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billdempsey

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  1. My extruder had stopped pushing filament entirely because there was not enough pressure on it to move it, so I made an ugly hack mod to the existing extruder. It is printing/feeding very consistently now. First, I printed a pulley type cover for the idler bearing (on a different printer, since my UM2 wouldn't print). It's a small circular pulley type wrap for the bearing which fits on it tightly. It is 2mm thick at both edges, and 1mm thick in the middle. Second, I cut away the entire left side of the casing between the two bolt holes, to remove all of the areas of the casing which might rub on the new, larger pulley/bearing assembly. Here is how it looks now, with the nasty edges and everything. LOL Edit: Oh, I also adjusted the metal filament drive cylinder so that the biggest teeth were centered on the filament while it rides in the groove of the pulley.
  2. billdempsey

    Company update

    Although the CubeX Trio has many other annoying faults, it actually handles multiple extruders/nozzles pretty well. There are two things they do which make it work. First, the three nozzles are very precisely positioned at the exact same height from the build plate. This makes it critical to get the bed level, but it prevents the nozzles from scraping the top of the print. The second thing they do is provide a "wipe" device near the build plate. When switching between active nozzles during a print, it retracts, then moves the entire head off the build plate and wipes the end of the nozzle on a spring loaded edge so that none of the preceding color gets mixed into the new color. Maybe Ultimaker should look at that design for inspiration for the Ultimaker 3. It works.
  3. That looks like a pain to replace, but I'm game. Are they available in the store? (I'll just go look, actually.) Any tips to make it easier to swap out?
  4. I've printed perfectly for many months on my UM2. Suddenly, I started getting severe under extrusion that looks identical to the photos at the start of this thread. Figuring the nozzle was clogged, I performed the atomic cleaning several times until it came out clean. I started up another print and it was still under extruding. Thought maybe the first atomic cleaning wasn't enough, so I repeated several more rounds. I then did it again adjusting the temps so I got the perfect, clean cone shaped end when I pulled it out (85C rather than 90C did the trick for my colorFabb filament.) It still under extrudes. I disassembled the feed mechanism and cleaned it out. Put it back together and it does the same thing. Last, I updated Cura and the firmware to the very latest and it still under extrudes. I can push filament through the tube easily, so it's not binding there. I'm stumped at this point and have resorted to using Kisslicer with my CubeX Trio to slowwwly print a big object I need. My UM2 is sitting broken and idle for the first time since I got it over a year ago. When I would have this sort of problem on my UM1, I would unscrew the nozzle and hold it in the flame on my gas stove for a few minutes using pliers. This would eliminate anything inside the nozzle and get it going perfectly again. I can't do that on this machine. Any ideas?
  5. It's been a year since UM said a dual extruder was coming for the UM2 "in a few months," so I'm looking forward to seeing how well this alternative works. I'm guessing we'll see the official UM2 version shortly after the UM3 starts shipping. :-P Seriously though, I'm a bit worried about the "no PLA" stipulation on this alternative since I mostly use PLA and PETT. I've never liked ABS because the fumes gave me headaches. If they can't solve the PLA problem, perhaps they'll offer a version that can't do polycarbonate, but can handle PLA well. I mainly want dual extrusion for printing alternative material support structures with my PLA and PETT objects. Other than filament feed issues that required some tweaking of the extruder casing with a sharp knife, I've been pretty happy with my UM2. I do get clogs occasionally, and wish the print nozzle was easily swapped, but overall I find I use the UM2 about 95% of the time while my other two printers sit idle. The output quality rocks. The large prints stick to the heated platform really well. Having dual extrusion would make the UM2 just about perfect.
  6. billdempsey

    Clogged UM2?

    The plugs happen on prints longer than 16-18 hours for me. It seems the heat from the block is creeping too far up the feed path. The filament plugs up at the bottom of the nylon area. I'll have to check the third fan on my next print. I've also had the problem illuminarti described where it takes 2 or 3 attempts to get the filament to feed into the head because it's catching on something in the head.
  7. billdempsey

    Clogged UM2?

    It is definitely harder to do a clog removal on the UM2 than the UM1 and it's happening a lot more often for me. I haven't had a clog in 5 months with my UM1 after switching the fan to blow through the aluminum plate. I've already had 4 clogs in the few weeks I've had my UM2 and I've only used PLA the entire time. I'm wishing they had used an E3D nozzle, instead. This new nozzle design isn't working as well as the old one for me. Other than the frequent plugs, I'm loving the UM2.
  8. billdempsey

    your most useful tool?

    My two favorite tools: The one on the left is a multi-tool I found in the paint department at Lowes. The scraper part is excellent for removing parts. The pointy part is great for cleaning holes. The edge can be used like a knife to clean brim pieces the bottom edges of flat prints. The one on the right is a ridged roller I printed with 8/22 skate bearings on the axle inside. Even the axle was printed with one hub being threaded and screwed on. I use it on my UM1 to help press down the blue tape between prints, as the tape tends to pull away from the platform in small areas.
  9. The cleaner they spoke of is basically just sending the filament through a piece of soft foam/sponge before it enters the extruder. Some people just zip tie a small soft sponge around the filament just below the extruder. Others have printed little casings for the sponge that attach to the bottom side of the extruder. The best way I've found to store the filament is in sealed jumbo (2 gallon?) Ziplock bags with several packets of desiccant inside the bag. This keeps the filament from absorbing humidity. I wish I could find even larger bags to store my 5LB spools. They're not faring very well because of open air exposure.
  10. billdempsey

    first print on UM2 - some questions

    The temperature also varies widely by the age of the filament and the moisture it has absorbed from the air. I have a few huge 5LB. spools of PLA that are about 10 months old. They have become so hardened (and I assume have absorbed so much moisture) that I have to print at 250C in order to get them to flow smoothly, even at 40mm/s. That's one drawback of getting 5LB spools in colors you don't use constantly. :-|
  11. From my own experience, high speed settings are an illusion. Even between my CubeX Trio, my Ultimaker, and my Ultimaker 2, there seems to be far less difference in actual print speed than the settings numbers imply. The real limiting factor on speed seems to be the complexity of the pattern it's laying down. I can set the UM at 100mm/s and the CubeX at 50mm/s and on complex paths they print layers at virtually the same speed. The only time I see a noticeable speed difference is on long straight paths. Then, the UM leaves the CubeX in the dust. Personally, I love the "click load then click print" simplicity of using Cura with my Ultimaker. That said, I do think bridging and layer to layer cooling on small layers are the two weak areas for printing using the Cura + Ultimaker combo. On the UM2, using Cura is much less of a benefit because of the SD card shuffle adding several extra steps to printing. Hopefully the WiFi mod will arrive soon for the UM2. Sadly, the twin tiny fans on the UM2 don't seem to improve bridging performance at all. I don't think they move enough air to be helpful. They're also disturbingly loud when they kick into high gear. They sound like they're vibrating apart. I don't anticipate them lasting very long like that. In other words, I generally agree with the criticisms about the UM(2) print quality under those specific conditions, but I find those conditions don't occur often enough in my use for it to matter much to me. I don't print UM robots all day. I also generally design my parts within the bridging limits of my printers or with easy snap-off supports built-into the design. I think the Replicator 2 does handle bridging slightly better. On the other hand, I just can't stand the major limitation of a "skinny loaf of bread" shaped build area. That arbitrarily limits your ability to rotate a largish object to the orientation which prints the best. Because of that, I would never consider buying a Replicator 2. I can't see ever buying another printer without a heated bed, either. I'm so hooked.
  12. billdempsey

    Maker Shed has a few UM2 in stock.

    Good news about the WiFi option! Also, the dual extrusion! I can't wait to get both! I'm assuming they're user-installable upgrades for the UM2? About half the files on my card are pretty large. Having been a programmer for a dozen years in an earlier life, the size of the files shouldn't make a difference when it's simply trying to list the names of the files for me to pick one. The size would cause delays when you actually try to open and read an individual file after it's selected. If it is reading the whole files just to list the names, that's bad coding. I highly doubt this is the case. Even the most inexperienced programmers would never do that. The person writing this firmware is obviously pretty experienced.
  13. billdempsey

    Maker Shed has a few UM2 in stock.

    Thanks Sander. So far, I'm mostly impressed with the new printer. First, it worked right out of the box. That's a huge step forward. It's also quieter than my other two printers, even when I crank the speed up a bit. It's far more professional looking than the UM1, and on a par with my CubeX Trio in appearance. I'm in love with the glass heated print platform for printing PLA. Warmup is slower, but well worth the wait. When the plate cools, the parts are already sitting loose on the platform. I just pick them up. No more sliding a sharp edge under the part to get it to break loose. (One note though: The gantry seems to be loose, as it flexes a lot at the tiniest touch. Is that normal?) My only real disappointment so far is that the printer only prints from SD cards. As a work around, I pre-sliced and copied 30-40 .gcode files onto the SD card and put it in the printer. Unfortunately, it stayed at "Reading SD Card..." for 20 minutes before I finally lost my patience and canceled. It simply never listed the files so I could choose one to print. I tried multiple times. I turned the printer off and on. I tried putting the files on another SD card and in all cases it did the same thing. I deleted all of the files except 3 or 4 and then it worked fine. Apparently, the UM2 cannot handle more than a few files at a time being on the SD card. That's a major limitation when the printer depends completely on an SD card to print. I'm hoping this is on the list for fixes. I really miss just hitting "Print" from inside Cura. That was so much easier. I would love it if a future firmware revision restored that ability using the built-in USB port. I'm also wishing badly for a second extruder for PVA support material. Those two changes would make the UM2 the perfect machine.
  14. billdempsey

    Maker Shed has a few UM2 in stock.

    Took about 15 minutes to unpack and level the bed. Here is the first print using the included filament. Has a bit of string hanging under the front side of his belly, but looks great otherwise.
  15. billdempsey

    Maker Shed has a few UM2 in stock.

    For those interested, Maker Shed really did have the UM2 in stock for immediate shipping. I ordered mine on Dec. 7. I got the tracking info yesterday (Dec 10) and it arrived this morning.
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