Feeling hot, hot, hot!!

No, not because it’s summer and hot & humid here. Again. Still..

Finally got my MakerBot Heated Build Platform working! Yes, folks, I surface mount soldered. I used a multimeter. I debugged stuff (then begged for help). Damn, I’m good.

There are definitely a few things I’d have done differently. Or, rather, things I wish the MakerBot people had done differently. A switch to enable/disable the LEDs would have been nice. Even better would be a 3-way switch that let you turn the LEDs off, on-only-when-heating or always-on. 

Also, they used SMT solder pads as the place to attach the wires that go to the thermistor leads. And they oriented them so you have to carefully sorta route one wire around other stuff then solder that stranded wire to a tiny solder pad. Guys, please, rev this and give people the same size pads as the power wires get. That was a real pain in the bum.

And there’s not much for debug help in the docs. I haven’t printed for nearly a week because of a lousy resistor that I screwed up soldering. The very first thing I soldered and the one SMT bit I soldered by hand instead of with a hot plate. A handful of “measure this with a multimeter and you should get X if it’s working”s would be great here. The folks in the google group were great but some basic debug info would have been really nice. (edit: to be fair, Isaac at MBI did answer my query in their Contact Us form with a nice email including some good tips. Thanks, Isaac!)

And I don’t like that 3-pin cable. I know that’s going to break.

All that said, if I can assemble this thing, you can assemble this thing. It’s doable. It’s not that hard if, unlike me, you don’t mess it up. And it works! And in the end, this, of course, is what it comes down to – it works.

Here’s picture of an object I’ve never been able to print before without major, huge curling as it was starting.. It just finished printing – 40 minutes – and there’s not even a hint of warpage. Woohoo!

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