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neotko

Making your own Ultimaker - What not to buy on china stores (personal experience)

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I just wanted to share my experience along this 7 months as UMO+ owner of searching for parts on china stores and buying stuff outside to build another umo+.

Stuff I bough from Ultimaker and their distributors.

- UMO Hot bed addon. It's exactly like the hot bed of umo+ plus stuff that you won't use. Better to buy in peaces.

- UMO+ Wood frame 100€. They sent me a UMO non plus with tilted laser parts, they are sending me a new full frame for umo+ (their support for me has been just top notch on this and many other parts).

- UM2 Motor pack x2. 95€ each aprox, it's the same x/y stepper + the 0.9/400steps feeder motor of um2. I got this to use |Robert| feeder on my umo+ and the new I'm assembling.

- x2 Glasses for UM2. They are the same as UMO+. Perfect quality so far.

- Also I bough a full UMO+ Kit, so I could have a total of 3 printers. That pack arrived perfect and without any missing part.

Stuff I bough from china (with a list of problems).

- A full set of linear shafts from Sealand at aliexpress. They sent me x4 x shafts with the same size on 8mm axis, so they are 11mm shorter for the Y axes. I used a changed version of the Dim3nsioneer Direct drive adapter to be able to use them, it worked but. After assembling all, 3 of the axes woobled like crazy, really really bad quality. One was almost usable with minimal woobling but still bad.

- Another fullset of linear shafts from Naruto at aliexpress. The one that has more units sold with better score. 3 of the shafts on x/y 8mm didn't even fit on the bearing. Also the consistency it's really bad on the size. The 6mm axis are really woobled. Their Z shafts where actually quite good (12mm). They at least answered to my request of changing the x3 shafts that can't fit the bearing and they are sending me 3 new shafts. According to them the x/y 6mm it's normal... So more shafts to the trash.

- PFA from 3DS store at aliexpress. Really good quality PFA. They sell a very cheap 5 meter roll and the input/output it's quite perfect centered.

- GT2 Pulleys / MXL Pulleys belts. Ningbo at Aliexpress I'm waiting for the gt2 pulley belts, but the MXL pulleys/belts I bough from them are just fantastic. Much better than the stock pulley/belt from ultimaker. Perfect centered pulleys, and they pack the belts/pulleys with much care. It's going to be my main shop for this stuff. They also sell a lot of different sizes pulleys. My best buy on aliexpress so far.

- PTFE for 1.75mm, PT100 (without connector) and x6 aluminium heat blocks. Liyuan Electronic at aliexpress. All arrived perfect. The pt100 works like a charm (after connecting it to the right solex). The ptfe's also are quite ok, no dirt and all send nicely. Also bough x2 heat barrels for 1.75 but they send me x2 3mm ones, after telling them they just sent me x2 correct barrels and they are quite nice.

- x4 Heat barrels from Hengxing Factory. The heat sensor holes where 3,5-4mm so the pt100 fit's loose. Asked them about this, they said it's normal and refused to replace them. Cheap Crappy shop.

- x4 Heaters 24v 20W. I bough this to be able to use dual without a new power supply on the new umo+. They work nice but ofc they heat slower. After some PID adjustment they are ok even being 20mm instead of 25-26 like the original. The good think, they cost 1,34€ each. So really cheap.

- A wood frame from Sealand Aliexpress. Asked them if they could make me one, because I didn't knew ultimaker could sell me one. They did it, send it, and it was just crap. No small letters, tables bend and the wood quality was so bad that many parts break just by making pressure. Very crappy. No replacements (because custom job...).

- x10 Nozzles of different sizes at 5A Plus Aliexpress. They sent me a different think than what they advertised on the photos. After talking to them they sent me a full new correct set. Fast and nice. The nozzles are quite ok for the price.

So IMO. There are stuff that you can buy on china, but stuff that need's precision it's something you just shouldn't. Linear shafts are a great example. Buying from 2 different shops, In theory they sell good stuff, not just the cheap ones, all the shafts where crap. I ended 2 weeks ago buying Misumi shafts.

So yes I did a lot of bad shopping. Some where quite good, others just the oposite.

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With all the lost shafts and new ones of misumi that part was much more expensive. The umo 2.1.1 board I bough it's still an unknow since it came without the power button soldered. Price for ptfe, hotbarrels and belts pulleys it's much better on china and the quality was nice. Nozzles are a bit of a risk and pt100 was a bit cheap but it takes time to finish solder etc. The really technical stuff it's worth going to the source or thrusted places. Money wise I think I saved maybe 200-100€ on the third machine. And also got a lot of replacement parts. Way too many...

Edit: Bad at maths here. Checked the notes and it's around 350€ specially if the um2 board does work. But I need to solder the button first...

Edited by Guest

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Indeed. It takes a lot of time. Soldering. And it can be a miss. Good think it's that all the thinks I bough from aliexpress shops where free shipping. But not really worth unless you want parts to mod it. And ultimaker warranty it's just to good to not have it. At least I have 2 full ultimaker and 1 half-ultimaker.

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So definitely just buy the the UM kit then if you want an Ultimaker .... and you get warranty ... I think it's wonderful to do an own build or experiment with some chines stuff (I got a copy UM2 board to play with...) but for a full and unchanged machine I would go for the original ...

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This is interesting...as I'm currently doing exactly the same thing! I've ordered everything from taobao though as I'm already in china.

I have an oem spare wooden parts kit due to some QC issues with my first one, and as always with superb customer service, ultimaker sent me a replacement. I managed to salvage my original frame in the end, so using the spare to build a Chinese version.

The parts I have so far seem to be ok. I went with a HBK style bed, they sell the aluminium (or in this case steel), bed section on taobao. Ordered a um2 z stage stepper too, so in theory should be like the HBK. For the heated bed, I already had a spare on (non UMO, bang bang style), so I have printed some adapters to fit that to the 3 point levelling system.

As for the axis, i'll see how decent they are this week!

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Hi!

I also bought lots of different things from China, and had some manufacture there too.

Always some problem! I decided to not "teach them" anything, but I am not sure its the right thing to do.

It is so easy to criticize UM and finding all the faults etc, but try another printer and see it will not be easier!

I think UM have done a great job, getting a lot of things right the first time!

Look; we are trying to run Ubuntu in Window on a Mac, printing all sorts of crazy material, modifying and hacking our printer in various ways, printing at all possible and impossible resolutions and speeds and complain when not everything works!

So good of @neotko to point out "both sides of the medal".

I personally ruined my (i guess mosfets) PCB on UM2 trying to install other fans i bought from alibaba and the 40 robbers.. the impedance was totally wrong and it just killed the switching circuit.

Some things are really much cheaper, but then next time I did not get the same things so I have more than less stopped buying this kind of stuff..

I had a lot of .40 nozzles drilled with 1 dollar Chinese drill bits.. Turned out (too late) that the drill bits where 0.37mm.. not veeery funny. So now I only use German drill bits by company Gühring.

"

Guhring is a world class manufacturer of round shank cutting tools for the metalworking industry;"

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UM2 heated bed = 3.8 ohm for the one I have laying around ...

 

Thanks for that "ultiarjan".

Well I guess we can add the Chinese heated beds to the list of bad purchases. I contacted 2 other Aliexpress sellers and one eBay seller and they all reported heater resistance of 7 ohms so I'm trying to find a genuine heated bed now.

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Just a quick update.

Many Aliexpress shops now sell the Isolator couplers for Ultimaker Original with the bottom area size of 4.5mm, the original made by Ultimaker it's 5.1mm. So I did bough 10 couplers (for 2.5€ each) and non of them works, the filament leaks between the barrel and the coupler and it's a MESS. So, ask to your shop before buying... Or get ready to buy a Lathe to fix the ptfe couplers... I tryed to fix one with a drill and I was able to fix it, but since I never done this it fails to get a grip inside the peek, so crap...

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Thanks @swordriff thanks to you (and @anders-olsson) there's a source for reliable modded products.

Tryed using again other with a drill as a lathe and changed it but even so the aliexpress ptfe inner hole is wrong. So I'll have to send them to the box of mistakes :S

Edited by Guest

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Hi there, I was looking for spare pulleys and belts for UM2.

I found some good looking belts from NINGBO, but they are 6mm width (UM2 has 6.5mm belts).

I guess I need to use their 6mm pulleys or I'll be having problems with sliding belts.

Any one of You tried sintered copper+graphite bushings?

I saw some people use them.

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I'm running those bushes on my Chinese parts built printer. No problem with them so far. They run smooth. One thing to note is that if you oil the shafts, the graphite in the bushes makes them turn black. No idea if you're not supposed to oil them, but I have, and they work fine. They are larger OD than ultimaker bearings though, 12mm. I modified the twister blocks on youmagine to take them.

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I've just realised how out of true my rods are on my Chinese parts printer. I can see the twister blocks wobbling up and down on all axis when I move the print head. The prints all look good, but I'm assuming this affects the dimensional accuracy. So, don't buy rods from China!

@neotko, how are the misumi rods? Do you have a link? Thanks

Edited by Guest

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I had to use the cheap-way to get some couplers and I must say that the ptfe couplers from aliexpress Sealand seller are perfect. They are 5.1mm tall and are really well crafted. They sent me two damaged but they have sent replacements (the best think it's that they speak english correctly and they actually answer). They shafts where really bad but the couplers are perfect.

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