Chapter 1

Sailfish began as enhanced control software for MakerBot printers, incorporating new features intended for advanced users. With its numerous features, Sailfish has evolved into the firmware of choice for users of MakerBot-style printers based upon the Replicator 1 and 2 series of 3D printers as well as the earlier Thing-o-Matic and Cupcake lines.

A 3D printer’s firmware is the software which resides within the printer and controls the printer’s behavior. It is the software which receives printing instructions from MakerWare, ReplicatorG, SD card files, and other desktop programs and then executes them to create your 3D print.

This documentation is intended to help you navigate the firmware on your printer, from basic setup and navigation of the LCD screen, to advanced adjustments, updates, and the particulars of diagnosing Sailfish-specific issues. The most recent documentation of Sailfish may be found online at:

pictNote Consult the documentation supplied with your printer for general printing instructions. The Sailfish Reference Manual only provides detailed information on the use of the Sailfish firmware and is not intended to replace your printer’s documentation.


Suggested starting points in the documentation are:

The Sailfish firmware is open source and builds upon earlier firmwares such as Gen 4, Grbl, and Marlin. MakerBot’s own firmware for Replicators incorporates the core of Sailfish. Source code for Sailfish is available for inspection and download at

Thing-o-Matics, Cupcakes

Important information about the compiler and tools required if you wish to build Sailfish yourself is located in the respective doc/ directories in the avr-gcc.markdown file.