Ultimaker3 Extended 3D Printer
This machine is currently down! Managers, click here for the maintenance log.
This machine may have some issues. Managers, click here for the maintenance log.
Before you start!
This guide is written both for Managers and for users of the EPL. Some steps apply to only one or the other.
Link to Ultimaker 3 user manual (16Mb PDF)
About the Ultimaker 3
The Ultimaker 3 3D printer is for printing solid 3D models from digital files. It has a print bed size of x.xx cm × x.xx cm × x.xx cm. We only print on type of material at this time: Amphora 3300.
How to murder the Ultimaker 3
Poor build plate adhesion
Poor build plate adhesion is the #1 root cause of Ultimaker failure. It leads to a blob of material dragging with the print head, which if left uncaught will eventually block the print core. If the print core is left blocked for too long, material will flow backwards up the print core, past the heat sink. Once plastic gets in there, you are hosed. It is a real pain to unclog the core. Clogged cores lead to hate, hate leads to anger, and anger leads to a dead Ultimaker. Improperly unclogging a core in this condition is very likely how our print cores get destroyed most of the time. They are super fragile.
How to prevent this
There are seven key things to get right to prevent print core failure:
- Material settings must be accurate (improves build plate adhesion, prevents burnt material).
- Material must be in good condition. Right now, our black nylon is an example of POOR condition. Use Amphora 3300.
- Build plates should be cleaned before every print. Improves adhesion.
- Monitor the build for the first 6 layers after it starts. You can do this in 5 minute intervals if you want, but make sure you don’t forget – this is the most dangerous time for the printers – Adhesion failure is most likely during these layers, and the result of a failure is most catastrophic since the print core is up against the glass and there is less free volume for a forming blob. –
- Make sure the first layer lines are fusing to each other properly. Poor first-layer fusion is an indicator that the build plate is not properly leveled and needs to be realigned. Unfortunately, cleaning the build plates does knock the alignment out faster.
- Build plate should be glued, but do not glue the whole surface. Alternating stripes of glue and no glue is best.
- Do not attempt to unclog a core without being trained on that specific procedure first. All of the above should prevent us from ever clogging our cores, but if this does happen, you need to be careful not to put torque in the wrong places.
Your STL file
You will need to have your part in .stl (Stereolithographic) format. Most CAD programs such as Solidworks can export in this format. It is preferable that the part is designed in metric and more specifically millimeters (mm), as Cura is unable to scale between inches and millimeters. Some CAD programs offer to export in mm scale even when the part is designed in inches, but this sometimes doesn’t work and the part will appear extremely small on the print bed. To eliminate headaches, design your part in millimeters.
- Check the material currently loaded in the Ultimaker. For now, make sure it is Amphora 3300. Later, we’ll have settings for all materials.
- Open Cura. Cura (version x.xx) is the software you will use to slice your 3D model(s) into layers and export them as toolpaths.
- Connect to the Ultimaker. This is how cura knows which Ultimaker you are going to print on, so do it first. A blue check mark in the printers dropdown indicates you are connected.
- Click on the material settings tab. Then click on the custom submenu, and select Amphora 3300.
- On the machine profile on the right, first change the profile to “CRAZY / RESET PROFILE”. Sometimes, settings get stuck. Buggy software. This helps unstuck them.
- Now, change to the profile matching the material and machine you want to print on. Only profiles matching the currently selected machine should be available., so if your target printer profile is not available, double check your connection is correct.
- Verify that the print core temperature and build plate temperature are somewhere around 240 and 80 respectively in the machine profile. I may update the profiles down the line (hint, I will, they need adjusting), but I won’t be straying far from those numbers. This is just a sanity check for the bugs in Cura. Don’t modify the profile, but try switching to crazy again and back.
- Now you can mess with whatever settings you need to in the profile. Please do not save your changes to the profile, though. 8. If that ever happens by accident, shoot me an email just so I can double check the settings.
- When you are done, slice.
- When slicing is finished, switch to the preview tab and scroll through the layers using the sliders that are located (bizarrely) to the right of the machine profile window (wtf, cura…). Watch out for floating islands, things that don’t look sane.
- If everything looks fine, click the “Send print to network” button once. Trust me, nothing will happen, but it will remember every single time you click that and you will have to cancel all the duplicates manually one at a time.
- Now, here is where things get tedious. Because we are using a nonstandard material, we have to do a material override before every single print. This is like three extra steps, because Ultimaker.
- First, go to the “monitor” tab. I’m writing this form memory, but it is the third tab (Prepare and preview being the first two). You will be shown a list of 3d printers. Each one will have a “manage printer” link. Clicking that link will open the printer management interface in the web browser.
- Once printer management is open, you should see that your print is there waiting to be printed. It will say “ACTION REQUIRED”. Click that, and confirm the manual override.
- With any luck, at this point, the print will start.
- NOTE: You will need to clear the “have you removed the previous print?” dialog before every new print. That can only be done from the wheel AFAIK.