Ultimaker quick-swap print cores maximize uptime

Red for ruby – Anders Olsson on the new wear-resistant print core

  • News

Our vast community of 3D printing experts not only have in-depth knowledge of Ultimaker products, they’re also happy to share their expertise with everyone who asks. Helping users to achieve more with their 3D printer. Today, the focus is on one of our most prolific contributors, Anders Olsson, and how his work led to the development of a new wear-resistant print core.

About Anders

Anders is the mind behind the Olsson Block, a development of the Ultimaker 2+ nozzle he created in order to 3D print with boron carbide. Now, Anders is keen to elaborate more on another project he’s involved with. Our print core CC Red 0.6 – a wear-resistant ruby nozzle for the Ultimaker S5, with the same quick-swap design as our other print cores.

olssonsitting

Anders is a research engineer at Uppsala University in Sweden. He’s well-known in his industry for 3D printing boron carbide composites for nuclear shielding (boron carbide is one of the world’s hardest known materials).

Developing a wear-resistant nozzle

To print with this highly abrasive material, Anders needed a longer lasting nozzle than the standard brass option. Printing with boron carbide, it would be destroyed during the first print and contaminate the printed part with its residue. Besides affecting the nozzle diameter through wear, abrasive materials also erode the ‘shoulder’ on the tip of a nozzle. Both types of wear cause print quality issues.

Anders’ interest in an abrasion-resistant print core came from printing with enriched boron carbide, which has much better performance than natural boron carbide, but is considerably more expensive. Dual extrusion with the Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker S5 made it possible to combine natural and enriched boron carbide in the same print, using the more expensive material only in spots where it is really needed. Anders liked the reliability of the print cores, but needed more wear resistance, which is what inspired him to modify a print core with a ruby nozzle tip.

Why ruby?

Anders selected ruby because it is incredibly hard, chemically stable, non-toxic and not dangerous when worn down (unlike, for example, tungsten carbide, where the cobalt binder would cause problems in a neutron environment).

The ruby offers a consistent performance for general printing with any abrasive materials too.

Besides abrasive materials, Anders also used the ruby-tipped print core with non-abrasive filaments without any noticeable downsides.

More on the print core CC Red 0.6

The print core CC Red 0.6 will be available to buy through Ultimaker’s reseller network from November 13, 2018.

With a 0.6 mm diameter, it offers great balance between printing speed and detail. Also, it’s wide enough not to clog easily,which is vital as some of the abrasive materials containing fibers can be really problematic when using smaller nozzles.

Anders and his team recently cut open a nozzle that had printed around 25 kg of carbon fiber and no wear was detectable. To put that into perspective, when printing with common carbon filled materials, brass nozzles typically last for 0.3 kg of printing, stainless steel nozzles for 1 kg, hardened steel for 3-5 kg.

brass-nozzles
The nozzle on the right shows the wear caused by abrasive filament to a conventional brass nozzle

Users should be aware that ruby can be fragile. As such, it should never be hit with a hard object, and care should be taken when cleaning it. Avoid cleaning the nozzle with a flame as brass easily overheats and deforms which can seriously damage the ruby.

What makes a material ‘abrasive’?

In general, it is best to assume that any filament with a filler (e.g. metals, ceramics, carbon fillers) will cause increased wear, unless the filler is obviously much softer than brass (e.g. wood).

Some are not easy to know, for example glow-in-the-dark filament which has a ceramic powder to produce the glow, which makes it abrasive.

print-core-cc-red-on-display
Print core CC Red 0.6 was announced at TCT Show in September, 2018

Using the new print core

Anders is currently testing fillers that stop radiation, that are magnetic, electrically conductive, or can be fired into a ceramic object after printing. His goal is to combine several properties in the same three-dimensional object, which can only be achieved with a dual material printer like the Ultimaker 3 or Ultimaker S5. This requires a reliable print core like the print core CC Red 0.6.

We’d love to hear more about your experiences and plans for printing with composites – join in the conversation here.

Get involved

Read more blogs

  • Ultimaker LEHVOSS Group

    Ultimaker and LEHVOSS Group: Scaling industrial applications for 3D printing

    A partnership between Ultimaker and LEHVOSS Group is the beginning of a new level of 3D printing, lowering the barrier for industrial adoption.

    hero-og

    Discover Intent profiles in Ultimaker Cura 4.4 beta

    Intent profiles in Ultimaker Cura simplify 3D printing preparation, give you results that match your intent, and maximize your print success rate, so you can show the true value of 3D printing in your business.

    The Ultimaker Material Alliance: Pushing boundaries at K 2019

    The Ultimaker Material Alliance: Pushing boundaries at K 2019

    The impact of the Ultimaker Material Alliance was evident at K 2019, the world’s premier trade fair for plastics and rubber.

  • 6 factors that affect indoor air quality when 3D printing OG

    6 key factors that affect indoor air quality when 3D printing

    Concerned about air quality and 3D printer particle emissions? Check out this blog to learn the 6 factors that affect your indoor air quality when 3D printing.

    Glass vs carbon fiber composite 3D printing materials

    Glass vs. carbon fiber 3D printing composites

    It's a common question. Which composite material is right for your 3D printing application? Carbon fiber or fiberglass? Check out this in-depth blog!

    marketplace-1m-og

    Ultimaker Marketplace hits 1 million downloads

    The Ultimaker Marketplace, our digital distribution platform, has just hit a major milestone of 1 million downloads for plugins and print profiles combined. Ultimaker now has the largest compatible material choice in the entire 3D printing market.

  • TCT Show OG

    A visual recap of TCT Show 2019

    Big crowds, big announcements, and more – get the full photographic rundown of 2019's TCT Show.

    og-image

    Ultimaker Cura 4.3: Available now

    We've released a new upgrade of our print preparation software. Join millions of users worldwide and benefit from an advanced slicing engine that offers integration with the Ultimaker Marketplace, and a cloud-connected workflow for ultimate flexibility. Don’t miss out! Update today.

    Introducing Ultimaker S3 the newest addition to our S-line of 3D printers OG

    Ultimaker S3 – the newest addition to our S-line of 3D printers

    Composite-ready, dual extrusion, auto bed leveling, touchscreen. Learn how Ultimaker S3 delivers robust desktop 3D printing so you can start innovating faster.

  • Introducing the new Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle OG image

    Meet the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle

    24/7 automated material handling, air filtration, filament humidity control. Find out how our unique 3D printing solution unlocks more demanding applications.

    Owens Corning talks 3D printing

    An industrial adoption: Owens Corning talks 3D printing

    Composite materials powerhouse Owens Corning explains why and how 3D printing can transform workflows

    cura-43-beta

    6 things you can try today in Ultimaker Cura 4.3 beta

    From more 3D file formats to an easy selector for Z seam positions, here are six great features of Ultimaker Cura 4.3 beta

  • 3d-printing-and-automotive-industry

    In the driver’s seat: 3D printing and the automotive industry

    Designing and creating a vehicle is hard work – but 3D printing can lighten the load

    lean-principles-og-image

    5 lean manufacturing principles demonstrated by 3D printing

    Explore the the 5 principles of lean manufacturing and how leading brands have implemented them thanks to Ultimaker 3D printers.

    Ultimaker-Cloud-Teams-blog-hero-2

    Ultimaker Cloud: Achieve more together using Teams

    With Ultimaker Cloud's latest feature, Teams, you can connect and collaborate with colleagues and control multiple groups of Ultimaker 3D printers.

  • 3d printing for molds

    A perfect fit: 3D printing for molds and casting

    How is additive manufacturing changing the creation of molds and casts? From silicone molds to investment casting metal, check out this blog for inspiration.

    An Ultimaker printer prints a L’Oréal prototype

    Transformative beauty: L’Oréal prepares for the future with 3D printing

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    hero-user-context

    Ultimaker Cura 4.2: First choice for 3D printing professionals worldwide

    Today, the latest version of our powerful, easy-to-use 3D print preparation software is available for download. In this release, we’ve focused on usability improvements that simplify 3D printing workflows, whatever your 3D printing application.

  • Ford-hero-blog

    'Beyond the basement': 3D printing in the age of Industry 4.0

    The rise of 3D printing means the technology is more accessible than ever, paving the way for creation, iteration, and innovation

    Het Noordgebouw

    Onward and upward: New city, new office, new look

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    Ultimaker manufacturing

    Behind the scenes: How Ultimaker 3D printers are manufactured

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • Upgrade your Cura experience with and Ultimaker 3D printer

    Upgrade your Ultimaker Cura experience – with an Ultimaker 3D printer

    If you use Ultimaker Cura, but don't send your print to an Ultimaker 3D printer, then you’re missing out on a ton of functionality...

    Ultimaker Marketplace

    Accelerate 3D printing productivity with the Ultimaker Marketplace

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

    Firmware 5.2

    Activate Ultimaker Cloud with firmware 5.2

    Enjoy all the benefits of Ultimaker Cloud by updating your Ultimaker 3D printers to firmware 5.2. Cloud connectivity and new performance optimizations give you the most powerful 3D printing experience available.

  • Ultimaker Cura 4.0

    Simplify 3D printing with Ultimaker Cura 4.0

    Download Ultimaker Cura 4.0 today and enjoy a brand-new user interface designed to simplify 3D print preparation – whether you’re a beginner or an expert. This release adds integration with Ultimaker Cloud, offering you advanced cloud-based tools to support

    Ultimaker wins prestigious iF Design Award

    Ultimaker wins prestigious iF Design Award

    Ultimaker has been awarded a prestigious iF Design Award for the user interface of our Ultimaker S5 3D printer.

    Ultimaker Cloud

    Introducing Ultimaker Cloud – the next generation 3D printing workflow

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • Application focus: Jigs and fixtures

    Application focus: Jigs and fixtures

    3D Printed jigs and fixtures enable businesses to work faster, save money and add flexibility.

    Ultimaker S5

    Ultimaker S5: A round-up of reviews

    We took a look at how reviewers have been finding the latest addition to our range of desktop 3D printers - the Ultimaker S5

    Ford production jigs printed on the Ultimaker S5

    The state of 3D printing: Making sense of local digital manufacturing today

    If you want to increase efficiency, reduce production time and costs, or optimize product time-to-market, now is a perfect time to get started with 3D printing. This powerful technology has quickly become an essential industry tool, with its effectiveness

  • Ultimaker S5 in an automotive manufacturing setting

    Ultimaker S5 applications: Freeing up time for innovation

    Earlier this year, Ultimaker revealed a new desktop 3D printer, specifically for the professional environment – the Ultimaker S5. In this latest blog looking at how customers are using it, we explore how the printer’s ease-of-use helps engineers and design

    Ultimaker 3D printers in 2018

    3D printing in 2018: Our year in review

    We take a look back at our highlights and developments in 3D printing in 2018, including examples from leading innovators.

    Ultimaker S5 applications: Scaling up small batches

    Ultimaker S5 applications: Scaling up small batches

    we explore some of the ways they are using the Ultimaker S5 to develop better quality products and bring them to market faster

  • Getting familiar with glass fiber – Owens Corning AMA

    Getting familiar with glass fiber – Owens Corning AMA

    To create the perfect 3D print, it’s vital to have access to the right material, but it’s also critical to use the right slicing settings. Preconfigured print profiles in Ultimaker Cura make...

    Ultimaker at Formnext 2018

    Recap: Formnext 2018, Frankfurt

    Formnext is the leading global exhibition and conference on additive manufacturing, and an annual fixture in our exhibition calendar. Held at Frankfurt Messe, Formnext brought together experts from a wide range of industry sectors, such as automotive, aer

    Pre-op planning

    Ultimaker gains certification as part of Materialise 510(k) cleared Mimics inPrint software

    By meeting FDA regulatory guidelines, the Ultimaker S5 is the first FFF 3D printer to receive FDA 510(k) clearance.