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alaris2

The big challenges for ultimaker NOW !

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Sander,

first it's good to see real UM people on this forum. it's been far too long. I hope it's not just a flying visit. :)

regarding print quality - I have been trying to showcase how awesome the UM is to potential buyers here in the UK, but the comments are always the same - the reliability and quality are just not good enough. they would prefer to buy Makerbot or stick with Shapeways. the reasons for this are:

the problems seem to be threefold. first is caused by variation in filament diameter which can cause grinding, blocked bowden tubes, variable layer quality, poor adhesion etc. perhaps improving the hotend and extruder can help this, we are waiting for details of what might be happening officially regarding this.

second is caused by spikes on the power supply which cause the arduino to hang. leave a long (>6hr) print to run ,especially overnight, and expect to wake up to a finished model? not happened yet. I can't start a print and walk away because something will always go wrong. I can give you a much longer list if you really want.

PS. the filament I now use is from faberdashery, which is far better than (I'm sorry to say) that supplied by yourselves. The first roll supplied with the machine had terrible tolerance (2.65-3.05mm) and the second roll you supplied as a replacement after the 'bad batch from suppliers' had been sorted, was almost as bad (2.61-2.98mm). faberdashery filament is usually 2.84+-0.1 and it still has some problems but not so many.

(on the plus side, your customer support is awesome however).

third is the software. it makes a massive difference to the quality of the print I have found. repG is unusuable, Cura is better and a good starting point for beginners, but slow and only average quality (not Daid's fault but SF). there are other slicers which produce superior results but have no official support and are therefore too complex for new users (eg. kisslicer). this might not seem like a UM problem - but the first impression for a new user and for those being shown the UM in action are very much dependent on that print quality. so the problem here is getting the right settings to people who are using x,y,z slicer so they can use an UM.

these points are made as constructive criticism only. I bought an UM because i believed it was the best of what was available. I still believe that (although the advantage is quickly being eroded by other printers) but I have difficulty convincing others that UM is best and they should buy it.

best regards, nik

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Hi Nik,

Thanks for your reply!

I don't think this is the right topic for this, but i will give you a brief answer on your post.

If you want to go into it any further, i suggest you open a new topic :)

We are aware of the filament issues, and it is keeping the Ultimaker from reaching it's full potential.

But we are looking for ways to improve the quality of the filament or an upgrade so a small variation wouldn't matter as much as it does now.

One of the solutions is a new feeding mechanism that is in development now.

One other thing you mentioned was a new hot end. We have a new design on the way (

https://p.twimg.com/A1U5ZQeCcAMqsb_.jpg

) and more details will be revealed later on this week.

The spikes in the power supply i am not aware of. What i have experienced is when a print doesn't make it through the night this is not due to something in the power supply, rather due to variation in the filament diameter.

My intention is not to make a flying visit :), i am browsing the forum to see if i can help.

But the most secure way to get help from the team is to sent us a direct email.

Another member of the team will make it's appearance soon, in the form of a community manager.

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Great to hear about the new hot-end in the works! I look forward to more on that.

Regarding power supply spikes - I have had just about every issue that others have had with the hot-end / bowden tube, etc... but have never had issues with the Arduino hang or rebooting at all. I've not heard of that issue until now... Could it just be your particular power supply or Arduino? I have managed up to 21 hours successfully once, and a number of 16 hour prints with no problem... These days the only issue I ever have is the filament (I use Faberdashery too) getting tangled on the way to the extruder because it's loose and not on a spool of any sort.

Nik, out of curiosity, where in the UK are you? I'm in London - I've had my Ultimaker for about a year now.

Cheers,

Troy.

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thanks Ian! :)

regarding arduino hanging - there were several threads on this previously - rather than repeat everything, I'll link to the original thread on the subject

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=986

yes filament variation is a big problem in its own right and often to blame for a failed print, but not always. others seem to have had this problem too. is UM CE marked? if not, then susceptability to conducted or (more likely) radiated noise is likely the problem.

codemaven> in cambridge. I've been printing for about 5 months now. prints varying from about 7 minutes to 38 hours.

Sander> a new extruder is a good move, altho Bertho's extruder mod is excellent and I've found no problems with it. I'd be interested to see what improvements could be made over it. the problem with variable print quality seems to be that less material is coming out the nozzle - unless you can measure the filament variation and adjust the speed of the extruder, I'm not sure how you can fix the problem easily?

I currently do this manually - when a print starts to go wrong, I now use M221 Sxxx to adjust the material rate to fix the problem before the print fails completely. this has saved many a print but of course requires me to babysit the machine. :(

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that's the one Daid.

the H3 one you found Ian should be similar but may take more construction and I haven't tested that one.

Bertho's is excellent for the simplicity with which it gets the job done. I've never needed to mess with that part of the machine since I made one so can highly recommend. Bertho also did an excellent job on his website of explaining and testing it. this is the one upgrade that everyone should have.

(Bertho should pay me commission too ;)

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I should add that I am using the V2 bolt with no problems. a V3 bolt is not necessary to 'fix' the extruder problem.

You're right about the bearings - I had to order one since it's a little non-standard and I think Bertho uses netfabb which messes with hole sizes. I had to file the part a bit to make everything move smoothly. an extra 0.5mm clearance wouldn't have gone amiss.

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I should add that I am using the V2 bolt with no problems. a V3 bolt is not necessary to 'fix' the extruder problem.

I'm also using the V2 bolt without problems, however, I could not extrude flexible PLA reliably. But on the UltiEvening aabannink was printing with flexible grey PLA without issues. He was using a V3 bolt, so the V3 does look like an improvement.

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There is the V1 V2 and V3 bolt.

The V1 is rare, it has horizontal groves in it like the Makerbot drive gears, but with a much smaller diameter.

300px-OldBolt.jpg

The V2 is the most common, it has diagonal groves and works pretty well. However, if it grinds your filament you will have to clean it.

300px-NewBolt.jpg

The V3 is the latest bolt. It also has diagonal groves, but is cleaner cut. It also has a quick-release mechanism so it is easier to assemble/disassemble and clean.

bolt-with-lock.jpg

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I haven't tried flexible PLA so can't comment, but it would seem both V2 and V3 started life as a bolt and therefore will tend to twist the material slightly. this is very apparent with the V2 and gives the characteristic shoelace effect on the PLA.

some people have queried whether this constant twisting is good or bad, it has been blamed for all manner of things - I've seen no evidence to support this which suggests bad workmen, tools, etc.

However, one thing that does seem to have an effect is during retraction.

if we retract - does the PLA follow the original grooves in the material, or are new grooves cut into the PLA?

if the former - does this mean less grip, therefore the stock extruder is more likely to fail (hence explaining why Berthos extruder makes a better job with retraction) - or if the latter, do we not risk grinding the filament to dust if there are too many retractions in a small area ?

I would be interested to hear whether we think the V3 makes any difference in this regard. just being cleaner cut doesn't seem like an incentive to 'upgrade' (I've only once needed to clean my V2 bolt)

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I would be interested to hear whether we think the V3 makes any difference in this regard. just being cleaner cut doesn't seem like an incentive to 'upgrade' (I've only once needed to clean my V2 bolt)

On this point I can comment with: I have both a V2 and a V3 bolt in my Dual extrusion setup, the V3 is in the 2nd extruder, and I haven't found a reason to swap them around. I do think the V3 is an upgrade, but I don't see it as a hugely important upgrade if your V2 works well.

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The v3 bolt does not twist the filament like the v2 does, it goes in and out straight. I had trouble with retraction working reliably with my v2 bolt and was suggested to upgrade to the v3. For me the upgrade was a pretty big improvement. But, as daid said, I don't think it's a must have upgrade if your v2 is working reasonably well.

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There is also a big 'inhouse' difference.

Beside the fact you can take it out much faster and it deliveres a more constant quality.

We made the v2 drive bolt ourselves.

So it took time to craft them, and it was a pretty difficult process to make them so it would have a

constant and good grip. This resulted in a lot of bolts going to trash and cost a lot of time.

So the v2 bolts that were good, probably are still good. But the v3 bolt is more constant, is produced a lot faster and you

can take it out way faster then the old bolt.

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