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Changing Parts in the Print Head

Instructions apply to COLD print heads. Please do not disassemble while hot. These instructions apply to the Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker 2 Extended, and Ultimaker 2Go. If you have an Ultimaker 2+ or Ultimaker2 Extended +, please check here for the differences in the new hot end and changes to maintenance instructions.

As your printer ages, you may find it necessary to replace parts in the print head. Some parts can be replaced with minimal disassembly. Others require a bit more work. Use this guide to replace parts efficiently and reassemble your print head correctly. 

Please read the instructions completely before beginning. 

If you are unsure of the name of a part, please check out Parts of the Print Head.

If you are looking to change the nozzle tip on an Olsson block assembly, please click here.

If you need to access the electronics, you can find diagrams of the screws for the UM2 and UM2 Extended or for the 2GO.

  • Side fan
  • Fan shroud
  • Back fan
  • Print block
  • Temp sensor
  • Heater cartridge
  • PTFE coupler
  • Nozzle

Because of the differences in the electronics in the 2Go, heater cartridge and temp sensor instructions for the 2Go can be found here.

Please note: Depending on when your printer was made, some UM2 printers will have an extra wire; it should be brown and red. When performing maintenance on the print head, you'll notice it isn't plugged into anything; this is normal. This wire was included in certain printers for the option of user modification later. It is possible to entirely remove this wire from the printer if desired, but that requires removing it through the hot end braid and from underneath in the electronics board cover. It is most often easier to simply leave it in place and unplugged.

Changing a Side Fan (Model Cooling Fan)

1. The first step is to unplug the old fan. The wires for the hot end are inside the black braid. Slide the braid up until you can see the connections on the yellow and green wires. In order to determine which connection you should unplug, choose one fan wire and move it up and down. Watch the back of the hot end to see to which fan the moving wire is connected. Unplug the fan you are going to change. Do not attempt to pull the wire through the print block. 

2. The white connector on the fan wire will get stuck on the way out if the thumb screws are still tight. Loosen all four thumb screws and feed the fan cord through. If you have difficulty, you can fully remove the thumb screws. 

3. Unscrew the four screws that hold the fan to the fan shroud using a small phillips screwdriver.

 

Now attach the new fan. You want the wire to exit the fan in the top, back corner of the fan. The wire on the left fan will come out the top of the fan. The wire on the right fan will come out the back. 

4. Feed the fan cord up the print block and plug it in. If you loosened the thumb screws, tighten them and proceed to step six. If you removed the thumb screws, use the directions in step five.

5. Hold the print block together. The linear bearings that run through it should be centered in the block. They are shorter than the print block, so don't line them up with the edge. Put the metal holder in place. Watch the fan cords; it is easy to pinch them between the print block and the holder. Reinsert the thumb screws.

6. Make sure none of the cords are pinched between the holder and the print block. Ensure that none of the fan wires are in contact with the rear fan.

Changing the Fan Shroud

1. Unscrew the side fans using a small phillips screwdriver (four screws on each side). 

2. Unscrew the screws holding the fan shroud to the metal holder (2 screws on each side) using the 2mm allen key (the middle size one that came in your accessory bag). 

3.  If you do not have a white PTFE ring that sits around the nozzle in the hole in the fan shroud, follow the directions in step four. If you have a white PTFE ring , put this in place in the new fan shroud. Screw the new fan shroud into place and move to step five.

4. If you do not have a PTFE ring, you'll have to make sure the nozzle is not touching the fan shroud. Start each of the four screws that hold the fan shroud on. Look underneath at where the nozzle goes through the hole in the fan shroud. Center the nozzle so it is not touching the fan shroud. Then tighten the four screws. Once they are tight, check and make sure the nozzle hasn't moved.

5. Now reattach the side fans. You want the wire to exit the fan in the top, back corner of the fan. The wire on the left fan will come out the top of the fan. The wire on the right fan will come out the back. 

6. Make sure none of the wires are in contact with the back fan. 

Changing the Back Fan (Hot End Cooling Fan)

1. Unplug the old fan. The wires for the hot end are inside the black braid. Slide the braid up until you can see the connector for the blue and orange wires. Unplug the connection. Do not attempt to pull the wire through the print block. 

2. Remove the two screws the hold the back fan on. They are located in the bottom corners of the fan. Use the 2mm allen key (the middle-sized one from your accessory bag). 

3. The white connector on the fan wire will get stuck on the way out of the print block if the thumb screws are still tight. Loosen all four thumb screws and feed the fan cord through. If you have difficulty, you can fully remove the thumb screws.

4. Feed the new fan cord up the print block and plug it in before you attach the fan. Once the fan is on, maneuvering the cord becomes much more difficult. 

5. Line the fan up with its screw holes with the fan wire exiting the top of the fan. Replace the screws. 

6. If you loosened the thumb screws, tighten them and proceed to step eight. If you removed the thumb screws, use the directions in step seven.

7. Hold the print block together. The linear bearings that run through it should be centered in the block. They are shorter than the print block, so don't line them up with the edge. Put the metal holder in place. Watch the fan cords; it is easy to pinch them between the print block and the holder. Reinsert the thumb screws.

8. Make sure none of the cords are pinched between the holder and the print block. Ensure that none of the fan wires are in contact with the back fan.

Changing the Print Block

REMOVE MATERIAL BEFORE REPLACING

1. Remove the blue clip. Then remove the Bowden tube by holding the white collet in place while pulling up on the tube.

2. Push/tilt the black plastic blocks that hold the printhead shafts in place to pop the printhead shafts out so that you can remove them and work on the hot end more easily. Holding the print head AND both cross bars, rotate the assembly so the shafts are on the diagonal and lift them out of the printer. While working, take care with the nozzle. Even a short drop can damage the tip.

3. Push the black braid that holds the print head wires up until you can see all three white connectors (two with green/yellow wires and one with blue/orange wires). Unplug each connection. You might see brown/red wires; this cord is not connected to anything on either end. 

4. Unscrew the 4 thumbscrews holding the black plastic printhead block to the metal plates. Unscrew the 4 screws (2 on each side) that hold the fan shroud onto the top metal plate using the 2mm allen key (the middle size from your accessory bag). You can now remove the fan shroud completely by carefully pulling the wires through the print block. At this point, you are also able to remove the linear bearings.

5. Now unscrew the top plate using the 2mm allen key, and the spring that holds the white PTFE coupler in place will be freed. Take the spring out and then unscrew the isolator nut (the metal collar with holes around the edge) from the the nozzle below it.

You should now be able to slide the old printhead block components past the nozzle without having to remove the temp sensor and heater cartridge.

Feed the nozzle through the new print block, going down through the top block first.  

6. Make sure the isolator nut and PTFE coupler are fully seated against one another with no gap.

Then screw the isolator nut into the nozzle with the metal plate between them. The coupler will move up as the threads of the nozzle come in contact with it. If the isolator is difficult to move, you can put an Allen Key into one of the holes on its perimeter to help screw it down. The isolator should not be screwed all the way down onto the nozzle block. Stop when you can see only the last thread on the nozzle.

Ensure the isolator is flat against the holder bottom. Put one end of the spring on the coupler and the other in the recess in the holder top. Screw the holder down with the 8mm screws (two larger ones).

7. If you do not have a white PTFE ring that sits around the nozzle, follow the directions in step eight. If you have a white PTFE ring, put this in place in the fan shroud and screw the fan shroud to the holder using the 4mm screws (4 smallest ones) and move to step nine.

8. If you do not have a PTFE ring, you’ll have to make sure the nozzle is not touching the fan shroud. Start each of the four screws that hold the fan shroud on. Look underneath at where the nozzle goes through the hole in the fan shroud. Center the nozzle so it is not touching the fan shroud. Then tighten the four screws. Once they are tight, check and make sure the nozzle hasn’t moved.

9. Settle the linear bearings between the plastic pieces of the print block and then thread the fan wires up through the block from the bottom. The bearings should be centered. They are shorter than the print block, so they don’t line the up with the edge. There is a groove in the plastic and bearing so you should be able to tell when it's seated correctly.

Reinsert the thumb screws. Do not over tighten the thumbscrews as this will cause the block to crack. Make sure none of the wires are pinched between the print block and the metal holder.

10. Remove the white collet from the old print block and insert it into the new print block. Reseat the Bowden tube as well, making sure that it goes all the way to the PTFE coupler and doesn't get caught on the metal plate above. Then replace the blue clip.

11. To seat the hot end back inside the printer, the longer printhead shaft should go through the bearing running left to right, and the shorter one, front to back. 

You can put them both in the printhead and turn the whole head diagonally to maneuver it into the machine. The shafts fit into the black blocks as a push fit and may require a little force. Make sure the left-to-right shaft is seated far enough to the left to trigger the red Y-endstop without scraping the wall.

The front-to-back shaft should be even with the back of the rear block--putting it too far back will cause it to hit the Z-shafts. Try to keep the black blocks straight when pushing them in.

12. Plug the fan wires in. The two shorter wires are for the side fans and go in the connectors attached to the green/yellow wires. The longer wire is for the back fan and goes into the connector on the blue/orange wires. 

Pull the braid back over the wires. If there is excess wire behind the print head, tug it up into the braid and ensure that no wires are touching the fans.

Changing the Temp Sensor

REMOVE MATERIAL BEFORE REPLACING. When changing out the temp sensor, be aware that the metal end of the sensor can break off inside the nozzle. 

1. Remove the blue clip. Then hold the collet down and remove the Bowden tube. 

2. Remove the four small screws that hold the fan shroud to the metal holder using the 2mm allen key (the middle size from your accessory bag). 

3. Remove the four thumb screws. The holder piece should now be loose. 

4. Use the 1.5mm allen key (the smallest from your accessory bag) to loosen the set screw in the nozzle. You will go down through the small hole on the left side of the holder. 

5. Remove the temp sensor. In many cases it will require a fair bit of force to remove the temp sensor. The temp sensor is the smaller wire. If you are looking at the back of the nozzle, the temp sensor exits the block on the left side. There is no need to remove the heater cartridge. Do not attempt to pull the temp sensor through the braid. 

6. With the bed lowered, remove the left corner cover. One screw is located on the left panel. The other is located on the back panel. Take the cover out of the printer.

7. Raise the bed and lay your machine on its back. To avoid damage to the panel, you may want to set your printer on a clean piece of cardboard or a towel. 

8. Remove the two screws that hold the electronics cover on using the 2mm allen key. You will need to hold the two lock nuts (visible on the underside) with pliers or a nut driver. Take the cover off. 

9. You can unplug the temp sensor from the board without removing the board from the panel. The temp sensor is plugged into the port labeled TEMP 1. The wires are red and white or red and silver. Gently remove the plug.

10. Remove the temp sensor from the braid by pulling from the board end of the wire. 

11. Plug in the new temp sensor to TEMP 1. Push the metal tip that goes into the nozzle through the braid from the underside of the printer. The wire may catch on the black clips that secure the braid to the tube. If you feel resistance, find the temp sensor in the braid and gently press the temp sensor away from the clip. When the temp sensor exits the braid at the hot end, make sure the wire goes through all three block pieces before reaching the nozzle.

12. You can set the printer upright again, if you need to. Just make sure none of the wires are pinched beneath the feet. Insert the temp sensor into the nozzle. The sensor is fully inserted when you can no longer see the metal tip. Make sure the heater cartridge is also fully inserted. The heater cartridge is completely seated when the white gap of cord in the metal connector is against the nozzle block. Hold the heater cartridge in place while tightening the nozzle set screw. When finished, make sure the wires are still fully seated. 

13. Hold the print block together. The linear bearings that run through it should be centered in the block. They are shorter than the print block, so don't line them up with the edge. Put the metal holder in place. Watch the fan cords; it is easy to pinch them between the print block and the holder. Reinsert and tighten the thumb screws.

14.  If you do not have a white PTFE ring that sits around the nozzle in the hole in the fan shroud, follow the directions in step fifteen. If you have a white PTFE ring , put this in place in the new fan shroud. Screw the new fan shroud into place and move to step sixteen. The fan shroud screws are 4mm long and are the four smallest screws.

15. If you do not have a PTFE ring, you'll have to make sure the nozzle is not touching the fan shroud. Start each of the four screws that hold the fan shroud on. Look underneath at where the nozzle goes through the hole in the fan shroud. Center the nozzle so it is not touching the fan shroud. Then tighten the four screws. Once they are tight, check and make sure the nozzle hasn't moved.

16. Make sure none of the cords are pinched between the holder and the print block. Ensure that none of the wires are in contact with the rear fan. Tuck any excess wire length up into the braid. If you have an excess of temp sensor wire, you may pull gently from the board end.

17. Reseat the Bowden tube, making sure that it goes all the way to the PTFE coupler and doesn't get caught on the metal plate above. Then replace the blue clip.

18. Put the covers back on. Let's do the one that goes over the board first. Make sure the flat cables (EXP1 and EXP2)  the LED wire (red/black) exit through the opening on the top left of the cover. Do not pinch the wires. There is an opening on the bottom right for the x-motor wire, z-motor wire, and z-stop wire. Do not pinch the wires. There are tabs on the cover that go into each of the three adjacent panels. Secure the cover with the larger of the screws you have left (12mm) and two locknuts which you will need to hold with pliers or a nut driver. You can stand your printer up now.

Lower the bed and then put the corner cover in place. Using the two screws you have left (8mm), secure the cover (one screw in the side panel, one screw in the back panel).

 

Changing the Heater Cartridge

REMOVE MATERIAL BEFORE REPLACING.

1. Remove the blue clip. Then hold the collet down and remove the Bowden tube. 

2. Remove the four small screws that hold the fan shroud to the metal holder using the 2mm allen key (the middle size from your accessory bag). 

3. Remove the four thumb screws. The holder piece should now be loose. 

4. Use the 1.5mm allen key (the smallest from your accessory bag) to loosen the set screw in the nozzle. You will go down through the small hole on the left side of the holder. 

5. Gently remove the heater cartridge. The heater cartridge is the larger wire. If you are looking at the back of the nozzle, the heater cartridge exits the block on the right side. There is no need to remove the temp sensor. Do not attempt to pull the heater cartridge through the braid. 

6. With the bed lowered, remove the left corner cover. One screw is located on the left panel. The other is located on the back panel. Take the cover out of the printer.

7. Raise the bed and lay your machine on its back. To avoid damage to the panel, you may want to set your printer on a clean piece of cardboard or a towel. 

8. Remove the two screws that hold the electronics cover on using the 2mm allen key. You will need to hold the two lock nuts (visible on the underside) with pliers or a nut driver. Take the cover off. 

9. You will have to take the electronics board off the bottom panel in order to replace the heater cartridge wires. Because the flat cable that goes from the display to the electronics board is so short, it's best to disconnect them. The ports are labeled EXP1 and EXP2. Make sure the cords themselves are labeled correspondingly so they get plugged in correctly when you are done. Remove the four screws holding the electronics board. Each screw has a black spacer on it. Collect them and put them safely aside. 

10. Now you disconnect the old heater cartridge. There are three green terminal blocks on the right side of the board; the heater cartridge wires are white. Depending on which version of the board you have, you may have flathead screw terminals for the connectors, or a spring loaded  connection. If the top of the green terminal block is silver, it's a screw connection, if it's orange, it's spring loaded. The current boards have orange spring loaded connections; to open it, push down on the orange part with a flat head screwdriver and pull the wires out. The spring must be depressed in order to insert the new heater cartridge wires. When you put the new wires in, make sure the insulation is not in contact with the inside of the terminal block. The metal of the wires needs to have a solid contact.

11. Secure the nozzle-end of the new heater cartridge to the end of the old heater cartridge. You will pull the new wire through the braid as you remove the old wire by pulling from the nozzle end. 

12.  Now we can put the board back on the printer using the four longest screws (25mm) and the four black spacers. Start with the bottom two screws. Place them through the front panel and put a spacer on each one. Lift the board so the power switch is at the bottom. Carefully place the board so that the power switch, cable terminal, and the power cord terminal set neatly in the cutouts on the back panel. Make sure none of the wires are pinched under the board and that the only wire that goes between the board and the panel is the blue/orange one. Get the bottom two screws started into the posts. Then carefully do the same for the top screws and spacers. Avoid bending the board back. Before tightening all the screws down, set the board so that the bottom edge is flush with the back panel. Now tighten the screws.

13. The flat cables on the left side that you removed earlier are not interchangeable, although they look the same. Plug the wire labeled 1 into EXP1, and the wire labeled 2 into EXP 2. The flat part of the connector goes toward the board. The part of the connector with the protrusion goes toward the panel. 

14. Put the covers back on. Let's do the one that goes over the board first. Make sure the flat cables (EXP1 and EXP2)  the LED wire (red/black) exit through the opening on the top left of the cover. Do not pinch the wires. There is an opening on the bottom right for the x-motor wire, z-motor wire, and z-stop wire. Do not pinch the wires. There are tabs on the cover that go into each of the three adjacent panels. Secure the cover with the larger of the screws you have left (12mm) and two locknuts which you will need to hold with pliers or a nut driver. You can stand your printer up now.

Lower the bed and then put the corner cover in place. Using the two largest screws you have left (8mm), secure the cover (one screw in the side panel, one screw in the back panel).

15. Before you plug the new heater cartridge into the nozzle block, make sure it is threaded through the black print block. Insert the heater cartridge into the nozzle block. The heater cartridge is completely seated when the white gap of cord in the metal connector is against the nozzle block. Hold the heater cartridge in place while tightening the nozzle set screw. When finished, make sure the heater cartridge is still fully seated. 

16. Hold the print block together. The linear bearings that run through it should be centered in the block. They are shorter than the print block, so don't line them up with the edge. Put the metal holder in place. Watch the fan cords; it is easy to pinch them between the print block and the holder. Reinsert and tighten the thumb screws.

17.  If you do not have a white PTFE ring that sits around the nozzle in the hole in the fan shroud, follow the directions in step eighteen. If you have a white PTFE ring , put this in place in the new fan shroud. Screw the new fan shroud into place and move to step nineteen.

18. If you do not have a PTFE ring, you'll have to make sure the nozzle is not touching the fan shroud. Start each of the four screws that hold the fan shroud on. Look underneath at where the nozzle goes through the hole in the fan shroud. Center the nozzle so it is not touching the fan shroud. Then tighten the four screws. Once they are tight, check and make sure the nozzle hasn't moved.

19. Make sure none of the cords are pinched between the holder and the print block. Ensure that none of the fan wires are in contact with the rear fan.

20. Reseat the Bowden tube, making sure that it goes all the way to the PTFE coupler and doesn't get caught on the metal plate above. Then replace the blue clip.

Changing the PTFE Coupler

REMOVE MATERIAL BEFORE REPLACING.

  1. Remove the blue clip. Then remove the Bowden tube by holding the white collet in place while pulling up on the tube. 
  2. Remove the four screws (two on each side) holding the fan shroud to the holder using the 2mm allen key (the middle size from your accessory bag). If you have a white piece that sits around the nozzle in the hole (PTFE ring), put it aside for reassembly.
  3. Remove the four thumb screws to free the holder. 
  4. Remove the two screws securing the top of the holder using the 2mm allen key. The spring will be freed by this action.
  5. Remove the old coupler and replace it with the new one. To prevent nozzle flooding, push the coupler all the way to the isolator.
  6. Ensure the isolator is flat against the holder bottom.
  7. Put one end of the spring on the coupler and seat the other in the recess in the holder top. 
  8. Screw down the holder top with the 8mm screws (two larger ones).
  9. Hold the print block together. The linear bearings that run through it should be centered in the block. They are shorter than the print block, so don’t line the up with the edge. Put the metal holder in place. Watch the fan cords; it is easy to pinch them between the print block and the holder. Reinsert and tighten the thumb screws.
  10. If you do not have a white PTFE ring, follow the directions in step eleven. If you do have a white PTFE ring, put this in place in the fan shroud. Screw the fan shroud into place (using the four smallest screws) and move to step twelve.
  11. If you do not have a PTFE ring, you’ll have to make sure the nozzle is not touching the fan shroud. Start each of the four screws that hold the fan shroud on (the smallest four). Look underneath at where the nozzle goes through the hole in the fan shroud. Center the nozzle so it is not touching the fan shroud. Then tighten the four screws. Once they are tight, check and make sure the nozzle hasn’t moved.
  12. Make sure none of the cords are pinched between the holder and the print block. Ensure that none of the wire are in contact with the rear fan.
  13. Reseat the Bowden tube, making sure that it goes all the way to the PTFE coupler and doesn't get caught on the metal plate above. Then replace the blue clip.

Changing the Nozzle

REMOVE MATERIAL BEFORE BEGINNING.

  1. Remove the blue clip. Then remove the Bowden tube by holding the white collet in place while pulling up on the tube. 
  2. Remove the four screws (two on each side) holding the fan shroud to the holder using the 2mm allen key (the middle size from your accessory bag). If you have a white piece that sits around the nozzle in the hole (PTFE ring), put it aside for reassembly.
  3. Remove the four thumb screws to free the holder. 
  4. Remove the two screws securing the top of the holder using the 2mm allen key. The spring will be freed by this action.
  5. Unscrew the isolator from the nozzle block. 
  6. Remove the set screw from the nozzle using the 1.5mm allen key (smallest from your accessory bag). Now remove the temp sensor and the heater cartridge. If the temp sensor breaks in the nozzle, refer to the instructions for changing a temp sensor.
  7. Insert the heater cartridge and temp sensor into the new nozzle. The sensor is fully inserted when you can no longer see the metal tip. Make sure the heater cartridge is also fully inserted. The heater cartridge is completely seated when the white gap of cord in the metal connector is against the nozzle block. Hold the heater cartridge in place while tightening the nozzle set screw. When finished, make sure the wires are still fully seated. 
  8. Push the coupler as far into the isolator as it will go. Place the isolator through the holder and screw it on to the nozzle block. Stop when only one thread is visible.  
  9. Ensure the isolator is flat against the holder bottom.
  10. Put one end of the spring on the coupler and seat the other in the recess in the holder top. 
  11. Screw down the holder top with the 8mm screws (two larger ones).
  12. Hold the print block together. The linear bearings that run through it should be centered in the block. They are shorter than the print block, so don’t line them up with the edge. Put the metal holder in place. Watch the fan cords; it is easy to pinch them between the print block and the holder. Reinsert and tighten the thumb screws.
  13. If you do not have a white PTFE ring, follow the directions in step eleven. If you do have a white PTFE ring, put this in place in the fan shroud. Screw the fan shroud into place (using the four smallest screws) and move to step twelve.
  14. If you do not have a PTFE ring, you’ll have to make sure the nozzle is not touching the fan shroud. Start each of the four screws that hold the fan shroud on (the smallest four). Look underneath at where the nozzle goes through the hole in the fan shroud. Center the nozzle so it is not touching the fan shroud. Then tighten the four screws. Once they are tight, check and make sure the nozzle hasn’t moved.
  15. Make sure none of the cords are pinched between the holder and the print block. Ensure that none of the wire are in contact with the rear fan.
  16. Reseat the Bowden tube, making sure that it goes all the way to the PTFE coupler and doesn't get caught on the metal plate above. Then replace the blue clip.
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