Ultimaker: first (real) print success…

After a bit of startup struggling, I think I’m finally on track with the Ultimaker. To be fair, said struggling was mostly my own damn fault. Sigh…

In particular, the Z axis was really torturing me for a while by skipping steps occasionally. I stared long and hard at the mechanics, trying to spot some problem; I tweaked the Z Pololu pot several times; I pulled apart and scrutinized the duct designed to keep the Pololu’s cool; I put the machine up on books to encourage more airflow; I spent a lot of time staring at gcode and the firmware and the effects of things like Fillet (which seems to break up Z moves).

Then, after begging for help in the Ultimaker google group, Martijn Elserman simply says: “Did you put some grease on the thread already?”

Uh.. I was supposed to grease that? Ok.. Hey, it works now! Crap. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned here but I’m not sure what it is.

Anyway, here’s a picture:

(click picture to see bigger version at flickr)

This is the Tornado by Martijn and it pretty much uses up ALL the Z space on the Ultimaker.  The build platform is sitting right on the bottom of the machine and there’s about 2-3mm of space between the top of the tornado and the nozzle. Tight fit! It’s 0.25mm layers with 1.5 w/t. Print time was around 80-90 minutes, IIRC.

So.. Bit of struggling at the start but I seem to be on track now. That it happily printed a ~90 minute job (after I stopped being stoopid) almost right out of the box is something I’m pretty happy about..

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10 Responses to Ultimaker: first (real) print success…

  1. Brian says:

    Duh – what did you expect. The lesson to be remember is it is has metal rubbing/moving components and they need to be lubricated. Chastisement aside.

    WOW! I’ve been anxiously waiting for someone’s (your) output.
    Does the print look as AMAZING as the picture?

    • Dave Durant says:

      The z screw was pretty easy to turn by hand so it just didn’t occur to me.. TBH, I couldn’t tell much difference in before/after lubing it, either. I’m not sure I understand it but it works so I’m happy.

      Yes, it does look quite nice in person. It’s fragile – I printed with skeinforge Fill disabled – but am pleased with the way it came out. Especially as a ‘first print’ type deal.. 😀

      • Brian says:

        Well – I bet you are really proud. It looks FANTASTIC! And to think you don’t have to sit with the bot trying to keep your parts from tilting or shaking off the racing platform while hot plastic is spewing out of the print head. What luxury!

  2. Brian says:

    OK – I am an old kid. And will keep bugging you.
    So, are you still hunting for other machines or is this going to be what keeps you satisfied – for awhile.

    • Dave Durant says:

      Oh, I think this is going to keep me busy for a while.. If MakerGear came out with a larger format printer, I’d have to take a serious look at it. I don’t expect that to happen quickly, though. Not with Mosaic still in pre-order.

  3. Brian says:

    Haven’t heard much from the new/old Ultimaker owner. What is your status with 3D printing and the new/old toy?

    • Dave Durant says:

      Status, sadly, hasn’t changed a whole lot – I’ve been too busy lately with Life and keeping my job (I’ve been branded as a trouble maker.. sigh..) and such to really get moving on the Ultimaker. 😦

  4. Anvisha says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m an MIT student looking to build an Ultimaker but I’m trying to source out the parts. Could you possibly give me some of your time? My email address is anvishap@mit.edu.


  5. Gabe says:

    What’s the latest?

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