Ultimaker Maintenance

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Ultimaker Maintenance

To be performed by Ultimaker Owners only


  • Check filament feed tube is fully home (No visible ring around tube above white push fit fitting)
  • Check blue feed tube latch is in place (replace if needed with printed one)
  • Clean base of printer (under/around build plate)
  • Clean the lid (dust the top)
  • Clean desk (remove dust as this can cause blockages in the nozzle. Hoover then damp cloth)
  • Remove old files from SD Card
  • Check print removal tool available and in good condition
  • Reboot PC
  • Check filament stock
  • Check filament boxes have power applied and the lid is correctly closed
  • Check spool holders not broken
  • Check printer lid camera's point to print area and spool
  • Check OctoPrint browser running correctly on lid display
  • Tidy shelf above printer


  • Remove nozzles and replace with clean ones
    • Place old nozzle in acetone bath bottle (Keep ABS and PLA nozzles separate), bottles kept in flammables cabinet
    • Use new nozzle or cleaned one from the acetone bath bottle
    • Replace acetone as needed
    • Remove burnt on filament from outside of cleaned nozzle with a small wire brush
    • Remove old filament from inside cleaned nozzle with tweezers and a cotton bud
    • Perform test print
  • Test print to check build plate is level
  • Check Windows updates on PC

As Needed:

  • Clean/Unblock Nozzle Atomic Method
  • Replace PTFE Coupler PTFE Coupler
  • Replace Nozzle Hot End
  • PT1000 sensor is fragile and may break with Nozzle replacement. Change PT1000 Sensor
  • Check Silica Gel / Humidity level for filament storage boxes. (Keep below 20%)
  • Clean build plate
    • PLA Printer: Use a plastic tool to remove filament left on
    • ABS Printer: Wash the build plate with hot soapy water. Cleaning glass plate
  • Update Cura
    • Ensure the files to clean Cura are correct for updated
    • Remove unsupported materials from Cura materials (in the program folder)
  • Update printer firmware if appropriate
    • Update materials listed for printer to remove ones not supported (e.g. ABS on PLA printer).
    • Edit ABS materials for printer to include the default ABS renamed to ABS_80C and copy/update for 110C bed temperature
  • Make new hinge for the door. Print in ABS. Hinges and Handle for UM2 door

Filament Storage Box Maintenance:

The silica gel in the filament boxes occasionally needs to be replaced. Refreshed stock should be available in the tubs by the printer, ensure you use the new gel and not used stock.

The gel is a orange color when dry, it goes a green/brown color as it absorbs moisture.

The gel can be regenerated by heating in an electric oven at about 110°C for a few hours. It should then be put back into a sealed tub ready for use again.

To replace the gel:

  • Remove the filament box lid and place it with gel cartridge down sat on a table top
  • Remove the 4 wing nuts from the box lid (keep an eye out for the washers)
  • Remove the lid off the top of the gel cartridge
  • Re-fit 2 of the wing nuts to the gel cartridge screws at the end by the electronics to ensure the cartridge lid does not fall off
  • Remove the small acrylic piece at the opposite end opening up the gel section
  • You may wish to fit a small piece of tape to the lid/sides to ensure the remaining section does not come out
  • Pour the silica gel into an empty / used gel container
  • Remove the 2 screws that go through the (now empty) silica gel section
  • Find the yellow (or grey) funnel (round one end, square the other), it should be in the new silica gel, insert into the open end of the cartridge
  • Pour silica gel in, it is full when you can stand the cartridge vertically (open end up!) and the gel comes to the level of the top of the acrylic (and not pour out)
  • With the cartridge in the vertical position, re-insert the two screws
  • Return the cartridge to the horizontal position
  • Refit the small acrylic section
  • Remove the two wing nuts from the electronics end
  • Fit plastic lid
  • Fit the wing nuts (ensuring washer are in place)
  • Give it a shake to distribute the gel in the cartridge evenly
  • Return the lid to the box and apply power
  • Regenerate the old silica gel by heating to 110°C in an electric oven for a few hours.

More information can be found on the GitHub project. Filament Box Construction

'Humidity Monitor Operation'

The gel cartridge is controlled by a small micro-controller, a Particle Photon. When the box is powered up this will attempt to connect to the internet to publish humidity levels in the box so it can be monitored (See Tinamous).

In the middle of the Photon is a small RGB LED. This indicates what is happening.

  • When power is applied if will flash blue then green as it connects to WiFi and then the Particle cloud.
    • If it keeps flashing blue it has failed to connect to WiFi. It will not run properly in this state.
  • When running the color of the LED indicates the humidity level.
    • Green: Low/Good
    • Yellow: Warning. Gel will need replacing soon (or lid has been open recently and damp air has entered and not yet dried)
    • Red: High humidity. Gel should be replaced

Lid Maintenance

If the lid needs to be replaced a new one can be made by following design here: Ultimaker Lid

Maintenance Log:

See log book with Ultimaker for details.

Additional maintenance performed:

  • Replaced PTFE Coupler and nozzle, levelled build plate. Filament had not been feeding properly. PTFE coupler notably burnt (Stephen Harrison 2015-11-25). Print Time: 425H (484M)


Used PTFE coupler

The picture below shows the state of the PTFE coupler when initially replaced. The printer had been repeatedly jamming on initial filament feeding and not printing well. Both PTFE coupler and Nozzle were replaced. They had been used for 425 printing hours.