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Stepper motor fan project

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Posted · Stepper motor fan project

I just bought my first 3d printer and it happened to be an original Ultimaker! This thing is AWESOME! I and have been printing a lot! I've been doing some reading and I see theres an argument about cooling and not cooling the stepper motors. I wanted, as a project to add four 40mm fans (1 fan to each stepper motor).

Can I tap into existing power form the ultimaker? Or should I be adding an additional power supply?

Also, I wanted to add some led lights so I can see whats going on since my room is generally dark.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!


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Posted · Stepper motor fan project

The UM1 can be expanded with a second extruder and hotend. Assuming you aren't going to do that, it means that the power used for the 40w second hotend and extruder stepper is available for you.

With power = current * voltage then current = power / voltage so 19V @ 40W means you have more than 2 amps free without the second hotend and even more because you don't have the second extruder.

So that gives you a budget of about 500ma per fan which is more than enough. The current that would have been used for the stepper, probably along the lines of 750ma-1a can be used for your LED lighting.

Just be careful when selecting the fans. The one on the hotend is 12v but is actually running at 19v. However, you should really use a 24v fan if you are powering from the existing PS. I broke my fan on the hotend and tried to replace it with another 12v fan model and it instantly went up in smoke. Plus a 24V fan running at 19v will run slower and therefore quieter.

There is a 12V regulator on the UM board but I think it is limited to 1 amp. Four fans + the arduino will be close to this if not exceeding it and even more so if you have the ulticontroller.

To be honest, the steppers don't need to be cooled. I think they are rated at 80C. If they are getting that hot, you probably have too much friction or belt tension. Plus if I had to guess, the z stepper probably doesn't even get warm as it is only intermittently used.

So focus on the XY E steppers if you really want to do this just because...

For LEDs, there are mounts for these on thingiverse and youmagine:


But they are powered separately.


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Posted · Stepper motor fan project

I found a nice link on the dioder LEDs bars. The controller is powered by 12v and each bar consumes about 100ma. So 4 of them might be too much for the 12v regulator on the UM control board.

If you wanted to eliminate the line/mains adaptor, you could replicate the 12v source the UM uses on a small protoboard and then power it from the 19v coming from the LED connector.


You just need the same 12v regulator the UM uses and some capacitors. I don't have access to the schematic but this is the basic idea:



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