No smoking!

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…

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8 Responses to No smoking!

  1. Uwe says:

    Thank you for the description. I don’t have a 3d printer yet, but I plan to get one after the summer (three childrens birthdays here, I don’t want to bust the budget), and I seriously concider the ultimaker as my printer of choice.

    I hope you will have the time to do some prints soon, and keep us informed how well it went… 🙂

  2. Brian says:

    Awww, I left a request for your Ultimaker details on another of your posts. So, disregard my other interest….

    Thanks for posting – So, you are being a slug? Relishing your time with the untried bot? Or just testing to see if anyone is watching your moves towards the first prints?

    • Dave Durant says:

      Nope! Mostly it’s just a matter of free time to mess with it..

      I spent some time yesterday getting all the settings they ship into the stand-alone skeinforge as I’m not really a fan of the one that’s integrated into repg. Also spent a bunch of time dialing in my start.gcode so the machine uses the endstops to auto-home itself at the start of a print.

      After that, I started doing some test prints but had some heat issues that I need to get sorted out before really diving in.. Things are progressing a bit slower than I wanted but I’m not worried yet – it’s getting there!

  3. Jetguy says:

    So cool to see the very “rare” Ultimakers. I’m waiting on my kit to show up but could you give me just a few hints as to the parts used? I just want belt sizes/part numbers and how many teeth are on the pulleys? I’ve got an actual kit on the way from Erik, but they never published the hardware “vitamins” with the laser cut files on Thingiverse.

    • Dave Durant says:

      The betls say 240MXL on ’em. For the pulleys, the extruder drive has 8 and the big gear has (unless I count wrong) 49. The gears that drive the belts look like like 24 or 25 but I’d have to pull things apart to tell for sure. The lasercut drawings can be found here, BTW: .

      • Jetguy says:

        Thanks for the info, as I’m still waiting on my kit. I want to cut a clone in acrylic, but needed to order the vitamins and it’s still kinda sketchy to make that order. Erik did tell me the 240MXL part. I’m thinking of going GT2 belts which are somewhat easier for me to get with matching pulleys. It’s just easier if I know the exact radius and teeth counts. MXL is 2.03 mm belt pitch while GT2 is 2mm exactly. The 240 belt is 19.5mm length so it’s not too hard to start crossing this stuff. I plan on using a direct drive MK6 extruder motor with a wades tensioner and then my own bowden. Basically the setup from my Reprap.
        Use my own MBI gen4 inspired board, add the heated Reprap bed to both machines. I also like the MK6+ black PTFE coated nozzles better too. Shouln’t be to hard to get this going.

  4. Let’s see some prints and videos please!

    • Dave Durant says:

      I’m working on it!!

      Most of the last week or so (which was, sadly, really just a couple/few hours of time with the machine) was spent chasing problems with Z that turned out to just be the Z driver pot being too low. Much looking at firmware and examining gcode and such was done – I could have saved myself a bunch of time by just checking the silly pololu pot first. D’oh..

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