Coasterman's Makerbot Oiling Script
What I love about this new frontier of 3D printing is that everyone can contribute to making DIY 3D printing better for the world. Even a small improvement can make a big change to the overall community – but raising awareness and drawing in support for a new problem or solution.
Look at basic 3D printer maintenance, this was just something I had always done – but never given much thought to. Coasterman, on the other hand, found a way to ensure consistent and efficient oiling of a MakerBot Cupcake’s rods. He’s created a GCode script that will move the platforms around and guide you through the maintenance process. Now that he’s published this, it’s probably only a matter of time before it is adapted for a Thing-O-Matic or RepRap and then even integrated into ReplicatorG!
To run the script, your machine needs to know where zero is, and then you can run it. In other words, if you move all axes to zero, the machine should put the nozzle on the platform on the center. Endstops are currently not supported.
The machine will prepare for oiling and the script will produce messages to guide you through the process. It will move off to one side for you to oil, then the other side to expose the rest of the rod, then run the axis back and forth to make the oil “set in.” Also, to make oiling the Y easier, it keeps the X off to one side so you have space to stick the oil bottle in.
When oiling the rod, squeeze a bit out over the length of the rod. If little drops of oil start to form hanging below the rod, take a paper towel and suck up the extra oil. The oil should cover the rod but not drip below it.
If, like me, you don’t have wicked software or hardware skills, you can always find a way to help out the community. Just look at your ‘bot and think about what you’ve done to improve it. Chances are you can help out a lot of people just by posting your thoughts, ideas, or design files.