Ultimaker test, results, and revised proposal

I brought in some E3D Edge filament to test. It's a CPE which means low warping, like PLA, but higher stringing than PLA.

I replaced the nozzle with an E3D V6 nozzle. This has a 7 mm hex versus a 10 mm hex for the Makerbot-style nozzle that was previously on the machine. I recalibrated the Z offset and leveled the bed.

I had a genuine problem loading material. There is a flat somewhere in the feeder. I suspect it's the tube coupling used to secure the bowden, or the tube itself. Ultimaker puts a conical chamfer on the inside diameter of their bowden tubes to help with this.

So to load material I had to spin the whole machine around and fiddle with the feeder. I ended up having to sharpen the filament like a tent stake. When I went to spin the machine back around the part of the feeder that sticks out considerably to the left of the printer caught on the pallet rack and busted off. It seemed to be a vestigial portion of it, though.
In whole I found the feeder to be pretty ridiculous. fbrc8 does not list the Ultimaker 2+ feeder on their website. I can call and see what it'd cost. I also have an E3D Titan I can donate. The bowden coupler for it is $7. E3D has very good documentation for it and we can supplement on the wiki. It's not a perfect solution, but I feel it'd be in the right direction.

The menus on the control panel did not look familiar to me. If we're going to keep a custom firmware like this we should document that menu system. A tree chart would probably be sufficient.
Speaking of the firmware, it allows the user to set the hot end temperature up to 300 C. That's probably too high for the hardware. I think 260 C is stock.

While leveling the build plate I found the filament path in the head to be very flimsy. The fan shroud is melted and barely hanging on. A metal fan shroud is $36. A metal isolator spacer is $5.

The bowden tube is too short. When the head is all the way forward it is putting a bending moment on the bowden coupler on top of the head. This wears the bowden tube and coupler more quickly than necessary. While this bowden setup is respectable, I think it's a bit too much. I couldn't get the tube out of the feeder to see if it was chamfered, as it fit in the coupling very tightly. If I used tools to remove it I'd likely damage it. Part of the bowden tube's job is to be serviceable, so it fitting this way hampers that to some degree. Considering we've had a bowden failure recently, I don't know that this kind of tube setup is really better than the regular setup from Ultimaker, or a replacement tube from Capricorn.
I consider the bowden tube, coupler collets, and coupler collet retaining clips to be wear items. All of them together are $23.

So how did it print? Very, very stringy, even for CPE. But otherwise very very good! The keel line is one of the best I've seen! I've removed the print and set it on top of the printer for others to inspect.

For just under $100 I can correct the above and get it fully documented in the wiki.


I vote no.

This is a discussion, not a vote. Do you have something you’d like to discuss?
Is there something about the proposal you don’t like? There’s a few moving parts to it, and plenty of room for compromise and improvement.


Love the work, thanks for digging into it.
Let’s talk tomorrow night.

I think having a sit down and going over stuff in person would be wayyyy better than hitting a gridlock on here. There are a few members who own / have owned um2’s (I am one) who would agree there are certain things to get oem. Trying to go through all of the mods or setups on here would take an infinite amount of time. We can go completely stock on everything and will still have the same problem as with ANY 3d printer. The filament is the biggest part of the equation on having a printer be turn key. I have had the same material type, manufacture… but in different colors and to get the results needed took different temps and changes to the extrusion %.

Given how many brands of filament are brought into the hive we will never be able to preach a printer as turn key. 3d printing stuff beyond trinkets where dimensions are crucial is something that takes multiple test prints to dial in with each filament. I love the enthusiasm you are showing Jeff and I think we can all find a common goal. The UM2 compared to other printers is a highly capable and precise machine that requires user imput to be spot on. Perhaps with the turn key easy to approach printer you are imagining might be best found in an I3 clone or similar and make it a PLA workhorse. We can also get a database going in general along with marking spools with good to go numbers for each machine.

With that being said I would love to see the um2 get some well deserved scheduled maintenance :slight_smile: Given the hives resources we can likely achieve professional results with not a ton of money.

Well said.

Jeffrey, you put a proposal out with a dollar amount, that says vote to me.

Either way, if the bowden tube is damaged (or too short) we have an area warden budget meant for this kind of repair, as well as couplers, which i believe we just bought some.

Sounds like a good plan. I’m all for getting things written down and less “experty”. A menu tree would be nice, but even just a suggested procedure would help.

How about a finalized short bulleted list of the items and changes to vote on? It should get tweaked here and then we should get a separate vote thread started. Use the subject VOTE: repairs/improvements to Ultimaker $125 (or something like that).
It needs to be up for at least a week for a vote, so if we can get it up before the Tuesday 7th meeting it can be voted on the next week (14th).
People can put their vote in on that thread to count in the vote or vote in the meeting. Sometimes they want clarification on the terms of the vote, but usually it is just filled with “yes” or “no” or “abstain”. I personally wait until near the vote day in case there are new developments.

All active members are permitted one vote. Endorsement/opposition can be expressed, but no one can force anyone to vote a particular way. Retribution is not allowed, and is grounds for suspension/expulsion.

Totally agree on all points, Jeffrey. Next time I’m around I’ll take a look too and send you an email. Nobody has done much maintenance and upkeep on this printer in the past 2 years, I think. A lot of this is wear and tear and totally doable with warden budget stepwise.

  • The bowden is too short, as it has been on there forever and has probably been trimmed a few times.

  • The slipping is probably due to the new connector. The tube should go down into the feeder so the only contact made after the hob is with the ptfe bowden. Often the bottom of the press fit needs to be drilled 1/4" so the bowden can fit through. I generally pull it through, and then flair the end with a die I have.

  • e3d titan is more solid IMO than an Ultimaker 2+ feeder – I’d do that. Cheaper too. The clones are quite good now, as long as they’re from the right clone folks. I got one on a whim and compared it with the e3d I had - just as good.

  • That shroud was a stop-gap measure. It lasted surprisingly long and well, considering it’s crap. It should be replaced.

  • Firmware is https://github.com/TinkerGnome/Ultimaker2Marlin – It’s a heck of a lot better than the stock firmware. The big plus is that it has safety features that UM2 firmware didn’t. Short story – we had a couple potential hotend fires that were fixed by the auto-off features.



Thanks for pointing us toward the firmware. I’ll try to get the firmware documented on the wiki.