Endstops are used so that the machine using them to know where the ends of an area is. The opto endstop uses a Transmissive Opto Sensor and a flag that tells the machine that the limit is reached.
A opto endstop also needs a flag to break to break the optical sensor, but that is a later thing to do; also needs a bunch of cables for the installation…
This is the components for one endstop laid out:
And the finished result:
This is a small clip that fits in the hole above the motherboard and clips the cable that goes to the extruder – thus keeping it from touching the drive belt.
The model can be downloaded from Thingiverse to be printed.
The raft came lose at the end of the print so it was not completely finished, however it is still useful.
By testing the stepper motors and the heater from the ReplicatorG control panel I found I had connected the X and Y motors to the wrong controllers.
The correct way to connect them is:
- Z: This is the motor that is on the top of the MakerBot
- X: This is the motor that is at bottom of the MakerBot
- Y: This is the motor that is on the X-Stage (the moving table inside the MakerBot)
Cheat sheet to test them:
- Z-: This should move the extruder down towards the build surface
- X+: This should move the XY-Stage towards the covered side (the one where the electronics are on the other side)
- Y-: This should move the build surface towards the M on the front
The first challenge was that no green LED’s lit up on either the motherboard, the stepper cards nor the extruder.
All I could see was a red flashing light.
In short, don’t get confused by the error message. The power to turn on is not at the extruder, but at the motherboard.
There is a power switch on the lower left part of the motherboard – this should be turned on.
If you are getting this error when the power is turned on there, then something else is the issue 🙁
When all works well you will get a message about the motherboard version and extruder version in the text box below the main window (where the build area and model is shown)
The final step is to put the plastruder on the Z board and to attach the [not] Ethernet wire between the plastruder and the motherboard.
I also clipped the USB cable on the power from the PSU to the Mother Board as a strain relief.
Next up, install the software; run the tests and then if nothing burns up make a first print.
The plastruder is possibly the most important part of the MakerBot.
This had the most pieces, the longest instruction and the most images (and it would benefit the wiki if some of the texts moved closer to the images) – but enough on that.
Hint: Twist the wires from the thermistor before cutting them to length.
Having put the barrel back together. Hint for others, put the nut next to the PTFE heater barrier. Remove the barrier, secure the nut and then put on the Nichrome wire, it is a lot easier than the method suggested in the wiki (putting on nichrome, insulators and removing the PTFE barrier and putting in the big washer).
Only remains to run the wires and hook them up
The only challenge here is figuring out witch motor should go to each board.
I found a nice wise grip to crimp the cables with
Next step, the Plastruder.
Quick and simple.
The only trick here is to measure the hight of the nuts (that moves the Z table) before putting it in. That was a loot easier (and quicker) than trying to guesstimate where they should be.
The wiki says: *TIP* If the rods are too short they will move back and forth causing loss of resolution and additional noise. If this is the case for you, just insert something between the end cap and the rod to help compress it.
Well I put one of the M3 nuts in each of the two caps to press the rods into position.
The parts needed for this laid out
Assembled and done.
This part was installing the drive rods and belt drive system for the Z-stage.
The parts for the Z-Stage assembly laid out
Even though there are teeth on the idler wheels, the teeth of the drive belt should be facing outwards (from the wheel).
The assembled Z-Stage.