Ultimaker feeder upgrade

by am001, published

Ultimaker feeder upgrade by am001 Jun 22, 2012
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A strengthened version of Antiklesys' feeder improvement. A must for retraction.


Antiklesys' modifications is a great idea, but there were some concerns in the comments about its strength. There was very little could be done within the existing 4mm wide gap the part sits in, so to make it stronger you also have to change the side supports, part 10A and 10C.
This is a fully printable upgrade of all 3 parts of the assembly, whilst keeping faithful to the Ultimaker original, using the outer shape taken from the lasercut drawings published.
You will need a 6mm ID, 10mm OD, 3mm wide bearing, this cost me £1.99 on eBay.

This thing really works. It reduced the friction considerably, meaning less pressure needed, less teethmarking of the filament, less jamming of the deformed filament in the bowden, less grinding the filament (none in fact since I fitted it) and much better, quieter retraction performance.

Modelled in Siemens NX8, printed 0.1 slice, 100% fill using Cura. No support needed.

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Prnted well enough for me. The outer wall of the roller is only 0.5 mm thich, so it is very easy to crush the bearing by overtightening the screw. It is a delicate balance. Also, the plastic center for the bearing can break.

egil - in reply to egil

Under "MADE ONE" there is a photo of a broken bearing (obvious) and the broken plastic center (if you look carefully)

Nice upgrade! Works well so far. At first the closing mechanism (the black handle) did slide open on its own. I created more friction with rough sandpaper on both sides, now it stays put.

The center part has a two-layer bridge that didn't print well (see image) but it doesn't matter, because the screws hold it in place.

maxy - in reply to maxy

After some time, the black handle still keeps opening... Luckily I can just leave it in vertical (open) position from the beginning, then it works.

Unrelated to that, I wish there was at least a little bit of spring force. I'm adjusting the screw a bit too often for my taste. The obvious solution is http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:26094 (if I can be bothered to find the parts). But maybe just a little bit of spring force could be added to this design, too? Maybe place the nut a bit further back and print a simple spring at the tip of the screw bolt... or leave space to stuff something compressible in...

Ultimaker Extruder Drive Upgrade
by Bertho
am001 - in reply to maxy

Hi Maxy,

Yes I get this opening thing sometimes aswell, which is odd as I took the data direct from the lasercut drawings, so it ought to be the right shape.

The problem I just had yesterday is my bearing disintegrated! to be fair it has worked perfectly for months now doing many thousands of retractions and probably
gt;5kg of filament. I guess it was a cheap bearing from eBay :(

I'll order a replacement from RS and see if that lasts better. Maybe it is just too much for a small bearing and I need to find a way of getting a bigger one in there. There isn't a bigger diameter on I have found though that will fit in the 4mm gap of the extruder.

I'll have a think about a spring too....

egil - in reply to am001

So far totally happy, it seems a superb upgrade compared to the original, which is really too crude and stops working too often. Agree that a mechanism with a regulator that presses on a springmight bea further improvement.

Hi Am001 I've been trying to model my own version, but your's seem to be stronger in the bearing section. The problem is that I don't have the same bearing there is a way that you can upload a .stp to change that part. At the moment I only have SolidWorks because of work. I hope you can help me :D


STEP file added. All 3 parts are in the same file.


Thank you very much am001 :)