Clean the printer

For the best print results it is important to keep the Ultimaker 3 clean while using it. Therefore it is advised to not use the Ultimaker 3 in a room where it can easily be covered with dust and to remove small pieces of material that might be in the printer.

Besides this, there are a few parts in the Ultimaker 3 that might require more regular cleaning. Instructions on this are described below.

Glass plate

After printing, there might be excess glue stuck to the glass plate. This can cause an uneven print surface. Removing a print may also reduce the adhesion quality of a layer of glue, so it is advised to regularly clean the glass plate and reapply glue.

Before starting a new print, always check the surface of the glass plate. At least once a month, clean the plate thoroughly by taking the following steps:

⚠Caution: Always make sure that the Ultimaker 3 is turned off and build plate has cooled down.

1. Remove the glass plate

  • Manually place the build plate at the bottom of the Ultimaker 3.
  • Open the build plate clamps at the front.
  • Slide the glass plate forward and take it out of the printer.

2. Clean the glass plate

  • Use lukewarm water and a sponge to remove the layer of glue.
  • If necessary, some soap or detergent can also be used.
  • Dry the glass plate with a clean cloth.

3. Place the glass plate on the heated bed

  • Hold the glass plate with the warning sticker facing upwards.
  • Slide the glass plate onto the build plate and ensure that it snaps into the build plate clamps at the back.
  • Close the build plate clamps at the front side to secure it.

⚠Caution: Leaving the build plate clamps open may damage your Ultimaker 3 when the build plate is raised.

01.1_Remove-glass-plate
01.2_Clean-glass-plate
01.3_Close-build-plate-clamps

Nozzles

While using the Ultimaker 3, material can get stuck to the nozzles. Although this will not damage your printer, it is recommended keep the nozzles clean in order to achieve the best print results.

Before starting a new print, always check the nozzles. At least once a month, remove the plastic from the outside of the nozzles by taking the following steps:

1. Heat up the nozzles

  • On the Ultimaker 3, navigate to “Material/PrintCore > PrintCore 1 > Set temperature”.
  • Rotate the dial to set the temperature to 150ºC.
  • Repeat this for PrintCore 2 and make sure this print core is lowered.

Heat up the nozzle to 150C

2. Remove the material

  • Wait for the plastic on the outside to get soft.
  • When the nozzles are hot, carefully remove the material with tweezers.

02.2_Remove-material-from-nozzle

⚠Caution: Do not touch the nozzles and be careful while cleaning it as they will become hot.

Feeders and Bowden tubes

After many hours of printing, or when material has been ground down, small filament particles can build up in the feeder. These can end up in the Bowden tubes or print cores, which can impact print quality.

Clean the feeders and Bowden tubes at least once a month, or after experiencing an issue with filament grinding.

Clean the feeders

1. Remove the filament

  • On the Ultimaker 3, navigate to “Material/PrintCore > Material 1 > Unload”.
  • Do the same for Material 2.
  • Remove the filament and turn off the printer.

2. Clear the filament particles

  • Blow into the feeders to get the filament particles out.
  • If necessary, use an air blower or compressor instead.

03.1_Unload-material
03.2_Clean-feeder-compressor

Particles in the Bowden tubes can impede smooth movement of the filament or mix colors. To clean them, the Bowden tubes have to be removed from the printer.

Clean the Bowden tubes

1. Remove the filament

  • On the Ultimaker 3, navigate to “Material/PrintCore > Material 1 > Unload”.
  • Do the same for Material 2.
  • Remove the filament and turn off the printer.

2. Remove the clamp clips

  • Place the print head in the front-right corner.
  • Use your fingernail to remove the clamp clips from the tube coupling collets at the print head and feeders.

3. Loosen the Bowden tube from the printer

  • Press down on the white tube coupling collet.
  • At the same time, pull the Bowden tube upwards, out of the print head.
  • Repeat these steps for the feeder.

Tip: The cable clips that hold the second Bowden tube to the print head cable do not have to be removed, you can leave them in place.

4. Insert a piece of sponge

  • Cut off a small piece of sponge or ball up a piece of tissue.
  • Insert it into the feeder end of the Bowden tube.
  • Push the sponge or tissue all the way through the tube with a length of filament.
  • Do this for both Bowden tubes, using a clean piece of sponge or tissue for each.

Tip: To clean the tube most efficiently, make sure the sponge or ball of tissue is a tight fit inside the Bowden tube. Note that if it is too big it will be difficult to push through.

04.1_Unload-material
04.2_Remove-clamp-clip
04.3_Remove-Bowden-tube
04.4_Insert-sponge

5. Insert the Bowden tubes into the feeder

  • Press down on the tube coupling collet in the feeder.
  • Push the Bowden tube all the way in and secure the tube with the clamp clip.
  • Repeat this for the other Bowden tube.

Note: Pay attention to the orientation of the first Bowden tube that was completely removed from the printer. One side is drilled out for easier entry of the filament; this side should be inserted into the feeder.

6. Insert the Bowden tubes into the print head

  • Press down on the tube coupling collet in the print head.
  • Push the Bowden tube all the way in.
  • Repeat this for the other Bowden tube.

7. Secure the clamp clips

  • Place the clamp clips around the tube coupling collets to secure the Bowden tubes.

04.5_Insert-Bowden-tube-feeder
04.5_note_Bowden-tube-orientation
04.6_Insert-Bowden-tube-print-head

Inside of the printer

Small pieces of material can gather inside the printer, such as priming blobs. Remove these from the inside of the printer with a cloth or vacuum cleaner. Pay extra attention to the area around the Z limit switch as obstructions here can cause print problems.

05.1_Vacuum_inside-printer

⚠Caution: Leaving larger objects on the bottom panel can lead to errors, as they prevent the build plate from homing properly.

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