MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer

MakerBot Replicator 2
Desktop 3D Printer

The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer is designed for making professional-quality prototypes with MakerBot PLA Filament. The troubleshooting guides and documentation in these pages will orient you and get you back on track if something should go wrong.


    Troubleshooting for your Replicator 2

    This page explains some problems you may come across while using your Replicator 2. If you're having trouble with a MakerBot product other than Replicator 2, go here.

    Issues Encountered During Unpacking

    One of the parts listed in the Contents list in my User Manual was not included with my Replicator 2.

    Please check the packing list in your User Manual to find out where the missing part should have been packed. If you've double checked, please contact MakerBot Support at and we'll be happy to resolve this issue.

    My Replicator 2 is missing a bolt, nut, switch, or other mechanical component.

    Please contact MakerBot Support at for a replacement.

    My Replicator 2 was damaged in shipping

    We ship the Replicator 2 in specially designed packaging to protect it from damage. If your Replicator 2 was injured in shipping, please hang on to all your packing materials, take photos of the damage, and email us immediately at We'll be happy to assist you in making a shipping insurance claim and getting up and running again as soon as possible.

    Having Trouble Printing

    • Check the tension on your Delrin plunger 1.1
    • Adjusting the plunger 1.2
    • Check the drive block 1.3
    • Check for clicking 2.1
    • Tighten the drive gear 3.1
    • Open the drive block 4.1
    • Examine the plunger 4.2
    • Test the plunger 4.3
    • Check drive gear height 5.1
    • Move the drive gear 5.2

    Extrusion stops during a build

    This one can be hard to figure out because there are a few different possible problems. Check on the following things first. If none of them turn out to be the answer, check out our extruder troubleshooting guide at the right.

    • Is your extruder motor rotating? Use a marker to draw a line across the end of the motor shaft visible at the back of the motor. When the extruder is running, you should be able to see the shaft turning. It may sometimes reverse direction in order to retract filament, but during extrusion it should be moving at a slow but constant rate. If it does not turn, or stops turning, please get in touch with MakerBot Support and we'll help you figure out what's going on.

    • Is your filament tangled? Check that the spool is spinning smoothly on the mount.

    • Is the build plate too close to the extruder? If they're too close together, there may not be room for the plastic to come out of the extruder. This is a likely culprit if your extruder stops extruding during the first or second layer of a build.

    • Is the nozzle clogged? Run the Load script from your bot's onboard menus. Observe the plastic as it emerges from the nozzle. Does it drop straight down, or curl up toward the extruder? If it curls back up toward the extruder, the nozzle may be partially clogged.

    To unclog your nozzle, watch the Clearing a Thermal Barrier Tube Block video, and follow these instructions:

    1. Unload any filament from the extruder.
    2. Turn off your MakerBot Replicator 2.
    3. Loosen the two bolts on the front of the extruder, unplug the motor cable, and pull the motor out from the back of the extruder. Set the motor aside.
    4. Turn your MakerBot Replicator 2 back on and heat the nozzle by running either the preheat or load filament scripts.
    5. Once the nozzle is hot, take a piece of filament that is several inches in length and feed it directly into the thermal barrier tube, which you can see by looking straight down toward where the motor was, at the top of the bar mount. This process is called a manual extrusion.
    6. Once the filament starts to extrude, pull the filament back out. Cut a fresh end on the filament.
    7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 three to four times.
    8. Cancel the preheat or load filament script, wait for the nozzle to cool, and turn off your MakerBot Replicator 2.
    9. Reassemble the extruder.
    10. Turn your MakerBot Replicator 2 back on and load some filament. If it extrudes normally, you're all set!

    Still having trouble? Open up image 1.1 at the right to start our extruder troubleshooting walkthrough. You can also always get in touch with if you need more help.

    My build is stuck to the build plate!

    Try using a craft spatula or similar tool to gently pry the object from the build plate. For future builds, you can cover your build plate with painters tape. This allows your objects to stick to the build plate but be removed more easily.

    My extruder stays heated after I load or unload filament.

    If you have Preheat turned on, the extruder won't stop heating after you load or unload filament. To stop the extruder from heating, choose Preheat from the bot's main menu and select "Cool!"

    My build is the wrong size.

    Sometimes the intended size of an object can get lost in translation between your design software and slicing. Our software expects units to be set to millimeters, so make sure that your modelling software is also set for millimeters. If you are not using MakerWare to prepare your objects for building, you may wish to do so, as the scale button allows you to size models precisely.

    My Replicator 2 can't see my SD card

    If your Replicator 2 does not recognize that there is a card in the SD slot, make sure you're using a FAT16 formatted SDSC card no larger than 2GB. If your card doesn't correspond to this description, your Replicator 2 will not be able to read it. If the card is formatted correctly but your Replicator 2 fails to recognize it, something may be wrong with the card.

    I can't find my file on the SD card.

    If your Replicator 2 recognizes that an SD card is present but can't see your file, make sure that the file is in the correct format. If your Replicator 2 is running 6.2 Firmware or earlier, files should be in the S3G format. To create an S3G file in MakerWare, click Export to File in the make dialog and select S3G from the dropdown menu. To create an S3G file in ReplicatorG, generate GCode and then press the Build to File button in the top bar, where you will also have to choose .s3g from a dropdown menu.Your Replicator 2 also can't read file names longer than 26 characters -- 30 characters if you count the file extension. Shorten the file name and try again.

    Help! My bot sounds like it's shaking itself to pieces!

    Check to make sure you have acceleration turned on. Attempting to print at high speeds with acceleration turned off can harm your Replicator 2.Replicator Firmwares 5.5 and later have an acceleration option. You can turn it off and on through General Settings in your Replicator 2's onboard menus or through Onboard Preferences in MakerWare or ReplicatorG. If you are running non-accelerated firmware or have acceleration turned off, you should not print at speeds above 40 mm/s.

    Firmwares from Replicator Firmware 7.0 use a new type of acceleration command, and should only build from .x3g files. Running an .s3g file on a bot running Firmware 7.0 or later is equivalent to temporarily turning off acceleration, and will result in loud, jerky motion. If you recieved your Replicator 2 before the release of Firmware 7.0, do not use the .s3g example files on the SD card you recieved with your bot. To download a zip of the .x3g versions of those example files, click here.

    How do I update firmware on my Replicator 2?

    Select the Upload Firmware option from the Bots menu in MakerWare or the Machines menu in ReplicatorG. The software will walk you through the process. Unlike earlier MakerBots, your Replicator 2 does not have a reset button, so any instructions referencing a reset button can be ignored.

    Do I need to do any maintenance on my Replicator 2?

    Not much! But if you've been printing for more than fifty hours or if you start hearing squeaking noises while building then it's probably time to lubricate your threaded rod and idler pulley, and you should definitely be updating your firmware whenever we come out with a new version. Consult our Maintenance page or your User Manual for instructions on how to do this.


    I'm having trouble installing MakerWare.

    Try running the installer again. If the installation fails a second time, please collect as much information on the failure as you can and Open a Support Case.

    I can't connect to my Replicator 2 through MakerWare.

    This probably means something has gone wrong with Conveyor, the part of the MakerWare toolchain that handles the connection to your bot. Go to the Services menu and select "Restart Conveyor."
    For more help with MakerWare, head over to the MakerWare Troubleshooting page.


    I'm having trouble installing ReplicatorG.

    Instructions for installing ReplicatorG on Mac, Windows and Linux computers are available at and include details about which version of Python work with ReplicatorG and how to manually install the necessary drivers.

    I can't connect to my Replicator 2 through ReplicatorG.

    First, make sure that your bot is turned on and that your USB cable is connected at both ends. If you have a lot of other USB devices plugged in, try unplugging a few. Open the Machine menu and go to Connection. If there is a serial port listed there, select it. If not, choose "Rescan serial ports." Then click the Connect button in ReplicatorG's top bar.If you're using Linux, make sure your user has access to serial ports. Check rights on the file /dev/ttyUSBX (if you are using a FTDI usb-serial adapter, where X is the number of the corresponding serial port).

    If you have MakerWare installed, that's probably the issue. MakerWare connects to your MakerBot via a service called Conveyor. Once you install MakerWare, Conveyor will run in the background and prevent other programs, like ReplicatorG, from connecting to your bot. To reconnect to ReplicatorG, you'll have to stop Conveyor. The easiest way to do this is through the Services menu in MakerWare.

    How to stop Conveyor when you do not have MakerWare open depends on what operating system you're using. On Windows computers, you can stop Conveyor through the Services application, which you can find by searching your computer. On Macs, open up Terminal and enter "sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.makerbot.conveyor.plist". On Linux computers the command is "sudo stop conveyor". If you need to restart Conveyor, you can do that from MakerWare's Services menu.

    I can see the virtual build area but I can't see my model.

    If you're using a Linux computer, you may have to install a different version of Java. Click here for instructions.If your computer is running Windows 7 with the Windows Classic theme, you will have to switch to a different theme to have ReplicatorG display your model correctly.

    I changed my toolhead offsets in ReplicatorG 40, but they haven't updated.

    This is a known bug. You will not be able to change your toolhead offsets through ReplicatorG 40, but you can change them through MakerWare's onboard preferences menu.
    For more help with Replicator G, click here.

    I got an error message on my Replicator 2

    Okay -- head over to our page on Replicator 2 error codes. We have a list of all the error messages you can get.

    I’ve read everything and I need more help.

    OK — Don’t panic. You’ve just joined a great community, and there are lots of resources at your disposal. To get in touch with the official MakerBot support crew, Open a Support Case or email
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