Heater errors on a MakerBot Replicator 2

We have a MakerBot in our office and use it for all sorts of prints. Since we first got the MakerBot has been giving us random errors.

Sometimes the extruder would stop extruding with no error showing up. A firm press on the filament would usually get it extruding again.

After that happened a few times we couldn’t get it to extrude at all. Taking apart the extruder head showed me that the problem was the knurled bolt. The knurled bolt was clogged and caked with ground up pla dust. A tooth brush got rid of most of the dust but wasn’t getting deep enough into the teeth. I had to use an Exacto knife and clean out each tooth manually.

Then the MakerBot continued to have the intermittent extruder errors. I reached out to MakerBot support and they pointed me to two things. The thermocouple may be damaged or the heater is damage.

What was happening is the temperature was dropping in the extruder, the pla would freeze in the nozzle and the knurled bolt would chew on the pla. The dust and cake knurled bolt was from the pla being chewed on.

The support guys at MakerBot realized this problem and sent me a new thermocouple and a new heater cartridge.

Replacing them both showed me that the previous thermocouple was bent sharply. The thermocouple was giving intermittent temperature readings.

Here is the error that I was getting on the MakerBot.

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Now look at the culprit that was ruining my prints.

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I’m printing again now. Working with MakerBot support was alright but took too long to get a response. I only wish MakerBot had a support phone number.

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