How do I use the Ultimaker 2?
3D Printing – Ultimaker 2
The Ultimaker 2 3D printer is suited to larger 3D prints, with a maximum print volume of 23cm x 22.5cm x
20.5cm. It prints models using reels of coloured filament. For smaller, fine-detailed 3D prints like jewellery,
consider using the ProJet 1200 liquid resin printer.
Both 3D printers are located in the ABVenture Zone on the 8th floor of the MacRobert Building. If you
would like to use a 3D printer, please contact [email protected] or call 4364.
Warning: When heating up, printing and cooling down, the Ultimaker 2 printer is very hot.
• Take care not to touch the glass bed and print nozzle until it has cooled down after a print job.
• Do not reach inside while printing is in operation, as the hot parts of the printer move around.
• Use the printer in a well ventilated area.
Before you start
Before you start, you will need an STL file ready to print, and an SD card on which to save this. Ultimaker
recommend using a program called Cura to save your model to an SD card.
Downloading and installing Cura
Download Cura for Windows, Mac or Ubuntu Linux:
When you install Cura it will ask which printer you have, select Ultimaker 2.
Note: If prompted, click Next to complete the installation and configuration wizards.
Saving your STL file
When you have sourced an STL file, we recommend that you save a copy to your Home drive (H:).
Preparing and previewing your model
The first time you open Cura, you may see an example model (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Cura example model
Figure 2: Cura options
To delete the example model, click File, then Clear platform (or press Ctrl + D).
Click the Load icon (Figure 2, label b) to select the STL file from your Home drive (or Ctrl + L). The
model will display on the checkered area.
Note: You can load multiple objects as long as they fit on the the checkered area. The checkered area
represents the glass build plate on the Ultimaker 2 (Figure 5, label c).
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Cura will estimate how much filament the 3D model will use, how long the print job will take, and how
much the model will weigh (Figure 2, label c).
Select a quickprint profile (Figure 2, label a). Higher quality prints will take longer.
You can tick Print support structure to give the model extra support if needed.
Figure 3: Transform options
Figure 4: Save icon
When you click on your model to select it, additional Rotate, Scale and Mirror icons appear at the
bottom left (Figure 3). You can use these to edit your 3D model.
Insert your SD card into the reader attached to the PC if you haven’t already done so.
Click the Save icon (Figure 4, label a) and save the file to your SD card, then click the Eject icon at the
bottom of Cura and take your SD card to the Ultimaker 2 printer.
Ultimaker 2 layout
Figure 5: Front of Ultimaker 2
Figure 6: Back of Ultimaker 2
Print nozzle cable and filament feed tube
Print nozzle
Glass build plate
SD card slot
LCD Display
Push and rotate jog wheel
Filament spool holder
Material feeder
Power socket
USBA socket
Power switch
Selecting filament
Before you start printing a 3D model, check that
the appropriate filament reel is attached to the
back of the Ultimaker 2. There are three main
filament types for the Ultimaker 2. These are:
• PLA – This is used for most jobs. As it is fast and
made from starch, this biodegradable filament
is ideal for 3D models and prototypes.
• CPE – Used for complex technical prints, this is
fairly stiff, strong and impact resistant, and is
good at bridging large gaps.
• ABS – A tough filament for mechanical uses. It
is impact resistant and very hard, while
retaining good flexibility.
When prompted to Remove material (shown
on LCD display), use the jog wheel to select
Loading a filament reel
Pinch the ends of the spool holder together
and slide the new reel on, making sure the
filament comes off the reel in a anti-clockwise
motion as you look at the back of the printer.
Feed the filament around the small guide on
the back of the printer (bottom left).
Unloading a filament reel
Turn the jog wheel on the front of the printer
to select MATERIAL (shown on LCD display),
then press the jog wheel to apply.
Turn the jog wheel to select CHANGE, then
press it again. The print nozzle will heat up
and automatically unwind the existing
Manually extract the remaining filament from
the feed tube at the back of the printer.
Feed the filament into the material feeder
(back, centre right).
Remove the filament reel by pinching the
ends of the spool holder together, and sliding
the reel off.
When the filament is past the first clip, use
the jog wheel to select READY to Insert new
material from the backside of your machine,
above the arrow.
Wind the remaining filament onto the reel.
Tuck the end through one of the reel holes so
it doesn’t unwind and become damaged.
The LCD will display Forwarding material and
will automatically pull the filament through
the feed tube to the nozzle.
Select READY when the printer nozzle ejects
some filament, showing it is ready to print.
Use the jog wheel to select the filament
material type you have loaded.
Clear any stray filament from the glass plate.
Preparing to print
Using a glue stick, place some glue on the
glass plate roughly in the area your job will
print. This will help it adhere to the plate.
Tip: If there is a build up of glue on the glass
plate from previous print jobs, you can scrape
this off carefully using a razor blade. Try to
collect the scrapings and dispose of them
rather than wiping them onto the floor of the
Note: Remember, if you positioned your
model in the middle of the checkered area in
Cura, it will print in the middle of the glass
plate in the Ultimaker 2.
The glass plate will raise up and a small
amount of filament will be ejected from the
nozzle to clear it.
The printer will then start your job and tell
you the time remaining on the display.
When finished, the glass plate will lower.
Wait until the display reads Print
Finished as the printer will be
very hot. You can then remove
the print.
If the object is stuck, carefully use
a spatula to slowly loosen it from each side.
How do I abort a print job?
If something goes wrong with your print job, you
can use the jog wheel on the front of the Ultimaker
2 to select Abort.
I can’t feed the filament through to the
print nozzle, what do I do?
Use the jog wheel to reverse the material out of
the Ultimaker 2. Check that the end of the filament
is trimmed neatly. If not, cut it with scissors. Then
try feeding the filament again.
Where can I find other tips for using
the Ultimaker 2?
Insert your SD card in the slot on the front of
the printer.
Select PRINT using the jog wheel, then use the
jog wheel to find and select your file.
The display will tell you how much filament
the print job needs, and how long it will take.
Select ABORT if you picked the wrong file.
Further information and help
Confirm your print job using the jog wheel.
The printing process
Questions? Log a call with the IT Service Desk:
• [email protected]
Once printing has started, do not reach inside the
Watch the LCD display for information on the
print progress.
The printer will heat up.
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