I finished packaging Homie and shipped him off today. The whole process was relatively easy- I just had to put him back into his original box and tape a shipping label on him. MakerBot sends some pretty basic instructions along with the label, so it isn’t too difficult to know what’s expected. I haven’t quite figured out what to do with the filament, though. In the instructions, you are told to “set the filament aside” but it is not mentioned again. It’s as though the filament never even existed. For every machine we’ve shipped back, I’ve just left the filament out altogether. No one has complained yet… I assume that means it is acceptable.
Usually sending parts and printers back is not an issue for me. I have seen three printers and six extruders leave and never to return and it has not affected me whatsoever. Sure, I get a little annoyed that the problems are too big to handle without having to replace the machines so often, but I keep my emotions intact. Today was very different. I don’t know what happened, but when I was taping Homie up in his box, I started to tear up. My eyes watered and an overwhelming sadness exploded within me. We had given this printer a name, a personality, an almost-kind-of-backstory! The other MakerBot printers were his friends! In the words of Dr. Wan, he just wasn’t ready for the college life, so it was time for him to go home, but this did not feel like we were sending him home. I felt like I was sending my baby to an eternal obedience school knowing that he wasn’t coming back. My heart was breaking over a MACHINE.
It was a sad morning, one I know I’ll have to go through again and again with these MakerBots. I hope and pray that one of these days MakerBot will manage to design a better machine that won’t need be replaced every three weeks. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to start bringing tissues on repackaging days.