MakerBot Hotness Lives at Hive76

We love MakerBot, but we needed a better way to print larger objects (like parts for a Mendel). So I started experimenting in the lab at UPenn for how to get a heated platform up and working on 3D-PO.

The first design involved multiple layers of silicone fused together around a nichrome core. We told MakerBot about it, and they wanted more! Then Eberhard Rensch in Germany heard about it (go Internets!), and he went to town on a simplified software design. Awesome!

Of course the design is very simple, totally open (and transparent!). Hooray for Universities. So Mike and I bought a bunch of materials, refined the design a bit, and made a bunch more platforms. It was pretty risky but we trusted our gut and listened to all the awesome members right here at our favorite hackerspace. And we also made use of plenty of Hive resources to get the job done.

But we had gotten ahead of ourselves a bit… we don’t have the infrastructure to sell/invoice/ship/advertise this type of product. We could build that infrastructure, but we really love the core MakerBot community and don’t want to see market fragmentation. So we shipped them off to MakerBot to sell through their store. Check out this blog post and also the wiki page explaining how it works and how to use it.

It’s been an awesome experience: idea -> it works! -> invest in yourself -> Success!!

And about that Mendel… Fynflood’s assembling like gangbusters, check it out!!

7 Replies to “MakerBot Hotness Lives at Hive76”

  1. Nice post, and thanks for the flowers.

    I followed the link to Eberhard Rensch’s site and saw a post there about a Repman heated stage, so maybe the smart stage is a good idea for that platform (also for the Mendel, maybe). Putting the control logic for the heater in the firmware is clean in its way, but also limiting.

    At any rate, it was fun — thanks for the opportunity.

  2. Help! I installed the heated platform kit from Makerbot but am not able to get either a temp reading or a response from the MSOFET. I updated the motherboard firmware to 1.6 and the extruder board to 1.8, using the Windows version of ReplicatorG, so I am able to select the heated build platform driver and do see the control panel entries for the build platform temps.

    The temp reads at 112, regardless of whether the thermistor is plugged
    in or not. I checked the polarity of the pins (since there is an
    electrolytic cap) and they are correct. I checked the resistance of
    the thermistor and (once the cap settles) it is 100K. Furthermore, I am able to heat the platform using the C MOSFETs and the fan control. When I do that, the thermistor resistance drops appropriately.

    The pins on the board seem fine too, as the top pin shows ground, the middle pin has Vcc and there is about +0.5 V at A6 when it is otherwise open.

    It seems that the problem is that the software is not monitoring A6,
    since putting a resistor bridge of 100K between GND and A6 with the
    4.7K resistor between Vcc and A6 produces no change in the control
    panel reading of 112.


  3. Hi Dan,

    see discussion here:

    there are a couple options, here is my recommendation:
    This is the exact commit of the source code I used in testing… try building and uploading the ArduinoSlaveExtruder.pde firmware manually with the Arduino IDE. You will have to rename Configuration.h.dist to Configuration.h and may have to clean up a few other errors that come up during compile/upload to board:

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