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How to print things

  • Download or create something. That's coming as an STL file
  • power on the ultimaker (switch on, plug in usb)
  • Start the cura software
  • load object
  • click "prepare print"
  • click "print"

Interesting changes in the "full settings" mode

  • fill density: to make really light objects or really heavy and stable ones.
  • print speed: current trial which works is 80
  • printing temperature: 210 is still fine
  • raft: only if you have a very narrow but tall object
  • skirt: sometimes one round is not enough, so put 2
  • expert menu
    • fan speed min: 20
    • bridge speed: 150 (can help to get overhang more straight)
    • retrace on jumps only: if print is not nice but contains lots of jumps, try to disable this
    • enable hop: this can help but slows priting down a lottle

When working with the Ultimaker, pay attention to the following things:

  • When printing small objects and objects with a very small base, don't print on a raft, especially for PLA. Rafts are just a waste of plastic with a well-calibrated Z axis. Gunstick's Raft Exception™ is narrow but tall objects that can easily be kicked over; a raft can make them more stable. Newer Cura versions even have an experimental option to avoid kicking the object by moving the platform down.
  • Be careful not to lower or raise the bed by bumping into it. The Z axis has been carefully calibrated. Verify that there is no space between the screws and the top of the bed. But don't turn the screws!
  • Clean the head and bed with isopropyl alcohol before you start. If you want to be extra nice, clean the bed when you're done.
  • If the extrusion head doesn't heat, flick the switch next to the USB port. If you hear the ventilation, then it's on!
  • After preparing the print, press "Print" in the main window (the one with the 3D Model) and wait for the second Cura window to pop up. If you can't see it, look for it. Check that the Windows is called after the file you want to print. When printing several files in a row, always be sure to close the second smaller Cura window before printing the next item or you will print the first item again (check window title).
  • Sometimes the plastic won't stick to the surface. Cancel the print and use the controller (little box hanging on the machine) to return the extrusion head to "Auto Home". To do this, navigate (using push and scroll on the wheel) into the Menu->Prepare->Auto Home. To make it work, the plastic has to stick to the surface before it makes the skirt outline, or it will only start to stick at a random moment before or during the skirt, with a high risk of leaving a small drop of extra plastic. Try cleaning the bed with alcohol. If that fails, try helping the plastic filament down on the bed when the head initially lowers, or re-taping the bed. But this probably means the Z axis is de-calibrated. You can also change the parameter to do 2 or 3 skirt outlines.
  • Don't forget to take the object off the platform before printing the next one. Doh! In case you do forget, the emergency off is the power switch.
  • Put scrap plastic into the container glass. Maybe one day it will be possible to recycle.

Does it cost something?

You can configure the printing cost directly into Cura. After prepare print, the approximate weight and length of plastic is calculated and there you can then see the cost. To configure:

  • File -> Preferences
  • price/kg: 50
  • price/m: 0.5

You don't need to pay if the print is only for some cents. Just when getting into massive amounts (some euros) it would be cool to donate a bit. There is a piggybank (Sparschwein) at the soldering table.

how to on linux

It is preferable to have your own setup on your own machine, or maybe on a dedicated account on a syn2cat computer. So you can have your own settings and don't need to fiddle around with the cura profiles which then get messed up by the next user.


Only working on intel/amd as it's a windows program. If you have windows, just use windows! (I know there is 3D software for linux, but I'm lost in how to use that)


export PYTHONPATH="$PYTHONPATH":/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/wx-2.8-gtk2-unicode/

printing from SD card

  • switch ultimaker on
  • unplug the USB cable !!! (else it will not print)
  • navigate to card menu
  • select file
  • printer heats up, and prints the object


TODO (more or less in that order):

See also http://wiki.ultimaker.com/Calibrate


Some links on the Spaweck:

Paint gallery:

Personal tools