Using a Thing-O-Matic with MakerBot Desktop

    How to use a Thing-O-Matic with MakerBot Desktop.

    About MakerBot Desktop and Thing-O-Matic

    The MakerBot Thing-O-Matic is no longer supported by the most recent version of MakerBot Desktop. You can still use your Thing-O-Matic with MakerBot Desktop 3.7 or earlier. To connect to MakerBot Desktop, a Thing-O-Matic must be running Sailfish version 4.1 or higher and Extruder Controller firmware 3.1. We don’t recommend using MakerBot Desktop 3.7 with Thing-O-Matics that do not have a Gen 4 LCD Interface.

    How to Connect to a Thing-O-Matic using MakerBot Desktop

    1. Power on your Thing-O-Matic and connect it to your computer using a USB cable.

    2. Open MakerBot Desktop.

    3. Open the Devices menu and Select Control Panel.

    4. Depending on what kind of motherboard your Thing-O-Matic uses, you will see it listed as either Arduino Mega or FTDI. Highlight the name of the board and click Connect. The display name of the board will now change to Thing-O-Matic.

    How to Change Filament Using the Control Panel

    1. From the MakerBot Control Panel, click Direct Controls. A window with controls for heating the extruder and controlling the extruder motor will appear.

    2. Set the number in the Target Temperature field to the appropriate temperature for melting your plastic filament. Click Heat. You can stop the heating process at any time by clicking the Stop Heating button, which replaces the Heat button during the preheat.
    3. When the Current Temperature displayed above the Target Temperature field matches your target temperature, press the Extrude (Load) button at the bottom of the Direct Controls dialog. The extruder motor will run forwards.
    4. Insert the filament into the top of your extruder and push until you feel the motor tugging the filament in.
    5. Press the Stop button to stop the motor. You might also want to stop the extruder from heating at this time, and you can do that by pressing the Stop Heating button. 

    To unload filament, use the Direct Control dialog to heat the extruder and then press the Reverse (Unload) button to run the extruder motor backwards. Then gently tug on the filament until it is released.

    How to Print or Export to a Thing-O-Matic via MakerBot Desktop

    1. If you have connected your Thing-O-Matic, your device is already connected via MakerBot Desktop 3.7.

    2. Add your object or objects to the build plate.

    3. The Print button should be available aat the upper right corner of the MakerBot Desktop screen. If you want to change any settings before printing, click Settings.

    4. Click Print. Your object will slice and print.

    5. Note: If you are exporting GCode or an X3G file, go to File in the toolbar and select Export.
       When prompted with the Export Now dialog box, click Export Now. A new dialog will open allowing you to specify where and in what format you wish to save the file. 


    Can I update firmware on my Thing-O-Matic from MakerWare?

    Yes -- just select Upload Firmware from the Devices Menu and follow the steps provided. Your Thing-O-Matic will be disconnected from MakerWare during the upload process, and will have to be connected again afterwards.

    Is there a Jog menu?

    There is no Jog menu in MakerBot Desktop. We recommend using the LCD interface's Jog menu.

    Can I print from the SD card via MakerWare?

    You can only print directly from from MakerBot Desktop via the USB cable. To print from SD, use a Gen 4 LCD Interface.

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