Taylors Gregs Wades MK6 filament feed for Ultimaker

by tlalexander, published

Taylors Gregs Wades MK6 filament feed for Ultimaker by tlalexander Apr 5, 2012
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I modified Greg's Hinged Accessible extruder to work with the Ultimaker and a MK5/MK6 drive gear.

I specifically designed it to use metric parts easily found in US hardware stores, aside from the MK6 drive gear and bearings (both available from Makerbot). You should be able to get all the screws at Lowes, and probably Home Depot as well.

Modifications include:
Opened hobbed bolt bore to accomodate a MK6 drive gear.
Shrunk hobbed bolt bearing bores for 6mm bearings (606) to go with the 6mm bore from the MK6.
Moved nut trap holes from the top to the side to allow mounting upside-down without losing your nuts.
Moved the filament feed hole over a bit to accommodate the different filament feed offset from the MK6.
Moved the stepper back about 10.6mm to accommodate a larger drive gear.
Mirrored the Greg's so that it fits the Ultimaker better.
Mirrored the Greg's idler so that it fits the mirrored Greg's.
Designed a larger drive gear that meshes with the Ultimaker stock drive gear. This compensates for the larger radius of the MK6 drive gear to eliminate the need for more torque from the stock stepper (keeps final drive ratio closer to stock).
Changed the Greg's to use M4 screws for the springs, as 50mm M3 screws are hard to find and M4 screws fit just fine.
Designed a mount for the Ultimaker that is clean and fits the new feed mechanism perfectly. The mount also holds the bowden nut perfectly.

All changes to the Greg's are parametric, so the Ultimaker specific changes can be easily reversed if you'd like a MK6 Greg's for your standard reprap. Note that in order to use the SCAD file, you must download the prusa source files from the github repository and place the scad file in the "source" directory.

This has been working really well for me over the past couple months, including a 42 hour print! You may find with this that instead of stripping filament you end up popping bowden clips, however, so I recommend printing upgrades or investigating the various 7mm threaded PEEK replacements people have suggested in the mailing list. I'm no longer using any bowden clips and its wonderful.

You'll need two springs. I am using some from this kit: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202045461/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053
Specifically I am using the ones that are about 11/32" OD x 1" Long (that exact size is not listed on the package so they may be the 1-3/32" ones but a bit short. The wire dimeter is about .047" for anyone looking for a similar spring. However I'd pick something a tad stiffer. They really have to be compressed full to have enough force and I wish I had about 20-50% more.

Key things you need are:

(KitBOM in progress here:)

1 MK6 drive gear from makerbot. (or drill out a MK7 gear to 6mm or 15/64")
2 606 bearings (also at makerbot)

1 608 bearing (I thought you'd have an extra one from the old stock extruder but I noticed those are smaller. I will look at modifying the idler to use those also to make for fewer extra parts. Makerbot does have them though.)

2 60mm (or so) m4 screws. Preferably socket head cap screws for ease of spring tension adjustment, but US hardware stores are more likely to only have them as philips.

2 20mm M4 screws. Philips are fine.

4 M4 hex nuts

1 50mm M6 hex bolt

2 M6 hex nuts

1 25mm M3 screw

3 13-16mm M3 screws for stepper mounting (not totally sure yet)

4 M4 washers may be needed for the springs.

Some very stiff springs. Home Depot has a nice assortment box with some decent springs, but I'm still sorting out the exact requirements. However, they should be stiff enough that its very hard to pinch fully between your index finger and thumb. Too stiff though, and you may as well have no springs at all (an option in a pinch).

You may also want some M3 washers (3 at least) and some M6 washers (just have some on hand - 5 maybe?)

Idler Scad file coming soon.

Not all parts shown in the assembly.

More info to come.


E Steps/mm is about 750-800. I have been using 760 with good success. (that is, put M92 E760 in front of your code, instead of the M92 that is there)

You MUST slice the Taylors Gregs Wades at .2mm or modify the SCAD file. There are some special support structures designed to land at exact layer heights. (Sorry NetFabb users - but I don't recommend using NetFabb anyway, see below)

The Ultimaker Wades mount will benefit from setting a minimum layer time ("cool" as its often called). I sliced mine with netfabb (which lacks minimum layer time setting) and the part got really goofy at the top with the smaller layers. I recommend using Slic3r and setting the minimum layer time to 15 seconds.

I also added an Ultimaker Wades Mount with a larger hole, as I found that some Ultimaker owners have gotten a larger coupling than what I had.

Also, netfabb shrinks holes. Slic3r does not. I started out taking that into account when I was using NetFabb, but switched to Slic3r and noticed with Slic3r everything was too big. I made most of the holes smaller to remove my compensation, but please let me know if anything is too tight or too loose. Not all of those changes have been re-printed. However, I don't recommend using NetFabb or everything will be too tight. Never used Slic3r? Grab my base config file here and have at it: http://groups.google.com/group/ultimaker/browse_frm/thread/529eab79e495611d/a0c7fc59824f3e57?lnk=gst&q=slic3r#a0c7fc59824f3e57

I recommend doing perimeters on the gear at 20mm/s. Any faster any my serial comms were bogging down (latest Marlin, 250k baud, Printrun), causing highly undesired bumps in the gear teeth. Yet another reason not to use NetFabb (see why I've been complaining about it so much lately?).

More instructions coming soon. For now see:
For some assembly pictures. Note thats not with the new larger gear. Updated pictures coming soon.

Of note, you WILL have to grind that flat or the set screw will run into the wades. Plus its pretty important for keeping the drive gear from slipping (i suggest loctite on the set screw once you're happy with the assembly).

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After installing the extruder, something strange is happening, the extruder run in reverse, pulling the PLA instead of pushing, anyone had this issue?
Is there a way to fix it?


Did you do some kind of calibration to get the new E steps per mm or did you type it in? If you did it using some kind of wizard it may have come up with a negative value somehow.

It's either a negative E steps per mm, the stepper is plugged in backwards (I think that reverses it, I forget...), a mechanical assembly problem, or your code is actually sending negative values for the feed values.

If you're not sure which, take some pictures of how you have it assembled and link to them here, and check the E steps per mm value to make sure it's not negative.

first of all, thanks for your amazingly fast response.
I first printed without changing the E steps, just to try, I saw that the filament wasn't coming out, then I set the E steps as recommended by your post. The problem didn't change. Then I left it running for a while and I noticed that the filament was going backwards, and I saw the wheel running backwards.
But I don't think CURA is the issue here since when I send the command "extrude" from the command box (the one that comes with the ultimaker), it still goes backwards, so it seems to be some sort of hardware issue.

Yup, confirmed. I've printed the body "mirrored" and that's why it is retracting instead of pushing the filament!
Thanks for your help.
Great design! (I'll post some pictures when done).

Any chance you can upload the taylors greg wade part without any the support features you built in? thanks

One other thing I forgot to ask, can the two M4 screws that go in the springs be 50mm without too many issues? I live in a very small town And 50mm M4 isn't to hard to get ahold of but I can't find any 60mm ones.

Off the top of my head I'm not sure. They'll definitely fit without springs, but with springs they might be tough. Try it I suppose.

I looked through the instructions so I apologize if I just missed it but, do any of the parts require a specific infill to function properly? For instance should the gear be 100% or would something like 30% be sufficient?

I printed all the parts with 30% infill, for the main parts. If your going to move your ultimaker around lots i defiantly recommend printing the mount it at 60+ . if you want to use less infill, switch from line infill to hexagonal infill, this will make the parts stronger.

Yeah, I'd agree, at least 50% is probably best. It also depends on if you're using Slic3r or Cura/Skienforge, as Slic3r creates denser infill for the same percentage setting.

I ended out printing this out again for my second extruder. I have Mirrored it for the right hand side. I ended out printing this with 30 % with grid infill in cura. Just waiting for the 606 bearing to arrive.

I'd love to see the gears redone as herringbone gears, to eliminate backlash. Also, a filament straightener fitting at the input would eliminate the scant few times it stalls.

Herringbone gears would be nice, but I wanted this compatible with the stock stepper+pinion so people who were just trying it could switch between the two. Mine's still running strong though after a good year, so I see no reason to switch back, and herringbone would be nice!

I have been experimenting with a filament straightener of sorts at the input. Problem is that in order to get the tension on the filament, i would need to use another stepper to help keep the filament moving.

Could you make the extruder gear the same size as the original? Or is there a particular reason why it needs to be that large? Thanks and PS its working great especially if your nozzle is not blocked lol.

You could make it smaller but you reduce the mechanical advantage of the stepper of you use a smaller gear. The MK6 drive gear is larger than the hobbed bolt so I enlarged the gear to compensate. Otherwise you might get skipped steps.
As for your other comments (I apologize I never saw them) I use 760 steps/mm and any more is likely to result in grinding. And the solidworks files are in 2012 so I can't make them available for 2010.

 Thanks for the explanation. I will reprint it and mount it like the makerbot type thing. Hence why i was wondering about miniaturize it. But I think I'll leave it as is since it works great so far and reprint at your suggested layer height

Any chance the SW files are not compatible with SW 2010? And if so could you post the wade extruder file for that version of SW? I really just need the pitch between the 2 mounting holes and their relation to the reference point. Thanks a bunch

Yeah 780 seems to be the golden number for me, Thou i have tuned it while printing one or twice on long prints.

Ive now been using this for 2 months solid, the only time i have had it jam / grind is when there are kinks in the filament. But i now straighten the filament out before feeding it in. Thanks for this awesome feeder.

For the bed, i have the uneven / warping of the wood. I have replaced 2 of the s
crews with longer 20mm with stiffer springs. I also level it almost every time i turn on the machine.

I may have uploaded these files before I realize that solidworks produces bad STLs. Now I run everything through netfabb but I may not have done it for these. Run them through http://cloud.netfabb.comcloud.netfabb.com or download the free version of netfabb, and it should fix the STLs (open an STL then export it again). I guess I should check them all out and re-upload good files.

788 is too high I think. I use 760 and I have a friend who uses 750. I wasn't able to get a good calibration using any normal calibration routine, but through testing I've found 760 works well. Set it to that and it should eliminate your skipping/slipping issues!

To be honest I still don't know what that 788 or 760 value really is lol. I left the value the way it came out during Cura calibration. The portion when it asks you to measure how much filament was actually pushed and enter the value then it automatically calculates the 788 value. Following that I noticed I get very precise filament feeding.

Anyways, I played around a bit with the tensioning where now there is no skipping what so ever. When i do filament changes I retract it manually until its almost out then feed the new one in, extract the old filament until the new colour comes out and done. Its a really good upgrade I must say.

I just finished ruining 2 prints wth the new extruder. THis is the problem I'm getting:

Filament gets chewed up if too loose or too tight. It keeps skipping periodically.

Using Cura is way better and I did the setup in order to get my 788 value for the extrusion length and such. Thats ok right?Meaning I wont have to Put that value in the gcode and mess with it?

I tightened the springs just like in the ultimaker original assembly where you should not be able to pull the filament out by hand.

Any sugestions would be appreciated. Thanks again

Sorry for this rapid update. As is turns out tightening the filament just a bit more then suggested by ultimaker on their original install is the right pressure. So far so good. Still get some slips now and again.

So I wanted to print the gear and I got this error. Also one of the parts I printed at 0.1mm would that be the reason the perimeters don't touch the infill in some spots?

Taylor specifically states to print at 0.2mm layers.

Actually, the 0.2mm is only for the main mount. The rest can be printed in whatever.

If the infill isn't touching, there's lots of things it could be, but it's not related to layer height.

I'm not sure why you're getting a non-manifold error, but try re-downloading the file or running it through http://cloud.netfabb.comcloud.netfabb.com.

Also, you probably don't want to use RepG, its garbage. I use Sli
c3r, but it still has some issues. You should probably use Cura.

I have to print at 0.1 or lower if not the extruder nozzle leaks. I will redesign it eventually. How big of an issue is it if the layer is 0.1 anyways?

Also I just switched to Cura with much better results. Some fine tuning still but better for sure. Cura didn't give me the error you saw in that pic and printed the gear without any issues.

Oh sorry, I misunderstood! I am printing the gear with Cura (looks great so far) and actually noticed the same error flashed on the screen when slicing it too.




started printing this out, went to order parts, and the 606 bearing (which isn't on mcmaster, and they have everything, which makes me wonder if it's a typo?) and the mk6 part are out of stock on makerbot :(

Sorry for the late response, thingiverse didn't notify me of this comment! 606 bearing's aren't a typo, I link to them at the MakerBot store. You can also use a MK7 drive gear and drill out the center, they're identical otherwise. A 15/64 drill works great. Best to use a lathe to do it, but its not totally necessary.


So i have finally sourced all the metric parts and the mk5/6 drive gear.

the 50mm m6 hex bolts too thick to enter the drive gear. it seems like the internal diameter of the drive gear is 4.9mm and the diameter of the bolt is 5.8mm.

The bolt fits the new gear snug as a rug as well as the 606 bearings, so i wondering if the drive gears have changed since you put this together, or if im missing something completely different?

I was also wondering where the printed spacer goes?


Hey! Sorry for the late reply, but it sounds like you got a MK7 drive gear. The MK7 drive gear is identical to the MK5/6 drive gear except the MK7 has a 5mm bore instead of a 6mm bore. You can modify the MK7 by drilling out the hole - a 15/64" drill works great if you're using imperial.

I've got some pictures showing the spacers. I know i should improve my documentation, but its also helpful to step through the images I link to in the instructions. See this image for where one spacer goes:

I also pu
t one up against the large gear to space it from the bearing.

Hey Taylor,

Now that you have been using this for a while do you have a better steps_per_e number, to use as a default?


Sorry for the delay! I still use 760, but I do get skipping if the nozzle is too close to the bed. I think that's just because my bed is uneven though - my adjustment screws are maxed out and I really should disassemble my machine and straighten out the bed. Anyway, I asked a friend who is more careful than I am, and he said this :

"I've been using 764 for ultimachine ones.. For stock ultimaker filament I had to reduce to 750 manually or increase filament size and re-slice."

So probably 750-760 or so is best!

I still have no idea how I measured 821 originally...

drill it to get to right size..thats what I had to do..

Regarding spacer.. this is how I assembled the bolt..

Large Gear--
gt; spacer--
gt;606 Bearing-
gt;drive gear -
gt;606 Bearing-
gt; (I had to put another spacer here)--

Hi, I printed this for a friend whose stock ultimaker filament drive wasn't working well (The delrin kept jaming inbetween the PLA and the wood.) BUT I have yet to locate a nut for the quick fit housing. Do you guys know where I could find such a thing? Thanks!!

Well, its supposed to work with the stock quick-fit coupling, but I have heard reports from other users that they have a different coupling than I do. I found some at home depot that have a larger diameter and don't fit in my housing, and that may very well be the same coupler that other users have. I should design a version that works with that one too and see if it works for you. Give me a couple of days and I will try to get that up on here (if not sooner).

Wow, thanks for the quick reply. By the way, the quick fit housing is too small for the hole on the Ultimaker_wades_mount, that is, it slides in and out without touching the sides. I'll hit it with some calipers tomorrow when I see it.

So the way it's supposed to work is that it threads into that hole, right? Does that hold okay? If that's the case, I can just model up a nut myself so I can use the mount I already printed. Maybe I'll try that tomorrow too.

Thanks again!

The quick fit coupling goes inside the Ultimaker_wades_mount. See this (blurry) photo:


Remove the bowden tube from the coupling, put it through the hole in the mount, and re-attach the coupling. It should all fit nicely if you have the same coupling as me. However apparently some people have larger couplings so the mount needs a larger through hole. I still need to sort that out. Le
t me know if your coupling fits or if you need me to fix the mount.

did you ever get a new one made up? or how do i edit this one to change the hole size?

I just whipped one up based on a connector I got from Home Depot that might be the same. Try the Ultimaker_Wades_Mount_Larger_Hole.stl file and let me know if that works.

doing it now thanks...

I love this build - its something I've wanted to design for quite a while. will be building it soon.

What are your thoughts on making it so the idler clamp has a quick-release? The way I see it, only a longer slot on the current 'nut' side of the hole so it can swing free, an axle with a radial threaded hole to transmit the pull, and a bicycle seat quick release clam would serve as the connectio
n...I just lack the 3d modelling skills to design a good version; I could draw it in sketchup if it helps.

That's the idea once more people test this and decide its good. The stock quick release is definitely nice!

I'd probably see about going this route:


But it depends a lot on what springs you use. If you need springs that compress down 1/2 an inch to do their job, you can's just release them with a simple cam lever.

I want to see people test this and prove it works before working on updates.

Greg's Wade reloaded - Guidler, Tilt Screws, Fishbone Gears

Indeed. If I had the modelling skill I'd design a way to use a heavy gauge leaf spring as the landing plate for the cam, so it only needs a few mm to apply a huge amount of force -- yet is still adjustable. When I get my machine going will update :)

Duuuude thats exactly what i needed.

Thx for designing it for me :)

I'm almost done with a build of this and it is pretty sound. I have been posting more progress to the google UM board. in effort to inform the tlalexander of my findings.

A few tweeks seemed to have been needed (which may be because of my setup and not the parts/models for this thing. When I am done I'll have more news later. The pic is missing some hardware I need to get, the big gear is printing, and it is obviously not on my UM.

Looks great! Yeah I'll respond to the e-mail in a bit and update this page when I can, for anyone else keeping track.