A little solder will do ya

After printing a box full of trilego at MakerFaire last weekend, my MakerBot decided it needed a break…actually one of the pins on the heater board decided it needed to break (the HEAT pin near the middle of the photo):

Broken pin on my MakerBot heater board

The constant motion of the print platform, and the wires connected to it eventually jiggled the pin loose…a common occurance. My strain relief clip wasn’t doing it’s job either.

Fortunately, it was an easy fix although I do have a backup board. A few minutes with my soldering iron and it was back up and running. I’ve also readjusted the wiring and strain relief so it shouldn’t happen again for another year or so of printing.

I also had an issue with my Prusa Mendel at MakerFaire which prevented me from running the machine the entire weekend:

Fried heated bed connection

Again, it was a fairly straightforward fix done by desoldering the bad header and replacing it.

4 Comments

  1. Amy Elliott says:

    Hi! What were the symptoms? Was your board overheating or not heating at all?

    Thanks!
    Amy

    • John says:

      It wasn’t heating at all…if I wiggled the cable, it would start heating (the LED would light up). I soldered it back and it worked for a little while then failed completely and the traces had lifted off. I ended up swapping in a new board altogether and may try to reflux/solder the broken one.

  2. Amy Elliott says:

    We are having issues with our boards overheating, and we think it is the thermocouple within the board. Eventually they overheat to the point that they “fry” themselves and no longer heat (all soldered terminals are fine). So far all we’ve been able to do is replace the board completely like you said, and just buy a bunch of extra boards to have on hand.

    • John says:

      Are you using a Thing-O-Matic, Amy? If so, do you have some kind of cable strain relief in place on the HBP as it’s movement while printing is typically what causes problems with the board.

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