Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
Sign in to follow this  
jemma-redmond

Has anyone added any upgrades that made a huge difference to quality?

Recommended Posts

Jemma, given all the problems you have had and I know you have the Ulticontroller, you are probably in the same frustrating situation of the darn controller flopping all over the place when you service the electronics. I printed (one of) this last night and it is bloody brilliant! Need to print the other side, didn't have time last night. I've been flipping my UM1 up and down so much that the side panel "hooks" are mangled and the controller no longer hooks on well and slowly comes off as you use it and of course it immediately falls off if I tilt the printer to get to the electronics. However, this is a great solution:

UltiController Locking Sideplates

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:131278

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My UM1 is spotted with upgrades, but I'd have to say that the upgrade that adds most to my print quality is replacing the acrylic bed with glass and using Murat's three point leveling with magnet mounts: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:84754

I use diluted Elmers Glue-All on the glass for great adhesion. I have two pieces of glass, so I can print on one while I am removing a print from and preparing the other. The magnets on the three point set-up let me swap the beds without having to re-level. And the bottom of an object printed on glass is, well, like glass.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great idea!! I wonder if its like the kapton tape? Have you tried that? Well you apply it across the platform and use a credit crad to remove the bubbles as you apply it. Pla prints very very well on it and best of all after a minute, it cools and you can pop it off easily. Also the underside of the printed object is super shiny and smooth. And the tape lasts so much looooooooooooooooooooooooonger than the blue masking tape which is ok but not great....

I'll have to try that, thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you are willing to invest, go with a heated bed and ditch the tape.

Ultimaker is supposed to come out with a heated bed upgrade for the UM1"soon" and while it sounds top notch, it also sounds expensive as it includes a Z stage upgrade too. I might go for it just because they make good stuff but it depends on the price and what it includes.

I have JasonHK's heated bed upgrade with borosilicate glass. With just the right temps (230/65-ish slow speed reduced to 215/60 (or 55)) PLA sticks to the glass well. If you have a part that doesn't have a lot of bottom surface or you can't get the temps dialed in, dust the glass with hairspray (best to do off the printer for obvious reasons) and you will find that the part will be difficult to get off. Without the hairspray, if you get the part to stick well to the glass, it literally pops off as the part cools.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heated-Bed-Premium-Kit-for-Ultimaker-3d-Printers-with-Borosilicate-Glass-Surface-/151272164070?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2338860ae6

You will need an additional 24V PS for the bed as it is very power hungry at 240 watts. Jason has one he recommends. However, I went with a consumer one for extra protection from Meanwell (The UM2 uses a Meanwell PS).

http://www.meanwell.com/search/GS280/default.htm

Model GS280A24-C4P

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you are willing to invest, go with a heated bed and ditch the tape.

Ultimaker is supposed to come out with a heated bed upgrade for the UM1"soon" and while it sounds top notch, it also sounds expensive as it includes a Z stage upgrade too. I might go for it just because they make good stuff but it depends on the price and what it includes.

I have JasonHK's heated bed upgrade with borosilicate glass. With just the right temps (230/65-ish slow speed reduced to 215/60 (or 55)) PLA sticks to the glass well. If you have a part that doesn't have a lot of bottom surface or you can't get the temps dialed in, dust the glass with hairspray (best to do off the printer for obvious reasons) and you will find that the part will be difficult to get off. Without the hairspray, if you get the part to stick well to the glass, it literally pops off as the part cools.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heated-Bed-Premium-Kit-for-Ultimaker-3d-Printers-with-Borosilicate-Glass-Surface-/151272164070?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2338860ae6

You will need an additional 24V PS for the bed as it is very power hungry at 240 watts. Jason has one he recommends. However, I went with a consumer one for extra protection from Meanwell (The UM2 uses a Meanwell PS).

http://www.meanwell.com/search/GS280/default.htm (model GS280A24-C4P, 24V, 280W)

 

Yes, a heated bed would also be a great improvement! :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great idea!! I wonder if its like the kapton tape? Have you tried that? Well you apply it across the platform and use a credit crad to remove the bubbles as you apply it. Pla prints very very well on it and best of all after a minute, it cools and you can pop it off easily. Also the underside of the printed object is super shiny and smooth. And the tape lasts so much looooooooooooooooooooooooonger than the blue masking tape which is ok but not great....

I'll have to try that, thanks!

 

I never tried kapton. (I'm cheap.) I always hated trying to get air bubbles out from under blue tape. I usually resorted to piercing the tape with an Exacto knife to let the air out, which then increased the likelihood that the tape would pull up when removing a print.

With the glass, I'm not using any tape. I paint the glue onto the glass with a two inch house painter's brush. It takes a couple of hours to dry, but that's okay since I have two glass plates and the glue is good for several prints before retreatment. When It gets too messed up, I wash the plate and repaint it. I keep a sealed jar of diluted glue by the printer. Any PVA based glue, such as wood glue, will do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you are willing to invest, go with a heated bed and ditch the tape.

Ultimaker is supposed to come out with a heated bed upgrade for the UM1"soon" and while it sounds top notch, it also sounds expensive as it includes a Z stage upgrade too. I might go for it just because they make good stuff but it depends on the price and what it includes.

 

I suspect that Ultimaker may announce the UM1 heated bed upgrade at World Maker Faire in NYC on September 20th. If they do, I'll buy it! Then, I may enclose the chamber as well. I already switched to direct drive, moving my x/y motors out of the chamber.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, yep I have a heated bed and I have it working too just using a regular bench power supply and a multimeter to monitor the temperature. I have'nt integrated into the machine as who knows what will happen? haha

Well i found the kapton tape has been brilliant, you can get large reels of it from robosavvy I think? Its like 25 euro or something and that will last for ages and ages. I'm reluctant to add too much hardware mods or tinker with the firmware as the system is not so robust I feel....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Sander said, adding a second fan really improves the quality.

I designed my own fan ducts to optimze the air flow:

fans.jpg

This setup is working for more than a year now and I am really pleased with my printing results.

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/2291-help-with-modifying-fanducts/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have my printer here, but I do believe I have most pictures.

Probably nr 1 upgrade:

.

Oh and don't forget that this was a must after the blue horse shoe went missing:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11864

Actually, I never got the black injection mold thing from the guy I bought my printer from after we printed this together...

After that I must say that some toolthings are quite useful, just as a kind of Z level finetuner:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:371441

A nice fan shroud seems like a good plan, I currently use this one, but I was looking at a circular or something like mentioned above.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:77107

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree - a plain old picture glass build plate - I have the plate over the acrylic bed which has tape on it - if I need tape then I use it, but 99% of the time I am on the plate with diluted PVA - and just pop in a small 3mm piece to foll the z switch.

one coat of PVA seems to last for months.

I have 2 UM1s and almost never level the bed - I normally watch the fist skirt and level as it goes :)

the other mod is drilling out the nozzle - I bought spares and have so far drilled out a 0.65 for architectural models and to print 'drafts' and it is areal timesaver!

I have put on side covers for winter - but really they are just for fun.

the glass plate is way the biggest + and cost £3 for two sheets.

James

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe OT since I have a UM2 which came with a glass bed already. Anyway, after using a thin receipt slip paper for levelling, and setting first layer to 0.1 mm in Cura, and using a vanishingly-thin layer of glue stick for PLA adhesion, the bottom surface quality looks quite good to me. Practically like an injection-molded part: https://www.youmagine.com/designs/28byj-48-mounting-bracket

My only mod is a fan shroud which I think improved overhang performance slightly, but I think careful extrusion temperature and speed adjustment is the more important factor.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far for me the biggest improvement was totally replacing the z-stage, build plate and leveling system with a simple aluminum z-stage I designed and had made and the addition of a heated bed with an aluminum base topped with 1/16" ptfe sheet, the PCB heater and a 3/16" clear ceramic glass print surface. My new z-stage is a 1/2" x 8" x 12" aluminum plate with 4 linear no lube guide bearings from IGUS (2 - 2 1/2" on top, and 2 - 1" on the underside), a new acetal trapezoidal nut from DumpsterCNC.com, and 4 micro adjuster screws with 100 threads per inch. I designed the bed to be leveled with either a 3 or 4 point leveling system.

Before the upgrade I would have to re-level the print surface before every print, the humidity here fluctuates from 12% to 70% so the wood changed constantly, with my new setup, I have printed 4 items in a row over the period of several days and I have not had to re-level the print surface.

I made 2 problems with my upgrades, after the last redesign I accidentally put the leveling holes a 1/2" to far back so my print surface sits a 1/2" back from where it should be, I need to have another set of holes drilled to remedy this. The second mistake I made was making the tolerance a little tight at the back of the stage and it hits the screw heads for the filament mounting bracket, it will be an easy fix, I just need to countersink the screws.

New Z stage upper bearings And Nut

 

Lower Guide bearings And The rear micro adjuster screws

 

front view of Heated Bed New stage and Micro Adjusters

The z-stage and aluminum bed upgrade were kind of expensive due to the fact that I do not have access to a mill, nor do I have any experience using a mill and finding a shop here that will do one-off jobs without a large production run is like finding a needle in a hay stack.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Our picks

    • Introducing Ultimaker Cura 3.6 | Beta
      Ultimaker Cura 3.6 | Beta is available. It comes with new features, bug fixes, and UX improvements. We would really like to have your feedback on it to make our stable release as good as it can be. As always, you can download the beta for free from our website, for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
        • Like
      • 92 replies
    • Print Core CC | Red for Ruby
      Q: For some users, abrasive materials may be a new subject matter. Can you explain what it is that makes a material abrasive when you are not sure which print core to use?
      A: Materials which are hard in a solid piece (like metals, ceramics and carbon fibers) will generally also wear down the nozzle. In general one should assume...
        • Like
      • 30 replies
    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies
×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!