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  1. Hi catlover, and welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your new UM3 purchase, I feel sure that you'll find it to be an excellent tool, if you give it the chance. I should start with a disclaimer; a long time ago I was an active forum user, helping folks get the best out of their Ultimaker printers, but sadly I no longer have the time to be very active here, because I'm the founder and President of fbrc8, the company who built your printer, and which will be providing you with tech support to ensure you get the best out of it. I'm sorry that you are unhappy with aspects of your printer, but I think you're worrying un-necessarily about things which at worst have a very tiny cosmetic impact, but make no difference to the operation of the machine at all. Two of the three nuts are not even visible in normal use, and based on the photos, none of them has been 'crushed into the panel' anywhere near the 2-3mm distance that you suggest. Your photos are highly magnified - at 1:1 scale, I doubt most people would even notice any movement. For comparison, the nut is just a fraction over 2mm deep. It is put into the slot, and then the screw is added from the outside. This means that for the nut to have moved 2-3 mm, as you claim, there would have to be at least 1 to 1.5 nut-depths of empty cross-slot space behind the nut after it has moved. Looking at your photos, only the 3rd one shows any appreciable gap behind the nut at all, and that looks to be more like 1mm to me. I agree, it's not perfect, but it is also of no consequence to the operation of the machine, and not normally visible. In practice, it is inevitable that there will be small movements like this in some cases, given the tolerances in the materials and machining. The panel material is relatively soft, and with enough natural variation that, even with tightly controlled torque settings, slight movement of the nuts can happen. Avoiding it totally would require so little torque that there would be a risk of the screws working lose, or falling out in transit, which is a far greater problem that we try hard to avoid. Even with more significant movement than yours, it really makes no difference to the integrity of the printer; indeed slightly tighter is probably better for the rigidity of the frame, and making sure that the screws don't work lose. So yes, I think our tech support was perfectly correct to say that what you have seen is within normal standards; the printer is not within any reasonable sense 'defective' or eligible for replacement, based on the issues as you've described them - and your own initial experience seems to suggest that in terms of printing, it's working pretty well. If there are other other issues with the printer, or if you have questions about how to get the best out of the printer, then please do get back in touch with the fbrc8 support desk. We're passionate about wanting Ultimaker owners to have the best possible experience - it's the reason that the company was founded - and want you to be happy with your machine, and get a good return on your significant investment. But we also have to work within the realms of what we can reasonably control.
  2. While it's not hard to find people with a technical support background, finding people with a 3D printing technical support background is just about impossible - so it's difficult to staff up quickly and effectively - there's pretty much always going to be a learning curve.
  3. Printers ordered through resellers in the US are pretty much all assembled in the USA. Printers ordered directly from Ultimaker.com for delivery to the US may ship from Europe or Memphis, TN, depending on where there is available stock at the time. If you order from Ultimaker.com, shipping cost is the same regardless of where they ship it from - 37 euros, I think. And whether you order direct or through a reseller, warranty support is available from fbrc8 in the US, in addition to any support offered by the reseller (if you go that route). As to pricing decisions, that's ultimately up to the resellers, but bear in mind it's all a bit more complicated than the headline exchange rates might suggest. On the one hand, the resellers are making large commitments a long time ahead (at a time when exchange rates have been changing a lot). On the other hand, if you order from Europe, you will likely get a much less favorable exchange rate from your bank than you expected, and also possibly have to pay a foreign transaction fee, as well as possibly dealing with paperwork and holdup to clear the printer through customs.
  4. Yes, in at least one case, replacing the Bowden Tube made a significant improvement to the throughput, although it didn't totally fix the problem.
  5. There are two types of under-extrusion: 1) The extruder motor stalls and clicks back, causing a momentary interruption in material flow. This is what the extrusion test cylinder tests for; 2) The extruder consistently pushes out less material than is being asked for; until it gets incredibly bad, this doesn't cause any obvious defects in a single wall test like the the extrusion cylinder; the wall gets thinner, but remains intact. The cause of this seems to be related to the filament slipping in the feeder assembly when there is back-pressure resisting the movement of the filament. The knurled sleeve teeth marks get closer together, suggesting that the filament is slipping in between forward movements, rather than the motor not turning as fast as it should. This is what causes the gaps in top surfaces, and was also what I documentedhttp://www.extrudable.me/2013/04/18/exploring-extrusion-variability-and-limits/. Here's a simple test you can do; 1) Remove the filament, then remove the bowden tube from the top of the feeder. 2) Push some clean PLA filament into the feeder, until it emerges a few cm above the top of the feeder 3) Measure 30cm below the bottom of the feeder, and mark the filament 4) Use pronterface to advance the filament 250mm at 1mm/s (this corresponds to a moderately fast print at a bit over 6 cubic mm/s) 5) Measure the distance between the bottom of the feeder and the mark made in step 3, to calculate how far the filament moved when asked to move 250mm. 6) Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 at least twice 7) Since you are pushing filament into the air, with no resistance, you should find that the filament has moved about 250mm, as expected. Maybe even a bit further, if your experience is anything like what I've seen. 8) Remove and cut off the filament that has been through the feeder once already 9) Reinstall the bowden tube, and heat up the nozzle to 230º; insert the filament, and feed it through until it starts to extrude from the nozzle. 10) Repeat steps 3,4, and 5 three times and see how far the filament moves now that it is encountering significant resistance. Note that you still should not be experiencing extruder click backs, if your printer is set up ok. 11) Take out the filament, remove the bowden tube from the feeder, and repeat the resistance-free test one more time. In my experience, on several printers that exhibited signs of under-extruded top surfaces, the distance moved with no resistance was at or above the 250mm that was expected. However, when resistance was added by having to actually extrude through the nozzle, the distance moved immediately fell to about 200mm, and in each subsequent test got worse and worse, down to around 175mm, iirc. That's about one-third less extrusion than expected, which would totally explain the gaps between the lines in the top surfaces. Furthermore, trying to increase the flow rate just increases the volume per second, and hence the resistance pressure, which is why increasing the flow rate isn't sufficient to solve the problem usually. I don't know why the results got worse each time I repeated the test, but as soon as I removed the Bowden tube and hence the resistance, the extrusion distance returned to normal. So it wasn't some sort of degradation in the motor or electronics - or at least not one that was visible when there was no back pressure to overcome. So, what does this tell us? The problem isn't related to gcode, or anything like that; it's simply that - on some printers, some of the time - back-pressure-related under-extrusion gets so severe that it leaves visible artifacts in the prints. As to why, I have no idea.
  6. I also recommend not using the filament guide. It adds a lot of friction, as evidenced by the deep grooves that get worn in the underside of it, when it's been used a while (we see this on every printer that comes in for repair with a filament guide fitted). Not only is that adding friction, it means that you are getting ABS dust stuck to your filament and carried up into the nozzle where it can potentially cause problems. If you do want to use it, you can make it easier to insert by filing a small chamfer on the inside of the tab, as shown below.
  7. I think its inevitable that you are going to get more movement at the front of the build plate, just due to the distance from the anchor points at the back of the bed. That said, I would also make sure that all of your bed springs are reasonably well tensioned to begin with. The bed tends to droop slightly under its own weight, so that the springs at the front are less compressed than the one at the back, to begin with. Its easy to end up with them barely compressed at all - which will certainly cause the front of the bed to shake. Make sure that you tighten down the back spring until the terminal block under the bed is almost touching the base plate, before you run the leveling wizard. This will make sure that all three springs are as tense as possible in normal use, and should minimize any vibrations at the front edge.
  8. Also, when you received the printer, the extruder tension was not on the tightest setting. The printers are shipped with the tension setting in the right position to be able to pass an 8 cubic mm/s extrusion speed test, which varies on each machine due to the natural variation in the tension springs, and can also need some adjustment to allow for different materials and print styles. Generally speaking, the best position for the tension indicator is somewhere above the second mark from the top of the scale; higher positions indicate lower tension. You should avoid moving the tension indicator below the midway point, as that over-compresses the spring and can damage it. If you get grinding of filament during prints with lots of retractions, then you need to increase the tension if the filament seems to be getting sanded flat, and doesn't have clearly defined teeth marks - and decrease the tension if the filament is getting squashed flat and deformed, so that it no longer has clean edges on the flattened part, and cannot fit into the Bowden Tube. Generally speaking, if you are having problems with retractions, once you have the tension correct, look at adjusting the slicing settings to have fewer retractions (e.g., by increasing the minimal extrusion distance, enabling combing, increasing the minimum move distance, etc), and raise the temperature of the filament to make it as easy as possible for the filament to flow.
  9. The cause of the cracks is exactly as was explained to you; the blocks crack if the corner screws are too tight and/or if the bearings are not properly seated in the head blocks when the screws are done up. There is a raised lip that fits into the groove in the bearing; if those do not line up, there ends up being a slight gap between the blocks, and when the corner thumbscrews are done up, the plastic parts get bent down in the corners, and the stress can crack the plastic. As has been pointed out, it's not a huge deal anyway. There's not that much lateral stress on the sliding blocks normally; the presence of the cracks will usually not have any impact, and often the most effective fix is just to use drop of superglue to seal the cracks back up. Alternatively, replacing the blocks is quite straightforward, the only nuisance is that you have to remove the nozzle block in order to feed it up through the stack of blocks - which is why the glue route is often preferable - at least until you have a reason to take the head apart again.
  10. Everything listed on the fbrc8 site is in stock. When stock runs out, the item gets removed.
  11. I just wanted to let everyone know that fbrc8.com (Ultimaker's Official USA Assembly and Support Partner) now has Ultimaker filaments (PLA, FlexPLA, and ABS), as well as spare parts for both the Ultimaker Original and Ultimaker 2 available for sale and shipping in the USA. Shipping by USPS Priority Mail is a flat rate $7.50 on small orders and free on orders over $75. We have listed the most common spare parts on the site already, but we do have virtually the entire set of spares available, so if there is something you need that isn't listed yet, please email sales@fbrc8.com, and we will get you a quote and/or add it to the store. We also have a limited quantity of faberdashery filaments that we will be adding to the store this weekend, ahead of a new larger shipment of faberdashery materials in the next few weeks. To place an order, please visit our http://fbrc8.com/collections.
  12. If you're not comfortable adjusting bed height on the fly, try using the wizard but don't use a piece of paper - just do it by eye: The first thing to do is to make sure that all of your springs are reasonably tight. If they aren't, it's impossible to find the right height with a single sheet of paper, because the tension on the springs is minimal until they're compressed a bit. So, look through the bed from front to back, and adjust the back thumbscrew until the terminal block in the back left corner is about 1mm from touching the lower plate. Tighten the front screws about the same amount, to keep the bed roughly level as a starting point. Then heat the nozzle and make sure it is clean at the tip. Now run the leveling wizard again. When adjusting the rear height, just use the dial on the front of the printer. When adjusting the front corners, use the thumbscrews. I recommend not using the 1mm-then-a-paper-thickness approach. Instead, on both passes level the bed to the point where the nozzle just touches the glass. This is easy to see if you look along the surface of the glass; you can see the nozzle touch its own reflection. When setting each point, move the bed up until it just touches the nozzle tip, then back it off and allow it to settle untouched, and then gently close the gap again. If you find that you cannot compress the front springs enough to get the bed down to where it needs to be, then simply raise the back of the bed a few turns of the thumbscrew, and restart the leveling wizard. You want to end up with all the springs in a middle position, with a gap of about 10-13mm between the two plates of the bed assembly. The springs should be neither totally compressed, nor so loose that they aren't applying any meaningful upward force on the bed. By doing two passes at the same height you should get fewer surprises; the second pass around should only require very minor adjustments. And aiming for the point where the nozzle touches the glass is a much easier target than trying to interpret the feel of nozzle on paper tension.
  13. Try removing the spool holder. I think the bed is catching on it.
  14. You would still be able to get warranty support for the balance of the original warranty - 12 months from when it was originally delivered. For North American customers, support is provided from our facility in Memphis, TN. We can supply parts for you to repair the printer yourself if needed, or you can send it back to be repaired. After the warranty expires, you still have the option to purchase spare parts, or pay to have the printer repaired by us.
  15. Hi Anthony - Very sorry for the dropping the ball on this one. I responded to your ticket, and sent out the part that you needed. Simon
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