first big problem for library makerspaces…

..at least the first that I’ve encountered:

Stuff breaks.

And unlike your copier, computer, network, etc. there are no repair people to call. Or rather, YOU are the repair person. So when our brand-new printrbot jr. stopped moving up and down on the z-axis, I have to figure out how to fix it.

Yeah, I don’t know how to fix it. I know nothing of electronics, motors, or even the terminology to search for information on how to fix it. The forum is total chaos, with no useful subject headings or organization (as I noted on the forum, this is one reason librarians still exist).

Here is jittery, poorly filmed video of the printer carriage moving by hand, the motor spinning, the “all-drive” bolt wobbling a bit as it spins, as I tell the printer program, Repetier, to move the carriage on the z-axis:

Everything seems aligned the way it’s supposed to be. The motor is working. The x- and y-axes are fine.

Library school does not (yet) prepare one for this problem.

DSC02044

EDIT: the above photo shows the problem–the bolt is supposed to be trapped up inside that triangular housing. The LOVELY people on the chaotic Printrbot forum helped me! Thanks guys!

And here is the benefit of the library makerspace: when you figure out how to fix a problem you feel (or I do anyway) elated, powerful and like you have a new relationship with your stuff.

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