No smoking but some purdy blinky lights!!
Just powered up my Ultimaker for the first time and, amazingly (amazingly based on my build skills, not Ultimaker quality), it all seems to work. So far, anyway. I still haven’t put any filament through it yet. That’ll come soon, though.
There were a few bumps on the road here: the box was missing a couple parts which the Ultimaker folks rush-shipped to me, work, just being lazy and, most fun, my PC caught a virus last week that eventually resulted in my just buying a new PC; 3 nights wasted with that crap. Grr..
Total build time for me was just under 2 weeks but I took my time and had several interruptions. Anybody who’s built a Cupcake or something similar could do it in a weekend if they wanted to. Total soldering: 0. Total multimeter time used: 0.
Anyway, the build was pretty straight-forward. The laser cut parts are nicely etched with labels on what goes where. Here’s a picture of the back panel – notice the etching for the motor and endstops:
This may seem like a small thing but, speaking for all other mechanical klutz’ out there, it’s appreciated. The bottom panel where the electronics are mounted (sorry – don’t have a good picture of that. edit: here’s one) is really well labeled with laser etching – where the wires for each endstop and stepper goes and which color wire goes to each terminal. Nice.
Another small thing that I really liked is that the kit uses square (not hex) nuts for all t-slots in wooden pieces. Anybody who makes a kit with t-slots and wooden pieces should use these too – hex nuts are a real pain in the neck in small areas.
Even though I haven’t printed anything yet, I’m really impressed with the thought that went into this box. It’s neat & tidy and nothing, nothing, along the way felt like a part was used in the design because they happened to have it on hand.
Erik did have me a little worried recently when he commented that the X/Y belts are very tight to improve print quality at the expense of making the machine louder. I’d gotten used to have a quiet machine – my Cupcake got Rob Giseburt’s PSDM X/Y drivers and Aaron Double’s X/Y low rider, both of which did very nice things to the Cupcakes noise level – and was dreading a little going back to having a noisy machine. Turns out I was worried for nothing because, moving at 100mm/second, the Ultimaker is maybe just a little louder than my Cupcake at 25mm/second. Sweet.
Next up is actually making it print something, which I hope to start poking at later tonight…