HackerBot User Manual

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HackerBot Documentation


  • Do not proceed to use the printer if you have any doubts after reading this guide
  • If you notice that the printer is broken or is not working properly report it to qualified personnel
  • OSHW.IT makes no warranty of any kind with regard to this material. We shall not be liable for errors contained herein of for incidental of consequential damages in connection with the performance or use of this material.


Hackerbot is a free open source project based on RepRap's projects.

It's a 3D printer with a 4 slot head for multiple extruder and extra tools and was designed to be solid, easily modifiable and made with quality components

Hackerbot base configuration is with dual extruder and can print materials like ABS, PLA, Nylon and HIPS.

Do a printer check!

Visually check the printer before commencing a print to check everything is where it is supposed to be to prevent any unexpected problems, because the printer has many moving parts it is important to make sure nothing becomes disconnected or dislodged that goes un-noticed prior to commencing a print.



When using ABS plastic modeled parts are strong and durable. ABS also ensures you’ll be able to drill, tap, sand, and paint your creations.

ABS need an heated chamber (about 60°) or a heatbed (110°C)

ABS melts at 230°C to 260°C


  • ABS can absorb moisture from the air
  • Large objects suffer warping
  • Tall objects delaminate if chamber temperature is low (25°C or less)


Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-degradable polymer that can be produced from lactic acid, which can be fermented from crops

PLA melts at a lower temperature: around 180°C to 220°C

PLA plastic is brittle and its difficult to re-work with drills, sand, etc. but we advice to use PLA if you mind to do artistic parts because of the higher detail than ABS.

Also PLA suffer less warping and heatbed is not needed

Drawbacks: PLA can absorb moisture from the air


High Impact Polystyrene is very similar to ABS in its properties.

It's used as material support because dissolves in D-Lemonene.


Nylon based co-polymer can be used in FDM printers. Nylon can be used for 3D Printing applications where needed excellent surface bonding, reduced water absorption, tear resistance and dye absorption


HackerBot LCD guides you through operational tasks from a user interface on the front panel of the printer.

Using "Print from SD card" you can select the 3D file to be printed.

3D needs to be sliced and converted in gcode and for this task you can use these free software:

HackerBot 7" TOUCH display

Printer Calibration

  • work area: 280mm x 280mm
  • maximum height: 250mm
  • center of the bed is at X150 Y150
  • Acceleration max: 3600mm/s2
  • X/Y velocity max: 250mm/s
  • Z velocity max: 10mm/s

RepRap motion calculator (Joseph Prusa): http://calculator.josefprusa.cz/

Printer TESTs

  1. Check NTC/Thermocouple
  2. Check motor direction
  3. Check endstops (M119) and trying HOMING (G28)
  4. Move manually head on the PrintBed and fine tune the Z: nozzles should touch the printbed
  5. Check that the Z zero is OK in all the four corner of the printbed
  6. Check Z axis doing a G1 Z[max] (ex: G1 Z200)
  7. Home and double check that hotends hover the PrintBed
  8. Check Heaters and HeadBed (if any)
  9. Check extruders and try to extrude some material

Test print area and basic motion

Slice and print: File:Square-hex-circle Hackerbot printer test.STL

This is a pretty good test to check the printer.

Test rapid moves / max speed

Slice and print: File:Vertex-max speed Hackerbot printer test.STL

The printer should move correctly with rapids not loosing steps.

Test print quality


  1. File:Fishbone Gear.stl


  1. File:BotRobot.STL

Firmware upgrade

Firmware is ErikZalm Marlin

example firmware for v1.3 can be downloaded here: File:Marlin.rar


A well treated 3D printer should give you years of trouble-free printing. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your pet 3D printer well maintained:

Every two weeks:

  • Check hotend cabling & NTC
  • Check fans

About once a month:

  • Oil your X, Y, and Z rods
  • Test and tighten belt tension
  • Floss extruder gear. Use something soft-ish like a toothpick to pop the plastic bits out of the gear’s teeth

Every three months:

  • Clean the base from residual plastic
  • Tighten nuts and bolts

Every year:

  • Deeply clean hotend or if you heavily used it mind to replace.