Focus on Ultimaker 3D printers

In 2015, Ultimaker loaned Blackpool Makerspace a 3D printer to use during the Craft Council sponsored  Make:Shift:Do event.



In 2016, Ultimaker again loaned Blackpool Makerspace a 3D printer. This time, it was an Ultimaker 2. The Ultimaker 2 was used at the 2016 Make:Shift:Do event to make parts for a CNC router the Makerspace is building. Here is a picture of the Ultimaker 2 in action, with a completed part in the foreground.



Pictures from the Make:Shift:Do event, and more parts being printed here:-

Ultimaker is a Dutch based 3D printer company founded in 2011 by Martijn Elserman, Erik de Bruijn, and Siert Wijnia.

The company’s founders started as a participants of the open-source RepRap project. Here is a picture from the FabLab ProtoSpace hosted RepRap 3D printer workshop.


Ultimaker started selling products in 2011. The first 3d printer developed by Ultimaker was the protobox Ultimaker. After several months of development, Ultimaker released a new model as a kit, (now known as the Ultimaker Original) under a Creative Commons BY-NC license.

In 2013, Ultimaker original won an award for most accurate and fastest3D printer from MAKE magazine.

Ultimaker used the knowledge and experience gained from development of the Ultimaker Original, and in September 2013 released the Ultimaker 2. In 2014, Ultimaker officially launched products in North America.

In 2015, Ultimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 extended were released at CES, a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show.


In 2016, Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker 3 extended were revealed at a New York City keynote.


This is a link to a Lancashire Telegraph article from 2014, about the Chorley based Ultimaker(UK) who were kind enough to loan Blackpool Makerspace the two printers mentioned earlier:

Contact details for Ultimaker in the UK.

Railway House, Railway Rd, Chorley, Lancashire PR6 0HW.  T:01257 276116

Link to Ultimaker ‘about’ page:


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Make-Shift-Do 2016

The theme of our event in 2016, was to demonstrate how a 3D printer can be used to print parts used in the construction of a CNC router.





These large parts took several hours each to print.


Close up of almost complete part being printed.


A collection of parts after a week long session of printing.


Assembly of the CNC router begins while more parts are being printed.


Starting to take shape. More pictures will be added later when another batch of parts come off the printer.

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Craftscouncil Make:Shift:Do

Blackpool Makerspace is participating in the Craft Council Make:Shift:Do event.
We will be open for the 2016 event on:
Friday Oct 28th, 17.00-2100 and  Saturday Oct 29th 10.00-17.00.

Pictures and words from our 2015 Make:Shift:Do event  Make:Shift:Do October 2015

A new piece of equipment for our Makerspace in 2015 was a laser cutter, which we demonstrated at the Make:Shift:Do event.

At our Make:Shift:Do event this time, we intend to show a 3D printer printing parts for a CNC machine we will be building.

There will be a demonstrations of  3D printing using this machine kindly loaned to us for the event by Ultimaker




The Ultimaker finishes the first 8 parts for the CNC machine.

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Preparing for Craft Council open day

Mike spent the morning re-siting the laser cutter to a shelf underneath one of the work benches, freeing up some more work area on the bench.

Heavy duty rails have been used to allow the cutter to slide out from underneath the bench for setup and use. Flexible hose connects the cutter to the extractor unit and ducting.

Cutter pulled out from under bench:-



Extractor ducting with inline fan:-


Cutter pushed back under bench:-


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Home made solar (thermal) panel

In January 2015, I posted an update of my attempts to make my home more energy efficient. So far, I have concentrated on insulation, and monitoring the effects. This link describes the progress.

This summer (2016), I decided to try out an idea mention by another member, Donald. The idea was that you could make a solar thermal panel by painting a central heating radiator black, and putting it in a double glazed, insulated box.  That is what I have done using a 20 year old central heating panel left over from when I removed my central heating several years ago.

This is a graph of the temperature produced by the panel from the end of July to the end of August (2016). The graph mid-line is 50 degrees Celsius. Continuous live temperatures from the panel can be seen here:-

Screenshot from 2016-08-28 10:28:30

The panel is connected to a towel rail in the bathroom, and heats the rail by thermo-cycling, no pump would be required, except……

The towel rail cannot dissipate all the heat produced by the panel on hot days, and eventually, when the temperature passes 70, stagnation occurs, thermo-cycling stops and the towel rail cools down. To combat this effect on hot days, there is an Arduino sensing the panel temperature. When the temperature hits 70, the Arduino sends a signal to turn the pump on, which restarts the circulation.

What I am mostly interested in, is how the panel will perform during the autumn, winter and spring periods. When the results are in, I will be able to decide if it is worth adding additional panels to heat my hot water cylinder.

Update November 2016: The panel is not producing any usable heat now. I have drained the system and switched the towel rail back to electric mode.

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Make-Shift-Do, October 2016

Most of 2015 was taken up preparing our new space at Tyldesley Road. October  2015 was especially busy as we hurried towards our opening deadline, timed to coincide with the Craft Council sponsored Make-Shift-Do event.

Membership declined in 2015 as we concentrated on building work rather than making. From October onward, we concentrated on meeting every Saturday in an attempt to rebuild the membership numbers, and so the finishing touches to the space did not happen.

With October and the next Make-Shift-Do event approaching, we have decided that a similar approach to last year is required, and additional work is now being undertaken to prepare the space for the event.



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Saturday June 4th

Only 4 of us today, Mike Hull, Richard, Tony and Geoff.

Geoff brought a laptop that he wanted to restore a windows 7 install on. The problem was while the key was readable the version of W7 it was had rubbed off the COA sticker. After a false start with windows 7 home basic which would not take the key, we were successful in installing W7 home premium. All drivers installed out of the box, and we activated the installation with no problem, but due to time constraints we left the full update untill Geoff was at home.

On the whole a successful mornings work.

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