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DrCeeVee last won the day on February 15

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  1. Markus, it seems you are quite comfortable in swapping, replacing, and adjusting the mechanical parts of your Ultimaker S5, which is a good thing. I'm also generally very comfortable with such things, but I'm a newbie when it comes to Ultimaker printers (and 3D printers in general). I want to ask you if you have noticed any side-effects in print quality and overall behaviour of the printer after you've messed with its mechanics. I mean this in a good way, I also want to be brave enough to mess with it, but its price and my lack of experience in owning and using such an expensive printer prevents me (for now) from touching it in this way. Have you ever caused any irreparable damage or permanent degradation in the print quality of the printer? Also, have you noticed any improvement in print quality as a result of your actions? Generally, is the S5 robust enough to be able to take a beating when it comes to its mechanics (belts, rods, bushings, lead screw, etc.)? Thanks for any insights, just trying to get a feel of how robust and serviceable the S5 mechanics are...
  2. @AdamSFX: I would look at the back of the screen / sensor to see if there is a part number of some sort, and Google it. Maybe the exact same part is available on its own (not through Ultimaker), even on eBay, for much less. Give it a try. Over $1000 for this part is way overpriced! Its actual cost as a separate part is closer to $100 in my experience.
  3. Looks like the print came off the print bed during printing. Whenever this happens, the object's entire structure is lost, and you end up with filament spaghetti most of the time. As Carla points out, there's a lot more to say. For example, do you see the base of the print somewhere? Is it still stuck in the print bed where it should be, or has it come loose by itself? Did you apply some form of adhesive (like glue) on the bed surface before you started printing? Have you used one of the built-in profiles in Cura? Have you modified any settings in Cura? Tell us a bit more so we can help determine the cause.
  4. Many thanks Carla! Already enjoying it immensely. Just to put things in perspective, we've just compared prints between the Ultimaker S5 and the Anycubic i3 Mega (cheap Chinese printer), and it was day and night... The Anycubic is very good for its price, but absolutely nowhere near the quality of the Ultimaker S5, which wins hands down in layer uniformity, speed, repeatability, tolerance accuracy, and first layer flatness. The saying "you get what you pay for" is once more confirmed. Really happy to be able to enjoy this fine machine.
  5. Hello everyone, Very good news! I'm pleased to announce that all reported problems with the Ultimaker S5 have now been fixed! I will edit my first post to let readers know about this. Below I will describe the root cause of the problems, so that it may help someone who may be having similar issues. Continuing on from my previous posts, two days ago I went to the reseller's shop to check things out with the printer (it had been returned to the reseller for testing), and everything was fine. I saw some very beautiful prints that were made with the printer (this is the 2nd Ultimaker S5, out of the two units that were shipped to us, both seemingly having problems). Arrangements were made to deliver the printer to our lab. All good up to this point. The printer arrived at our lab yesterday. The reseller unboxed it, started setting things up, etc. To our horror and dismay, the printer started crashing, freezing, and not being able to complete setup and preparation for printing. We just couldn't explain how it was possible for the printer to misbehave in our lab when it was absolutely fine in the reseller's shop. We even considered the mains power supply quality, and moved the printer to a different power source (we have many separate power sources at our lab). Still the same problems. A colleague of mine jumped in and casually commented on something that eventually led us to the solution to all problems with the printer. He said "guys, you do realise that our Wi-Fi is on a defense-secured military network, right?" Right! All of our Wi-Fi equipment and internet gateway are specially set-up by our MoD for defense-grade security. Although we are allowed to surf in certain areas of the internet, check our mails, etc., we are not allowed to do many things. As it turned out, the Wi-Fi traffic that the Ultimaker S5 was generating was being blocked, or otherwise affected by the security mechanisms of our network. When we disabled Wi-Fi on the printer, everything was absolutely fine, no issues whatsoever! We did two test prints which came out perfect, loaded/unloaded filament, changed materials, and various other things, with no problems whatsoever. Based on my experience, I would suggest to the Ultimaker developer team to examine their code in relation to network/Wi-Fi connectivity. It may be a good idea for the printer to do some sort of test to see if the Wi-Fi module communicates properly with the local network and the internet, and display a warning to the user, or even disable Wi-Fi altogether. I believe our network (due to its defense-grade security) created a situation that was never encountered before by the Ultimaker S5, and the Wi-Fi module went haywire because of that, taking everything down with it. tl;dr: If you're having problems with your Ultimaker S5 printer, make sure your Wi-Fi (possibly also your Ethernet) network is not heavily secured due to company restrictions/policies that may prevent the printer from communicating properly with your PC and the internet. Disable Wi-Fi and see if the problems go away. In closing, I want to thank everyone, Ultimaker HQ, the local reseller, and the Ultimaker community, for all your help in this. At last, I'm finally able to enjoy my Ultimaker S5!
  6. @ultiarjan: Sorry for the off-topic question but... Can you share some info about yout drybox? I'm also interested in printing with PVA (it was the reason I chose a dual-extruder printer), but the problem is that it quickly degrades when left in open air, even for a short period of time. I used the spool that came with my S5 to print a small test print (which printed beautifully), and then left it in a zip-sealed bag with silica gels inside it. I tried to use it again about a month later, and it had become so brittle it broke in may places inside the Bowden tube. Not sure if it can be saved... I'd appreciate it if you could share any information about your drybox, and how it performs when used with PVA. Thanks.
  7. In your photo, the capacitive touch sensor ribbon cable is the one on the left, with the label "Touch" under it. You could try to carefully remove and re-insert the ribbon cable. To remove it, you may need to push/pull or lift up some pieces or plastic on the edges of the connector, or to lift/move the black piece of plastic on top of it. You need to see the type of connector and make sure you understand how to remove and re-insert the ribbon cable. Google it. If you're not sure of what to do, don't do anything, as these ribbon cables are very delicate and can tear easily. About the screen film/protector, what I meant was to remove anything that you have added on top of the screen, just in case if interferes with the touch sensor. I'm not saying the screen has to have a protector.
  8. There seems to be a problem with the screen's capacitive touch sensor. Have you dropped any liquid on the screen, or hit it hard with your hand or another object? Is there a film/protector on the screen? Usually the capacitive touch sensor has a little flexible ribbon cable on the back of the screen, that connects to the main board and carries touch signals via I2C. Could it be that this ribbon cable has somehow been partly detached? Probably not, as these can't be detached so easily. I hope I'm wrong, but it looks like you'll have to ship the unit to your reseller for a screen/touch sensor replacement.
  9. Interesting topic. My impression about the Ultimaker S5 (and Ultimaker printers in general) is that they are not meant to be modded in the way that cheaper printers like Prusa, Creality, Anycubic, etc., are. I see this as more of a negative thing than positive. I'm an electronics engineer, and would love to be able to improve on my (not yet in my hands) S5. But the price/warranty and overall enclosed design of the printer discourages users to mod it. Maybe some external attachments for filament handling, helpful tools, things like that, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to mod the electronics and mechanics. Would love to hear about useful mods from S5 users out there.
  10. @BiMNrd: I know that this will not solve your problem, but it would be very useful and helpful to the community if you could post photos of a side-by-side comparison of a print using ABS on the Ultimaker vs. your other printer, to see the differences in quality and layer flatness as it relates to your problem. Don't do it if it's too difficult for you. I'm just curious to see the differences in quality between the two printers.
  11. I've never used ABS, and based on what I've been reading, it seems to be a difficult material to print... Can't you use something like Tough PLA? The few test prints I've tried with my Ultimaker S5 were very strong and sturdy. Couldn't break them with my bare hands. If ironing doesn't work, I would try gently sanding the piece by placing a fine sandpaper on a flat surface.
  12. I've noticed this issue on some of my prints (Tough PLA). It happens when a top layer is small, narrow, or has a shape that forces the printer to do many small zig-zag movements to fill the inner area of the layer. The start/end points of those zig-zag material deposits tend to rise slightly, thus giving the layer a rough/bumpy feel when you touch it and run your finger over it. I don't mind so much about this, as it can be corrected by gently sanding the layer, but would like to hear of a solution. One thing that comes to mind is forcing the printer to fill the surface layers by using the longest possible fill lines (i.e., instead of filling a long and narrow area by doing many small zig-zag fills along the short dimension, it should do a few long fills along the long dimension of the area). I don't know if there is a parameter in Cura that can do this. Another thing I've heard is the "ironing" technique, where the hot print head just passes on top of the top layer, barely touching it, and extruding very little material, thus "ironing" the layer with its hot metal end, shaving any bumps and filling any gaps with material. Cura can do it, by ticking "Enable Ironing" in "Shell". I haven't had the chance to try it, as my brand-new Ultimaker S5 is still at the reseller for inspection due to some problems it had when delivered to us. Will know more when I print some test parts. I think it's worth trying the "ironing" technique on one of the small parts in your photo and report back to us what you get, so that the community can also benefit from your experience.
  13. @SefPinneyStudio: Many thanks for your reply, that's the kind of response I'm after. Hands-on experience and an informed opinion. I'm really glad your experience with your Ultimaker is positive. As you've correctly stated, there's not much else to choose from, when it comes to raw specifications. Perhaps the MakerBot Method X, but that's not so easy to get at the moment, and has yet to prove its worth, and it's a closed system in terms of filament and s/w. OTOH, the Ultimaker S5 is available now and has it all, on paper at least. When it works as intended, it can produce stunning results. I've seen it happening on both S5 machines I've had. Sure, they have issues, major ones, but when they do behave, they really shine. The only thing I want is to be able to rely on them to not freeze mid-print and create blobs of material all over, or crash constantly, with my left hand permanently on the back to turn them off/on all the time. Your post, as well as Carla's and Bob's, and all those speaking in favour of the machine, kind of reassure me that it is possible to have an S5 that is stable and reliable. I just hope that when it is delivered next week, it's going to be that printer. Earlier today I spoke with the reseller, and he told me that they narrowed it down to a poorly updated firmware, and the printer is currently printing constantly and without problems. Well, I'm not yet willing to accept their word, certainly not before seeing the prints with my own eyes and using the printer myself for some time. Will update this thread as I have more info on the situation. Hopefully very soon I'll have a fully working S5 in my hands. 💪
  14. Just to add to the very interesting discussion, if the "pause-blob-disaster" issue is caused by G-code, then that blob should be repeatable and at the exact same spot in every print of the same G-code. I still have the G-code of the print that caused the blob issue on the second S5 (last 2 photos of my original post). So, I could just re-run the same G-code and see what happens. If it blobs at the exact same spot, it's something to do with the contents of that file, or the way the contents are interpreted by the printer firmware. If, however, the print goes fine, or causes a blob on a different spot, then there may be more to this than just the G-code. There's also the environmental issues than need to be taken into account, e.g., due to differences in temperature between the first print (with the blob) and the new print of the same G-code, we may actually have to consider the two prints as different jobs, not 100% comparable. Which goes to show how carefully and rigorously the slicer + embedded system have to be designed. In any case, it would be interesting to see if the G-code that caused a blob, will also cause a blob, and how similar the two blobs are. Hopefully it will help us get to the bottom of this (and I hope that I end up with an S5 and not a different brand of printer). Will report any findings here. In the meantime, feel free to post your experiences, good or bad, and I sincerely thank all of you for helping me paint a better picture of the situation.
  15. OMG @traderhut! If what you're saying is really what's happening, then this is a very serious issue (or issues) that must be addressed by Ultimaker. If the generated G-code contains instructions that shouldn't be in there (trying to control 2 extruders when there's only one enabled, or changing temperatures mid-print and releasing molten goo on top of the object being printed, or other badly timed and/or unnecessary instructions that mess up the print), then there is something seriously wrong with the design of this printer... We're not talking about a fault condition, but about bad design. As simple as that. I really hope and pray that this is not the case, and the printer can do what it was designed to do, and what its specs define it should do. Based on my recommendation, my company have paid nearly 10,000 € for something that appears to be flawed by design. This is a very serious matter. A colleague of mine recently bought a cheap Chinese-made 3D printer, the Anycubic i3 Mega. He bought it from eBay for 149 € (about 40 times cheaper than the Ultimaker S5, or 60 times cheaper than the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle -- the one ordered by my company based on my recommendation). Well, that teeny-weeny Chinese printer has performed flawlessly, and has printed more than 20 objects without any issues whatsoever! I really feel very angry, frustrated and deeply disappointed about recommending the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle. We had the S5 at our lab twice (brand-new machines, different serial numbers), and they both had similar problems, especially the blobs on the prints, as well as the very frequent crashes of the firmware/UI. This behaviour is totally unacceptable, for a printer that costs 6,000 €. I can't begin to imagine the experience when I add the Material Station to the mix, based on what I'm reading in this very forum. @CarloK: After both printers exhibited the problems I've described, the reseller flashed the latest firmware at the time. I can't remember the version(s), but they were the ones that were available on the 19th of December 2019 (1st S5), and the 23rd of January 2020 (2nd S5). Nothing changed. About the Wi-Fi issue, again, this doesn't make much sense to me, as an embedded systems design engineer with nearly 3 decades of design experience. It just shouldn't happen. When Cura slices an object and generates the G-code, it sends it to the printer in one go, so the printer can continue to print the object even if the PC is shut down. That's how it is supposed to work. The printer has memory inside it to store the G-code locally, so it doesn't need a stable (or any) connection to the PC once printing has commenced. Blaming the Wi-Fi connection for blobs and other freezes during printing, when the printer already has the full G-code locally available just doesn't make sense, sorry. If the problems I've described in my first post are not rectified, and the printer is not clearly shown to be up to its specs, I will be forced to request another brand of printer by the reseller. He has already agreed to it, and we are now waiting for the S5 tests, in order to determine the next course of action. During the course of this week, I will be in contact with the reseller to find out what's going on with the S5. I'm really curious to hear what he has to say. I'm terribly sorry for the tone of this message, but Ultimaker must understand that the cost of this machine is very high, and it is totally unacceptable to have to go through all those issues, failed prints, faulty print cores, constant crashes, after having paid nearly 10,000 € (for the Pro Bundle). And all this on two (2) brand-new machines! I really can't believe this is happening, to be honest. I've never had an Ultimaker before, but I never expected this. Needless to say, after all this mess, my department will never ask me again to recommend another expensive piece of equipment... I will report back when I hear from the reseller. I really hope that, somehow, the problems will be solved, but the more I dig into this pit, the deeper it goes, I'm afraid...
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