If you're an avid 3D printing enthusiast, you may be familiar with the Ultimaker 2+. This popular 3D printer is known for its high-quality prints and reliability, making it a go-to choice for many makers and hobbyists. However, like any machine, the Ultimaker 2+ can always be improved and upgraded to meet the needs of your specific projects.
One way to enhance the performance and capabilities of your Ultimaker 2+ is by upgrading the extruder and hotend. In this post, we'll be discussing the benefits of using a Bondtech LGX Lite extruder and a Phaetus Dragon hotend on your Ultimaker 2+, as well as providing step-by-step instructions for installing these upgrades.
Benefits of the Bondtech LGX Lite Extruder
The extruder is an important component of a 3D printer, as it's responsible for feeding the filament to the hotend. The Bondtech LGX Lite extruder is a popular choice for upgrading the Ultimaker 2+ due to its dual-drive system and lightweight design.
The dual-drive system of the Bondtech LGX Lite extruder ensures that the filament is consistently and accurately fed to the hotend, resulting in improved print quality and reliability. The lightweight design of the extruder also allows for faster and smoother movement of the print head, resulting in faster print speeds and reduced wear on the printer.
Benefits of the Phaetus Dragon Hotend
The hotend is another crucial component of a 3D printer, as it's responsible for melting and extruding the filament. The Phaetus Dragon hotend is a high-performance option that can reach temperatures up to 500°C, making it suitable for printing with a wide range of materials.
In addition to its high-temperature capabilities, the Phaetus Dragon hotend also features an efficient cooling system that helps to maintain stable temperatures during the printing process. This results in improved print quality and consistency, especially when printing with materials that require precise temperature control.
Installing the Bondtech LGX Lite extruder and Phaetus Dragon hotend on your Ultimaker 2+ is a relatively straightforward process, but it does require a bit of technical know-how and some basic tools. Here's what you'll need:
- Bondtech LGX Lite extruder
- Phaetus Dragon hotend
- 3D printer screws
- Allen Keys
- Needle-nose pliers
- Heater cartridge 24V ≥30W to suit Dragon
- 40mm x 4mm OD x 2mm ID PTFE tube for between extruder and hotend
- 4x M2.5x6 CSK screws for Dragon
- 4x M3x8 CSK screws for LGX
- 5x M3x35 Cap screws, 4 for holding the body together, 1 for attaching the cables to.
- 4x M3 Heatserts for the top
- 1x each 3D printed part (Printables)
- ~500mm 2.85mm nylon filament to stiffen wiring harness
- Reuse the 3 original fans and their screws, as well as the original PT100 sensor.
2 Walls, 20% infill is sufficient. Preferably print in ABS for heat resistance but PETG works as well.
Before getting started, it's important to make sure that you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. Here are the steps to follow to install the Bondtech LGX Lite extruder and Phaetus Dragon hotend on your Ultimaker 2+:
- Remove the existing extruder and hotend from the printer. This will typically require the use of an Allen key to remove the screws that hold these components in place. Save the fans, their screws, and the PT100 sensor, they will be reused.
- Assemble the LGX with all the square nuts installed
- Install the 4 heatserts into the top 3d printed part.
- Attach the Bondtech LGX Lite extruder to the top part using 4 M3 x 8 CSK screws.
- Install the heater cartridge and PT100 sensor into the heatblock. A small amount of thermal goop is good here, it aids thermal transfer and helps to prevent the parts from seizing together if they ever need replacing.
- Attach the Phaetus Dragon hotend to the bottom 3d printed part using the M2.5 x 6 CSK screws.
- Slip the middle 3d printed part between the two linear bearings. It should be a snug fit with very little play. Ensure the hole for the filament is towards the front.
- Attach the 3 saved fans to the fan duct using their original screws. The screws should tap their own threads in the plastic. As they are only threaded into plastic be careful not to strip the threads.
- Insert the piece of PTFE tube into the middle section before assembling the top, bottom, and fan duct. Four M3 x 35 screws are inserted from the bottom and tightened to hold the whole assembly together.
- Thread an M3 nut onto the final M3 x 35 screw. This screw is attached to the top hole of the LGX and the nut is tightened down against the body to provide a place to attach the wiring loom.
- Once the toolhead is assembled attach all the cables to the harness and bundle them together with the length of nylon filament. Secure to the bolt out the top with zip ties.
- Thread the harness back through to the motherboard and reconnect everything.
- Once you've finished the installation, you can test out the upgraded extruder and hotend by printing a calibration cube or another simple test print.
Upgrading the Ultimaker 2+ with a Bondtech LGX Lite extruder and Phaetus Dragon hotend can significantly improve the performance and capabilities of your 3D printer. The Bondtech LGX Lite extruder's dual-drive system and lightweight design provide reliable and accurate filament feeding, while the Phaetus Dragon hotend's high-temperature capabilities and efficient cooling system allow for a wider range of materials and improved print quality. While the installation process does require some technical know-how and basic tools, it's a relatively straightforward process that can be accomplished in just a few steps. If you're looking to enhance the performance of your Ultimaker 2+, consider giving these upgrades a try.