Check for play on the Ultimaker 2+ axles

The four X and Y axles are locked in place by the pulleys. However, it is possible that one or more of the pulleys can become slightly loose over time, which could affect their alignment. If this is the case, there could be play on the X and/or Y axles which can cause issues with print quality.

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

Checking instructions

Start with the right X axle. Place the print head in the back-left corner of the printer to keep it out of the way. Hold the frame of the Ultimaker 2+ with one hand, and firmly hold the right X 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.

UM2plus-Tighten-pulley1.jpg UM2plus-Tighten-pulley2.jpg

Tip: After checking the axles and adjusting the pulleys, reapply some oil to the axles.

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