Seeing as how I already had the heater in pieces, I figured it couldn’t really cause that much harm to move the plastruder board. I totally get why the MakerBot guys put the board on the extruder – that way all you had to do was swap out an extruder and you can roll with a totally new print head.
I don’t really intend to do printing beyond single color plastic. This may very well change if we see a support material extruder being offered. But for the foreseeable future, I am really looking forward to printing away with my giant coil of black ABS.
That said, I’m not attached to the idea of having totally modular heads. 1 On the right side of the MakerBot there’s a really large area above the motherboard and to the left of the three stepper motor boards. The only things preventing the plastruder board from being mounted right there are (1) the motor wires are too short and (2) four holes in the body.
I had dissected a piece of ethernet cable for the wires running to the nichrome wire and thermistor, so I still had four wires left. I used another two and a bit of solder to extend the wires to the extruder motor.
Sometimes when I need to drill a small hole through soft or thin material I don’t even bother with the drill. I used a small drill bit with a rubber band wrapped around the non-drill-bitty-end to give it a grip and rotated it into the right panel of my MakerBot. Bolt it on and…
Presto! Now I can see all the way through the plastruder. :)
- Sorry about the pun. [↩]