9. June 2017

Lets build an Ultimaker 2+ Extended clone – Part 5 – Lets buy stuff 3 – DIY – Motors, LEDs and more

By BeTrue3D

In our previous blog-post series, we focused on buying stuff premade.

This post will focus on getting the proper wires, connectors, leds and motors to put our own parts together, and hopefully save some money along the way 🙂

The big saving is going to show if you like to tinker with stuff, as you’ll have bought yourself a nice cache of spare-parts for this and other projects.

You need a soldering iron for this and some basic tools. It might be usefull to buy an actual crimping tool, but it’s not mandatory.


LEDs for front lightning

In the Ultimaker 2 printers we have LED strips on the inside of the front sides and top.

It’s basically just 3 strips of 24v bright white leds with wires attached between them, and a wire with a 2-pin Molex kk connector going down to the controller.


So, first we buy a roll of 24v bright white leds. They cost $5-10 depending on length


Roll for wires

Next we need to get some wires. I rather like to buy 1m rolls of multicolored wires from RobotDigg. 1M doesn’t sound like much, but there are 30-40 wires of 1m each in a roll, and it’s very usefull to get thme like this.


Price is from $1.8+ depending on how much you buy.

  • You need 1 roll of the black-red bundle.
  • If you like to make other projects, I recommend buying one or both of the 3-color and 5-color rolls as well.
  • We’ll look at wires for motors elsewhere on Aliexpress.


We are going to buy a box of connectors. These will come in very handy for any number of projects.

Price at $3.40


We need some heatshrink to put onto our parts, where we solder things together.

I can recommend buying both a set of black and one of red pieces, but 1 color is going to work fine.

If you want it just right, you need a white set as well, for the front LEDs, allthough you can’t see these when done.

Price $2.4-$5ish

Make it

I used 3x 30cm LED strips, but these lengths are determined by the LED roll you buy, as they can be split up in different lengths.

Measure strips and wires.

Solder and put on heatshrink

Remember to slide on heatshrink before you solder both ends of the short wires – speaking from experience, hehe.

Testing and installation

Test the wires using a 24v source.

You also MUST clean up the inner face of the front-panel using Acetone or the LED strips will come loose.

Price compare

If you bought pre-made it would cost you $10

If you bought the parts and made yourself, it would cost:

Leds 5m $5.84
Connectors 50 sets $2.4
Wires 40m $1.8
Heatshrink – much 2.4
DIY + spares $12.44


We need 3 motors for XY and Extruder + a motor with build in leadscrew for Z.

We need 67cm of wires on your motors and appropriate connectors.

Links and price

The leadscrew on Z-motor is around 36cm long. Do not buy a motor and loose leadscrew. You are loosing a lot of Z-height and it’s not as good. Especially if you use a flexible coupler.

I have only listed Robotdigg as they have cheaper motors and we are going to buy wires and stuff from them as well.

But remember to factor in the shipping costs when you decide on where to buy.

  • Buy 350mm linear stepper from Robotdigg at $34
  • XY and Extruder 42HS40-1704 at $6.40 each = $19.2
  • XYE Motors comes with 1m wires and correct plugs (not entirely sure of Z connector, but you are going to get one when buying endstops below)

Adjust motors axels

One draw-back is that you need to shorten up the axels of the motors or they are going to hit the rear and side respectively.

You need to twist the cable pairs. First  twist red/blue and black/green, and then twist the resulting 2 bundles.

Price compare

Premade set $99
DIY set $53,2


We are going to need 3 endstops, also known as a Limit Switch for our X-min, Y-max and Z max.

The Z-max endstop has a short arm and the other two needs to have long arms.

They are all configured as NO (Normally Open) in original firmware. This means the wires is connected as shown on the photo.

Wire colors, blue, red and black are in place in order to know what’s what.

Remember the the lengths of the wires for our Extended is not the same as in the pdf files.

There is a single 2-pin HX2.54 connector on each endstop wire.


Links and Price

Expect to pay around $0.2-0.3 for each limit switch. Search around for prices if you like. You might want to find a set of 10 if you want to have some spares, or some for other projects.

Price compare

  • Premade $7-14 for a set
  • DIY set costs $3.63 and you’ll have a lot of spares.

Wireharness from controller to carriage

The Wireharness consists of the wires from carriage (carriage is the assembly for hotend and fans) to controller. Since the wires from Heater Cartridge and PT100 temperature sensor runs straight down to the controller on their own, the Wireharness is really only for the small Heatsink fan and the 2x cooler fans.

If you want the right colors you should buy 1 more roll of wires from Robotdigg. I’d replace the blue one with a white wire, as the blue wire isn’t included in any of the wire bundles.

Links and Price

  • Premade $10
  • 1 roll of 5 color wires (50m) at $1.8
  • Connectors from LEDs and Endstops.
  • Heatshrink from LEDs

The wireharness you buy has 3 wire-sets in it, buy one of these are not used. I do not know what was intended here. The red/brown pair is unused.

Phto above shows the one I made for this project.

The Green/Yellow is for the 12v fans. When put in series they each get 12v from our 24v system.

Total Price compare

I’ve picked the price in the middle of an eventual price-range.

Remember several of the pieces from LEDs are used for the other Items.

Item Premade DIY
LEDs  $10  $12,44
Motors  $95  $53,2
Endstops  $10,5  $3,63
Wireharness  $10  $1,8
Total $125,5  71,07

You save $53,93 on just this project by doing a bit of DIY!

Savings on future projects are going to be bigger as you now have a cache of usefull items 🙂