Makerbot on thingiverse :D

So i have finally managed to upload a working makerbot mini design 😀

anyways, the main reaon for todays blog, is… PRINTERRS are AWSOME!

spare parts are fruitfull in the printers of old! Went and got an old printer today and got 2 more precision rods from them 🙂 also am ging to get the old pronters from uni scrap pile and take the motors, rods and the end stop sensors from them so i can make my own electronics from it 😀


First upload, and a mention on Thingiverse blog

So i just uploaded my first design to thingiverse – looks like this
tho – it may not compile – not sure if im doing it right, but let me know if it doesnt – and i will try again!

whilst i was having a look on thingiverse i came accross this article in the blog:
and low and behold, it links to my all-in-one makerbot 😀

yay thankyou 😀

I will upload more pics when i manage to do more to it – am waiting for the electronics and to get theextruder motor from makerbot stores before i can continue! Am tempted to just get the parts from – as they have all bits in stock, but as you can see from my flickr pool, the first trys at the motherbard etching were not that good!

need to get my bubble etch tank going agin, but as im moving i cant set it up 🙁

oh well…


Am trying to get my web cam to broadcast from my makerbot – what im going to do is have the pc running in the makerbot, which will be connected wirelessly to my router. It will be running WEBCAMXP5 (or other software thats better) which will send videos from 2 cameras inside my makerbot.

One camera will be on the nozzel so you can watch it squirting, the second will have an overall view of the makeing board. This way, i will try and make a program that can take uploads of stl files, and then produce it, so in theory i can send a file from work, and watch it being made – maybe something i can open up to the world?

Should be fun V- i got the idea from watching this: (website to be found…)


i bought a tap and die set so i could tap some more grub screws into the timing pullys, which haad the wrong diameter holes, and after drilling and buying the set and the grubs, i read the comment on my twitter page about using some material thats half a mm thick to make a collar… I got an milk bottle and cut it up, created the collars and hey presto, its perfect.

Tap and die set = £9.99
Grubs 12 for £3

Bit of an old milk bottle:

Cost 49p for the milk bottle in the first place!


oh well… they are always handy to have i guess…

Printers… Plastic… and still no electronics

So i went on my hunt today to get printers and scanners from the tip, but they said in a very deep angry voice “nothing ever leaves this tip” so i though ooh… i best reverse…! no seriously, they dont sell stuff… my tip at home in Portsmouth does tho… odd. so my search has made its way onto twitter, and on to gumtree so i can broaden my search for faulty and broken printers for the precision rods so if you have any, let me know by leaving a comment – btw im in plymouth in the uk 😀

I also bought some more plastic from a random company i came accross on the google adverts – they were very local! so i went over and boughtsome more plastic for the heating barrel heat retainer so i can use the proper stuff without it actually melting!

The third thing is, im still wiating to order my plastic and electronics from makerbot, aparently the stepper motor drivers are sold out, but i was wondering if i can buy the set (without these chips) as i can buy them from uk from farnell… ( will email makerbot industries and find out.

Anyways im off to the car boot sale tomorrow to see if i can get some printers…

Motherboard and PSU arrived.

So i now have everything to make the computer side of the Makerbot. All i need is the makerbot electronics and plastic extruder motor – not to mention the plastic… that Will be coming when the electronics are back in stock!

so… ooh just worked out how to add images to these blog posts!
This is the power supply, measures only 65x75x120mm but only features one molex and one smaller floppy drive connector. It is only 90 Watts as well… This will be an experiment…

I will make a connecting board which will fit into these ports and the atx, so i can have a connector for the motherboard, as well as one for the motherboard of the psu. If not i will have to revert back to standards.
The motherboard is a 1GHZ Mini-ITX motherboard with 512mg ram, the hdd will be either solid state, or an old hdd i have. it will just have USB input for the moment, until i can sort out a smaller more powerful PSU that will cope with both the makerbot and motherboard.

It fits nicely into the existing PSU part of the makerbot. I t has enough space to fit the makerbot electronics upside down on the roof of the PSU hole. What will be difficult, is how to attach these boards to the roof, as screws may stop the x axis from moving, and the heating inside this small space, i will need to add a few more fans… Or direct the heat into the makerbot space, so that this heat aids stopping warping… -That’s a good idea nat!

PS, i found a good source of precision rods… -the 8mm rods are standard in any printer! Im going to get some broken ones and steel the rods from them, before i take the to be recycled at the tip – maybe i can get some from the tip? Hmmmmm

A premature announcement about my Makerbot

So,i recieved a package today, and i just cant wait to announce my plans for my makerbot…

Featuring the

ALL IN ONE Makerbot SMB00001


The makerbot 3D printer
90/200 Watt PSU
1GHz MINI-ITX Motherboard
Wireless keyboard and mouse
10inch LCD Screen (with touch screen in the future)

One mains cable
4 batteries for mouse and keyboard.
An ammount of plastic thread
Some imagination

I am in the process of inlarging the chasis to accomodate the motherboard and screen, however it should only increase size by an extra 60mm height and extra 40mm width.
It will feature all internal cables for the screen, computer and makerbot printer, an array of RGB LED’s and maybe a carry handle to make it a truly portable printer!

Let me know what you think – mock pictures in my flickr pool (note the screen will be enclosed in plywood case, and feature a plastic screen cover)

Car boot sale bargains :D

Looking through the shops which i got the nuts and bolts from, i could not find a brass bolt suitable for the heater element, and eventually gave up my search.

Then noticing in a charity shop lots of brass bits – candle sticks etc. maybe this could be a source of brass for a heater element? right i thought, i had a look but nothing suitable.

Went to the boot sale this morning, and rumaging around for a small tap so i can tap some more grub screws into the pulleys to make them fit squarely on the shaft of the stepper, i came accross 3 boxes of brass bits. Fantastic i thought, had a rummage, and came accross 2 bits of brass rod that seemed to not belong to anything. The lady running the stall said she didnt know what they were for, and allready had spent 20 mins trying to find its match, so she said i could have it for 20p. GREAT!

Just measured them, and they are diameter 7mm and 8mm, with a length of over the 50mm required – see my flickrpool. i also found a plastic rod – which i can use as the insulator… tho i dount its the PTFE i need… DOH, oh well… so im just going to cut the nicest piece into 50mm length, and see if i can make the heater barrel – shame i didnt buy the drill at the car boot sale 🙁 i really need one to drill these holes! HAAHAA

well time for an update.

After recieving my bits ffrom the postopffics, i opened it up, and to my suprise the precision rods i orderes where a bit loose – they are about 6mm diameter not the 8mm i was expecting. Checked the order list and sadly, it is an error on the makerbot website parts list, so watch out!!!

however i still put the belts on and realised that the tooth belts are 6mm inner diameter, where as the motor shafts are 5mm diameter, therefore they are wobbly. I need to drill another 2 holes on the opposing sides so that i can center it using 2 more grub screws.

This morning i went to the screw shop, and got some screws for the extruder – long m4’s in the end as they didnt have long m3’s…

Went to totem timber and got 3 1metre rods of aluminium, and 50mm washers – for the retainer plate on the extruder.

the aluminium rods i cut to size for the runners, i chose these as they seemed to run free in the plastic bearings. rubed them a little with fine wet&dry paper (wet) and installed.

I then noticed it was rubbing, so loosened the frame for x and y so that it ran smoother.

installed the platforms, and went about glueing the open ended belt into a circle for the z axis – i saw a film on how its made where they spliced a huge belt tog by cutting a layer (a very slowly decreasing slope in one side, and the opposing side to create a much larger surface area to bond the 2 halves tog. I tried it and tested it 30 mins later – the glue had not dried, so tried it again and yay! works… touch wood. tho i did start this l;ast night and left it over night to dry.

Also going to redesign the shell for my additional parts i got from ebay which will bne VERY awsome!!!

Watch this space!!!

pics in my flickr pool