Creating custom material profiles

With the Ultimaker2 the settings for materials have been moved onto the printer instead of being set by the slicer software. The reasoning behind this is that you will be able to re-use GCode files rather than having to re-slice them when you switch to a material that might be a bit thicker or require a higher or lower temperature. You can still specify such settings in the GCode file if you use a different slicer than cura if you want to however. The printer will notify you that the on-printer settings will be overridden if you try to print a file that have these settings baked into the file.

If you're here reading about changing material profiles we're going to assume that you will be changing materials in the printer. There's something that you should be aware of when doing so. If you're changing from a material with a high melting point such as XT to a material with a significantly lower temperature such as PLA, it is important that you get rid of the higher temperature material from the nozzle completely. You can do this by performing an Atomic for example. You can also try printing the lower temperature material at the previous, higher, temperature for a while to "flush" the old material out. This isn't 100% reliable though as some small fragments of the old material may still remain.

Why is it so important to get rid of the old material then? Well, simply put it can cause clogs as that material will not be fully melted at the new lower temperature and might not get through the nozzle.

We've added an update at the end of this guide that shows how you can now export and edit a text file with your settings on your computer and then re-import those settings. You might prefer this work flow.

Editing and creating profiles on the printer

To create a new profile (or change an existing one) you go to Material -> Settings -> Customize from the home screen.

Scroll down to and select "Customize".

You will now be able to change the following parameters. The pre-set values shown will be those of the currently chosen profile.

Temperature

This should be fairly obvious, it is the print head temperature to be used.

Heated buildplate

The temperature of the glass build plate. It is not necessarily a must to have the bed heated so here you can choose a temperature at, or below, ambient to effectively disable it.

Diameter

The diameter of the filament. For "3mm" this is usually around 2.85mm but it is important that you actually check the diameter as it can vary a bit between manufacturers. Measure in more than one spot and rotate the material as well in case it is oval.

Fan

The fan speed to use for the print. This can also be controlled via cura.

Flow %

This controls the material flow. Normally you shouldn't have to adjust this value but for softer materials such as ABS you might need to increase it. The reason for this is that the feeder screw bites into the material deeper and this changes, slightly, the amount of material that gets extruded. As an example, for the ABS profile, flow is set at 107% from the factory.

Store as preset

This is the part that can be a bit confusing. This last item in the customize menu is where you save your new settings. When you click this option it looks like you get sent back to the list of profiles but what you should do now is choose which profile to save the new settings into, or, create a completely new preset. So, for example, if your printer was set to "PLA" when you started customizing you can now choose to save the new settings into "PLA" again to overwrite the previous settings.

You can also choose the last option  New Preset shown in the image above which will create a new material profile called "CUSTOM1" (or "CUSTOM2" etc for each new profile).

As soon as you choose either of these two options you will see this screen again:

So it will look like nothing happened and you were sent back to the previous menu again when in fact your new profile has now been stored. If you scroll up and back out of the menu you will see that a new "CUSTOMx" entry has been added.

Exporting and importing profiles via the SD Card

With the latest firmware for the Ultimaker2 it is now possible to export your settings to the SD Card, edit them, and then re-import them. You might find this easier than fiddling on the printer. A big benefit to doing it this way is that you can now specify proper names for your profiles so that you don't have to remember that "CUSTOM5" is for Colorfabb XT for example.

The card from the factory does not come with a material profile on it so you have to start by exporting your current settings to the card (you could just create the file manually but this is easier). You do this by choosing the Export to SD option in the Material -> Settings menu. A file named "MATERIAL.TXT" will be created on the card. Open that file in a text editor and you'll see something similar to this.

It should be obvious how to edit or add a new material here. Do note that the name of the material can not be longer than 8 characters. If it's longer, it will be truncated.

When you're done adding/editing your profiles you insert the card in the machine and choose the Import from SD option instead. Your new material profiles will now be available to you.

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