Maintaining Your MakerBot Replicator 2

    Keep Your Printer Running Smoothly

    We've made the Replicator 2 incredibly easy to take care of, but there are a couple of things you'll want to do from time to time to keep it running as smoothly as possible. Follow the links below to learn how to maintain your MakerBot Replicator 2. You should also update your firmware whenever a new version becomes available.

    Leveling the Build Plate

    One of the best things you can do to keep your MakerBot Replicator 2 in top shape is to level your build plate frequently. It never hurts to re-level, but forgetting to do so can make a big difference in your success rate. Check out the page on Leveling the Build Plate to learn more.

    Lubricating the Threaded Rod and the X-Axis Idler Pulley

    After about 50 hours of build time -- or if your Replicator 2 starts to squeak -- you should lubricate your threaded Z-axis rod and the X-axis idler pulley. Everything else is self-lubricating. To learn how to do this, click here.

    Realigning the Gantry

    The gantry is the system of rods and belts that move the extruder. If one side is too far out of alignment with the other, the outlines of printed objects might appear slanted on the build plate. You should make sure you gantry is aligned after moving or jolting your MakerBot Replicator 2.

    To determine whether your gantry is aligned correctly, push the extruder all the way to the front of the MakerBot Replicator 2. Hold the right side of the gantry against the front of the MakerBot Replicator 2. Then try pushing the left side forwards. It should not move.

    If it does move, click here to learn how to realign the gantry.

    Tightening the X-Axis Pulley and the Y-Axis Pulley

    Loose X and Y-axis pulleys in your MakerBot Replicator 2X can result in belts slipping during printing. If you notice shifts on the X or Y-axis during a print, it might be time to tighten your pulleys. To learn how to tighten these, click here.

    Tightening the X and Y-axis Belts

    Loose Belts in your MakerBot Replicator 2 can lead to shifting prints. Most notable a staircase pattern shift. To learn how to tighten these, click here.

    Cleaning the Drive Gear

    The drive gear is the part of the extruder that pushes filament through the extruder. When you make things with your Replicator 2, small pieces of hardened plastic can stick to the drive gear and eventually clog it so it can't grab onto the filament. If you are having problems with your extruder, cleaning the drive gear might help. Click here to learn how to clean the drive gear.

    The following video shows how to lubricate the threaded rod and x-axis idler pulley, and clean the drive gear:

    Adjusting the Plunger

    If the plunger wears down and is no longer putting pressure on the MakerBot PLA Filament, the MakerBot Replicator 2 may stop extruding. For instructions on adjusting the plunger, click here.*

    *Note: Some Replicator 2 printers may have the newer drive block with a spring. If this is the case, please ignore this section.

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