ThingM‘s todbot, an engineer and 3D printing early adopter deeply involved in Crash Space in LA, shared a write up of the extensive mods and tuning he has done over the year to repair and improve his Replicator 1 printer, an interesting document given both his background in product design and DIY. (And he was, I believe, actually the very first non-staff customer to receive the Replicator 1, to put this into context….)
After two years, I think I have my Replicator (apparently the first one shipped) finally working reliably to produce >1 hour prints. Thank you @iandanforth for asking if I had a description of the mods I did and prompting me to write this.
The Replicator has been a very frustrating product. After a few out-of-the-box failures, it worked great for the first week and then rapidly deteriorated. And a few months later, the Replicator 2 was announced and support for my product rapidly evaporated. Many of the things I print are small and take less than 15 minutes to print, so I’ve been dealing with a less than 30% success rate of printing, or using other 3d printers. But I think I’ve been slowly iterating towards a reliable Replicator.
Things I have done thus far (in roughly chronological order):
- Replaced heated build plate since the original was very non-flat
- Replaced both thermocouples with parts from Makerbot
- Installed new extruder design (eliminates all filament feed issues)
- Installed Bottleworks aluminum replacement arms
- Went to three-point bed leveling by removing one of the four leveling nuts.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!