MakerBot Thing-O-Matic

MakerBot Thing-O-Matic

The Thing-O-Matic was MakerBot's second 3D Printer, and it was sold fully manufactured and as a kit. These pages contain troubleshooting guides, upgrade instructions, and our best assembly instructions.


    Using a Thing-O-Matic with MakerWare

    MakerWare versions 2.1 and up offer support for the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. To be connected to MakerWare, a Thing-O-Matic must be running Sailfish version 4.1 or higher and Extruder Controller firmware 3.1. MakerWare's Thing-O-Matic support is also optimized for Thing-O-Matics with a Gen 4 LCD Interface. Thing-O-Matics without an LCD interface will connect to MakerWare, but will have limited functionality.

    How to Connect to a Thing-O-Matic using MakerWare

    • MakerBots menu 1.1
    • Control Panel 1.2

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

    2. Open MakerWare.

    3. Go the the MakerBots menu and select Type of MakerBot > Thing-O-Matic. 1.1

    4. Open the MakerBots menu again. A new option appears: Control Panel. Select it.

    5. 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." 1.2

    How to change filament using the Control Panel

    • Direct Controls 2.1

    1. From the MakerBot Control Panel, click Direct Controls. A window with controls for heating the extruder and controlling the extruder motor will appear. 2.1

    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 MakerWare

    • Export for Thing-O-Matic 3.1

    1. Add your object or objects to the build plate and click the M button at the top of the MakerWare window to open the Make dialog.

    2. If you have connected to your Thing-O-Matic via MakerWare, the Make it Now button will be preselected and your Thing-O-Matic will show up in the Make With field. If you are not connected to your Thing-O-Matic, the Export to a File button will be preselected and you can select Thing-O-Matic from the Export For dropdown menu. 3.1

    Note: if Thing-O-Matic does not appear as an available option in the dropdown menu, exit the Make dialog and ensure that you have Thing-O-Matic selected under MakerBots > Type of MakerBot.

    3. Set your printing options. For more information on printing options, see our MakerWare tutorial.

    4a. If you are printing directly to your Thing-O-Matic, press Make It! Your object will slice and print.

    4b. If you are exporting GCode or an X3G file, press Export! A new dialog will open allowing you to choose between X3G, S3G and GCode and specify where to save the file.


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

    Yes -- just select Upload Firmware from the MakerBots 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 MakerWare. 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 MakerWare via the USB cable. To print from SD, use a Gen 4 LCD Interface.
What can we help you with today?
I want to chat with Sales.
I have a question about an existing order.
I have a technical question about my device.
Existing Orders
For faster service, enter your order number
(found in your confirmation e-mail)