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MakerBot 3D Printer and Digitizer


Make/Model: MakerBot 3D Digitizer
Guide: Manual
Special Purpose: scanning 3D objects
Checkout Availability: special permission required
Related Equipment: MakerBot 3D Printer

Make/Model: MakerBot 3D Printer
Guide: Manual
Kit Contains: Oh boy where to begin…. (see notes below)
Special Purpose: 3D printing objects
Checkout Availability: special permission required

Makerbot User Quick Guide



Ball Hex 3/32  for the extruder head assembly & wiring plate
Philips PH1  for the extruder head assembly
 H2.5 hex  for the bottom panel and extruder head assembly
6mm or 7mm socket  or wrench (for the extruder nozzle)
.4mm drill bits  for the extruder nozzle
D-limonene  with dissolve the filament, use to clean the extruder nozzles
 Super Lube 82340 Multi Purpose Synthetic Grease. Use to lube the main drive shaft and left guide belt.


Each User Should Purchase:

The amazon link is provided for convenience.


You can print your model in 3 qualities: 0.1mm (fine), 0.2mm (standard), 0.3mm (low).

The nozzle has a .4mm extruder hole that needs to be drilled out frequently. Make sure and clean after the extruder is preheated and be gentle the bits are very delicate.

The barrel is 26mm – 26.5mm long and has a 2mm inside diameter for the 1.75mm filament. Buy the Teflon coated barrels. Avoid buying the 30mm barrel. It requires a M6-1.00 stainless nut.

(a.k.a. nozzle barrel, nozzle throat, extruder barrel, extruder throat, barrel & throat,

Unless you are chain printing, then it is best that you unload the filament and drill out the clean the nozzle.

At the end of your printing day unload the filament and drill out the clean the nozzle.


Designing Your Model

You can print your model in 3 qualities: 0.1mm (fine), 0.2mm (standard), 0.3mm (low). All you fine attention to detail and special math can be ruined by printing in the improper quality.

Low/0.3mm will round to 0.3mm layers.

For the most part you will not be working that granular, however, if you have to scale your model you may find that your model’s math can be impacted by the difference in print qualities.


The Filament Shrinks.

Part                           designed to be            will print at                 will shrink to

A sphere                    16mm, 8mm radius     16-16.03mm               15.75-15.85mm

A flat square               2mm tall                    2.2-2mm                    1.80mm



You can place more than one item on the virtual build platform—this is not recommended. The plastic will cool as you print and your model can warp. The more objects you place on the platform to build the more your models will cool and warp during printing.

Support – Extra printing material to support overhanging parts of you model.

Raft – Expensive use of filament but it will produce nicer printed versions.

Temperature – Find the extrude temperature that is right for your filament. If you notice that you model is coming out with a lot of spider web like threads, then decrease your extrude temperature by a degree or two, don’t go crazy.


SD Card

SD Cards needs to be FAT or FAT16 formatted, no other formatting will work. Lower capacity cards (2GB) are easier to format than higher capacity cards (8GB). Lower capacity cards (2GB) can be formatted to MS-DOS or FAT in either OS X or windows computers.

To save a ‘.x3g’ file to an SD Card – Click File, Export, to save a ‘.x3g’ file.

Or click “Export Print File”.



The Makerbot can print unrafted angles/overhangs as long as they do not exceed a 45° angle.



Create 3D model
Review model
Export at .STL To open in MakerWare
Open the .STL in Makerware If asked select “Move to platform”.
Position (your model) to platform, and manually position on the platform Keep in mind where you apply the tape.
Review the print setting the in the Makerware software. Test print at the same quality as your final print.
To save to an SD Card – Click File, Save As, then save as a ‘.x3g’ extension to the SD Card. You can then turn on the MakerBot and print directly from the SD Card.
To print from a connected computer, Click the “print” button after you connect the MakerBot and turn it on.
When you are ready to print load Turn on the MakerBot. Remember you can print a ‘.x3g’ file from a SD Card or from MakerWare via a USB connected computer.
Level the print platform. “utilities”, “level build plate” Follow instruction on the Makerbot:


Gentle push your paper between the print nozzle and the print platform as the MakerBot dances and stops.

If you are printing on to double sided carpet tape I suggest you use 2 stacked post-it notes to gauge the correct distance.

Otherwise a single post-it note should work.


There is a demo page of a poorly leveled line of filament and a properly leveled line of filament.


On the Makerbot select “utilities”, “change filament”, then “load”



Follow instruction on the Makerbot to stop the filament loading/exit to get ready to print.
Place your double-sided tape down and remove the safety backing. Avoid layering and use only what you need.
You need to monitor the model as it prints. There are so many reason that a print might fail that it is just easier to tell you to stand close and make sure that the Makerbot keeps printing.
“Cancel print” if
….the Makerbot is skipping print layers – and then unclog the extruder nozzle. Drilling it out might work, however you may need to swap the clogged extruder nozzle for an unclogged extruder nozzle.
….the Makerbot has knocked over part of your model—you can reprint but you may need to reprint your model on a “support” and you may need to use “rafts”. If you change your settings your will have you click “print” again for the new path to be sent over to the Makerbot.
Clean the extruder nozzle and unload the filament. When you have finished or if there will be a long wait until the next print. The filament is hygroscopic and will clog the print nozzle if left.
Unload the filamnet On the Makerbot select “change filament”, then “unload”
Drill out the extruder nozzle After the filament has been removed and while the extruder nozzle is still hot, use one of the small 0.4mm drill bit to drill out the extruder nozzle.
On the MakerBot select “Preheat”, then “cool”. Let the extruder nozzle cool down.
Turn off the makerbot
If you need to remove the print nozzle to clean it Gently loosen and when replacing it should only be had tightened/gently tightened-Do Not Overtighten.


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