For the best installation outcome, please read once through all of these steps before installing Sailfish. Then, as you install Sailfish, carefully reread and follow each step.
Before installing Sailfish, power on your printer, connect it to your computer via USB, and then run MakerWare. Using MakerWare, write down the following machine onboard parameters:
Important! You must use MakerBot MakerWare or Desktop to obtain these values: ReplicatorG will not correctly read them from “stock” MakerBot firmware of version 7.0 or later. If you do not have MakerWare or Desktop, then download it from makerbot.com.
MakerWare, when installed, runs a background service known as “Conveyor”. After running MakerWare as per the prior section, you must stop Conveyor. Otherwise, Conveyor will prevent ReplicatorG from downloading firmware to your printer. After you have installed Sailfish, you can restart Conveyor if you wish. However, do not do so until you have completely finished installing and configuring Sailfish.
To stop Conveyor, first launch MakerWare if it is not already running. From MakerWare’s “Services” menu, select the “Stop Background Service” item. To restart Conveyor later, use the “Restart Background Service” item from that same menu.
Next, if you have not already done so, download and unpack ReplicatorG 40 – Sailfish from the Thingiverse “Thing” number 32084.
You do not need to use ReplicatorG as your slicer: you may continue using whatever slicer you prefer. You only need ReplicatorG to install or update Sailfish. On Windows systems, just unzip the ReplicatorG download and place the folder on your desktop. Then run the replicatorg.exe program directly from that unzipped folder.
Start ReplicatorG; then, from the “Preferences” item of the main menu, click the “Advanced” button. Verify that the “Firmware update URL” field reads,
as depicted in Figure 6.2. Then click “Close”.
After a brief pause, ReplicatorG should start logging the firmware files it downloads; e.g., in the bottom portion of the ReplicatorG window you will see messages similar to
If you don’t see such messages after a minute, exit and restart ReplicatorG. You do need to be connected to the Internet in order for the download to succeed. Note that using a firewall proxy will probably not be successful.
This section is only applicable to Thing-o-Matics. For other printers, skip to the next section.
The Sailfish firmware is a derivative of version 3.1 of the motherboard firmware. Consequently, you must first ensure that your Thing-o-Matic’s Extruder Controller (EC) is updated to v3.1 EC firmware. Thing-o-Matic owners should complete this step before beginning the next step. To obtain EC firmware, point ReplicatorG’s download URL to
And then follow Makerbot’s EC firmware upgrade procedures. After you are done, point the download URL back to the Sailfish site described in Section 6.3.4.
Connect your printer’s USB cable to both the printer and the computer from which you will be performing the upgrade. Next, power your printer on — but do not connect from ReplicatorG to the printer. Check the “Connection (Serial Port)” submenu of ReplicatorG’s “Machine” menu. Make sure that you see the USB port for your printer listed. If it does not appear, then select the “Rescan serial ports” item of said sub-menu as seen in Figure 6.3. You cannot proceed until your printer’s serial port appears.
Again, do not actually connect from ReplicatorG to the printer: the firmware upload process itself will perform that step itself and will fail if ReplicatorG is already connected.
From ReplicatorG select the “Upload New Firmware” submenu of the “Machine” menu. You will see different printers listed, including those listed below. Note that new printers are added when needed. If you do not see your printer type listed, then select the printer for which it is a clone — often the Replicator 1.
After selecting the printer type, click the “Next” button.
You should then see different firmware versions listed. Unless you have cause to do otherwise, select the most recent version — the highest numbered one. Note that any versions ending in the letter “b” are for printers with broken SD card hardware. Only select a “b” version if you know that you need to. Also, when you click on a given version, any specific requirements for that version will be listed on the right hand side. Typically this includes the recommended revision of ReplicatorG. Remember that you can use any slicer with Sailfish; this is just a recommendation of the revision to use if you wish to use ReplicatorG to manipulate firmware parameters stored on the printer via the “Onboard Parameters” screen of ReplicatorG.
Once you have selected the firmware version, click the “Next” button. Then select the USB port to which your printer is connected. Again, click the “Next” button.
Depending upon the type of printer you have, you will next be instructed either to simply click “Upload”, or to press your printer’s mechanical reset button while simultaneously clicking the “Upload” button on your computer screen. For the Replicator 2 and 2X, there is no mechanical reset button and thus no need to press one. For most other printers, there may be one and you may need to press it. Refer to the documentation you received with the printer. When having to press a reset button, the timing can be tricky and frustrating, especially on Windows systems. It sometimes works best to press the reset button, then about a half second later, click the “Upload” button on your screen.
Once the firmware has successfully downloaded, you are ready to configure Sailfish! Proceed to the next section for instructions on configuring Sailfish for your printer.