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Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

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Posted (edited) · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

Hi All,

Looking for some advice on upgrades and modifications I should make to my UM Orig to get it in shape. I have a extruder upgrade installed and I also have an ebay heated bed that I have not installed yet. I have not touched it in maybe two years and would like to get it back in service.

Any resources on what mods are recommended? Also any cleaning, tuning, replacement advice for a printer that has been sitting unused would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help/links.


Edited by Guest
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    Posted · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

    Hi Christian,

    If you haven't touched the UMO in a few years, I would start out with some sewing machine oil and lightly lubricate the rods. I left my printer idle for a few months and when I went to use it again, it was a noisy awakening! A little goes a long way. After doing that, move the print head around and it should move freely.

    There's a lot of sources for hacks and tweaks. Thingiverse and Youmagine is full of them but seldom is there much discussion about what's worked and hasn't. If you are looking for some specific UMO tweaks and some conversation about them, read here.

    I don't know a lot about the eBay type heated beds, I went with the official one through Ultimaker last year. It took a bit of a learning curve to use it right and it really makes a huge difference. You can use a lot more materials and kiss blue tape goodbye.

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    Posted · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

    Hi @cstcyr, thank you for your message.

    Do you have any idea on what kind of thing you want to change on your Ultimaker?

    Are you looking for different fans, different bed (less levelling maybe?), make it more quiet, or even change it to 1.75mm filaments (this is a tricky mod).

    Check this page for some more inspiration, that has been build in collaboration with our community.

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

    Thanks for the responses guys!

    Over the holiday break I've worked on the machine some and done more research for future upgrades. Below is kind of a log of my plans for myself as much as anything. Would like feedback on the considered upgrades though.

    This week: Installed DIY Heated Bed (jason_hk kit), Installed FW to Support the HB from bultimaker.bulles.eu, Started using Cura 2.3.x, Printed some Bechy's, Ordered Smart Graphic LCD Controller

    Maintenance needed (waiting for lube):, Tighten All Screws, Clean and Lube XY rods with sewing machine oil, Grease Z Axis with Magnalube or Super Lube, Check small belt tightness, Cold/atomic pull to clean nozzle

    Planned Upgrades: Order and Install SilentStepStick Drivers, Replace HB Power Supply or Move to 450W Power supply for both machine and HB, Install all PWS and HB Parts into bottom of machine

    Considering the following upgrades: New XY Blocks (any favorites? Reptar XY? ), GT2 Upgrade (still looking at this one, scared to disassemble and reassemble), Solid state relay or DIY mosfet relay for HB, Direct Drive?, E3D Hotend?

    Also a note on something that messed me up. This was the first time I've installed custom fw and at first I used marlinbuilder which is pulled from Marlin:RC. I kept getting failed prints when they stopped because of "thermal runaway" errors. I then looked at the code between Marlin:RC and what the Bulletimaker build bot uses and that protection was not there at all. Took me three days to figure out why my prints were stopping halfway through. One thing that could have contributed is when the HB turns on the extruder temp sensor lowers by 5-10 degrees and then snaps back when the HB is turned off. Maybe I have some interference going on.

    Also here are my bechy's: https://goo.gl/photos/Zi8Lr3zyf8os9HKs9

    Anyway happy new year everyone!

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    Posted · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

    Re. the firmware, Marlin has gone through a complete rewrite/review over the last couple of years. The current RCs are quite different from the Ultimaker one.

    While the Ultimaker version is not bleeding edge, it is rock solid, so unless your are looking at fancy features I would recommend to stick with this 'older' one.

    My builder focuses on reliability: if you don't select any option you get the same firmware as the one provided by Ultimaker (with a couple of small bug fixes), and the majority of options are not intrusive.

    As for the upgrades, in my view most are overrated... I am printing a perfect Benchy with a fan duct as single upgrade! (I am not saying the other upgrades are worthless, but it is not necessary to go crazy on these to get perfect prints)

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    Posted · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

    Hey amedee,

    Thanks so much for your awesome builder! I'm kind of interested in how it works. Do you think you might ever check in the builder itself to a repo on github?

    Just got my LCD controller and will install it today. Also grabbing SilentStepStick drivers soon. Really happy both of those are integrated into the builder!

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    Posted (edited) · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

    Thanks so much for your awesome builder! I'm kind of interested in how it works. Do you think you might ever check in the builder itself to a repo on github?


    It is already hosted on GitHub ;)

    It is quite simplistic though, the front-end is an AngularJS app with a PHP backend. It is just the matter of setting the right DEFINEs before invoking the compiler.

    (I appreciate a Node backend would have been more natural, but having a LAMP server already running, it was easier for me to take the PHP route from an infrastructure standpoint)

    Edited by Guest
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    Posted · Ultimaker Original Upgrades 2016

    I use a four year old Ultimaker Original, and have made several mods over the years. Quick rundown:


    • Heated Bed - OMG, why did I wait so long! Virtually no minuses. Big pluses for bed adhesion and smooooth bottoms.
    • Direct drive - It works fine, but I don't know how much improvement in print quality it really gave me. I probably could done as well just slowing my jerk settings. The plus is that I have fewer pulleys to worry about. The minus is that I'm always smacking into the protruding motors when fiddling with the feeder.
    • Twister blocks - Do this instead of reptar blocks. They make working on your printhead less of a pain.
    • Z endstop adjuster - If you change nozzles regularly, it's a must. It's a lot easier to twist a thumbscrew than to dig out your 3mm driver to fuss with the switch height. I can't find the model of the one I use, but this should do.
    • Endcaps - Replace the x/y rod endcaps with some that are adjustable for keeping the rods better in place with little friction.
    • Fan cowl - Of course. There are so many. Experiment, or do the excellent dual fan upgrade stickied to the top of the hacks forum.
    • Printhead bowden clamp - I got tired of the grip on the bowden getting weak, or little blue rings going missing when I did atomic pulls.
    • Sound damping - Even before you install the silentstepsticks (I have an installed set too) use some flexible filament to print a feeder standoff and some printer feet. Stick some adhesive backed padding in the bottom of t feet for even more isolation.
    • Various extra bits - Spool spinners, belt tensioners, nozzle holders, etc.


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