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LonderJan

Known problems and what is being done about them

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When going through product reviews and user feedback on the existing UM2 model as well as suggested points of improvements for future models, the following issues always come up in the top 3:

 

  • feeder system problems
  • nozzle clogging problems

 

In the case of the feeder system for example, some reviewers state this is an unacceptable design flaw in this price segment (http://www.naturalnews.com/048903_Ultimaker_2_3D_printer_review_print_problems.html) and a lot of owners consider the feeder to be a serious problem that needs fixing.

I don't know if Ultimaker has made any design changes over de past 2 years on the current UM2 models but 2 years seems a long time not to come up with a solution for some of these problems (or do a recall on some of the parts).

As a newbie, it is very hard to get a feeling on how serious these issues really are and how frequently you have to deal with them.

Thoughts anyone?

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There have been small design changes in the feeder since it was introduced. Small changes internally to how the filament is guided, addition of a metal grommet to prevent filament grinding down the housing, change to the lever design, the spring was changed and the knurled sleeve was changed slightly (the "active area" was increased).

I've personally seen a few redesigned feeders and other feeder features but I'm not at liberty to go into detail there.

As for nozzles. A ton of research has been going on there and I have seen quite a few variations (and personally tested some stuff) but, again, I'm not allowed to share details.

So yes, work is being done.

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Not to mention the PFTE coupler business, but again i've heard there's progress on this as well, but again i'm sure the folks aren't allowed to share any details yet. I guess you are asking when will we see these new designs that somehow clean the nozzle after the end of a print or a feeder that just feeds and just stops grinding once no material is clearly going into the head (as it clearly knows when the pressure is too high, otherwise it wouldn't grind in the first place!) or just turns the machine off at any guaranteed failure, saving burning the remaining material IN the head. I read a lot about new style nozzles that would be far less prone to blocking way back last year even before i had my UM2 but nothing since....shame. I was hoping they would be around by now, but no. Im afraid you have to just suffer a bit longer. Im more curious about the carbon 3D style printers, and the running costs of them. What materials will be available for use with them and if they can be sanded/treated, as shapeways stuff can't be sanded down, so you are stuck with that weird powdery finish unless you pay EVEN more for some cast metal hand polished business or something even more expensive.

Edited by Guest

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I totally agree um should have fixed the feeder on the um2 a year ago.... but it's not a big issue imho. You can easily print an alternative design, but a good feeder out of the box would be better.

As for the nozzle/hot end after playing with an e3dv6 I really appriciate the um2 hot end... its pretty easy to maintain. When you get the 3th party olsson block it's even easier to change and clean.

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Especially @iroberti is too modest... ;) His feeder design actually solves all those problems. At least it did for me. I print now over a year with Robert's feeder and I'm very happy with it.

I only had one clog with my UM2, right at the start. Then I started to wrap pipe cleaning wire around the filament before it enters the feeder and really never had a clog again. Keeping the Bowden and the nozzle clean of dust is for me the key to clog-free printing.

So for me, there is no need for a design change. But I appreciate it of course if UM improve things for new users.

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I totally agree um should have fixed the feeder on the um2 a year ago.... but it's not a big issue imho.  You can easily print an alternative design, but a good feeder out of the box would be better.

As for the nozzle/hot end after playing with an e3dv6 I really appriciate the um2 hot end... its pretty easy to maintain. When you get the 3th party olsson block it's even easier to change and clean.

 

I agree with Ultiarjans sentiments here....although I have a UMO. I also tried the e3d but got constant jamming problems, and had to do crazy things like oil the filament AND hotend to get a print to complete. This affected the bed adhesion too. Since going back to a design using Ultimaker OEM components (all be it in enclosed in a different 'envelope'), I have had zero problems or jamming...or any prints failing due to hot end issues.

I've also not replaced any teflon pieces despite only printing XT @250 degrees for hundreds of hours. For some reason the UMO doesn't get affected with the same teflon degradation. Maybe the peek is better insulator so less heat gets transferred?

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I've also not replaced any teflon pieces despite only printing XT @250 degrees for hundreds of hours. For some reason the UMO doesn't get affected with the same teflon degradation. Maybe the peek is better insulator so less heat gets transferred?

 

The entire design is different. I'm not a mechanical engineer, but what i understood from it that it's the combination of heat and force applied to the teflon part. The culprit in this case is the spring.

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There have been small design changes in the feeder since it was introduced. Small changes internally to how the filament is guided, addition of a metal grommet to prevent filament grinding down the housing, change to the lever design, the spring was changed and the knurled sleeve was changed slightly (the "active area" was increased).

 

Thank you for your response. Have these design changes fixed the issues? Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that people come up with alternatives but I'm hestitant to buy a 2K printer and then having to print alternative parts just because the ones that came with the printer are faulty or give cause to a lot of issues.

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@londerjan, you're gonna have issues regardless. Its the nature of the beast. Its unavoidable, just a matter of time. Knowing how to sort them out is part of the 'fun' . There may also be times when you want to pick up the printer and smash it on the ground out of frustration.

But its all worth it when it works.

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I've read the many reviews, such as the one you referenced, and noticed a consistent theme too. I'm eager to have an Ultimaker 2 soon and have read, with great interest, how users are trying the Olsson block and many other things to remedy some of the issues.

I'm interested to see the list of improvements Ultimaker has made along the production of the Ultimaker 2?

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ok, unpopular opinion here;

my experience (and i think i've logged over 20K hours on Ultimaker 2s by now) is that the feeder is just fine. not the best, not the worst and definitely not as bad as most people say it is. The nozzle is not more or less prone to clogging than any other printer.

the only real problem I see with the UM2 is, especially in the beginning, the lack of guidance on maintenance. the PTFE coupler is a special beast, especially in combination with the spring setup. a worn out PTFE coupler will cause clogged nozzles, feeder issues and things like that. replacing the feeder with a design that can deliver more torque does not fix the issue, it makes it less visible.

when using proper maintenance like testing the PTFE coupler at least once a month, cleaning the feeder regularly, if you use different filaments make sure you perform cold pulls, things like that, the stock equipment will give you great prints.

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I agree completely. the only 'real' issue i have is the feeder when it pulling a heavy roll of filament. that is when you get that annoying clicking and skipping sound, and as a result of slightly less filament going into the head that needs to, i am assuming that after some time you make get a clog and a blocked nozzle and all your problems will begin. Once I started printing off the roll, and doing atomic pulls properly (as i didn't do any for the first few months) then ALL my problems (mechanical issues that is) disappeared. The PFTE thing is a strange beast though but easy to replace, so thats not an issue for me anymore. I now using PLA it will roughly last me for about 6-8 months if im lucky, but as soon as i see some deformation on it it will go.

This resulted in tragic failure and a 6hour jam where the nozzle got burnt badly.

20150825_133934.thumb.jpg.045b90e5015b7feec883ffe153b0b92c.jpg

This works just great.

20150906_221354.thumb.jpg.3ccdf2d9f75606d509d5eb854a248d01.jpg

20150825_133934.thumb.jpg.045b90e5015b7feec883ffe153b0b92c.jpg

20150906_221354.thumb.jpg.3ccdf2d9f75606d509d5eb854a248d01.jpg

Edited by Guest

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I purchased my Ultimaker almost exactly a year ago. I've had some stumbles, learned to deal with some of the feeder issues, perform regular maintenance such due to regular switching between ABS and PLA.

Ownership of this machine has been great overall, aside from a small hiccup during a Cura update that caused temp probe issues, it's been more or less a positive experience with this machine. I'll add that I'm very happy that my pre purchase research didn't lead me towards a Makerbot, I could see myself having thrown it out the window with some of the issues a friend of mine has had with the print head.

But I am a little let down as an overall customer & with this machine's manufacturer being quick to offer excuses. During my initial purchase I viewed the dual hot end progress as a huge positive factor, that is now dead in the water, and I'll go on a stretch to say that won't be seen until the next version UM3.

The extruder is a mess to deal with, unmounting the extruder motor, vacuuming out any flaking, recalibrating the tension after disassembly. Some fixes have been developed by various users with some very clever designs.

The hot end is HORRIBLE. This is the worst part of this machine and to add to it, every time I disassemble it, I'm replacing it the damn temp probe with an expensive unit that I of course purchase from Ultimaker because I tend to buy from the OEM source, this is not a cheap part. The fixed nozzle block is just the most ridiculous segment of the entire machine, it was amazing to me that Ultimaker had the courage to push out two new "versions" of the UM2 without correcting this very specific flaw. I did eventually purchase the Olsson Block which I have here awaiting parts from Ultimaker to complete installing. But the fact that they've relied on a 3rd party to upgrade their own machine just boggles my mind.

I buy my filaments almost exclusively from Ultimaker, specifically the ABS, which usually ends up including another small part to have as backup for any emergencies. But I've seen the countless posts here on the forums where they're quick to respond about how many ( or how few ) people they have in their shipping department, it's no excuse to me. I've dealt with startups, most recently purchasing an X-Carve CNC from Inventables. The initial kit took a few weeks to arrive, but I can't help to use them as an example because of the availability of upgrades for a machine that has really only been out a few months. Upgraded spindles, spindle brackets, controllers, etc. This is the type of continued service support I expect from a manufacture of an item that costs $2000.00+ that uses many off the shelf parts and has been in business long enough to receive an overwhelming amount of feedback regarding their products weaknesses.

The shipping delays are just one of those thing you come to deal with from UM. It's 5 days now on an order and I've received no shipping confirmation.

OEM upgrades for the extruder, hot end, and even development of connectivity add ons such as wifi networking should be on a list of priorities for a product that already has a broad base. Rebranding the same unit with the same flaws is just irresponsible. Cold pulls, "adjustments", and basic maintenance to prevent flaws is helpful. What's more helpful though is parts & upgrade support for these machines. Keep me running & printing faster, longer, and with less downtime so I can keep buying more upgrades and filament from you guys rather than just replacement parts for the same continuous issues.

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Hey LonderJan,

I'm a noob too :-)

I bought my printer (an Ultimaker 2) 6 weeks ago now. I started as a complete noob, really, I didn't even knew what a gcode or stl file was. I didn't knew there were so many different options to tweak before getting a great print. And last but not least, I wasn't expecting such a steep learning curve with 3D printing in general.

I've learned A LOT from these guides : http://support.3dverkstan.se/category/31-guides They are all awesome!

You can forget about the nozzle problems when you buy the Olsson block upgrade for your UM2. This is highly recommended cause you can switch nozzles in no time and you can use a stainless steel for the special filaments from Colorfabb (wood, bronze, copper, carbon, ...)

http://3dsolex.com/olsson-block I'm a marketeer and I would personally give the Olsson block free with the UM2 so your potential customers can avoid hours of frustrations. But that's just me :)

And your feeder problems will also be fixed in no time with this print : https://www.youmagine.com/designs/alternative-um2-feeder-version-two

I started with spider web prints :p

check here : https://ultimaker.com/en/community/view/16978-what-do-i-do-wrong-s and here https://ultimaker.com/en/community/view/17073-something-went-wrong-again-what-exactly

But I'm getting there, step by step :)http://www.thingiverse.com/frederiekpascal/makes

Don't forget the UM community who's here to help you with all your (noob)issues.

I highly recommend my UM2 to everybody who's asking me about it. :) (I'm addicted to my UM2 :p)

cheers

Frederiek

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I would offer in general 3D printers are more tools than a product you put on the shelf like a paper printer. Like most tools there is a right way and a wrong way to use them. Like complex mechanical tools they have different personalities an quirks. In my very short experience Ultimakers are well behaved when compared to other manufactured brands. Little love goes a long way for successful prints.

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