Una the Ultimaker Lives


I’ve decided to give my 3D printer a name. I’ve come up with “Una the Ultimaker”, because it is about the only name I know that begins with ‘U’. Ursula didn’t seem right and, like most people of my generation, I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Una Stubbs. Anyone who can make Cliff Richard movies worth seeing has got to be OK in my book. You’ll find her now doing sterling work in Sherlock.

But I digress. Last Friday Una got herself into a bit of a pickle. Her Bowden Tube (the tube that delivers the plastic fibre to her extrusion head) popped off the fitting when she was printing. This caused cable to her temperature sensor to come off and she got dangerously close to over heating. The problem was caused by a plug of plastic that had formed in the printing head. This is only the second time I’ve had a problem like this but it is a well known issue with 3D printers. Fortunately the folks at Ultimaker have been working on this and have just released a new “hot end kit” that has been specifically designed to address this problem. Anita at Ultimaker posted a kit out to me in double quick time and I spent this evening fitting it.

I had to strip down the entire print head and rebuild it, which was great fun. I first built the original print head just long enough ago that I’d forgotten all the little things you can do wrong, like forgetting to fit the fan cable before you assemble the whole thing and then finding that you have to take everything to bits again…

But the good news is that having put the new print head on it does seem to work a lot better. It has been designed with flanges that should reduce leaks as well. I celebrated by printing another twisty vase and it has come out better than just about anything I’ve ever printed. With a bit of luck I can now get on and make some new cases for bits and bobs.


This is Una in her natural habitat, along with a well earned cup of tea for me..