Ultimaker rev.3 assembly: Extrusion head

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Mechanical assembly of the Ultimaker revision 3 (click for an overview)
Click to view the 1.1 Frame...

1.1 Frame

Click to view the 1.2 Motors...

1.2 Motors

Click to view the 1.3 X-Y axes...

1.3 X-Y axes

Click to view the 1.4 Extrusion head...

1.4 Extrusion head

Click to view the 1.5 Z-stage...

1.5 Z-stage

Click to view the 1.6 Material feeder...

1.6 Material feeder

Click to view the 1.7 Mounting the electronics...

1.7 Mounting the electronics


Time needed
Time needed:
About 60 to 90 minutes.   


Tools needed
Tools needed:
  • Hex keys (2mm)
  • Hex key (1.5 mm)
  • Tweezers
  • Pliers
  • Small screwdriver (1.5 mm)

   


Contents

Step 4 - the EXTRUDER

What you'll need

Parts needed in this section

Qty. Description Notes
6 m3 nuts 2 used to mount for thermocouple, 4 used in the extrusion frame.
5 m3 bolts 10 mm 1 for the heating part, 4 used in the extrusion frame.
2 m3 bolts 30 mm Used to mount the thermocouple.
4 wooden parts named FRONT, BACK, RIGHT, LEFT Named with 8A which means that they fit in 8A.
1 wooden part named 8B This one can be found in the extrusion pack, and is milled on one side in two holes.
1 wooden part named 8B this one is from the laserpack, NOT MILLED and NOT NEEDED.
1 wooden part named 8A looks like 8B but this one is NOT milled.
2 linear bearings Metal tubes.
1 push in fitting Tiny small plastic tube.
1 PFA tube Transparent tube, one side taped blue.
1 horse shoe iny blue U-shaped plastic that will stick later on the fitting.
1 m6 brass pipe* *these pieces might be screwed together.
1 nozzle bolt* *these pieces might be screwed together.
1 aluminium heater block* *these pieces might be screwed together.
1 aluminium plate with 4 holes.
1 peek insulator with m6 screw-thread inside.
1 tiny piece of plumbing tape needs to be used in between the peek and brass pipe.
1 heater solid metal pipe with wires.
1 thermocouple smaller solid metal pipe with wires.
1 thermocouple board Tiny green board with electronics.
1 comb-shaped strain relief tiny black plastic.
2 White plastic nuts will fit the 2 30mm bolts.
1 tiny transparant acrylic should be mounted underneath the thermocouple board.
4 m3 studding long bolts, +-95 mm with a black top part.
1 cooling fan Used the assemble the cooling fan.
1 black polypropylene fan duct Used the assemble the cooling fan.
2 m3 bolts 16 mm Used the assemble the cooling fan.
4 m3 hex nuts Used the assemble the cooling fan.
4 wooden parts named C used for the tensioning of the belts.
2 6mm axis sliders for the extrusion head.
4 30mm m3 bolts used for mounting the housing of the XY frame.
4 m3 nuts used for mounting the housing of the XY frame.


Before you start, please read this carefully!


If you are updating from Hot end V1, you have to disassemble your extruder head first. Unscrew the small C parts in the sliding blocks that keep your axis in its place. Take out the X and Y axis. Remove them from the housing and strip it from its parts gently. You have to re-use some parts. In the picture below you can see what parts you need to upgrade to Hot End V2. Note: The acrylic mounting plate and comb-shaped strain relief have a slightly new design, please use the upgraded version. If this is the first time you are building your extruder head, ignore these instructions and continue reading the assembly guide below. Thank you.

Parts needed in this section

Qty. Description Notes
1 wood FRONT/BACK/LEFT/RIGHT These 4 wooden parts will create the center piece, the housing of the extruder head.
1 Wooden part 8A The top of the extruder head.
1 Wooden part 8B The bottom of the extruder head.
1 Acrylic mounting plate Goes under the amplifier circuit board
2 threaded spacers Will hold your strain relief up.
1 PEEK Part of the hot end
1 Aluminum heater block Part of the hot end
1 Brass pipe Part of the hot end
1 0.4 Nozzle Part of the hot end
1 Strain relief Protect your wires
1 Teflon insulator Part of the hot end
1 Bowden tube clamp, colours may vary Will hold the bowden tube at its place
1 Horseshoe, colours may vary Keeps the tightner under tension
2 Lineair bearing For the axes
1 Cartridge heater Will heat your hot end
1 Thermocouple Will read the temperature
1 Aluminum plate For under the extruder head
1 Amplifier circuit board Goes on top of the extruder head


Tools

1 HEX-screwdriver supplied by Ultimaker
1 Small flat screwdriver


You need these parts




This is the goal:




Lets start!

1. Grab the aluminum heater block, and hold it so the biggest hole at the side is at the right- bottom corner. Screw the nozzle in the bottom, and the brass pipe on top like show on the picture. Pay attention that the brass pipe isn't showing a thread on the part that sticks in the aluminum heater block.




2. Now get the 4 wooden sides from the housing marked with FRONT, BACK, LEFT and RIGHT. Put these in front of you with the markings facing up. Take 1 lineair bearing and stick it in the back of wooden plate FRONT, without letting it stick out from the front. Repeat this with the other bearing and wooden plate LEFT.




3. Get wooden plate RIGHT and put this on the other side of the bearing that is in wooden part LEFT. Take wooden part FRONT and put it between wooden part LEFT and RIGHT like shown on the picture. Keep the engraved sides on the outside. Now take wooden part BACK and put it on the other side of wooden part FRONT so the housing is now complete. Screw the housing together with M3 10mm screws using the T-slots.




4. Put the housing you have just created in wooden part 8B.

5. Get the aluminum plate and put the PEEK through the hole in the front right hole. (it is symmetrical, so you may decide what front right is).

6. Take the aluminum heater block, Nozzle and Brass pipe you just assembled and screw this in the PEEK like shown on the picture. Make sure the brass pipe can't move in the PEEK and the entire hot end is screwed tight.

7. Take wooden part 8B and the cartridge heater. Grab the 2 wires belonging to the cartridge heater, and stick these through the hole in the back right of wooden part 8B. Stick them through until there is only a few cm left in the front.

8. Take the Thermocouple and wooden part 8B. Stick the red and yellow wire from the Thermocouple through the same hole as the cartridge heater in wooden part 8B.




9. Take the 2 ends of the Thermocouple and the cartridge heater on the wooden 8B side and stick them through the aluminum plate, through the hole behind the PEEK.




10. Now put the Thermocouple and the Cartridge heater in the Aluminum heater block in the designated opening. Make sure they are all the way in the Aluminum heater block and do not touch each other like in the picture. The cartridge heater should be stick out a little bit on the other side.


Important
CAUTION
You should put the thermocouple and cartridge heater in the back of the heater block. Up until this point you can rotate the hot end freely so rotate like shown on the picture. The picture is showing the back of the hot end v2.
   





11. Now make sure the Cartridge heater and Thermocouple are stuck by screwing in an M3 10MM screw like on the picture.

12. Put this on the side, and grab the teflon tube and the side of the bowden tube WITHOUT the blue tape. Stick this end in the teflon tube and mark your bowden tube so you will know how far it can go in.




13. Next insert the Teflon tube without the bowden tube in wooden part 8B in the front right opening, like in the picture. Put the small side in the PEEK.




14. Grab the small fan en put this wire through the same openings as the Thermocouple and the Cartridge heater.




15. Put the housing aside and take 2 M3 16mm Bolts and put these in the bottom side of wooden part 8A (MILLED), and through the acrylic mounting plate. Make sure the 3 openings are aimed at the front like on the picture, and put the milled side on the table.




16. Put the Amplifier Circuit board on top of the 2 M3 16mm bolts.




17. Put 2 threaded spacers on top of the 2 M3 16mm Bolts.




18. On top of this put the Strain relief like shown on the picture. Screw this together with 2 M3 10mm screws.



(You can also decide to install your strain relief the other way around. The bigger opening with the screw inside should be on the left instead of the right side. This can be done as an extra security to prevent the signal cable connection to get loose and keep your hot end from overheating. Note that it is not necessary due to a build-in software safety measure. If you do want to do this, first connect the signal cable (the connection with the red dot) before screwing down the strain relief.)

19. Now grab the 2 wires of the Cartridge heater you pulled through the housing earlier. Stick them through the opening in the middle of wooden part 8A. Keep inserting them until you come across the wires of the Thermocouple and the fan. Put these also through the hole in wooden part 8A.


20. Grab a small screwdriver and screw the red wire in the RIGHT socket, and the yellow wire in the LEFT. Like shown on the picture. If you ever upgrade your Ultimaker to dual extrusion, you need your Amplifier Circuit board to be mounted like on the picture.




21. Take wooden part 8A and connect it on the wooden housing with the 3 holes on the FRONT.

22. Take the bowden tube clamp and put it in the front right hole. This will hold the bowden tube at it's place when it is printing.

23. Stick your bowden tube through the hole in the front right of wooden part 8A. Push it through the housing in the teflon tube. Place the teflon tube on a hard surface so you don't push it out of wooden part 8B. If necessary, use a screwdriver to push the bowden tube in its place. Grab 4 long studding screws and put them through the sockets in the corners.




24. Pay attention to the mark you made on the bowden tube to check if it is inserted all the way through.

25. Then push the teflon tube down only 1,5mm and make sure the bowden tube is inserted again all the way. This should be done to give the bowden tube some extra pressure when the entire construction is screwed tight.




26. Put the coloured horseshoe under the tightner to lock the bowden tube.

27. Now screw everything together.





Assembling the cooling fan

Parts needed in this section

Qty. Description Notes
1 cooling fan Used the assemble the cooling fan.
1 black polypropylene fan duct Used the assemble the cooling fan.
2 m3 bolts 16 mm Used the assemble the cooling fan.
4 m3 hex nuts Used the assemble the cooling fan.



Note
The fan will be 'off' by default, when turning on the machine.   

1. Fold the Polypropyleen fan duct according the picture.





2. Take 2 16mm bolts and bolt the fan to the fanduct. Mind the orientation of the fan, the sticker on the fan should face towards the fanduct.

3. Check the picture for the orientation of the wires coming from the fan.



4. Place the fanduct on the bottom of the extruder head sticking out on the left side and bolt it together with 2 nuts on the studding.



5. Fold the fanduct together.



6. Guide the wire trhough the box. This might take some fiddling. A tweezer can be very useful.



7. When properly folded, the duct should not directly touch the extrusion nozzle or another hot element. Should you feel the need to modify the duct, ensure that airflow will not directly flow along the nozzle, since it really shouldn't be cooled too much (or you may have problems with extrusion later).

Congrats! You've just finished the most complex part of the machine!


The fan will be connected to the long black cable-assembly later (it shouldn't go onto the small circuit board).

Mounting the housing to the XY-frame

What you'll need

Parts needed in this section

Qty. Description Notes
4 wooden parts named C used for the tensioning of the belts.
2 6mm axis sliders for the extrusion head.
4 30mm m3 bolts used for mounting the housing of the XY frame.
4 m3 nuts used for mounting the housing of the XY frame.



The extruder can now be placed in the XY-frame.

1. Take one of the parts C with the bolts and place it into the LEFT bushing block, but don't tighten it yet.



2. Take one of the 6mm axes and place it from left to right in the extruder head, and make sure the front of the head is to the front of the machine.


3. Take the other 6mm axis and slide it from the front to the back through the extruder head. Keep the extruder head inside the machine, below the sliding blocks.


4. Now gently push the 6mm axis on the left in it's sliding block, while making sure the axes don't fall out of the head.


5. Now you can lift the axes gently into their sliding blocks.




6. Now you can place the remaining 3 part C's into their position. Before tightening these clamps, use the slackness in the belts to get the pulley screws roughly aligned so you can get at them later to tighten as pairs.



7. Finish them by putting the 30mm bolt in. DON'T tighten them yet. First clamp the 6mm axes. The clamps will also create more tension on the belts. It should not make a very high pitched sound, but it definitely should be audible, otherwise your belt is slack.Don't overdo it, be gentle!

8. Now tighten all the bolts in the sliding blocks.


9. Now the extruder is in place, but the X and Y axes need to be adjusted so they are square towards each other.

10. loosen ALL 8 tightening screws (only the ones that are on a long timing belt) of the pulleys then adjusted the squareness of the extruder axes and tighten the screws again.

Note
Making sure can best be done by using part 3B and hold it between the sliding block and the frame.   







Note
Make sure the timing pulley does not move on the axis after the screw has been tightened. Clean the timing pulley if something is jamming the screw.    


11. Do this on both sides of one axes, tighten the screws and do it for the other axis.

Note
Do this properly, otherwise the mechanism will need too much force to move well.   


12. When this is done, the bolts of the X and Y motors can be tightened.

13. First push the motor down, so the belt has a bit tension on it. Don't overdo it. Then tighten the bolts.



Finally the X and Y limit switches can be adjusted:
14. Slide the head all the way to one end and make sure you hear the click of the switch. If not, move the switch a little until it works. Then tighten the bolts. Do this for all four of them.


Bowden cable / PFA tube

A tube is used to guide the filament to the hot end. This mechanism is called a "Bowden Cable" (more information here). We use a PFA tube (not ordinary Teflon) for its great stability and operating characteristics. It is important that this cable is no longer than needed for the print head to move across the entire build surface.

On to the next section:

Mechanical assembly of the Ultimaker revision 3 (click for an overview)
Click to view the 1.1 Frame...

1.1 Frame

Click to view the 1.2 Motors...

1.2 Motors

Click to view the 1.3 X-Y axes...

1.3 X-Y axes

Click to view the 1.4 Extrusion head...

1.4 Extrusion head

Click to view the 1.5 Z-stage...

1.5 Z-stage

Click to view the 1.6 Material feeder...

1.6 Material feeder

Click to view the 1.7 Mounting the electronics...

1.7 Mounting the electronics

If you'd like to read older comments for troubleshooting, most of them are at the bottom of the previous revision's page.

Questions or comments regarding this page? Let us and others know!

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