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Aged UM3X update/upgrade options


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Posted · Aged UM3X update/upgrade options

I've just picked  up a  previously owned UM3X to complement my UM3.  The UM3X is significantly older than my UM3 and much higher time (white reel holder, but black slider blocks). 


I knew this printer had a storied past and am fine putting the needed work into it.  The previous owner was very up front with everything, for which I am grateful.


The print head looks pretty old (faded with a blue/grey tinge) and the feeders look to be very high time.


I had intended to change out the feeders to Bondtech in any event as I print with abrasive filament.  I don't know how one assesses the health of the print head though.  Is that a part worth changing proactively?


I'm pretty sure I'll be into a new set of belts before long.  I don't know about the rods - do these wear out or sag irreparably over time?  (of course, this relates to the print head - if I need to change these parts in short succession, I'd do them all up front)


There are a number of print cores, most UM, one Hardcore.  The printer was used to print some nylon/CF but I don't know which print cores were used for that.  How should I asses the print core nozzles for excessive wear?  If wear is detected, is the print core dead or is there a way to refurbish/replace the nozzle?


Are there other things I should be on the lookout for?  Thinking outside the box, given the investment I am about to make on new parts for this printer, are there other upgrades I should be looking to do?


Thanks for your advice as always!




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    Posted · Aged UM3X update/upgrade options

    Hi John


    I think you don't need to replace so much. Important are Bowden tubes, print cores, belts if they look bad. The rods should be ok, maybe they don't look nice anymore but I don't think you need to replace them. Maybe you need to replace some bearings as well if the printer is in very bad condition. 

    The printhead itself should be ok, I would not replace the whole head. Maybe the fans, but only if you see that they are not working well.


    Maybe a new glass plate if it is chipped.


    I would replace the whole print core if you see any wear. There are 3rd party nozzles available but it is hard to replace them and you can easily break the core. Additionally it can happen that the core leaks and you fill up the head with plastic, so I suggest to not repair the core.


    Besides that, I don't think there is a need to replace more from a technical point of view.


    I bought an UM2+ Extended some time ago, also in a very bad condition, but with extensive cleaning and replacing a few parts, the machine looks now nice and prints wonderful. I think this is a big advantage of UM printers that you only need a few parts to get back to the initial print quality.


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    Posted · Aged UM3X update/upgrade options

    That's encouraging!  Thank you.  So I'll look a bit closer at the condition of things with the motto, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.


    I understand the print cores are not designed for nozzle replacement.  I'm not entirely sure yet how I'll inspect for abrasion.  At this stage, I probably need to concentrate on effective cleaning. 


    What I think I'll do at this stage is remove all covers, (now that I know how to, thanks to the bricking recovery on my UM3), clean out everything I can, then fire up the machine and start to warm up cores and clean them.  That in itself will be a significant exercise.   Once I know the printer is stable, then I'll invest in some belts and feeders.


    Love this forum!  Thanks again.




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    Posted · Aged UM3X update/upgrade options

    Yeah step by step and after you have cleaned the printer you will see what it really needs.


    Regarding the print cores, I think you can only try to print with them and check if you get good results. Measuring the nozzle diameter makes no sense, it is nearly impossible to measure the diameter correctly, so save that time. Clean them with hot/cold pulls and then do some test prints.


    And after cleaning the printer, put oil on all rods and the green grease on the z screw, but just a little bit. BTW to clean the z screw you can use a toothbrush, works great. If it is very dirty use some WD40.


    Do a manual bed levelling, just to be sure that the bed is initially levelled correctly.

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