Monday, March 4, 2013

Cold pause

A really cool feature of the MakerBot Replicator 2 is its ability to go into "cold pause", that is, to stop printing and move the nozzle off to the side. You can resume the build anytime you like later on. Presumably you could use the cold pause to change filament color, although I have not tried that yet. (The Replicator 1 and the Replicator 2X both have dual extruders but the Replicator 2 does not.) Here is a picture of a cold pause of a decorated cube; note the hexagonal fill that the MakerWare software automatically uses to fill the inside:

You might be wondering to yourself: Do I *really* need to put blue painter's tape on the build platform? The answer is yes. Yes, you do. I thought perhaps I could fly free without the tape at first and life was good until an error during a print of an astrolabe part caused me to change my mind. Here is what the part of my build plate I now call the "bottom" looks like, with some stuck-on pieces that are taking me forever to remove:

You might also be wondering: Is it *really* okay to cold pause and stop the printing, then restart again? Isn't it possible that pausing might cause an inaccuracy in the print job when I restart the print? The answer is yes. Yes, it might. At least if you bump the build plate with your hand when trying to take a picture of the hex fill inside your videogame die.


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