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Put your Ultimaker Upsidedown with Z-Unlimited

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You should buy one and/or back me...!

As you can see in the https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1661525705/z-unlimited-add-on-for-ultimaker, a self made cheap hack is very well possible, but that is not the quality i would like to sell. I do promote that people make that kind of versions themeselves!! Please share your experiences.

I already wanted to make some noise here.

This is the official press release i sent out:

I was just about to make some noise here on Talk, but you already started a topic.

Please spread the word and back the project to make it a successful campaign!

This is the official press release:


Ultimaker add-on creates unlimited print length

Ever dreamed of printing larger objects with your own Ultimaker 3D printer? The Dutch inventor Joris van Tubergen just published one of his latest 3D Print projects on Kickstarter: Z-Unlimited. With this amazingly simple add-on you convert your own trusty Ultimaker into a 3D printer with an unlimited extended print-area in height.

Last summer Joris executed the first project with his Z-Unlimited invention. Live at Schiphol airport he 3D printed a life-sized elephant as a 3D petition against elephant abuse. The installation with five Ultimakers combined with Z-Unlimited was only actively printing when people signed the petition. Since more than enough people signed the petition the life-sized 3D printed elephant was completed within two weeks!

The Z-Unlimited basically flips your 3D printer upside down and moves it all the way up along a wall while it is printing. To convert your 3D printer to reach unlimited height will only take you 10 minutes. And this operation is just as easy to undo.

The basic Z-Unlimited package comes with a carriage set and a rail of 1.2 meters. This will extend your print-area in Z to 65cm high. If you wish to go even higher you easily mount extra length of rails to the system. To get high quality prints all the way to the top Z-Unlimited features a very simple support mechanism that can be adjusted to any height.




- More detailed information on Joris van Tubergen and/or Z-Unlimited you will find on the following pages:



minidoc about the elephant ampaign:


cheers joris


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I was hoping you would respond :)

I do have some questions


- how does the z-axis move.

- how is the bowdentube mounted.

- does it need adjustes firmware.

I have already remade my Ultimaker into a higher printer, and I don't see any problems to adjust my frame to your setup


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the answers:

- the z-axis is a new motor with gear box. It is not really a axis, it pulls itself up with a toothed belt

- there is no change in the extruder drive chain, but you have to find a solution to place the drive gear on a different spot [and upside down]

- i adjusted the firmware so one of the axis is swapped otherwise you get mirrored objects, but with the first tests i did all the changes in cura and gcode. [Change steps per mm in z and mirroring]

cheers \ joris


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When I was watching the elephant being printed, I noticed you had a water bottle hanging on the back of the frame,

was that a counter weight for the Ultimaker, so less force is put on the z-motor ?

and do we still need a counter weight ?

I don't think I can mount the system to the wall, I am afraid noise would resonate through the wallsand disturb the neighbours :)

so I will probably have to create a frame, so it can stand on it's own.


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it can work with heated bed, why not?!

but you have to make your heated bed yourself and find a way to extend your cables indeed

For taller prints i need sometimes more adhesion, then i print some parts direct on the acrylic bed [without tape] and the first layer a lot hotter like 235-240 degrees. That stick very well...

cheers \ joris


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Don't know yet. My first impression is that this product is not worth a real business model. Maybe I will do a new kickstarter again : )

A pledge for a BOM and some instructions is a good idea, i cannot change that anymore i think. But you can pledge for less than 15 euro, but then you [officially] don't get a reward...

there are some hint in the video and i will document more, but now the focus is on some other things.


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@ aviphysics, interesting, but you need a very good bed adhesion...!!



I am gonna have a lot on my plate when this thing arrives. It will mean moving my UMO out to the garage, which will also probably mean building an enclosure for it (which might as well be heated), which will mean finding a way to cool the steppers and electronics. That last one seems like it will either require keeping the machine thermally separated from the print some how, or some sort of water/air cooling lines. Both of those would be easier if the printer stayed in on place. If the printer is at the top, I would need a ladder for a lot of stuff, so having the print at the top would really help.


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I love the setup you have created and was wondering if you could fill us in on your print settings for such a large print?

What brand of filament did you use to print the elephant and how much filament was required to print that behemoth?

Also what size nozzle, layer resolution, print temp, and speed?

This information will help backers get off to a good start in the large scale 3d printing realm and help reduce time and filament waste.



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Not quite sure how much Joris used, but it was Colorfabb Dutch Orange in 2.2kg spools :) Knowing Joris it was probably a .6 or even .8 nozzle. But I agree with you that it would be nice to have an idea of the settings on the Elephant!

If I weren't a student with limited time/money I would definitely get one. When you have this on your wall and you can go up to 60cm, you can make crazy things, but also the same things you'd normally make :D


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Hi @Renthal,

short reply:

>>What brand of filament did you use to print the elephant and how much filament was required to print that behemoth?

colorfabb, i ordered 56 spools of 2.2kg

>> Also what size nozzle


>> layer resolution


>> print temp, and speed?

variable, depends on the shape

for some columns i combined 7 different profile settings

cheers \ joris


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I guess, I am one of the first users of the THING.

First impressions:

1. it works!

2. it is quite useless with standard 0.4 mm nozzle (printing smth with height larger than 300 mm with layer thicknesses lower than 0.2 mm if not takes forever, then makes the chances of successful printing very low). I have installed 'olson block' and 0.8 mm jet nozzle and now can print large objects within reasonable time.

3. The spiralizer (aka joris) works nice with shell objects. Yeah, the z-drive constantly and smoothly rising the whole ultimaker!

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