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Ultimaker 2 had trouble printing propperly and has now entirely stopped

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I have been using a used Ultimaker 2 at my internship for some small side projects to keep myself busy during the internship. The only problem is that the Ultimaker didn't function propperly when I started on the internship. After cleaning the ultimaker's feeder and Nozzle it started working again as long as the filament was already loose from the spool. After a few prints the Ultimaker 2 has now stopped functioning propperly once again. I've tried several things: 

  • The nozzle has been cleaned several times, using the Atomic Method. 
  • The feeder has been cleaned several times by disassembling it and cleaning it.
  • I have tried different kind of materials 
  • The PTFE Coupler is in almost completely new state. 


Yet for some reason when I try to print something close to nothing comes out of the 3D printer.

Since the point where I checked the PTFE coupler the printer is now also extruding small bits of white plastic (Almost like when your feeder grinds white material.) Even though I'm using a red PLA filament while printing. 

As I said the printer is rather old and already used, it printed fine for some prints after I cleaned it when I first came here but since then it started malfunctioning. 


Does anyone have an idea what I can do to fix the problem?

(As you can see on the picture, when starting it prints a small line of red and then it starts extruding little bits of white dustlike plastic.)



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Hi and welcome,


I think the white plastic is simply red filament but very small quantities of it (as it's blocking).


What kind of feeder do you have? (Ultimaker 2 or 2+?)


What brand of filament? Is it old? Settings?


Are you able to push filament by hand and extrude? (Like you would do for atomics)





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Hello Didier and thanks for the reply!


The feeder is a standard Ultimaker 2 feeder if I'm correct. We don't have the 2+. 


The Filament itself is rather old for as far as I know, It snaps after bending a few times (Parts that have been near the heater that are cooled can be snapped by bending it once for ex. the rear end of the filament after changing the material). The PLA 2.85 mm filament is from Ultimaker itself. ( Or atleast it has the logo and brand name of Ultimaker on the coil so I'm guessing they came from them.) 

I'm printing at 240 degrees Celcius (Nozzle) and 60 degrees celcius (Bed).  60 mm/s. 0,1 mm layer height.  0.8 mm wall and top/bottom thickness. 20% infill density. Using a brim buildplate adhesion with a 8,0 mm width. 


When I push the filament trough manually it goes pretty smoothly. Did this several times already and that seems to work fine. 




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Yours is not a standard UM2 nozzle. The UM2 (non-plus) does not have a removable hex nozzle, see the pic below. (Don't mind the wiping wire, that is my add-on.)




After cleaning the nozzle with an atomic pull, you should be able to see through it from above. You could try heating up the nozzle manually to 210°C, and manually feed some filament through it. It should extrude easily. Then remove the bowden tube at the feeder side, and manually feed some filament through the tube. This too should go easy. In this way you could manually check the whole feeding traject for too high friction.


For a more gentle atomic pull, see my manual at: https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/personeel/geert-keteleer/manuals/

It also contains a few other tips on nozzle cleaning.


Also, if the filament is near the end of the spool, it is wound very tight. This will cause very high friction in the whole feeding traject: in the bowden tube, but also in the nozzle. It will also resist unwinding, like a strong spring. Especially if it is old PLA that has become hard. To solve this, what I do near the end of the spool, is manually unwind some filament, wind it up in the opposite direction around a skater wheel (7cm diameter), release it. Then take the next part, wind in the opposite direction on the skater wheel, etc... This straightens it. And then I let it wind up again on the spool, but now it will sit very loose, with a bending radius of ca. 30cm. It will no longer cause much friction.


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