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Posts posted by thalassa

  1. I'm so frustrated with my UM3+ today! Printer worked fine yesterday for a 7.5 hour print in UM nylon. I tried the same print 3 times today in the same material, but at "fine" quality setting. All three failed at the beginning with the filament failing to stick to the plate. Before the third attempt I cleaned the plate and put on a new layer of glue. I also did an active leveling of the plate. I thought maybe nozzle 1 was getting clogged, so I put in a new AA print head and loaded UM PLA to calibrate the new head (1). The XY calibration has now failed three times. The PVA isn't sticking to the plate. I unloaded and reloaded the PVA to be sure there weren't issues with the feeder or the nozzle. Seemed fine.

    Here are photos of the last XY calibration fail. It looks to me like the z-offset for the BB head is off - it's really dragging through the PLA part of the calibration print. What do you see? Any advice? Something else to try?







  2. Congrats on your UM3! We received our UM3+ a few weeks ago, and aside from a ton of trouble today, it's been performing well.

    I've been printing this test piece at normal and fine quality in different UM filaments: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1363023 It's a great test.

    Also very revealing was the overhang test: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1564848. So far, my UM3+ isn't performing very well at all on that one.

    I'm not impressed so far with the PLA/PVA dual prints. The PVA doesn't stick well to the PLA, so some overhangs aren't any better than not using any support at all. Plus, the PVA drops bits everywhere, and sometimes they end up between layers of PLA, which creates imperfections in the print.

    I started a thread on where to find filaments, and there is a lot of good advice in there about filaments themselves, too. Might be helpful for you: https://ultimaker.com/en/community/36101-best-us-distributor-for-um-filaments

    Have fun!

  3. Back your original question of where to buy UM brand filaments in the US, I've bought things from both Dynamism and 3DUniverse.  The 3DUniverse brand PLA seems comparable to the Ultimaker brand and is a bit cheaper.

    I've also had good luck with ProSpec PLA from ProtoParadigm out of Oregon.  They don't have a huge selection, but the pricing is great and they have some interesting colors.  It prints well for me and does not look cheap at all.

    Thank you, @rowiac! Much appreciated.

  4. Unless I have another print coming up in the extremely near future, I zip loc mine with a dessicant capsule too, then toss it in one of these things:


    Fits 20 standard 200x55mm spools side by side. Okay, they're not made to be air tight but it seems to be working well anyway - I stuck some dessicant capsules in there as well and monitor humidity with a hygrometer for a terrarium I snatched up on amazon for next to nothing.

    That bin looks perfect, but of course it doesn't look like they offer that size on the US website. I'll keep looking! Hard to imagine needing to store more than 20 spools, but I'll order two if I can find them.

    And, a hygrometer! Now you're speaking my language ("librarian"). We use them to track temperature and humidity in our library spaces - I absolutely love the idea of extending our measurements to my filament bins! :p

  5. One inexpensive solution that worked for my Ultimaker 2+ ...

    Go to the local Home Depot and find some of this drawer liner mat

    I cut a small rectangle, folded it in half and put under each corner.  Big improvement!

    Perfect! I even have some of this at home that I can bring in to work tomorrow. That's why I LOVE these forums! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Super helpful! <3

    • Like 1
  6. Definitely gave me a laugh to see people with sh*t everywhere!

    For the record, all my sh*t was deeply offended by your comment :p

    @SyntaxTerror Ha ha! Glad you took it okay... ;-)

    Thanks very much for the recommendations. I definitely missed a few of those in my shopping spree to get supplies. I did manage to buy 2-gallon Ziploc bags and desiccant for storing filament, and I'll leave the new ones unopened until I need them. The UM filaments that came with the unit were double shrink-wrapped, which was nice. I'll have to check the ColorFabb ones.

    How do you like to store your filaments - in a drawer or bin, out on the shelf ...?

  7. I'm not sure I would want to block a window with an expensive 3D printer (i.e. theft)  

    I made use of a Craftsman work bench, re-surfaced it and keep all my supplies in the shelves below.


    Hi @LePaul - Good point. We are not a public facility, but that doesn't mean we don't get folks wandering in. I moved the table between the windows so it's not such an advertisement. I wish there was a spot for a security cable on the unit (like computers have).

    The UPS advice is GOLDEN. We lose power here during windstorms, and even though the station has a generator, that blip would be disastrous. I'll do that today.

    I'm wondering how if the table I have will be solid enough. I'm printing a UM robot right now, and the small bit of vibration on the table top is making me nervous. I think I'm seeing failed print #2 developing. UGH.

  8. My experience with MakerGeeks: Ordered a spool of "grey matter grey" pla january 4.th. Inquired after a week where it was, got told it was out of stock and would be sent in 5 days. A week later the order had not arrived and it turned out it got automatically cancelled after a period. ... Cant help feeling I got kicked out of the shop...


    Thank you, @ClausJ - also helpful to know who to AVOID.

  9. Thank you! Somewhat helpful to see these, but not very helpful in terms of getting advice about what tools to keep on hand, what kind of storage works well, etc. Definitely gave me a laugh to see people with sh*t everywhere! That's what I'm trying to avoid. :p

    Tangent: It would be super helpful if I could search the forum for threads. I have no idea where to look for topics like this, and there's no reasonable what to click through pages and pages of threads.

    I'm working with a blank slate at the moment. Definitely need more storage!



  10. Hi all! I just ordered our UM3 Extended and want to prepare our space for it's arrival. [i apologize if this has been asked before, but without a search feature, I couldn't find a similar thread on this in the forum.]

    I'm wondering how you like to set up your printer area. How do you keep flaments organized? What tools do you keep on hand? Any tips or tricks for a functional 3D printing space?

    Bonus points for sharing photos!

  11. For Ultimaker brand filament, I like to support Fabrc8

    For my ColorFabb needs, I frequent PrintedSolid   He ships very quickly and somehow, he gets stuff to me in 2 days (and I live in the very far North East of the United States!)


    Thank you, @LePaul! I'll be sure the check these stores out. I like the idea of quick shipping! ;)

    Side note: I spent a summer at the Darling Marine Center in Damariscotta. Beautiful area! [waves from all the way over on the other coast]

  12. This is what Stratasys publishes for one of their professional systems. It gives a lot of info, but still I have many questions. Why not publish the drawing of the object that they have actually measured? What dimensions were measured?



    Thanks for sharing this! It is interesting, but I agree - still many questions. Also, I find it maddening when they test things in inches. mm or microns would be so much more useful.

    I've found that most companies share information regarding XYZ accuracy, which is important, but I've only seen Formlabs address the issue of feature resolution. That, in itself, is interesting!


    Well, it would be nice to see tests that show performance across strengths and weaknesses. TBH, I thought the results from the Form2 were suprisingly bad, and I respect their transparency in sharing the test and the results.


    Out of curiosity: what exactly do you find bad on their results?


    I think I had unreasonable expectations about how well it would perform. With all of the hype about SLA printers, I thought that 150-microns wasn't very good feature resolution. Now that I understand a bit more about how they work, WRT the laser dot size, I shouldn't have been so surprised.

    It was honestly a nice discovery that SLA printers don't have much of an edge over FDM printers (depending on what you want to print). I can't have big buckets of isopropyl alcohol sitting around (I work in a library), so SLA printers are OUT. UM3 it is!

    • Like 1
  14. I am buying our UM3 today (:)), but my closest distributor (US west coast) is out of stock on most of the filaments that I wanted to buy (at least one of everything, basically). Also, their website is not very user friendly, so I found browsing frustrating.

    For those of you in the United States, who is you favorite retailer for filaments? I'd like to use UM filaments to start with, but would also be glad for advice regarding other respected distributors of high-quality filament materials.

    Many thanks in advance!

  15. ... I can design a test like FormLabs for the Ultimaker in which some error sources will not show up. That makes the UM look good. Or should I design a test in which all errors do show up? That makes UM look bad, and maybe worse than you will see in practice.

    If you could share some typical designs you want to print, together with info on what features are important to you, we may be able to tell you whether or not the UM3 is able to perform according to your wishes.


    Well, it would be nice to see tests that show performance across strengths and weaknesses. TBH, I thought the results from the Form2 were suprisingly bad, and I respect their transparency in sharing the test and the results.

    No such thing as a "typical design" around here. Our reseachers will be printing everything from scaled-down whale baleen plates to custom laboratory and intertidal research equipment. Prints will run the spectrum on shape, size, and function. This is the main reason why I've had a hard time comparing 3D printers - I have to balance a wide range of needs and use cases. Ultimately, I think the UM3 is maybe my best choice for meeting these needs. I appreciate your input!

  16. So I guess my point is even if someone did this test it would be worthless.


    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. You wouldn't even trust a test conducted by the manufacturer?!

    If FDM printers were so inconsistent that they can't even be reliably tested for performance, then they would be useless for professional use. But, people are using these professionally - Ultimaker themselves used them to make parts! - so we know they can perform reasonably well.

    This failure to characterize them in a robust way is only because we haven't been clever enough to design a good test, or no one has made it a priority.

    • Like 1
  17. Precision is a tricky subject.


    People keep saying that, with lots of hemming and hawing about materials and settings. Leaving SLA out of the equation, has anyone ever seen a feature resolution test performed on ANY FDM printer? If not, why do you think no one has done this? Is anyone interested in trying?

    Now I just have a bee in my bonnet about it! :p

    • Like 1
  18. These machines are more like a milling machines in complexity and required knowledge than like a 2D printer.  Did you get that?  3d printer complexity not like 2d printer even though both phrases are identical except for one digit.


    Yes, I understand that 3D printers are more complex than 2D printers, and I don't expect perfect prints every time or to be able to print without tweaking here and there. All I really wanted, before spending $3500, was a better understanding of the performance of the machine. Like I said before, I think this is an amazing printer, and I'm probably going to buy one. I'm not here to criticize the performance of the UM3, but to understand it.

  19. I can tell you without printing what would happen if you tried to print the test model that Formlabs used on a Ultimaker 3. The features would not show up at all.

    Why? All the features they test are smaller than the 0.4mm nozzle, so the slicer (Cura) will just ignore them.


    So, is there a different kind of test print that could be made on the UM3 to test feature resolution, or does the software need to be tweaked to enable these kinds of tests? If the 0.4 mm nozzle can lay a 20-micron Z-layer, seems like it should be able to do better than 400 microns in the X/Y.

    But, this gets back to my original question: why hasn't anyone actually characterized the performance of this amazing machine? I don't get it. :O

  20. Thanks for the reply, @gr5. I appreciate your time!


    Anything you can imagine measuring and finding an error you can improve...

    I understand all of the caveats and the fiddling that can be done. This isn't much comfort to me, as I'll be the sole source of support for the station WRT 3D print jobs. I'm hoping to not have to tweak & reprint every job that comes through the door (and won't have time for that anyway).

    My question was more practical. Has UM (or anyone) actually tested the limits of the performance of these printers in a robust way? Do all the tuning and tweaking you want (thought that's not quite fair to the consumer) - what can the printer really do? I think this should be done using the default nozzles and materials.


    So this kind of measurement is difficult.

    Formlabs did it and was completely transparent about the results. I really respect that transparency (especially since I wasn't impressed with their results).


    It's best to just go to 3dhubs and find someone near you with a UM2 and ask them to print your part and just look at the results versus someone near you with a form2.

    I mean, I don't mean to be such a Type-A scientist, but isn't this test something that Ultimaker should have done as part of R&D? IMHO, saying, "There are so many variables we can't really test for XY print feature resolution" is a cop out and doesn't lend much confidence in the machine.

    Don't get me wrong - the UM3 is my leading contender right now. 8) It looks like an amazing FDM printer. I am just really surprised that this kind of characterization hasn't been done, and I think the results would be very helpful in assessing the true performance of the unit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Like 2
  21. I'm in the midst of researching which 3D printer to buy for my library (located at a university marine biology research station). I haven't decided between an SLA or FDM printer. The Form 2 and the Ultimaker 3 are my leading contenders. They each have advantages and disadvantages.

    Spec sheets aren't really comparable, as they use different jargon when referring to aspects of "accuracy" and "resolution." Some of my scientists need to print near the performance limits of desktop 3D printers with respect to feature resolution. Formlabs has done an excellent test on the Form 2 that shows exactly how well the printer performs at printing small features (they get it down to about 150 microns). See this blog post (here).


    I'm wondering if Ultimaker has performed a similar analysis with the UM3? It would be very helpful to know how layer resolution and XYZ accuracy translate to feature resolution. Thanks!

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