MakerBot Troubleshooting


flickr photo shared by Creative Tools under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

We have a MakerBot Desktop 5th generation desktop printer. Because of some issues it was reset to factory conditions. That throws the firmware back to 1.0.something.

When I tried to access it with the newest MakerBot Desktop (3.7) I could connect to the printer but all of the device options were greyed out so there was no way to update firmware (or do anything really). Instead of the name of the printer it showed the MAC address so it seemed the connection was good. I tried it on a PC running Windows 8 and on my Mac running 10.9. I power cycled the printer and the computers. I tried to connect via IP address but nothing worked.

My next instinct was to try an older version of the MakerBot Desktop software. Incredibly, it seems that MakerBot doesn’t keep older versions of this software on their site.1

In the end I had to do a number of Google searches that removed makerbot.com from the search results. I went all the way back to the 3.1 version (get it here) and the connection worked perfectly. From there I updated the firmware. I then tried running 3.7 again but no dice. I uninstalled 3.7 and then went to try 3.5 (found here via this search).2 That worked. I’ve now worked up to the current 3.7 version and things are connecting as expected.

Now to get it to print correctly . . .


1 I still can’t believe this is true.

2 There’s PC versions here if you need those.

Comments on this post

  1. carpetbomberz said on July 16, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Wow, thanks for posting that set of troubleshooting steps. I remember having to revert back to older versions of Netscape at times to get a web plug-in working for someone’s website. It feels like early frontier/wild west days. But as long as you can still find those older versions, you can keep that thing printing.

    • Tom Woodward said on July 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

      My limited experiences with 3d printers do bring to mind the late 90s early 2000s. There’s some good and bad in that.

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