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neone

considering buying a 3D printer...

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Hi all,

I'm considering getting me a 3D printer (for the first time;) ) and my eye fell on the m2. But I'm not really sure yet.

I have been following the progress of this field from a distance for around 15 years now and in a way I can't wait to really dig into it personally to get my hands dirty ;-)

It would be used for some prototyping, shape/ergonomic/concept studies, more art related objects and experiments, etc.

I have made my first concept design recently, and I caught the 3D printing bug in a way :-)

facet5.jpg

But,

first of all the diy part. Soon after digging into the subject for a bit I realized that it isn't what you call super user friendly yet. It's not (yet?) like using a senseo sorta speak.

I don't know if it's a bad or a good thing really, I'm in a way intrigued and fascinated by this factor and a bit scared off at the same time (if you know what I mean).

For instance yesterday I concluded to buy it, but this morning I noticed for instance a very complicated video on how to remove a nozzle + other technical issues and this scared me in a way.

community wise I noticed a post about the drop of input (since the forum has changed?). Is this true? This concerns me in a way that I will probably need some assistance and a huge part why I would choose this printer is the community behind it.

price wise, it's still not what you can call cheap either. There is the initial printer costs, and I'm looking at filament prices, energy costs, maintanance, ...

Is it possible to receive some input on these, and possibly other matters to give me more insight towards making up my mind?

Thanks a lot in advance.

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Hi @Neone,

Thank you for your elaborated post and good questions.

Hopefully you will find the answers you are looking for and others may find them useful as well.

I am an Ultimaker employee, so I am probably biased but I may be able to give you some more insights. I am sure you will get replies from the rest of the community as well.

'Super user friendly'; I think this kinda depends on your frame of reference.

If you compare it to a Senseo you might be right. There is some getting to know the machine needed, but I personally don't see that as a con. It is not a catchy way of saying the machine is

unreliable or something.. it just literally means, get familiar with 3D printing. You are going to producing things with mostly thermoplastics. There are a lot of different thermoplastics available, you have to get to know how these materials behave and what lies within the possibilities or not. Learning what is possible goes for materials, but also the 3D printing in general. Not everything can be 3D printed. A lot.. but not everything. Usually there is a workaround.

For Senseo, you just have pads.. that's it. And you can only make coffee.

On the other hand, if you compare it to the entire 3D Printing scene, I think we are pretty user friendly. (go ahead and read our reviews, or ask others).

In regard of maintenance, we have developed the Ultimaker in a way it is maintenance friendly.

Maybe the video you saw is scary now since everything is unfamiliar, but that will soon change :) Besides, with Ultimaker you are not alone! You have us, you have this huge community and we have support pages.

We started off with a kit (Ultimaker Original), which we had to design so everyone could build it, with just a screw driver. That same experience went in the Ultimaker 2.

Community Activity; I guess you just have to find out for yourself :)

Since the new forum was uploaded a lot changed. Last week we enabled e-mail notifications again and in approx. a month we will do another upgrade. The community has always been active, and with each streak of improvements it grows and grows.

Price wise; we are not the cheapest printer around. I think there is a price-quality ratio.

Not claiming cheaper prints are bad, but you have to give in somewhere, whether build volume, reliability, support, heated bed's. With the Ultimaker 2 you have it all :)

(plus a reliable track record, which never shows up in any specs but is a crucial point).

We have an open filament system, this means you can use our own filaments if you want to stay safe in the Ultimaker products, but you are free to experiment and play around.

There are a lot of good other suppliers available as well, like Colorfabb.

This means you have a say in what you spend on materials, but remember.. you need quality input for quality output. So sometimes the cheapest material is not the best.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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You might want to go the hard way (and easy on the short therm) and get a umo+ kit. You will learn in the assembly process a lot of how everything works, and specially how to fix it. There's no easy printers. I had a davinci aio and a duo and when they are in theory click and print, they are in the short therm the most horrible experience one can have.

In my personal experience I did go for an ultimaker (now I'm about to have 3 in total) because:

- This forum. Many users with great experience and knowledge share their opinions, hacks, mods, improvements, etc.

- Ultimaker brand has a great support. I did call before buying to sales and they are quite sincere and realistic.

- I could improve my machine to other nozzles, heads, change belts, motors. To make it better. For example an umo+ with gt2 belt/pulleys it, mind the different head and wood frame, almost like a um2 (umo+ and um2 has the same board).

- After searching for examples of high quality prints I always found googling that the best ones where most of the time from ultimaker users.

- I wanted something that could print for 24h without having problems.

Ofc you can find problems on an Ultimaker, or any other printer. The important it's 'how to fix it'. On ultimaker since its open source you could even build it yourself (even the um2) and that means that you don't depend only of the parts that you can get from the seller but from many sources. So if you have a problem you know what motor model to buy, what belt size, etc etc. So in the long run when the warranty expires (ultimaker it's one of the few that gives a full year warranty, check that prior buying because many say the do but not for some parts). So if the warranty expires you can still have good support through the forums (and the support of ultimaker) and buy parts from other sources or ultimaker distributors. This it's for me a very important aspect because on the long run you will be able to keep improving your machine and keep it like new.

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3D printer maintenance isn't rocket science. It helps if you have some general knowledge about machines. If you don't, you'll learn that in time.

You will have to do maintenance, like lubricating and cleaning here and there. You also have to be prepared to fix one or another problem at some point. - But you don't have to do that alone like Sander already mentioned.

You can get any spare part for Ultimaker printers that you might need. You also have access to the assembly instructions (on the support pages) which should help you fix most issues by yourself. Reading through these instructions already gives you a good idea how the machine actually works.

The community here may be degrading a bit, but the support part of the forum is perfectly intact and active!

As for the price:

Don't forget that this is a European product. You can get much cheaper printers in China, but these are usually just clones with very low build quality and no support or warranties at all. I've seen an Ultimaker 2 clone that didn't even have the glass plate and clips on the build plate. Just a bare aluminum sheet...

The Ultimaker 2 is known to be a reliable machine with very good quality output capability. It comes with a complete feature set (except dual-nozzle support..) and doesn't need any upgrades before you can get it to work at all.

It is true that some Ultimakers have starting issues like loose screws, or shafts / belts that are out of alignment. Yes, it will take time and nerves to find and fix these issues, but patient people usually end up very happy, with a good 3D printer.

/edit:

3 replies in half a day. The community is alive! ;)

Edited by Guest
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the printer has arrived already (many thanks to the local distributor), together with a first successful test print.

And I have to say I'm impressed so far.

I received some errors in the beginning (a z axis error + an error when loading the filament --both solved by resetting the machine). I got to admit rolling my eyes at both occasions saying to myself: "here we go..."

But I'm deeply impressed by it's user friendlyness so far. I expected it to be much worse to be honest.

first experiment went well (I printed the ring), and as we speak I'm trying out one of my designs.

so far so good, it exceeded my expectations! :)

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