Introduction: Ultimaker 3 Guide

About: My name is Jordan Palka. I am a senior in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. I am the former President of the Mines Maker Society, a student club that runs a makerspace on…

This is a pretty general guide to get started on an Ultimaker 3 (or Ultimaker 3 Extended).

This guide is designed to be a reference for the Colorado School of Mines Maker Society, but could be valuable to anyone looking to use an Ultimaker Printer.

Step 1: Using Cura for Ultimaker

Cura is a slicer. It takes your STL file and creates code that the printer can read. Below are some pretty general instructions for using Cura. If you need something more advanced, there are a TON of forums online.

You can find STL files online or convert CAD Modeled files that you have made to STLs. For most programs, simply "Save As > STL".

  1. Open File
  2. Move, rotate and scale as needed
  3. Recommended Settings
    1. Select the correct print core
      1. This is AA 0.4 for the Mines Maker Society
    2. Select the material you are using
    3. Select your print quality
      1. Draft is almost always ok
    4. Select Infill
      1. This is how dense your part is. "Light" is almost always ok.
    5. Enable "Build Plate Adhesion"
  4. Insert a flashdrive
  5. Click "save to removable drive"
  6. Eject your flashdrive

Step 2: Using the Ultimaker Interface

The one thing I love about Ultimaker Printers is their interface. They have an easy to navigate LCD display on the printer that allows you to control pretty much everything.

The printers interface works just like a classic iPod.

  • To hover the menu you want, simply rotate the wheel to the right of the screen.
  • To select the hovered menu, press on the circle.
  • To return from any menu, scroll to the bottom and select "return"

Step 3: Loading Filament

  1. On the Ultimaker Interface, click:
    1. Material/Printercores > Material 1 > Load
  2. Place the spool on the spool holder (back of machine)
  3. Insert the filament into the bowden extruder (back of machine)
    1. You should be able to see about 1 cm of filament in the tube
  4. Click on the interface wheel
  5. If the material is not identified, click "select material"
    1. Select the material type that you just inserted
    2. Click confirm
  6. The machine will now heat itself and push the material through the tube and into the hotend
  7. Wait for plastic to start coming out of the hotend, then hit confirm
  8. Remove the excess plastic from the hotend (grab it by hand or tweezers)

Step 4: Unloading Filament

  1. On the Ultimaker Interface, click:
    1. Material/Printercores > Material 1 > Unload
  2. The machine will remove the material from the tube
  3. Lift up on the tensioner on the bowden extruder (pictured)
  4. Remove filament from the extruder
  5. Remove the filament roll from the printer

Step 5: Printing

  1. Insert your flashdrive
  2. Select "Print" on the main menu
  3. Select the file you saved from Cura
  4. The printer will now go through some "prep steps"
    1. Active levelling
    2. Heating
    3. Prime blob extrusion
  5. The printer is printing your part!
    1. If there are any critical issues (ie a failed print), go to "Tune" and select "Abort Print"

Step 6: Removing Print

  1. Carefully pry your part off of the bed with a flathead screwdriver or a a print removal knife
  2. Peel up with your hands when possible

Your Done! Now you can finish your part by hand to remove minor defects, supports and bed adhesion add-ons.

Step 7: Maker Society Specific Notes

  • Access to the 3D Printer is restricted by a Bluetooth lock
    • To get access, complete one of our 3D Printer workshops.
    • It is free to use!
  • When in use, please lock the Bluetooth Lock and cover as shown in the images above
  • The Maker Society has material available for purchase. We offer unlimited access to our materials at a fixed rate per semester. See the materials cabinet for details
    • Feel free to bring your own filament (Amazon is a great place to buy it!)