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A Week of No Response From Support

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Hi Everyone,

I recieved my ultimaker original in the mail last week and finished building it. After switching the machine on and running through the set up process in Cura, I realized that only the x-axis stepper motor was working. So following the procedure that Ultimaker had posted on their website, I first tried to switch the motors and that worked fine. Second I tried switching the Stepper Drivers (keeping note of the orientation of them) and after I tried that and switched everything back nothing worked!

From here I looked at the building instructions and noticed that my board had arrived to me in the mail with the y and z-axis stepper drivers placed backwards. In the process of testing my machine, I believe I blew the x-axis stepper driver along with the other ones assuming that they would have been positioned correctly. Is this the correct assumption?

I have emailed support and then called them after six days of waiting and they said they would get right on it. Now onto day 7, I still haven't heard anything.

I have heard great things about this printer and I know they are busy, but it's fustrating after still waiting a whole week to hear back from them with a fully built printer.

What do you guys think?




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I know they are busy


That's an understatement. Did you use support.ultimaker.com? Anyway I bet we can get this running within a day or two if you are in a rush without them. Also posting here might get their attention.

I am very familiar with the PCB (I see it in my sleep) but I want to make sure I understand. The stepper drivers are often referred to as "pololu" drivers. They are little modules that can plug in and unplug from the board. Do you mean to say someone inserted 2 of them backwards? If true this will indeed destroy them.

You can get just as good (or better) pololu drivers and they aren't expensive. I recommend you order 2 (and then maybe you will get 2 more from Ultimaker as spares later on). It appears you are in USA? Is that correct? Can you please update your profile and enter your country (location) please?

Daid (is a programmer - not hardware guy - at Ultimaker) recommends pololu black:


More discussion here:




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Hi Hunter,

Thank you for your post.

Could you send me the ticket ID number that you have send (in a PM if you prefer)?

I will get it sorted out and get you 2 new stepperdrivers if this is indeed necessary.

Could you perhaps post a picture of how it got delivered to you?

It would rule out any miscommunication of any kind :)

Looking forward hearing from you and sort this out. And get you back to 3D printing asap.

Thank you,


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Hi Sander and gr5,

Thanks for the quick responses. I PMed you sander.

Here is a picture of my pololu drivers or stepper drivers as I had received them in the mail.

20140430 200907[1]

As you can see the Z and Y-axis drivers are backwards from what is shown in the instructions.


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It's a good assumption that you have blown all three.

One option would be to just buy three new drivers from polulu and in fact upgrade them to these:


UM will make things right but it might take time. For $42 + shipping, you will have them ASAP and they are better.

However, with these drivers note:

- You must be able to solder the headers on, easy if you can solder.

- No heatsinks supplied. They might not be required as the drivers dissipate less power due to being capable of higher current. I managed to wrench the heat sinks off my blown drivers, clean them (scrapping the adhesive off and finishing with alcohol) and attaching them to the upgraded ones with arctic sliver alu adhesive http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_alumina_thermal_adhesive.htm just use an incredibly small amount. I applied it with a pin and if you have a dot bigger than a pinhead, it's too much.

- As you know now, orientation is very important. The location of the potentiometer on these is opposite of the black and standard drivers. Review the docs. These actually have the reverse orientation with respect to the location of the pots.

-By default, these running in 32 microstepping mode as the standard drivers are 16. So you need to adjust the jumpers next to each (easy) or double the steps per mm in the firmware (hard). See the docs.

- Finally, I believe the most important or heavily used and therefore hottest drivers are XY and E. I would upgrade those drivers and use the remaining working E driver as the Z driver. However note that from E to Z, the driver should be flipped 180 degrees.

I have blown so many of these, I have like 3 spares now....


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I think you mean 2 of 4.

Be aware that the extruder refuses to turn unless the hot end is above some threshold - I think 170C. So set print head to 180C and wait until it is above 170C before telling the extruder to move.

Of course I wouldn't bother with any of this - I would just compare your picture to the assembly instructions picture.


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No, 3 because I just assumed the orientation was correct because when I tested them. I switched the x and y kept the orientation. In doing that I blew the x which was originally fine because the y was in backwards. This is what caused me to look at the instuctions and see that they were in placed in backwards because after that z, x, and y did not work at all. If I would have just left the x driver out instead of placing it in the y-axis position it would have been only 2 blown.

I simply tested the extruder driver by placing it in the x-axis spot instead of heating the extruder and trying it that way. That driver turned out fine.

Thanks anon4321, I will look into that!


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