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prb4

Old age maintenance

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Hi

 

I have four Ultimaker 2+ printers, one of which is an upgrade from a 2.  They range in age from 6 months to over 3 years

They all print most of the time, all day everyday.

 

Obviously I would expect parts to age and need to be changed after a few years, however I haven't ever seen any advice on this.

 

Can anyone recommend how often parts need to be changed?

Or even which parts are likely to need replacement first?

 

I'm not talking about the more frequent, semi-consumable parts like the nozzle and coupler which do need changing more frequently.

 

For instance, when should I be thinking about changing the belts?

I only print in PLA, but is the feeders knurled sleeve ever likely to need replacing?

There must be other parts that need considering too?

 

Thanks for any insights

 

Peter

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Hi Peter,

 

Thank you for your post.

How are the Ultimaker's working for you? Do you notice a decline in quality or reliability that you are interested in maintenance?

If so, you could use this to determine if a certain part would need maintenance. 

 

There are indeed a couple of consumables, like the nozzles and PTFE coupler. 

 

Do you oil the rods ever? Clean the threaded Z screw?

 

The belts and feeder have no specific numbers when they need to be replaced. If you need to replace belts you can see this in the surface quality/backlash in details and corners. Did you ever see any black dust under your belts, from rubbing against the pulleys?

If the knurled wheel needs replacing, this usually shows through under extrusion in for example top layers of your 3D prints. (when the lines stop touching).  

 

In our resource pages we have listed a maintenance schedule , and I also found an older blog with some more specific tips on how to execute certain maintenance tasks. Hope this helps!

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Hi Sander

 

Thank you for the reply.

A number points.

 

Firstly, the printers work great most of the time and always have done (with regular maintenance).  They are great machines (that's why I keep buying more instead of a different brand) and don't actually need much maintenance.

 

I've looked at your Maintenance schedule, obviously that is for an Ultimaker 3 and I only have 2+.  However assuming the schedule is similar then I largely do follow those recommendations already.

 

I do regularly lubricate the rods.

Things I haven't done, I have never cleaned the threaded Z screw (but I do lubricate it), nor replaced the Bowden tube.  Also I haven't disassembled the feeder to clean it, I just blow air into it although I can't say I ever notice debris falling out.

 

So my questions would be.

1. Why change the Bowden tube every year?  What is the reason for this?

 

2.  How should I be cleaning the feeder?  Do I need to disassemble it? 

 

3.  Yes all the printers have black dust under the belts.  So the same question as Shurik, should I be doing something about this?

 

4.  The oldest printer doesn't seem to produce prints quite as good as the newer ones.  It's difficult to say exactly what it is.  Probably the most obvious difference is a vertical flat wall appears slightly less smooth, i.e. the print lines are slightly more visible.

Any idea what might be the cause of that?  Perhaps I should try to clean the Z-screw and feeder?

(I have recently changed the coupler, nozzle, brass heating block and lowered the acceleration from 3000 to 1500).

 

Thanks

Peter

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5 hours ago, shurik said:

Hi Sander,

 

I do have some black dust under the belts on my 4-years old UM2 but it works yet.

Do you suggest any special maintenance in this case?

First thing that comes to mind is re-align your pulleys so they are better aligned with the belt and not slightly off?

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14 minutes ago, prb4 said:

Things I haven't done, I have never cleaned the threaded Z screw

You may want to give it a try. Dust could collect in the seems and negatively influence your surface quality in Z. You can clean it with a cloth and reapply the grease. 

 

15 minutes ago, prb4 said:

1. Why change the Bowden tube every year?  What is the reason for this?

 

 

Your bowden tube can get damaged/scratched on the inside from sharp edges of filament that is fed in. Or a small brim could form. This could create friction and when big enough, small under extrusion. 

 

16 minutes ago, prb4 said:

2.  How should I be cleaning the feeder?  Do I need to disassemble it? 

 

I believe you should be able to fairly easy remove the front cover and remove (air pressure?) any dust in it. You may also want to see if there is no debris in between the teeth of your knurled wheel. 

 

17 minutes ago, prb4 said:

3.  Yes all the printers have black dust under the belts.  So the same question as Shurik, should I be doing something about this?

Read my advice to Shurik 🙂

 

17 minutes ago, prb4 said:

4.  The oldest printer doesn't seem to produce prints quite as good as the newer ones.  It's difficult to say exactly what it is.  Probably the most obvious difference is a vertical flat wall appears slightly less smooth, i.e. the print lines are slightly more visible.

This could very well be due to a dirty Z rod. Try cleaning it and see if that helps. Make sure to apply the green grease again when you have cleaned it in between the threads. 

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