maker-bot store?

Bueno perdonen ya he conseguido solucionarlo, Autocad no lo abre pero con GstarCad si que consigo abrir y despues se puede exportar a cualquier formato.

Estoy superilusionado de poder ver los planos de vuestra última creación.

Well excuse I've managed to solve, Autocad does not open but GstarCad if I get open and then can be exported to any format.

I'm super excited to be able to see the plans of your latest creation.

Sois geniales chicos, que gran trabajo.

Tengo un problemilla no se abren algunos dxf con Autocad.

You are cool guys, they work great.

I have a little problem, I can not open some dxf files with Autocad.

see my post above on this page.