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TheRealJoost

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TheRealJoost last won the day on November 1 2019

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  • Field of Work
    (Product) design
    Engineering
    R&D / Exploration
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  1. Yes thanks @orangepeel, I am starting to get a much clearer picture of Stratasys after all the discussion above. Additionally, I have spoken to a local engineer who uses Stratasys and other brand printers in the bio industry. He was not too pleased with the Stratasys printers he has (I forgot the specific models but they are pre F123 series). He mentioned the same maintenance costs as you listed and said that one could expect the Stratasys printers to be off line fairly regularly i.e. some failure for which the maintenance crew needs to come out. We also were able to get Stratasys to print our enclosures and the results were most surprising. Supposedly printed on one of their F123 series, they look bubbly and zitty as if heavily under extruded. Certainly not what the sales visit showed! I wondered why they even bothered to send it to us. Haven't gotten anything back from local UM yet. They do not appear to be set up to handle this type of customer service; slow and we have to pay a bit for the demo (I don't care for the money but it all feels a bit flimsy). Now if the UM comes through with better results, I cannot justify paying 5x more for a Strat printer - in particular in light of the issues you discuss also. Will see, hopefully the UM prints come in soon.
  2. @geert_2 Thanks Geert, appreciate your comments and recommendations. The test model you've got there looks like a good test - is it available somewhere? Can you tell us what we're looking at in the printed results? It seems you have a different layer height between the left and right models but I cannot tell for certain. Which was this printed on, a 5S?
  3. Yes I did knock on what I considered the right doors first, the community was my last resort. GR5 was most helpful and I finally got hold of a USA support person. By that time I had alternate spare parts coming in and the UM proposed solution to purchase and install an entirely new feeder motor + gear was not attractive to me. In part because of the prospect to have to do that on possibly all UM2+ we have. Now that whole lot will be retired and I won't bother with it anylonger. Long ago I learned that great products do not create great customer partnerships, its great customer service that does. Oh nice, thanks for those references, will check that out.
  4. Just look me up on a recent request for a gear.... I also DMed you at the time .... crickets. Customer service being all over a high value discussion (such as these) and not caring for a low value question is a bad sign for getting real help when you need it in my experience. Of course they show the best side of their butt at these sales calls. Thats why I requested them to print one of our designs. I like to do the same with the S5 - where can I get a test print done in the USA? The first priority is to get prints that are close to the finished product. Some post processing is fine (including sending the parts of to a spray painter). The prints I have seen from the S5 (pictures, youtubes, not hold in hand) look fine for a printer in its price range but are not what I saw from Stratasys. I am attracted to the points brought up above on having more then 1 printer and doing maintenance ourself - I need convincing on that quality aspect. I am well aware of the material assortment. I generally print with colorfabb and have good results with it. We have very boring needs (so a large assortment of filaments is not necessarily interesting to us); we only print electronic enclosures - at the moment only indoors but would like an outdoors solution also. Is there an ASA like material that is UM compatible (i.e. ABS + UV protection)
  5. Burned by some slippery salesguy before have you? (grin). I know they are putting their best stuff on the table, it always printed like that right out of the gate, and the printer never failed. Yep, seen all that. But the prints were impressive and (according to what was said) done on the printer we're interested in. We did talk about layer heights, nozzle sizes and print speed and differences between various print outs were fairly easy to see. Some parts had repetition marks (as if a driver/bed had a bit of oscillation) but most look good. Now I just have to vefiry how much of their story was fake 😉 Agreed, I am doing due dilligence now - this thread is part of it!
  6. I hear ya and completely agree - that is why I requested them to print one of our designs at their local facility. I intend to be there to see them do it.
  7. As mentioned, I am in the USA - everything works in silos here 🙂 I would love to meet your tool maker! The lowest quote we've received was 8000 bucks from an unknown shop in China. It is hard to just think a mould costs "just 2000", all depends on the complexities, number of parts and what not else... And yes, we have that spreadsheet with tool costs, material costs, shipping costs, risks weighing one thing vs another. Like I said, it is not a straight forward decision. Using easy math; our designs could print on an Stratasys about 20 complete systems/week keeping the machine 90% occupied. So just a 1000 parts per year - that is enough to get us going. If we're requiring more, injection moulding is next (or a second printer) and this printer can then operate for pure prototypes of specialty one-offs.
  8. Repairing/doing maintenance ourselves is very attractive to me - being an engineer and all (though it is not necessarily good business practise). We are a small start up so costs to matter. Stratasys quoted us USD 4000/year for maintenance (excluding the tool head). Thats a UM3 on an annual basis! That is quite a statement! Do you have example pix to share? We had the Stratasys boys over this morning and they pulled example parts from their suitcase like no tomorrow, all most excellent quality. Some with a surface finish which made it impossible to tell it was a 3D printed part. I have never seen anything like this from UM printers but would love to be corrected. A realistic annual maintenance cost for any of the F123 series printers is 5000/year (service + tool head). Plastic feed is $3.60/cubic inch. This is not cheap but from the quality I have seen this morning, it might be justified. We got Stratasys to test print our design so that'll tell how well the end result will look. Now I want to set up a comparisson with a 5S, hopefully we can arrange this in the USA somewhere.
  9. Injection moulding is of course the first thing we have gone after and still pursue. Cost of the (family) mould ranges between 25-45K depending on location and manufacturer. That does not include the expected trips to location to solve problems, fix the mould and shipping costs/delays (oversees if from China, takes a month and just shipping plastic parts means shipping a lot of air). I have worked with injection moulding in the past quite often and absolutly hate the scene. We never had high quantities (up to 2000/year) of anything and I think that just is asking for problems. With high quanties, the moulding machines stay occupied and can be optimized to quality. With the 3D printed part quality becoming better and better, I like to see if it is possible to stay away from injection moulding all together (again, low quantities, couple of hundred may be 1000/year). Eventually this is where we all would want to go and shed reliance on moulding companies - perhaps I am pushing it too early. I have printed on much smaller model Stratasys and found the parts to be very acceptable, sadly I have no access to any of the F123 series. And on customer service; I hear ya. Already not impressed with Stratasys so far (UM customer service from the Netherlands wasn't too impressive either btw). I will need to ask that sales guy to list out all the stuff needed beyond the printer itself. Plastic filament costs are an ongoing cost of course, but I did read that the head requires replacing after 1500 hours also (1500hrs is nothing, no?). I wonder what else is just 'normal' maintenance for these machines. So far the sales dept. isn't very forth coming. All in all, I think it is quite difficult to pick a machine that is the best average to fit our problem domain. Thanks for your considerate answer!
  10. Can you share pictures of what you printed? Where these complex parts, large parts anything in particular that you felt under the mark? I like your suggestion to order test parts. Stratasys charged a couple of hundred bucks for 5 100x100mm rounded square shells, but printed on a Objet I think - perhaps worth the test money. I have no access to an S5 sadly. Continually purchasing 3D printed parts is not an economical viable option.
  11. Thanks for the suggestion - adding on to what you mentioned; the S5 would be controllable from the macs we have, unlike the F370 which requires a PC running GrabCAD. However, do you have experience with the S5 maintainability and reliability? I have a few UM2+ machines (again a whole different beast of course) and had initially good experiences but as of late found the reliability and Ultimaker's response to provide customer service .... well, irritating. Having 2, 3, machines that are all mediocre and require baby sitting is actually 2, 3 problems...
  12. Yep, I know this is an ultimaker forum. I'd be interested to know if there is anyone here with Stratasys F170, F270 or F370 experience as well as S5 experience. I have budget to purchase a Stratasys F370. The intend is to run small production quantities of electronic enclosures with simple/moderate detail. I envision some post print operation (sealer, UV protection, paint, etc) to finalize the print. The F370 is pricey (about 60K here in the USA), an alternative is to run multiple F170 or 5S printers to increase production volume - as long as the print quality is sufficient (or similar to F370) and reliability is high. I know the F370 and 5S are very different printers in many respects, however, one cannot simply make a linear comparisson of price to determine the best printer for the job. Your thoughts and observations are most welcome.
  13. Thanks for the references to the metal gears. I've seen those but would like to avoid a metal-plastic interface, generally the plastic goes quickly (depending on the finish of the metal gear). However, this might be the ticket to get the UM printer going for a while if gluing does not hold. LocTite makes some epoxy for glueing Delrin, it needs heated curing. Might need to give that a try.
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