Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Alumimaker 2

by Achase79 Feb 4, 2015
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If you are too lazy to source parts yourself,

Chinese knockoff kit can be had for $285 including shipping.


Hi Andrew, so this motor with integrated shaft.. does it have thrust bearings? Isn't it a little scary to rely on motor bearings here? Is there any vertical play in the motor? The lead screw going a bit up and down?

It also feels slightly scary to attach the ends of rods directly to the motors.. after all the tension of the belt will be pulling on that motor all the time.. How does that hold up a year later? I see that one of the kind folks here has already posted an alternative design.. that one gives me less fright :)

another thing - are you using some kind of spacers between the pulleys and KP08? to prevent the rods and the hot end from moving randomly?

Was it hard to cut the hardened rods? We need 6 cuts here in total..

Hello Achase79

Like i wrote a few months ago, I'm having trouble aligning the axis with the bearings for the x and y, how did you manager to align them?


Hello Achase79

i was wondering if you had any problems with the axis wobling in the x and y? is that because it aint mounted correctly on the extrusion or ? :)

i just bought these precision rods and they pass the roll on the table test, but i get some wobbling when i have them mounted with the KP08 bearings.

Thanks in advance

  • TRoager

Sorry for not answering sooner.

I haven't had any wobbling problems, but that does sound like it could be a squaring issue. I found the square corner brackets squared pretty nicely when I tightened them, but I used calipers to measure the distance from the bottom of the KP08 to the top of the horizontal top extrusions to make sure that the rods were parallel to the horizontal extrusions.

The other thing that can make the KP08s wobble/bind is if both set screws are set and the KP08s aren't perfectly parallel. What I did was loosen the set screw on one of the KP08s to allow the rod a little space to flex, and then rolled the rods until there wasn't any binding. I also ordered the cheap KP08s off Aliexpress, and I found some of them rolled more smoothly than others. If you have rod issues on one side but not the other, It's possible you have a bad one.

Its okay :)

Well i tried that too, but it seems like my head wobbles up and down, and that seems to be wrong :/
I bought em on Aliexpress too, maybe i have a faulty one, all of them were kind of stuck in the housing and har hard to rotate inside the self alignment part. Ill try to use a caliper to adjust from the top part then :)

When you say your head wobbles up and down, are you talking about the print head? This sounds more like an issue with the sliding blocks/6mm rods, unless the bearings are really off.

thank you for reply!

im gonna get all of things soon !

i think i will be hard time with this work !

may be can u help me ? if i got some problems with it !

plz give me you'r e mail adress then i could ask u something about this !


I'm happy to help. Have you built or do you have access to a 3D printer already? This printer can be made with very few printed parts (and the rest printed on the printer itself), but you minimally need to be able to print the X and Y motor holders before making the printer.

hi ! im a beginner !

this is awesome ! i'd like to make this one !

if i use (aduino mega 2560, ramps 1.4 , nema 17 motor on 1.8 degree ,5.6 kg.cm torque ) . !

it will be work ?

how can i fix marlin ?

The electronics you describe should work fine. The setup in Marlin should be pretty standard. Just set the Z homing direction to MAX.

Now this is really awesome! Definitely going to build one! Can you post some pictures of your print quality and a video of it printing please? Oh and on your BOM, the link to the Lead screw doesn't work.
Also, what are you using for linear bearings on the xy axis'?

Sure, sorry about the leadscrew. I ended up changing and going with a stepper with an integral leadscrew from pololu (https://www.pololu.com/product/2690). The X-Y axis uses OEM brass bushings, like those found here: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/3D-printer-extruder-kit-for-Ultimaker-2-UM2-injection-slide-with-brass-bushing-4pcs/32245110874.html

Thanks! Wow, these steppers are expensive! Do you have any cheaper alternatives for the xy motion?
Also, I'm having trouble getting the extrusion (would prefer to buy it off aliexpress or somewhere like that because misumi doesn't ship to nz)

Sure, you can use any standard NEMA17 stepper for X and Y. The Kysan 1124090 should work well, for example, but most reasonably powered NEMA17s sold for RepRaps should work. Mitsumi's steppers are definitely expensive. I'm not sure of a cheaper source for the extrusion, but any 20x20mm extrusion should work fine if you have a cheaper source. As I explained below, the corner blocks are a little expensive (but worth it!), and if you could also save a few bucks by replacing them with printed parts (either extra triangle plates or a printed corner.)

So could you update the bom list for the parts you would use if you built it a second time please?

I've posted an updated BOM in the instructions tab, but it's currently somewhat under development, just because I keep on thinking of upgrades :)

Wow! Quick reply! I will most likely print something for those right angle triangle things and upgrade further down the track. I am going to use an aluhotend v7 on this build with a 3mm Bowden extruder (probably geared and I will use a standard nema 17).
Can you provide pictures of the print quality please?

I posted a couple of pictures of things I printed at the end of the thingiverse album, along with a video of the AM2 printing (there's a little stringing in the video as I was tuning retraction settings, but the motion is very nice. The octopus was before retraction tuning, the owl afterward.)

Looks great! Have you printed anything with this yet?

Yep, it prints nicely. The only issue I've had is with the stock UM2 extruders occasionally slipping, so I'm playing around with other alternatives right now :)

Thank you for the interesting design. I had a fairly large Misumi based project that I am converting to mostly this. I have a question, however, on the KP08 pillow blocks. All of the ones I received are off from perpendicular, such that the rods cannot pass through two of them and still spin well. Is there something that you needed to do to allow the KP08s to self-align? Mine don't seem like it would be possible to change the angle. Most sites that sell them say they are self-aligning, but I am not seeing how. Or were yours maybe either just perfectly perpendicular when you got them, or loose enough to move on their own?



Bad form to reply to my own comment, but I figured it out. If the KP08 pillow blocks don't move, you need to break them free. To do that, I screwed them to a board, inserted a long screwdriver with an 8mm shaft, and used it like a pry bar. Once the bearing ball starts moving, you can work it a bit to make it more reasonably loose. It will then self-adjust when you mount the 8mm rods. I think the use of the KP08s is a pretty nice improvement over just using standard bearings.

Yeah, sorry not to reply sooner. Like you said, they're self-aligning, they just need a little force to break them loose :)

So my build is in progress but the motor mounts were not lining up for me for some reason. I also wanted to use more KP08 bearings for additional rigidity, so I designed a new mount that would work for this. It also moves the couplings outside the frame. Here it is for anyone intereste: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:769052

NEMA 17 motor mount for 2020 open beam and KP08 bearing
by mdroman

Hello again, my build is underway and I'm wondering if you can add the piece that holds the Z screw at the top? Does this have a bearing in it or does the Z rod just rotate within the plastic? Thanks.

I did originally have an upper bearing to constrain the Z-lead screw. I've since moved from a Z-lead screw with a flexible coupler to a NEMA17 to a NEMA17 with an integrated lead screw ( https://www.pololu.com/product/2690 ). Since I removed the flexible coupler, I've found that I don't need the upper constraint. I'll post some updated pictures soon.

I originally used a printed bearing holder for this, but if I did it again I would consider a manufactured part like the KFL08 ( http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1pcs-8-mm-Zinc-Alloy-Miniature-Bearings-pedestal-KFL08-UCFL08-FL08-flange-bearings-diy-cnc-parts/1297305343.html ) if you're using an 8mm lead screw. I'll try to upload my bearing holder just for reference, but I consider it depreciated for my current design :(

Thanks. I don't think I will go the integrated lead screw route because I already have the motor and separate lead screw. Also, I did mine a little taller than yours so that integrated type wouldn't work (although there is probably a longer one). If you could upload the bearing holder, it would probably be helpful. Thanks.

Just posted it, it's 8mm_bearing_upper_holder.stl

Another question: is the Z motor mount you are using a printed part? I don't see it in here. Also, if the vertical frame pieces are 450mm, shouldn't the 12mm Z rods also be 450mm instead of 430? I'm trying to order these so I don't have to cut them. Thanks!

So, I actually ended up using an aluminum piece for the Z-motor mount: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181596636828 . I used one of these for the Z-motor mount, and one to mount the extruder. But there is a printed part you could easily substitute here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:600380 . A printed part would work fine (and be cheaper), because the motor is supported on the bottom by a horizontal extrusion. When I started, I was going to use something like this for the extruder mount: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mounting-Bracket-for-42mm-NEMA17-stepping-motor-Alloy-Steel-/301375275791?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item462b5dc30f - it would work, but it's kind of ugly :(

Regarding the Z-rod length, in the current design with the tapped corner blocks, the top horizontal extrusion sits above the 450 vertical extrusions, but the bottom extrusion sits in between them, so you need 20mm less height (see this picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/130337699@N05/16256580060/). If you wanted to, you could use corner blocks for the bottom too, which would give you an extra 20mm of Z-height. I just did it this way because I'm cheap :) One of the nice things about this design is that you can make the vertical extrusions pretty much any height you want, as long as you scale the Z-rods and leadscrew appropriately.

Thanks for asking questions. I've got a lot of work to do on the build log, and they remind me of what might not be obvious to someone else.

Bracket for stepper NEMA 17 and a bosch 2020 aluminum profile

Thanks again for the info. I pulled the trigger on the parts today. I am going with a solidoodle carriage type for the X and Y. Feel free to follow my progress here:


This is one sweet build and I am seriously considering undertaking it! Do you have any recommendations on an alternative way to join the corners if we don't want to tap the ends or use a printer part there? I just don't have or want to learn to tap aluminum and it might eventually wear out, especially if you have to disassemble it for any reason. There are printed joints out there but I want more strength than that. It would be great of there was a metal corner available that uses bolts and nuts to secure to the 2020 frame but I can find no such product available.

The corner piece your looking for from misumi
Hblfsn5 it needs two hnkk5-5 nuts per corner and two of your choice 5mm screws
These corners are currently .63 each a much cheaper alternative
Some of the dimensions of the 2020 May need tweeked to save space around the corners for some of the other items

The screws and nuts were cheaper in bulk from McMaster

You could easily just join the corners with additional aluminum triangle plates (3 for each corner). You might consider these plates (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1218) over the Misumi ones - they have 5 holes spaced a bit differently, and would give you more connections on the top side. If you go this route, change the vertical extrusions from 450 to 470 mm. Check out this page for good pictures of a triangle plate corner: http://www.overclock.net/t/1350403/carbon-3-80-20-extruded-aluminum-case-build

For whatever it's worth, tapping aluminum is really easy - all you need is a tap and handle and maybe some cutting fluid. The 2020 extrusions have a hole in the middle, so the tap pretty much self-aligns. I though I was going to screw it up the first time I tapped aluminum, and then I realized how easy it is. It isn't too much of an investment to get the equipment and try tapping it, and if for some reason it doesn't work, you could always just cover it up with the triangle plates. I used this tap: http://www.mcmaster.com/#8302A16 and this tap handle: http://www.mcmaster.com/#25605A63

Awesome reply, thanks. I will continue to watch your build log site with great interest.

Comments deleted.

What parts did you get from aliexpress? Were they high quality? I was hoping to buy the pulley and belt kit for the UM, the UM2 print head, the UM z stage, and the UM electronic kit with everything but the stepper motors for 66$. Is it worth getting these parts for the price? Or should I spend a little more and find parts elsewhere.

I got the print head (including a M4 cartridge heater), the z-stage and Z-heated bed, and the KP08 bearings from Aliexpress. I sourced belts, precision rod, and pulleys from the US (but you could also source them from Aliexpress if you wanted to...). The stuff from Aliexpress seems to be decent quality, although they took forever to get here. If you're getting electronics, decide on whether you'll be using thermocouples (UM gen 1 electronics, technically possible with Smoothieboard), RTD (UM Gen 2 electronics), or thermistors (RAMPS or Smoothieboard). I'm planning to use a Smoothieboard and tape a thermistor on to the hot end...

$66 isn't bad for an electronics kit (I assume it's RAMPS or Ultimaker Gen 1), but just make sure it's the electronics kit you actually want. If you want to do dual extrusion, you'll likely want 5 axes (which they all have), and 4 MOSFETS (which I think only the smoothieboard has, but you can also get an extender for RAMPS). If you want something that's 100% Ultimaker 2, go with the Ultimaker 2 electronics, which should run around $160.

I think I'll go with ultimaker electronics in the US to make sure they are a clone. What is the difference overall between Ramps 1.5.7 (ultimaker) and Ramos 1.4? Also, could you send a link to the precision rods you found because I would hate to spend 100$ on Chinese rods and have them be bent lol

So, RAMPS 1.4 is the latest edition of the Reprap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield (RAMPS). It is very similar to the Ultimaker Controller Shield 1.5.7. The ultimaker shield has a barrel adapter, and is rated for 15-19V; RAMPS can run on 24V if a diode is removed (this is what I did).

I ended up sourcing my precision rods from McMaster-Carr (mcmaster.com), since I live in Chicago, and I was ordering a bunch of the screws through them anyway. It's more expensive than Chinese precision rods, and you'll have to cut them to length (I used a Dremel; Cutting through 12mm rods is a beast :) )

Looks great. I have need for a larger build envelope that my FFCPro currently offers and I am considering something like this. Can you provide links to where you are sourcing parts. I'm considering a 450x450x500 build volume. I have the ability to make some parts between my FFCPro and CNCRP router.

Sure, I posted a BOM at http://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/2rzjwc/misumi_usa_contest/ . Most of the OEM Ultimaker 2 parts are from Aliexpress, but I've found them on ebay and amazon too. I got my extrusion from Misumi, and I've found adafruit's store (look under the CNC category) has been useful for pulleys and 2020 extrusion framing supplies.

If I'm using the UM 1 plans on thingiverse to laser cut out of wood, will the UM 2 bed still be compatible? Basically the only requirement is that the spacing between the rods is the same as the UM original. I would like to use this bed because it is much more durable and won't wobble when the wood soaks up moister and other environmental factors.

Good question. The specs for the UM2 print table are here: https://github.com/Ultimaker/Ultimaker2/tree/master/1153_Print_Table_Base_Plate_(x1)

It very well may be. Ultimaker released a heated bed upgrade for the UM1 that looks identical to the UM2 bed, but I'm not positive that they're identical. The best option for you might just be buying the heated bed upgrade for the UM1 from Ultimaker.

I just found out that the UM + actually uses the upgrade, which is the same bed on the UM2. You
Bought your bed from aliexpress right? Does it seem authentic or does it seem like a cheap Chinese knock-off? As long as it is precise and works, I should be able to use it

The bed (and sliding blocks, and print head) I got from Aliexpress was high quality, probably OEM. Works fine.