This guide serves two purposes. Firstly, it’s for anyone who enjoys sarcasm, reading stories of despair, and watching a man loose a battle of wits with a machine. Secondly, anyone with an Ultimaker 2 printer might want to read this to know what not to do.

Step 1 – Start a nice, new print for a project you urgently need completed.

Step 2 – Come back 1 hour later to find the 3D printer making loud clunking noises and not extruding plastic. Stop the print.

Step 3 – Sort of half-heartedly wipe the plastic nozzle with a tissue and re-start the print you were doing.

Step 4 – Glare at the printer as it once again prints no plastic (also, ignore the now slightly louder clunking noise)

Step 5 – Dig around for 15mins through piles of random paper work for the manual, before realising that it was under the machine the whole time and look up the problem in the trouble shooting section.

Step 6 – Despair that the troubleshooting section is just 2 pages, and load up the Ultimaker forum instead.

Step 7 – Follow BigDavesParrot65‘s advice and go find a small piece of wire.

Step 8 – Attempt to poke wire into the nozzle and free up the blockage.

Ewwww

Ewwww

Step 9 – Swear loudly when the wire won’t go in and you poke too hard, miss and slam your hand in to the now very hot nozzle, burning yourself.

Step 10 – Go back to the forum and post threatening messages to BigDavesParrot65 before searching for better, less painful advice.

Step 11 – Find a great suggestion of taking nozzle off before cleaning it safely and with less burning.

Step 12 – Download detailed step by step instructions and read carefully.

Step 13 – Give up trying to translate step-by-step instructions and google a YouTube video of someone doing it.

Step 14 – Watch YouTube video carefully while pausing and copying each step. Also, silently judge the video for its poor production value and lack of cool voice over. Personally, I greatly enjoyed imagining Morgan Freeman doing a cool voice over about penguins, but this step is optional.

Step 15 – Bang head on table when your tablet runs out of charge with 2mins of the video left to watch.

Step 16 – Guess remaining steps using your natural engineering knowledge and one-ness with all machines.

Step 17 – Go back several steps and try again after you almost break it all.

Step 18 – Sigh with relief as you reach the last stage, where you can remove the last component and disconnect the nozzle.

Step 19 – Following the poorly prepared guide, very very gently remove the wire so as not to damage the expensive electrics or nozzle.

Step 20 – Give up, go get pliers and wrench the wire out.

IMG_2638Step 21 – Admirer the wreck that was once your 3D printer, hold back tears.

Step 22 – Take all the small plastic covered components and dunk them in an acetone bath.

Step 23 – While the rest are soaking, chip away at the bits stuck to the rest of the parts with a rusty spatula – preferably while muttering under your breath.

Step 24 – Take your now very clean components out of their acetone bath and inspect the vast amount of remaining plastic still inexplicably attached.

Step 25 – Put the parts back in the acetone and shake it vigorously to reduce stress.

Step 26 – Go eat lunch whilst glowering and muttering about plastic.

Step 27 – Return to the lab and feel a warm sense of satisfaction that the parts are now about 2% cleaner than before.

Step 28 – Remove nozzle from acetone and try to re-insert the wire into the nozzle to clean out any blockage.

Step 29 – Realise that the wire is too big for the nozzle, which is why it didn’t go in earlier.

Step 30 – Find smaller wire, insert into nozzle and clean with ease.

Step 31 – Slowly realise that steps 8 to 30 have been a giant waste of time.

Step 32 – Cry…

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