Makerbot 5 Broken Front leveling knob

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Jamie Gilkeson

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Aug 5, 2014, 5:49:51 PM8/5/14
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The first time trying to level our Makerbot 5 build plate the front leveling knob fell off. Subsequent attempts to reattach it have gotten the knob to stay on but it no longer seems to change the angle of the build plate (if it ever did, it fell off almost immediately). The Makerbot itself is brand new, and it's not obvious to us how the knob attaches to the screw either. Included is a link to a video displaying out issue and some pictures of the knob. http://youtu.be/7oAJTbPtA-g


2pooped2care

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Aug 5, 2014, 6:26:03 PM8/5/14
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Mine just fell off too. It's kind of a slip screw to get it started. Just keep light pressure on it while turning counter clockwise.

Jon Froehlich

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Aug 6, 2014, 11:27:20 AM8/6/14
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I work with Jamie in the same lab. We actually tried to reattach it but to no avail. Should we try gluing it? We can't figure out how the knob was originally attached to the screw. 

We are quite disappointed that the knob fell off right away during our first build plate leveling and we didn't even have a chance to try our first print. Argh :(

Jon

Jetguy

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Aug 6, 2014, 12:31:01 PM8/6/14
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How about CALLING MAKERBOT support?

Contact Support
+1347 334 6800

I know the instructions are non-existant and sorry I cannot help with specifics but even I know without knowing anything glue is NOT the correct answer.

Message has been deleted

Jetguy

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Aug 6, 2014, 12:50:33 PM8/6/14
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No, No no.
Sorry, just trying to keep this from going off the deep end.
 
I believe the 5 gen bed has a captured threaded stud and maybe a spring.
The plastic thumb wheel has a metal nut embeded.
 
So user who is mechanically NOT PAYING ATTENTION, unscrews the nut so that the spring raises the bed and the nut falls free. To get it to thread back on. PRESS DOWN on the bed surface so the threaded stud is exposed and now the nut has something to grip on.
 
Now that is just a guess based on what I know about the system but that's a HELL of a lot closer than using glue or swapping out parts.
 
Not trying to be rude but this thread has just gone in a direction that was not helpful (even though I know folks are trying).
 

On Wednesday, August 6, 2014 12:31:32 PM UTC-4, DHeadrick wrote:

I'm not familiar with the specifics of the Replicator 5, but maybe changing the bolts out to hex bolts and printing knobs like these might work...

DHeadrick

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Aug 6, 2014, 1:37:10 PM8/6/14
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Ah... makes sense.  I've never seen one, so I was offering options.  Seeing repeated posts about the problems on the new generation Makerbot made me expect this part to be crapily designed as well.  I'll delete my previous post so that it doesn't lead anyone down the wrong path.

Jon Froehlich

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Aug 6, 2014, 4:12:29 PM8/6/14
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Thanks for the nice discussion everyone. We are starting to get to the bottom of the problem. Essentially, the metal grip on the front knob got stuck on the front leveling plate screw and is now functioning as a nut/fastener. It is fixed pretty tightly on the screw. After calling support (+1347 334 6800, thanks Jetguy), they suggested we try and use a needle-nose pliers to "unscrew" the metal grip and then, once it's off the screw, to glue it back into the front knob. However, we haven't been able to get the metal grip out. So, we are going to try and contact support again and see if they will send us a brand new built plate. This is pretty unfortunate because this occurred during the very first leveling process and so we still haven't even been able to use the new printer. :( In addition, it seems like a rather silly, small problem to have to send us an entirely new build plate but really, I'm not sure there is any other way.

I have attached a few more images that should make this problem more clear in case other folks are experiencing the same issue. As this happened within the first 10 minutes of taking the Makerbot 5th generation out of the box, we're not sure if the front knob was faulty from the beginning or if it occurred when trying to follow the computer-assisted leveling process (we think it's probably the former because the LED light, which is supposed to turn on once you have leveled the plate sufficiently, never turned on).

Jon
BrokenKnob.png
BuildPlate.png

Jetguy

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Aug 6, 2014, 4:39:56 PM8/6/14
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Sorry, please take ths as trying to be helpful.
 
So the problem was created when you literally CRANKED THE CRAP out of the knob, clearly when it had bottom out, SO HARD, that is stripped the brass insert now right out of the plastic knob.
 
Now granted, you were trying to follow the instructions but this was an example of user error.
The takeaway for OTHER users is do not force anything just because you think you need to turn it more.
 
I'm not saying that maybe the insert was loose from the start or whatever, but now, clearly from the photo is it jammed tight against the HBP and has stripped out the hole in the knob. The only way that could happen is you the user cranked the knob up until it stopped and then kept cranking.Again, if you cannot unscrew that with pliars, the ONLY way we could get to this state is pure user error in cranking that knob as hard as they could.
I seem to remember a LOUD screaching sound in the video you guys posted the first time while you were spining the knob. That was the point of destruction right there.
 
 
 

On Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:12:29 PM UTC-4, Jon Froehlich wrote:
Thanks for the nice discussion everyone. We are starting to get to the bottom of the problem. Essentially, the metal grip on the front knob got stuck on the front leveling plate screw and is now functioning as a nut/fastener. It is fixed pretty tightly on the screw. After calling support (+1347 334 6800, thanks Jetguy), they suggested we try and use a needle-nose pliers to "unscrew" the metal grip and then, once it's off the screw, to glue it back into the front knob. However, we haven't been able to get the metal grip out. So, we are going to try and contact support again and see if they will send us a brand new built plate. This is pretty unfortunate because this occurred during the very first leveling process and so we still haven't even been able to use the new printer. :( In addition, it seems like a rather silly, small problem to have to send us an entirely new build plate but really, I'm not sure there is any other way.

Jon Froehlich

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Aug 6, 2014, 5:05:43 PM8/6/14
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Sure, it certainly could be something that we did. Not sure. I don't remember cranking "the crap" out of anything or even really trying to turn the knob with much effort.

Though we have lots of experience with the Rep1, we've never used a 5th Generation Makerbot so we were just following the LCD directions. And, as I mentioned, the LED light on the extruder never turned on, which was supposed to indicate when to stop screwing. So, I think our issue was a mixture of our inexperience and trying to do what the machine was telling us to do along with, possibly, user error (like most things, I think "user error" is on a spectrum rather than a binary, discrete value).

That said, your warnings to future users are good ones. Thanks! So far, Makerbot support has been responsive and helpful. Hopefully, we will get this resolved soon. It's not often that I spend this much money and have something break within moments of its arrival.


Jon

-- 
Jon Froehlich
Assistant Professor
Computer Science
University of Maryland, College Park
@jonfroehlich - Twitter

DHeadrick

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Aug 6, 2014, 5:12:32 PM8/6/14
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While you are waiting for your replacement build plate, you can try this.

Don't use just pliers alone.  The problem with just pliers is to get a good grip with metal-on-metal, you must squeeze tightly.  This compresses that brass nut onto the threads and makes it harder to remove.  Instead, get a thick rubber band like the kind found around bunches of broccoli.  Use this to try and get more friction while still not squeezing so tightly as to bind the threads.

This may not work either, but it is something to try.  If Makerbot has agreed to send you a replacement build plate, you've got nothing to lose.

DHeadrick

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Aug 6, 2014, 5:14:50 PM8/6/14
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To clarify, put the rubber band around the nut and then also use pliers (but try different squeeze strengths to see if anything moves).

geoff1111

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Aug 6, 2014, 7:32:01 PM8/6/14
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Hello  I had this issue last week what you need to do is get some fairly small long nose pliers and go into the hole where the knob sits and hook onto the brass nut that is stuck onto the bolt inside. I have five new makerbots at our school. One of our students wound the knob right up until it threaded. After you retrieve the brass nut you will need to araldite the brass nut back into the knob.

Joe Soap

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Aug 6, 2014, 8:43:14 PM8/6/14
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Speaking from personal experience of the 5th gen, unfortunately I think
it's likely to be a design issue.

That wheel is mounted on a standard threaded bolt. So it doesn't take a
lot of imagination to know that if continually turned in a particular
direction it will reach the end of the thread - and fall off. No comment
on the amount of force required as I didn't suffer that problem.

What I DID realise was that when the wheel started to exhibit looseness
(as it neared the end of the thread travel), it was time to fully rewind
that wheel in the opposite direction - and then do the levelling bit.

The actual levelling does not depend upon the physical position of the
wheel on the threaded shaft. The bot just says "twiddle the knob in this
direction" (shows a picture on the bot's control panel), you do so and
before long the bot says "got it".

Now what I thought was happening was that the firmware within the bot
was doing some hocus-pocus to figure out the levelling - which was not
dependent on the physical position of the wheel on its threaded shaft.
The impression I got was that the wheel did not adjust the physical
level of the build plate - like it does on other machines where a spring
is pushing the plate against the wheel.

Bottom line, before levelling wind up the wheel to the top of its
travel. The bot will level somewhere in its mid-range of adjustment. And
you won't get to have the wheel fall off.

Just my tuppence worth.

On 06/08/2014 21:39, Jetguy wrote:
> Sorry, please take ths as trying to be helpful.
>
> So the problem was created when you literally CRANKED THE CRAP out of
> the knob, clearly when it had bottom out, SO HARD, that is stripped the
> brass insert now right out of the plastic knob.
>
> Now granted, you were trying to follow the instructions but this was an
> example of user error.
> The takeaway for OTHER users is do not force anything just because you
> think you need to turn it more.
>
> I'm not saying that maybe the insert was loose from the start or
> whatever, but now, clearly from the photo is it jammed tight against the
> HBP and has stripped out the hole in the knob. The only way that could
> happen is you the user cranked the knob up until it stopped and then
> kept cranking.Again, if you cannot unscrew that with pliars, the ONLY
> way we could get to this state is pure user error in cranking that knob
> as hard as they could.
> I seem to remember a LOUD screaching sound in the video you guys posted
> the first time while you were spining the knob. That was the point of
> destruction right there.
>
>
>
>
> On Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:12:29 PM UTC-4, Jon Froehlich wrote:
>
> Thanks for the nice discussion everyone. We are starting to get to
> the bottom of the problem. Essentially, the metal grip on the front
> knob got stuck on the front leveling plate screw and is now
> functioning as a nut/fastener. It is fixed pretty tightly on the
> screw. After calling support (+1347 334 6800[Call: +1347 334 6800]
> <#>, thanks Jetguy), they suggested we try and use a needle-nose
> <http://www.leevalley.com/en/images/item/hardware/jigfixtureparts/00m5010s4.jpg>
> <http://youtu.be/7oAJTbPtA-g>
>
> <https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CMHqaDB4xhE/U-FRceBMbcI/AAAAAAAAACw/j6uFIah5t5g/s1600/photo.JPG>
>
>
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Jamie Gilkeson

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Aug 7, 2014, 4:10:46 PM8/7/14
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Thanks for the tip! However we couldn't really find a way to get a rubber band secured around the nut. The hole is pretty small and given them limited space between the build platform and the base we couldn't get a rubber band on the nut.
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