Due to a recent fan failure on my MakerBot Replicators main board, my 3d printer had been consigned to the ‘needs to be repaired room’, this magical room has a collection of accumulated computers, vintage games consoles and other gadgets all in need of repairs or refurbishment.
However after chatting with my brother in law and realising he had never seen the 3d printer in action, also having spotted a few prints on Thingiverse I wanted to try, a repair session was in order, with a free evening looming dismantling of the MakerBot Replicator began, secretly hoping one of my many spare computer fans would be a perfect replacement.
Having soon discovered the MakerBot Replicator used 24 volt fans, with plenty of 12 volt fans on hand in my spares box but no 24 volt 40mm fans, a quick online search revealed some high quality PAPST fans as possible replacements, after looking over the specification sheet these indeed were a suitable replacement, for those interested the replacement fan is the PAPST TYPE 414F 24V DC 33mA 0.8W.
Once the new fan arrived it was promptly fitted, the MakerBot firmware was updated to the latest version and printing began. My favourite test is this Yoda bust, I have printed the bust in PLA and ABS plastics without any chin or ear supports in a wide range of sizes. The Yoda busts below were all printed in white ABS 1.75mm filament, the largest Yoda taking about 15 hours, to the smallest taking about 2 hours to print!
The new PAPST 414F fan is much quieter than the stock MakerBot fan, and I have experienced no issues at all in over 40 hours of printing with the new fan, the bearing on one of my extruder’s fans is also now beginning to fail, so this will be eventually be replaced with a PAPST 414F.
Below is one of my older YouTube videos, showing a time lapse of my MakerBot printing Yoda in PLA plastic. The time lapse was shot with an iPad 2, I have since learned my lesson and purchased a GoPro Hero 3+ for much better quality videos!