Lately (perhaps due to the many print hours) our workhorse the Makerbot Replicator 2 started to show signs of age – the middle M button on the front control panel no longer responds as well as before. As first it was just a little delay but soon got to the point where quite a bit of force was needed to get it to “activate” it.
Which is totally annoying because it is the most used button on the Replicator 2!
So, we decided to take off the rubber front bit and check things out. The board still looks good inside but we still did a quick clean with some IPA.
This is what the back of the rubber pad looks like and there are little contact spots which are meant to complete the circuit on the control circuit board. To ensure that the board was not faulty, we simply used a metallic object to “press” the buttons and that worked fine to our relief. So it was really the contact points on the back of the rubber pad which were wonky (at least just the middle one). A good cleaning of the backside of these buttons with IPA didn’t fix the middle one though the rest were ok to begin with.
So in a typical hacker fashion, a lop of aluminum foil was added to the back of the middle button to help it become more conductive and complete the circuit. And woohoo, it worked well! Now the middle button is as good as new again and sensitive to the touch!
There we fixed it. 🙂
Only thing is perhaps it to ensure that the aluminum foil has been placed on as flat as it can be to avoid mis-pressing the button when its not meant to. But otherwise, this worked like a charm. Hope it helps some of you folks who may be facing the same problem with your Makerbot Replicator 2 or perhaps any other 3d printer which has something like this!