8.2 SD Card Difficulties

8.2.1 Printer cannot read the SD card

First, make sure that the SD card is inserted properly. Also, check with a good light and magnification for any debris in the SD card slot. Vertical SD card slots are prone to collecting fine wisps of filament and other unwanted material which may interfere with proper operation.

If you continue to have difficulty, then try a different SD card. It may be that your current SD simply does not work with your printer. Many printers, including genuine MakerBot printers, have borderline SD card electronics which do not perform well. An SD card which works fine with your computer may not work well with your printer, hence the recommendation to try a different card.

Also, make sure that the SD card is formatted as either FAT-16 or FAT-32 or FAT-32. The proprietary “eFAT” format is not supported as it requires licensing from Microsoft.

8.2.2 Missing SD card files

Check that the files in question end with either the .s3g or .x3g extensions. Sailfish recognizes files in lower, upper, and mixed case. Files which do not end in either of those extensions will not be displayed, unless they are the names of folders. Also, if the files you are looking for are in a folder, then you will need to navigate to that folder in order to access them. See Section 3.3 for further details on working with SD card folders.

Note also that filenames longer than 31 characters, filenames with spaces, and filenames with non-US-ASCII characters may be problematic. There are special “extensions” to the FAT-16 and FAT-32 file systems for those categories of file names. Your printer’s tiny microprocessor does not have space for the additional code to handle these extensions.

8.2.3 Prints from SD cards stop without finishing

If your prints from an SD card failed with the printer simply stopping midprint without displaying an error message or clearing the platform, then there are several likely causes, described below:

The file on the SD card is truncated. The printer thinks the print is over but did not read from the print file a “build end notification” command and so did not clear the build platform. The file may have been truncated if the program writing it did not check for errors, as ReplicatorG is known to do. When writing print files with ReplicatorG, it is best to write them to your local hard drive and then drag-and-drop the file to the SD card using your computer’s file handling tools. This way, if there is a problem, your computer will catch the error and alert you. ReplicatorG ignores errors.

Another cause of truncated files is a known bug in many firmwares. The SD card library used by many firmwares has a bug which can truncate SD card files. The file will print fine at least once and then be truncated and print incorrectly afterwords. This bug has been fixed in Sailfish 7.6 and the author of the SD card library notified. The bug has not been fixed in “stock” firmwares.

The underlying gcode is truncated and incomplete. Check the original gcode and ensure that it ends properly.
SD card read errors are occurring. By default, SD card operations are not checked for errors. You may wish to enable SD card error checking (Section and see if that resolves your difficulty. However, in the case of a malfunctioning SD card, doing so may not be sufficient.
An electrical anomaly caused your printer’s microprocessor to reset. This situation is hard to detect; addressing it is outside the scope of this document.
The firmware on your printer is corrupt. Re-install the firmware. Follow the directions for updating your firmware, Chapter 7.