Upgrade: Aluminum Idler kit for MakerBot Replicator 2 X-End

9 Mar


Today was a day for another upgrade to our MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer – replacing the stock plastic X-End gear with an aluminium one that comes with installed bearings. The stock plastic gear works well, but since it is directly in contact with a metal shaft there is a chance that the gear might wear off in time and start giving you trouble. Normally it is recommended to apply some grease from time to time to the shaft in order to help the gear to move smoothly and not to give out some nasty squeaking sounds. This is where the Aluminum Idler kit for Carl’s ALU X-End or Stock X-End from Alm Gear comes into play to address this issue and make the printer more reliable on the long run. This upgrade is for improved long term reliability and to reduce possible future issues and not to improve the quality of prints or something like that. The Aluminium Idler kit is available for $18 USD and comes with Aluminum GT2 16T gear with bearings installed as well as two steel shafts with different length (the shorter one is for the Replicator 2) as you can see on the photo above. It is designed to be used as an upgrade for MakerBot 1, 2, 2X and some clones of these 3D printers.


To replace the stock plastic gear you need to loosen the belt that moves the extruder over the X axis of the 3D printer and in order to do that you need to remove the 4 screws holding the stepper motor that moves the belt. It is relatively quick and easy to do this modification, so ti should not take you more than a few minutes to do it and get back to using the 3D printer again. Again, this is an upgrade that can save you some possible future trouble and not something that will directly result in the improvement of print quality or performance of the device. So don’t expect to see any difference immediately after you install the new gear, unless of course your old one was already causing you some issues as a result from wearing off for example, especially if you left it unmaintained and has never applied some grease to help it run smoother.

For more details about the Aluminum Idler kit for Carl’s ALU X-End or Stock X-End…

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2 Responses to Upgrade: Aluminum Idler kit for MakerBot Replicator 2 X-End


Dale Mathis

May 3rd, 2015 at 04:43

The website seems to be down, is there a way to purchase this product?



May 11th, 2015 at 21:39

It seems that their domain name has expired, unfortunately we are not aware of an alternative place to order these.

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