Replace the Ultimaker 3 build plate clamps

The build plate clamps hold the glass plate in place on the heated bed. There are two fixed in place at the back of the heated bed and two at the front that can both be opened. When the glass plate is installed, it is pushed into the clamps at the back.

After removing and reinstalling the glass plate many times, the back build plate clamps may lose their grip on the glass plate. If that happens, the glass plate can move during printing, leading to print issues such as shifted layers. In that case, you can first try bending them back a little by pushing them down without the glass plate installed.

If excessive force is applied to the clamps, they could break off. This can happen if the print is removed from the glass without taking the plate out of the printer first, or if the glass plate is lifted up while it is still in the back build plate clamps.

Tip: This guide describes how to remove the build plate clamps at the back of the build plate. The front clamps are less prone to damage, but to replace these, only follow disassembly steps 1-5 and reassembly steps 4-9 (not 7).

Caution: Before you start, ensure the build plate has completely cooled down. Turn off the printer or ensure the Ultimaker 3 cannot accept new print jobs through the Digital Factory.

Requirements and info


1 - 2x 1256 - Build plate clamp (back), and/or:
1x 1987 - Build plate clamp (front-right), and/or: 
1x 1988 - Build plate clamp (front-left)


Pliers or 5mm (socket) wrench
2 mm hex screwdriver (optional)
Ruler or spacer tool

Time 15 minutes
Difficulty level 3 - Medium


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1. Remove the glass plate

2. Move the Z stage up

Open the two build plate clamps at the front. Slide the glass plate towards the front and remove it from the printer.


Place the print head in a corner for better access. Hold the build plate on each side and manually move it halfway up.




3. Remove the thumb wheels

4. Remove the springs

Loosen and remove the three thumb wheels from the underside of the base plate. Also remove the washers, which may remain stuck to the plate. Place them around the thumb wheels with the greased side facing up.


Gently lift up the heated bed and remove the springs from all three bolts which are integrated into the build plate.




5. Remove the front clamps

6. Move the Z stage down

Remove the two build plate clamps at the front of the build plate and place them aside. They can otherwise easily fall off and get lost.


Manually lower the build plate to the bottom of the printer again. This creates more room to perform the following steps.




7. Remove cable clip

8. Remove lock nuts

Use a 2 mm hex screwdriver to loosen and remove the bolts that secure the heated bed cable clip. This step is not required, but allows you to move the build plate out of the printer.


Turn around the heated bed so the black side is facing up. Use pliers or a (socket) wrench to remove the two lock nuts from each of the build plate clamps at the back of the bed.




9. Remove build plate clamps


Press the build plate clamp against the top side of the heated bed. First, lift up the side of the clamp on the outside of the bed and move it over the bolt. Now rotate the clamp 45º and remove it from the other bolt.




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1. Place the new clamps 2. Secure the clamps

Align the new build plate clamps with the bolts at the back of the build plate. First place them around the bolts on the inside, then rotate and lower them into position.


Place the lock nuts around the bolts, with the plastic insert facing up. Use pliers or a (socket) wrench to fully secure the lock nuts.




3. Secure the back

4. Place the front clamps

Turn the heated bed around again and align it with the base plate. Ensure the heated bed cable is not twisted. Place a spring around the bolt in the back-center and insert the thumb wheel from the bottom. Loosely secure it.


Gently lift up the front of the bed. First place the front-left build plate clamp around the front-left bolt, then place a spring. Repeat this for the front-right build plate clamp and spring.




5. Secure the front

6. Set the right height

Align the bed with the base plate. Insert a thumb wheel through the bottom of the base plate. Gently push the bed down and turn the thumb wheel counterclockwise to loosely secure the heated bed. Do this on both sides.


Tighten all three thumb wheels until there is a distance of ~14 mm between the top of the base plate and the bottom of the heated bed. Use a ruler or a (printed) spacer to set the correct height.


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7. Place the cable clamp

8. Install the glass plate

If removed earlier: Pull the heated bed cable tight so there is no slack behind the heated bed. Place the cable clamp onto the base plate and secure it with the two bolts, use the 2mm hex screwdriver.


Slide the glass plate back into the printer until it snaps into the build plate clamps at the back. Close the front two clamps to secure it.




9. Level the build plate


Turn on the printer. In the Ultimaker 3 menu, go to System - Build plate - Manual leveling. Follow the instructions on the display, or visit this page for more information.




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