Simple question: how do you reinsulate the MakerBot Smart Extruders?
Backstory: I work at the library. We've recently replaced the MakerBot (extruder connection issues followed by software incompatibility) with a Prusa.
As a new hire, I'm obsessed with the 3D printers. I'm trying to make it my mission to get the MakerBot working again, just so we can have two printers running.
It takes quite the request chain to get materials in and I had some plumbing tape on hand, so I tried to wrap it with that, per this thread. It's not going too well because of the housing around the Smart Extruder, which I cannot figure out to remove (easily and/or without voiding the warranty and taking it completely apart).
I imagine even with the cotton + Kapton tape, you'd need better access to the hotend than the housing allows.
Any help is appreciated!
Strictly speaking, you do not require the insulation to be there. It is supposed to keep some of the heat contained in the core to allow more heat to be available for the filament to melt (basically higher print speeds and less chance of burning your fingers :) ).
If I go to the Makerbot website and look at the video
at 1:37, you'll see that the hot end is wrapped in cotton and Kapton tape. Like the stuff that is cheap and easy to buy:
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and that the casing cover is removable, so you should be able to open it to insert new cotton. Why worry about voiding warranty? You can gain a working printer for a few bucks or bite the bullet and buy a new Makerbot Smart Extruder. I guess if you had warranty you could already have it replaced by now.