Ultimaker cooling

by Roberto, published

Ultimaker cooling by Roberto Jan 13, 2013


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When printing for some time the motors get hot.
I do not like that.
I looked at some designs for fans mounted to the motors, but they only did the X and Y motor.
With this solution you can do the X-,Y- and Z- Axis and bring the heat outside of the printing area


Find some old laptops and remove the heatpipes
I used 2 old broken HP nc6120 and one broken HP nc 6320 because they have copper heatpipes.

Because of the available screws I had to widen one of the holes.
Furtermore I have bent a small ridge outwards.

The right hand side motor is the most easy.
Drill a small hole in the frame for the right screw and a larger one for the screw on the left.
The fit is good and the heat gets transported outside of the frame.
(I have added some distance blocks to protect the heatpipe)

The left hand side is more complicated. The headpipe needs to be bent to avoid blocking access to some switch screws.
The connection to the motor is also less than with the right hand side motor.
This can be fixed by using the paste that is used with ICs

The Z-axis motor is very comparable to the right hand side motor.
Fixed with just 2 screws.

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Hello, you should not pu them upside down like you show on the first picture : the radiator should always stay above : heat pipe use vaporization and condensate acetone vapor in the fan. But unlike air conditioning, there is no pump, so the condensed fluid needs gravity to get back to the hot point. It will increase efficiency a lot.

Arnaud, Thanks for the tip. (I thought there was no fluid in there and that the conductivity of the copper was the most important factor)

The reason for mounting these the way I did was that I do not want to loose build space.
So I will accept the less than optimal efficiency.

Why would you want to run your motors that hot that you need to cool them? You are aware of the potential to dial down the current going through each motor? If you need the extra current to stop skipping then you have a mechanical problem you need to address first.


What temperature do you define as "that hot" ?
For me, I do not like electronics or motors to be more than hand-warm.

As far as I can tell my mechanics are ok (with the possible exception of the long belts that I feel are not tight enough)
(I get a different tone than the video)


(better late than never reply...) You do not need to cool your motors in a stock UM. These motors are specced up to 80 degC: that is way more than hand warm. Of course you may paint your motors pink, immerse them in an oil bath or cool them down to 0 degC, but there is no engineering need for that at all.

If you think your motors are running hot, the logical thing to do is to turn down the current a little so they get less warm. You can do that on the pololu stepper driver.


I didn't know that the motors were specced up to 80 degrees.

Anyway, the "hot" thing is a personal thing.

I do not like my electronics and motors to run more than hand-warm and these cooling thing work for that.

(It even gives some meaning to the death of 3 laptops <smile>)

I have no Idea where the pololu stepper driver is and how I can tune it so I have some googling to do there.
It is not an option I have seen in my cura settings. (but maybe I am looking but not seeing)</smile>