Check for play on the Ultimaker 2+ axles

The four X and Y axles are locked in place by pulleys. It is possible that one or more of the pulleys will loosen over time, which can alter their position. If this is the case, there could be play on the X and/or Y axles which in turn will lead to issues with print quality.

It is recommended to check for play on the axles at least once every three months.

Start with the right Y axle. Place the print head in the back-left corner to keep it out of the way. Hold the frame of the Ultimaker 2+ with one hand and firmly grab the right Y axle with the other. Attempt to move the axle forwards and backwards; do not be afraid to apply too much force.

Repeat this for the other axles. Make sure to move the print head to the opposite side each time.

The axles should not move at all. If one of the axles does move, you will notice a ticking noise caused by the pulleys hitting the frame. In this case, it is recommended to adjust the positions of the pulley(s).


Pulley adjustment

Note: For minor play on just one of the axles, follow the steps below. If the play on the axle is more severe, or multiple axles are affected, it is recommended to recalibrate the print head. Excessively adjusting the position of the pulleys can affect the perpendicularity of the print head shafts, and thereby print quality.

  1. First check which of the axles has play
  2. Loosen the pulleys on that axle. Note that the set screws of the pulleys are not always easily reachable. Adjust the position of the print head until you can reach the set screws. Loosen them, but do not remove them from the pulleys completely
  3. Correctly position the axle:
    The X axles should be positioned in the middle
    The Y axles should be pushed towards the front of the printer
  4. While ensuring that the axle stays in place, firmly push the pulleys towards the frame
  5. Tighten the set screws. Make sure the pulleys are tightened securely. If they are too loose, this can lead to print quality issues such as layer shifting

Firmly grab the axle and attempt to move it again to check if the play was corrected successfully. 

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