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A Story About Upgrades

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I have an early Ultimaker (second pre-order batch) and a few months ago I went all out on the available upgrades. Before the upgrades I was experiencing a number of problems on a fairly regular basis. Now they are all fixed.

 

These problems included:

  • [*]Plugs in the hot end.[*]Fillament stipping (often after a plug).[*]Issues with bed flatness (had to always use rafts for objects > 5cm).[*]Bed height variable (had to manually jump it often).[*]Failed prints due to missed steps.

As such I could not really leave the machine unattended, at least not around the start of the print.

 

The upgrades I then made included the following:

  • [*]New thicker build plate[*]New hot end[*]Hobbed bolt[*]Drive upgrade

I had a few problems in the upgrades but these were overcome with some perserverence:

  • [*]The thicker bed did not come with the longer bolts required to fit it.[*]The heater was a nightmare to get out the old aluminium block (came very very close to destroying it).[*]The drive upgrade did not fit the machine,
had to file some of the bits of wood down.

Then there was a revelation: During the upgrades I reallised that all the friction in my XY axes causing missed steps and failed prints was due to the rod end caps! I have since removed then and I have never had missed steps since!

 

If you can't [while the power is off] easily move your print head around by hand, by holding the print head then you may have this same problem.

 

 

I carried out all these upgrades a few months ago; since then:

  • [*]I leveled the bed once.[*]Fillament stripping once (when printing very fast).[*]None other problems have occured.

Before I had to attend the machine when I started every print, could never really get the bed level, often had first layer problems and always had to use rafts; now I never really look in on it until the print has finished and never use rafts.

 

In conclusions: get all the upgrades!

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Small note, the extruder upgrade should fit fine, if you use the correct number of washers. Which is most likely why it didn't fit for you. I've installed the upgrade on a Rev1 machine (older then yours) and there it fits fine.

 

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As such I could not really leave the machine unattended, at least not around the start of the print.

 

Its a good routine anyway.. you can save a lot of your time stopping bad prints before wasting alot of plastics.

even if i have a perfect gcode combined with my reasonable calibration it can happen that the first layer doesnt stick properly and everywhere or it is smushed a tad bit too hard it creates backpressure..

when we have automated bed leveling implemented in Ultimaker , then you can go and print on unattended machines

for the rods i have these:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:54075

nice and adjustable...

 

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@daid - If I was to add another washer then the large and small gears would only be bighting across about half their thickness. The small gear is already on the very end of the motor spindle to there is nowhere to move that.

@yzorg - My machine is so reliable now that I have never had a single first layer issue since all these upgrades, hence I now trust the machine to just get on with it. Are you using the new thick bed?

 

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