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aaron

A Post-Assembly Guide for New Ultimaker Enthusiasts

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Okay, before I start, I would like to state my intentions. I want to start a reasonably long thread intended to help new users with getting good print results directly after assembly. If you think this thread should be moved to a different category please let me know.

 

Assembly: You are given a bag of silver grub screws. Replace the black ones in your pulleys with those.

 

Pre-print Calibration:

 

  • Before you even try to print anything, make absolutely sure your sliding blocks are aligned. (there are plenty of threads to learn to do this)
  • Make sure belts are also reasonably tight.
  • Tighten heated block and brass nozzle so they cannot be moved with a light push. This will help prevent molten PLA from leaking through the threads.
  • When it comes to the online directions' version of bed leveling, ignore it and go directly to Cura's bed leveling wizard. This is much faster and easier.

 

Post-print Calibration:

The Ultimaker is a fantastic machine. However, you can make it much easier to use by fixing a few of its very minor downfalls. The first fix I recommend to print is this part: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:62819

This is a z axis end switch precision calibration device that mounts to the back of your machine and makes getting your z axis exactly .1mm away from the nozzle much easier.

Next I recommend printing this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:69327

This is an improved fan duct that will replace the sub-par one which was included. This will immensely reduce warping and increase overall print quality.

Last, I recommend printing this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:46157

This is a retraction clip that will help give you more accurate retraction and prevent play in the bowden tube mount on the extruder.

 

Other tidbits:

 

  • Use wider masking tape (2" or greater). This will make for less tape lines, greater adhesion, and faster taping.
  • Wipe your taped print bed with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. This will also help with adhesion.
  • Store all PLA filament you are not using in a sealed container with those silica packets to suck out the moisture.
  • You may want to print a new spool holder if you buy anything but Ultimaker filament. Other companies that I have seen all use spools with smaller holes that will not fit with the current spool holder.

 

Well, I can't think of anything else off of the top of my head so all I can say in addition to what I already have is just to have fun.

 

Hope my little guide helps.

 

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Good feedback!

Another thing I would like to add about tape is about first layer adhesion. If your first prints are warping, this can be fixed in several ways. However, you must first determine how the object is warping. Is it coming off the tape in the corners? Is it still connected to the tape, only the tape is coming off the acrylic bed? If you answered yes to the first question, you have a first layer issue. This can usually be cured with the aforementioned isopropyl treatment. Other ways include increasing hot-end temperature, and lowering the head closer to the print bed for the first layer. You may also want to try a brim or set Cura to print a thicker first layer. If you answered yes to the second question, you need to remove all of your tape and wipe the bed with isopropyl alcohol. This will help with tape adhesion to the bed. I have found that the best method for this is to lower the print head as low as you can within reason. This will press the plastic into the tape, thus pressing the tape onto the bed. The side effect of better adhesion as Nicolinux said is the fact that every time your remove an object, you will destroy the tape.

 

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