June 28, 2014

Upgrades 'fer Days


Just as soon as I installed and got this working on my printer, I ripped the whole thing apart. I had been putting off purchasing the Maker’s Upgrade Kit for my Printrbot Simple for a while, but not soon after, I caved in and purchased it (it was on sale at the time after all). Just a few of my deciding factors were:

  1. New, more refined wood structure
  2. Belt driven X & Y axis (instead of string and sandpaper)
  3. Induction Sensor for Z-endstop (Auto leveling of print bed)

To refresh the memory, this is what I was currently working with:

The Mayhem

After laying out all the pieces from the Maker’s Upgrade Kit, I started disassembly and thus, mass mayhem insued.


That would be the original Printrbot Simple on the left, and the new pieces on the right.

The Result

After many hours of assembly and tweaking of various fiddly-bits, I got the printer re-assembled and ready to go.



One of the best features of this particular version is the marked wood for orientation and labeling. You might argue that it’s obvious as they only fit one or two ways, but it’s surprising how helpful that was. Below is a shot of the extruder assembly and induction sensor.


And to round off the upgrades, the belt driven X & Y-axis.


Troublesome Bits

Print Bed

The new print bed mounting had a tendency to warp or twist during assembly. I could attribute this to not lining the screw holes up perfectly, but nevertheless, it was still tricky. There is still a little alignment issue I’m working out, but overall it is a pretty slick way to mount the bed.


Yes, this particular model has some sweet cable management, namely the black cable wrap that contains all the extruder wiring and such. However, boy was it a pain to fish through the bottom and to the Printrboard. I ultimately had to take off the side panel and sort of ‘cheat’ to fish the wires through. Again, once it’s accomplished, it looks pretty good.