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huguescmoi

Ultimaker is dishonest in selling incompatible materials with their own UM2 printer

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Hi,

Until now I had used my UM2 for months very hapily with PLA material bought from Ultimaker. I decided to try PLA Flex and it results it is impossible to make the least single print, eventhough I have tried all of the settings I could find on the forum (changing temps between 210-235 degrees, changing speeds from 100% to 20%, from 50mm/s to 10 mm/sec). I am apparently not the only one unable to make a PLA flex print with UM2 and lots of other people are having this issue since 2014. However Ultimaker does not "listen" and keeps selling the PLA Flex. I find this dishonest and have introduced a request for a full refund of my PLA Flex roll.

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My guess is that the teflon coupler is ever so slightly deformed inside in the lower end (happens when printing extensively at 230+C.)

The flexible material has even more problems passing this place.

How to try:

Heat hot end to 200. Wait 15-20 minutes for heat to move into Teflon so it deforms if it is weakened.

Dismount bowden tube.

Performing Atomic according to Epic support at www.3dverkstan.se (yes, it is in english), using any normal PLA.

Verify that the PLA moves freely.

Then, if the flexible material is really soft, you need a 10cm piece of bowden tube (which you have lying arounf, of course), and try to insert the flex material from there. If it stops it will be due to deformed Teflon coupler.

Replace.

If it moves freely then we are speaking of extruder / tube problems

Load up with the flexibale stuff.

MOVE MATERIAL in advanced settings.

The Flex Material should push out of the bowden very hard indeed, so that you can almost not hold it by hans.

If not, Replace feed with iRoberti feeder, and /or lubricate filament ever slightly 1 drop oil every yard or so, they say.

Easier to try and see if the flex material does indeed move freely in tube. If it does, THEN its the feeder drive mechanism alignment/construction.

If all this is not possible for you, there is a 26,14 percent chance it can save the day by loosening the 4 vertical shot end assembly screws a little, possibly offloading the teflon a little. But it is a little like peeing in the pants to keep warm, if you ever tried that!

Good Luck!

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I figured out a method of printing and changing filaments relitively easily even with a deformed coupler. However from what ive read that flex material its not easy material to print with. So im not surprised you are having a hard time with it. My method works with pla which is what i use.

But again. Nobody told me i figured it out these printers are still not 100% consumer ready. There most definitely is a learning curve. But you have to use your head and try to figure out why things happen and what you can do to fix them. Only asking for answers and not truly experimenting with everything available is the lazy way. It might help it might not. Not everyone shares exectly the same issues. There is more to the printer than settings. The feeder, the bowden tube, the coupler... all of these things are open for you to play and hack to make them work the best for you.

Ill do a tut. But in all honesty if i look at how um do atomic pulls on their videos, i do it differently, how most people load their material, i do it differently, how people change materials, i do it differently..

You get the drift? Do what works for you. The rules of 3d printing are merely a guideline. Even on the um. Thats what makes it better than any closed source printers.

I could list all the problems with the UM but whats the point it wont achieve anything as i cant do anything about them. So instead ive just figured out workarounds.

Sorry for the rant...lol.

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I have also just bought some Flex-PLA and had some success.

I tried and failed to use the feeder. Don't even think about trying it with the standard feeder, it won't work, just squashes the filament flat. You MUST use something like a 'Robert' feeder, which I will get around printing to eventually.

As my components are rather small, I withdrew the standard PLA filament back along the bowden tube to the feeder then uncoupled the Bowden tube at the head and pushed the Flex-PLA down the tube. I now had a tube full of Flex-PLA to print with, driven by the normal PLA.

Everything else was done as default, 210C, 100% feed rate, 0.1mm layer height and the results were excellent, better quality even than normal PLA. Flex-PLA sticks very well to the glass with Prit Stik glue.

OK, it's a pain to do and won't work with big parts but it showed me that the material prints very well, just need to sort the feeder out.

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The feeder is the main issue with 3D printers, and in my experience i have just given up on it completely and cut the measured filament off the roll, its the only way of stopping filament/spool snags and completely removing friction from the spool to the feeder. Printing like this solved EVERY clicking feeder based issue, along with correct atomic pulls. Feel fre to print roberts feeder but it wont prevent random filament spool snags.

20150425_140758.thumb.jpg.2f7d7517bd0c9ce09ce1a7f4ec49e101.jpg

It wont hurt if you just try it once....you said you tried everything did you try this?

and check my tut for printing with a deformed coupler. If after you have loaded it correctly and see a bit come out of the end, and click print, then nothing comes out as it tries to print, thats more than likely the reason!

 

20150425_140758.thumb.jpg.2f7d7517bd0c9ce09ce1a7f4ec49e101.jpg

Edited by Guest
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I have also just bought some Flex-PLA and had some success.

I tried and failed to use the feeder. Don't even think about trying it with the standard feeder, it won't work, just squashes the filament flat. You MUST use something like a 'Robert' feeder, which I will get around printing to eventually.

OK, it's a pain to do and won't work with big parts but it showed me that the material prints very well, just need to sort the feeder out.

 

You just made the point of Hugues I think. That's "funny" to sell the flex filament if the original machine can't handle it without modification. The more I read, the more I feel like UMO+ is the best deal.

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I don't know how the UMO or UMO+ handles the flex material.

On the UM2 it will print but as said you need to modify the feeder in order to print flex.

Main tips are:

Print slow (very slow), avoid retractions, avoid speed changes (set min layer time to 0). I have made several long(ish) (6 - 10h) prints with Flex like that with no issues.

Flexible materials are not really suited for bowden type printers but it's possible ;)

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From my personal experience I can tell it works on both machines, with default stock.

I have printed various parts without modifications.

But, as it becomes clear here and what I would like to add, it is more difficult to print

then regular PLA. You have to print slower (like 20mm/s) , potentially add a drip or 2 (no more!) sewing machine oil in the bowden tube to reduce friction and that is it.

For example; I have printed this wallet multiple times.

Adding a modification like Roberts feeder, or something else may make it easier to handle.

But that doesn't mean the regular Ultimaker can't handle it.

It would be nicer to ask for help/tips first, instead of claiming dishonesty.

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Thanks all for your various tips and advices. In fact this makes perfectly my point. I bought the uM2 because I did not want to start modding the machine, I do not have time for that and wanted a "plug & play" printer instead. I realize now that UM2 requires fiddling around and modifications according to each materials and what you want to print. I therefore maintain my "dishonnesty" comment against Ultimaker for not making this clear and certainly not giving any information nor warning about this in their materials descriptions. It does not cost much effort nor money for Ultimkaer to write a line of caution about these PLA Flex restrictions/required modifications.

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After my previous reply I remembered I forgot to add this story.

The entire dress is printed on a stock Ultimaker Original, and later parts were printed on the Ultimaker 2, with solely PLA Flex.

You don't need to mod the machine if you don't want to, but you can.

Every material requires a certain print profile, this goes for regular PLA, ABS, PLA flex, Lay wood and other materials. Our apologies if this was not clear from the start. Hopefully with the offered tips and tricks you can start printing again.

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... I realize now that UM2 requires fiddling around and modifications according to each materials and what you want to print. I therefore maintain my "dishonnesty" comment against Ultimaker for not making this clear and certainly not giving any information nor warning about this in their materials descriptions. It does not cost much effort nor money for Ultimkaer to write a line of caution about these PLA Flex restrictions/required modifications.

 

Every printer requires fiddling around with according to each material, so i'm not sure what you're on about there, the day when you just put ANY material into a printer and click go is not here yet. Its like saying you want to cook all meals at the same temperature for the same amount of time, yet some foods take longer to cook than others, or you want your car to run on any type of fuel you put in it. And then complaining because Ultimaker does not tell you how to use other manufacturers filament and blaming them for dishonesty, is a bit silly, they dont make the filament, its an option for you to use. People who dont want to change ANY settings on their 3D printers, shouldn't be 3D printing in my opinion. They should just send it to someone who will do it for them, because they clearly haven't done any proper research on 3D printers otherwise they would know its not as simple as it appears to be or they either don't have the time, patience or common sense to operate the machine sensibly. Period. All machines need some degree of maintanence and tinkering to get the best out of them. If you don't want to tinker DONT get a 3D printer. They're not idiot proof yet.

If anything is dishonest, its the perception that 3D printing is easy and is one click solution. Its not but the more you do it the better you get. Its called learning, but if you don't have time for it, then just do something else.

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There's one point on what I must agree with this user. The info about how to print, like ninjaflex explains speed/basic-guidelines/tips. That's something that it's absolutely lacking on the shop for flexible materials.

This it's all the info show on the shop when checking black flexible PLA

"Normal PLA is fairly stiff, now you can print flexible structures, soft toys or other rubbery objects. Comes on a reel for more printing convenience. 3mm diameter. Great roundness and consistency. PLA is Poly-Lactic-Acid, a biodegradable polymer that has a lower melting point.

The shore hardness of PLA Flex is about A 92."

I must say, that for info on materials, it's really short. Not even heat range, speed or bed temperature. Since Ultimaker it's going more and more to new users, this kind of info it's basic for any filament maker.

And this kind of info being a material for ultimaker and being sold by ultimaker, it's something that could be easily added. Just make a 'Recommended settings for umo/um2 (the two kind's of hot ends and beds). How much time could that get to make, a few minutes of text?

Even on the CPE they almost say something like "CPE requires a higher print temperature compared to PLA", well that's a start point. But on the 2 flexible materials, nothing. So yea, I agree on this point on the user. This kind of info it's basic for any filament buyer. And also yes, for 3d printing every material need's tunning, sometimes even the same brand/size with a different color.

Edited by Guest

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The problem is that not all temp sensors are the same and some can be up to 10 degrees hotter or cooler so providing exact temps would make people think they are 'being dishonest' if they don't get the results they expect.

There is a lot of information and people saying how difficult it is to print with flexible filament so i would not expect good results with it therefore will not use it. Its great manufacturers are trying new materials, but you will always need to experiment with them to get them best result for your particular machine.

Temps that filament melt at are usually stated on the roll of filament itself, so I use this as a guide, and go from there. Taking advice is a great start, but experimentation is the key. If you aren't going to experiment, you will not get the best out of your printer, and wont be as happy as other users who do, period.

Just my opinion, but this goes back to the whole people expect everything 3D printer related to be easy and just select what they want and have it when its finished. It just doesn't work like that in my opinion. you will always have inferior prints to everyone else if thats how you approach it, and constantly be wondering what you are doing wrong that other people are doing right. Also what works for some people may not even work for you, so you need to find something that does.

All 3D printers should clearly state in my opinion that 3D printing is not a simple thing and an understanding of 3D moddelling is required, as well as the use of different compositions of filament, as well as maintenance and replacement of certain parts like the PFTE coupler, an understanding of how the filaments react to different temperatures, and closing the print area off when printing in abs to prevent cooling as well as using ABS paste, and making the paste and applying it to the bed, understanding of the best glues to use for your purposes or when not to use them, and understanding making your own support for best results and getting overhangs looking better, and using the brim, raft, and cleaning the head, and levelling the platform, not to even mention any post work on the model once its printed.......you get my drift. Its not as simple as its made out to be..... just my two cents.

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Indeed it's to 3d print it's not just a click/print. But I bet that giving that information and explaining how many factors are in hand when printing it's something that any marketing department must be just trying to avoid touching. I don't think any 3d printer seller give's all that info just because to get people into 3d printing it's just hard enough as it is. And after all, they wan't to keep selling machines. Luckily we have this forums and the community to ask and help each other.

But imo to the op main topic. I don't think Ultimaker it's dishonest. But also more info about basic guidelines it's a must.

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I agree, telling people that they need to learn a ton before getting the prints they expect will obviously turn some people off but considering 3D printing is still a hobby type thing in my opinion it should kind of be expected. It would have certainly put me off had i known, but i now know the limits of the printer, and am happy with the results and am happy that logical thinking solves a lot of problems, and good results are not hard to achieve once you figure out how to get them, which is very satisfying. But they really do need to know this all stuff, thats what i'm saying. There is no avoiding it. Doing research and having all the information what you need to do is one thing but actually doing it is something completely different. Its where most people go wrong.

The problem is you need to know a ton of information to print well, but saying so will also put people off doing it, so its a catch 22 situation. Not sure how a massive amount information can be advertised without putting people off though. That is the key. Once you crack that then more people will get going making cooler stuff, right now the quality seems to be fairly low.

Also a lack of close ups of 3D prints means that when you do eventually print your first object, it wont look as good as you expected, also due to overhangs. That was my biggest qualm, the overhangs and lines. But i've sorted those issues now, so all is good.

Edited by Guest

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... I realize now that UM2 requires fiddling around and modifications according to each materials and what you want to print. I therefore maintain my "dishonnesty" comment against Ultimaker for not making this clear and certainly not giving any information nor warning about this in their materials descriptions. It does not cost much effort nor money for Ultimkaer to write a line of caution about these PLA Flex restrictions/required modifications.

 

Every printer requires fiddling around with according to each material, so i'm not sure what you're on about there, the day when you just put ANY material into a printer and click go is not here yet. Its like saying you want to cook all meals at the same temperature for the same amount of time, yet some foods take longer to cook than others, or you want your car to run on any type of fuel you put in it. And then complaining because Ultimaker does not tell you how to use other manufacturers filament and blaming them for dishonesty, is a bit silly, they dont make the filament, its an option for you to use.

 

They sell this filament on their own websites, who cares if they make it. Blaming the seller seems fair to me? Maybe Hugues reaction is a little strong calloing dishonesty here, but I think he makes a fair point: everybody agress that Flex filament is not that easy to print, and most of the users (=all except Sander, that is) on this thread redirected him to modifying the stock feeder. Hence his complaints. Don't pretend you don't understand his complaint, it was perfectly logical.

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To be honest i don't think anyone really knows anything about these printers for certain from what ive read, and as with many things theres more more than one way to skin a cat. Nothing is guaranteed with these printers, so all those hoping to just get instructions and follow them and have a perfect amazing model exactly the way they expected it to look is delusional, you can get close to what you expect but you also have to expect the unexpected. But thats just my opinion. If they were perfect we wouldn't need this forum or any extra guidance what so ever.

I understand his complaint. but disagree with the complaint itself. And blaming a reseller for a product they don't manufacture is also wrong in my opinion. Its tricky and everyone knows it so it should not be a surprise when you get some and it doesn't work as you expect.

I first came to this forum to ask questions and get advice, and from what i've read theres plenty of both. I came to this forum in November as a total noob to 3D printing and was also getting results that i did not like and expect, but after a lot of reading i quickly learnt what was up, what looked crap and what not to print. 3D printing was not as easy as advertised. The first cura i used made support material so thick is was ridiculous with PLA, the next cura was perfect (i'd steer well clear from the newest cura BTW). Period. You need other skills to get the results you want, its up to you to figure them out. I personally love a challenge and believe that people who don't use their brain will ever get good results.

In my honest opinion anyone who buys a decent 3D printer like the Ultimaker cannot blame the printer for lame results unless it is a mechanical failure of some sort, as it has been proved to print objects in a good quality ( i can vouch for that). It is the user who must understand the properties of the materials and equipment he/she is working with to get the best results and if you don't, then you will never get good results.

If you don't know how something is working or why its doing certain things then how on earth are you going to make it do what you want?

Blaming other people will not help your situation, and I don't think labelling will either, as we all already knew ninja flex was a pain to print with.....so why would anyone experimenting using it be surprised when it came out bad? Thats my point. Just like ABS, a pain to print with, hence why PLA is so popular.

Edited by Guest

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It looks like most noobs come to 3D printing with the expectation that it is like a laser printer, but in 3D. This is a perception that is fostered by the media and in fact many 3D printer manufacturers. It hardly comes as a surprise that someone buying and Ultimaker is dismayed at the sheer amount of knowledge one requires in order to knock out something half decent.

It would be in the 3D printing industry's long-term interest to avoid this perception. Sure, in the short term you will sell fewer printers, but those printers that do move will be sold to more savvy users who will require less support and be happy to fiddle with repairs themselves.

In the long run, noobs will spend much more time in the run-up to buying a printer to educate themselves more about 3D printing. This is what I did, and I came into owning an Ultimaker with few illusions. Other than dual-head printing being just over the horizon, of course, but let's not mention the war :-)

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A little more information on the filament would spare the original poster some heartache.

 

I'm not really sure how useful that information is. Since I and others have found that different colours from the same manufacturer behave differently, the most important piece of information a new user needs is: "be prepared to experiment".

In other words, no manufacturer can guarantee you that their settings will work out of the box for whatever model you print. That's the reality right now, and the quicker a use internalises that, the quicker they will be able to achieve results they will be willing to accept.

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For a new user that buys the machine + filament theys should put some basic info. At least what you say a disclaimer that says "be prepared to experiment". Or "We recomend to check for settings to print correctly on out forums". Flexible isn't just 'print' it needs at least a bit of info. For example ninjaflex gives a lot of info about their filaments. And they say that the settings might change from machine to machine. Why no include something on description? On the CPE filament they give a bit of info about how abrasive it is. On flexible they could just point a bit of info and it's just so easy to edit an html.

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For colorfabb I just slap in the filament and print with out of the box temps or maybe one or two degrees lower or higher, depending, but I really don't understand all the people complaining about print quality, and instructions with filament telling them how to print? both UM brand PLA and Colorfabb PLA print perfect with out of the box UM 2 settings. What do you need info for, these are basic PLA filaments?

For noobs, first layer print hot and close, 220-230 is fine, then dial it down to 210. job done, why all the questions regarding filament? This is not new information at all.....its what everyone does and from what i've read since i bought my UM2 what have been doing to get it to stick to the plate better, or use a different glue.

If you buy stuff without researching properly, then its your own fault really, but hey! i didnt relly research it too long either, but i read open source was better to repair and maintain (yourself), so avoided Makerbots especially due to their low resolution, but if you got an ultimaker 2, as long as its not faulty, you made a good choice. So don't panic, instead practice!

Ninja flex is a whole different story, but we all know that already, so again, why the info? as clearly if they know about ninja flex then some research is being done....just do more. I think they dont want to put it in case it doesn't work for everyone, then people will complain. I think an experiment yourself sticker, and a guide for temps is all you need and i think the temps are printed on the roll already (i would assume, since Um and colorfabb do this). So that just leaves the experiment sticker, which is a bit stating the obvious, but in todays age of people needing to know everything might make some people happy. you may then end up with too many stickers. One sticker should say your printed model may also disappoint you and not be the quality you expect. But as we discussed earlier, negative stuff is counter productive for shareholders!

Just put a massive Sticker on the UM box saying to get the best results you will NEED to experiment with a few basic setting like temp and speed and shell thickness. But that will just lead to more questions complicating the matter.

Or just state that ninja flex is a pain in the arse to work with. And use it at your own risk, so quit complaining.

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