As I started exploring what was possible in the Thingiverse I quickly saw a trend of people “upgrading” their 3D printers by building and printing items to get more use out of them. I’ve become addicted to printing these things because it’s just so cool to build parts on the device itself that will later make the device work even better. Here are a few of the upgrades I’ve printed so far.


MakerBot Filament Spool Holder – This was one of the first upgrades I printed to provide a way to feed in the plastic without having to constantly monitor it and untangle. The plastic comes from the store on those black spools and they fit perfectly on this holder and rotate freely as the item prints.


Motorola Droid Bot-Cam Holder – My previous phone was a Droid and I still had it in a drawer, so when I saw this holder I had to print it! Using a free app we can broadcast a live feed of what is printing on the Makerbot and view it on the web.


Y-axis Idler Support – This part holds the idler pulley firmly in place so that the belt doesn’t lose any tension. Tight belts make for cleaner prints.


Universal X & Y Belt Tensioner – Normally when tightening belts on either the X or Y axis you have to loosen several screws and in some cases take out rods and remove parts. With these printed and installed I have a single bolt on the outside of face of the Makerbot for each axis that I can tighten or loosen. Again, by making sure the belts stay tight I can ensure the prints come out clean.

Also on my list of things to print are these endcaps that you can use in place of the standard wooden ones to allow you to easily remove rods without fiddling with multiple screws. I’m having a lot of fun extending the MakerBot with the help of that same bot!

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