Over the last few months I’ve had some great successes and miserable failures while using my makerbot. Here is a quick synopsis of some of things pointers I’ve picked up.
Use normal sized painter tape – the full sided sheets that makerbot provides lacks good enough adhesive to too keep larger pieces locked to the build plate. I’ve found that the heat tends to bubble the sheet and cause the piece to curl and print unevenly. I’ve gotten the best results using Scotchblue painters tape and applying in thin strips, it seems to allow each piece of tape to expand and contract individually without raising off the plate.
Longer is better than larger – pieces that take up a large portion of the build plate tend to curl at the edges, this creates errors in the printing that tend to compound as the piece builds. I’ve tried many different approaches to prevent this, but it seems none have worked. So far the only solution had been to rotate the model so that the long dimension is the vertical dimension.
Double Check your model before you print – this might seem like a no-brainer but on more than one occasion I have started a print, only to realize that I forgot something half way through.