Booting the MakerBot CupCake after Five Years Part 1: Powering Up

I devoted Wednesday, my Independence Day holiday, to getting my CupCake 3D printer running again.

MakerBot CupCake

Foreshadowing: It turned out as a pessimist might suspect rather than as an optimist might plan.

The first step in getting the CupCake running was powering it up and connecting it to a computer. I went out to the utility and

messy workbench with MakerBot CupCake


After spending all of Wednesday sorting and packing, I could see that I had only about an hour left of cleaning my workbench before I had room to even think about powering on the CupCake. (BTW, watch out for those breadboars. They will gore you if you’re carrying bread through the forest.)

workbench with MakerBot CupCake

Which leads to scheduling a vacation day today to devote to getting my CupCake 3D printer running again (and for relaxation and recovery as well — I prefer to live by a maxim attributed to Ben Franklin and was out later than usual last night seeing Ocean’s 8).

After spending another hour sorting and packing, I could see that I needed to clean my workbench before I felt like powering on the CupCake, so I did a little scrubbing and was then ready to go.

Testing the Power Supply

Out of an abundance of caution, I unplugged the power supply from the printer and tested it before powering up the printer. It’s a PC power supply; they do go bad; they tend to fail dark rather than bright; but having the power supply smoke CupCake parts would really set back this process.

testing MakerBot CupCake power supply

Looks fine, though I’m puzzled why the -5V light isn’t on. <shrug>

With the power supply reconnected, the CupCake powers up successfully and its motherboard power switch does turn the power supply on and off. First milestone reached.

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