Ultimaker Availability

As of last night, Ryan signed off on my certification for the Ultimaker (thanks again, by the way). I was hoping to come in on either Thursday night or sometime during Friday to practice and experiment with some prints as some personal learning exercises. Has anyone stated any intent to use the Ultimaker that I should plan around? I’m just planning on printing some small parts for the sake of getting some practice in, but I don’t want to tie up the printer if someone has something actually useful to use it for or if they called it first.

Tim Wagner

Glad to hear you got certified on it, its a hell of a printer. I am copying what Lorin did to his on mine lol. I have it apart right now however once I get everything the same I will bring mine down or if you need something printed let me know. Without the mods it chews up the filament pretty good and is way more accurate on consistency feeding filament. Have fun printing!

Yeah, I’m aware of the filament getting chewed up and will keep that in mind while I practice it with it. It sounds like the tension on the feeder mechanism might be too tight on it, but that sounds like something Lorin would have already addressed if it were that simple.

I modded it to gear down the extruder 2.5:1. The UM 2+ has geared down extruder, since the UM2 extruder was underpowered and slipped. The failure mode is stalling, which is normal for a bowden printer of any quality – if there’s obstruction farther down, you’ll hear the motor go clack-clack. Just stop it, hand feed the filment back and forth to “feel” for where it’s catching.

Usually it’s just that the filament got too melty & thick at the end due to bad retraction settings and catches on the hotend. Rule of thumb for ultimaker retraction settings:

diameter of nozzle * 10 or a little less.

So, with a .4mm nozzle, 3-4mm retraction is about right.


I have to do what Lorin did. It comes factory not friendly to inconsistent fillaments lol .

I’m using the Ultimaker right now. I was able to change it over to ABS. I can switch it back to PLA before I leave if needed.

My ABS print was looking good but then an error message appeared. It said “ERROR - STOPPED Heater error Go to: ultimaker.com/ER03.”

That site had some warnings about making sure the sensors and printer cartridge are plugged in all the way. Also this:

If you have an Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker 2 Extended or Ultimaker 2 Go (not the 2+ Family), there’s also a chance that the heater cartridge is not strong enough. In this case you can contact one of our local support teams for assistance.

I switched the machine back to PLA and I’ll try again tomorrow.

One thing I noticed was a popping sound as it printed. I suppose this is moisture in the filament. I remember some talk a while back about a filament dryer. Did anyone end up making one or do we have one?

The heating element is upgraded.

The heater error is usually one of the following:

  1. Most likely: The heater element or thermocouple is loose in the block. I put a zip tie on those wires in the back to try to keep them from getting pulled, but it still can happen. Look at the back of the print head and see if either the white or blue (maybe red) braided wires have any play. If so, remove the fan shroud and re-seat the elements in the brass.

It’s annoying, but this happens periodically. Willing to bet it’s this, the fit has not been good with these cartridges.

  1. The fan is on too high and cooling off the heat block faster than it can heat (this is a problem sometimes in 1st layers due to air bouncing back off the plate).

  2. You’re printing too hot and/or fast.

Popping is usually moisture, sometimes it’s just due to shitty filament.

No we didn’t do a dryer. You could just put the filament in a box with some holes in it, and place it over a forced air heater vent – basically a dehydrator.

Also, unless you’re doing something specific like acetone smoothing, ABS is kinda lame these days compared with other, newer materials, also carcinogenic, so keep some air circulating in the room. I hate ABS, but I do realize it’s still useful for some niches.

If you want to make a dehydrator: http://taulman3d.com/drying-materials.html


Oh, also, heater error can be due to the brass heat block being pressed against other metal parts like the fan shroud, etc.

This error is really common because the ultimaker moves a lot and occasionally stuff loosens and well, this. I usually did a tighten-up service on it monthly, but I’ve been home-bound for 3 months almost now. I feel guilty, as Ryan is now doing all of the crap I used to do + the crap he usually does…

If somebody feels up to it, it’s simple, just take fan shroud off and tighten up anything that may be loose. Look for corrosion, make sure wires aren’t snagged, etc. Pretty easy. There’s a guide up at fabric8te or ultimaker.


If it becomes a big issue, the next upgrade to the ultimaker would be:

Change hotend to e3d

Change filament to 1.75mm

With those mods, plus the others already done it’ll be less touchy and also melt filament like a pro (moving and melting smaller diameter filament is easier).


Here’s a link that shows how to do regular trouble shooting – check out the hotend section:


I am currently adding this info to wiki as well :slight_smile: