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University low budget project, please help!

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Hello guys out there!

I am part of a project team which has to built an Ultimaker+ with (non original parts and on) low budget.

There are up to now just problems about the electric solutions.

Our "client" wants us to buy/order the board and electronics in a package by Sainsmart.

We also have to built in a heated bed, this is where the problem is never the less I found

for the heated bed running on the board V1.5.7 which is included in the sainsmart package.

The problem is, that we have to use 2 different power supplies, onefor the 15 to 19V Board and a 12V for the MK2a Heatbed.

Well I found a solution for that:

Two of THEM (however they are called in english), a C14 Plug and a relay board.

Well it could have been so easy, but yesterday we had our first milestone meeting and the the client told us that this kind of power supply is too dangerous and we have to find another option.

I told him we could pack it into a box with fan intake but he did not want this at all.

Does anybody have any Ideas which maybe fixes our problem?

At this point I started thinking about the Board V2.1.1 which is also content of the UM+ and UM2 package but I found no place where to buy it. The reason why I started thinking about that was, that everything on this board would be easier: I found a power supply which is similar to the original (and low priced), the board is designed for the high currents of the heated bed running over its lanes and there would be less or no software issues.

The only problem is, that I found no place to buy this in spare except for alibaba.

If we go to this option we could also offer the heated bed there and everything we need. But I know our customer and I know he wouldn't be apreciated buying the stuff in China.

What we would need here is a cheaper source for these parts, maybe in europe or US.

I hope anybody here can help us.

Greets from Germany

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This sounds like a customer that wants everything; It needs to be cheap and perfect. You simply can't have both.

Judging from all the issues that you have it seems like that it's way more expensive to re-source the UMO+ compared to just buying the kit and assembling that one. Is there a specific reason why you're resourcing everything (As the 'same part' from a different company isn't always the 'same part', so expect issues here)

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The only way to make it cheaper it's to really change most of the stuff. For example, instead of the um2 board, a rambo board. Or instead of the umo head a e3d lite for 1.75mm (good for 240C print). Most of the components you can ask Ultimaker sales (support.ultimaker.com) and they will give you a quotation. I have buy to them um2 x/y/z motors, led strips, a whole wood frame laser cut, etc. their quality it's great ofc, but isn't 'cheap'. Also buying on aliexpress, if you know what you buy, can work, but it's a 50/50 chance.

Check my experience about going aliexpress on technical stuff:

https://ultimaker.com/en/community/view/17068-making-your-own-ultimaker-what-not-to-buy-on-china-stores-personal-experience

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The china um2 came with the connectors rotated 180, without the power on solder, without the security switches. A mess and the quality... I turned it once. Works somehow. I disconnect it and I have buy a Replicape BBB board from kickstarter to make it work on my third machine. So yeah it can work, but expect problems.

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I have buy a Replicape BBB board from kickstarter to make it work on my third machine. So yeah it can work, but expect problems.

Explain that further please, I don't understand.

 

There are many 3d printer controller boards. Smoothieboard, Rambo reprap, ultimaker 1.5.7, ultimaker 2.1.. Etc. They have different steppers, configurations, voltage and expansion capabilities. In my case I want something 'bigger' than what um2 board can handle so I'm buying a Replicape board from a campain of kickstarter. A very good option it's Smoothieboard. Ofc the advantage of getting an Ultimaker board it's that there are manyy users, many people with knowledge to solve problems and the knowhow of a company that makes great printers.

The problem of going cheap it's that there are many key components to have 'good' printing, not just 'print'. If your customer want something cheap, get or make a reprap. An ultimaker it's an 'ultimaker' because the mix of great quality components with a great ratio of expensive/cheap stuff.

For me the key components are:

- Good bearings

- Better shafts/rods (mitsumi ofc)

- Gt2 belt/pulleys

- Good quality motors/steppers

- Good board, power supply (to have it working without problems or surprises).

- E3D/3dsolex nozzles

- For umo+. Peek from ultimaker not china (works at 260C).

- A perfect bowden ptfe/pfa

- Perfect bed.

Now that I think about.. Yes, every component must be good to hae good printing. Specially if you plan to print many hours and not waste days repairing the stuff.

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I have to say my opinion here differs a little to Neotko. I have also made a printer from Chinese parts, and the quality of prints is on par with my genuine ultimaker, and is infact more reliable at the moment! In fact, I had a problem with the OEM parts I got for it and went back to Chinese parts (peek and ptfe)! I am using a similar controller I think, but it's a much more modern version of the UM board, using SMD components with multiple fan out ports https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.11.mkiols&id=44460551886&ns=1&abbucket=7#detail. Yes, that board only costs 10 euros!

The heated bed kit I got from ebay when a chap was making them for the UMO, has a SSR system. I got a UM2 Z platform, bearings and z screw/motor to make it the same as my UMO with HBK, works just as well and accurately, with 3 point levelling (after a mod or two). Maybe I just got lucky with the suppliers I chose to use. I get a lot from this guy: http://robotdigg.com , never had a problem with any parts from there.

I really didn't expect the printer to work as well as it does, but, I don't know how long it will go on working for!

Edited by Guest
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You are right. If you find good suppliers it works. The problem it's that until you buy it you don't know if it's good or not :D

Robotdigg seems to deliver just fine. Ofc there are good china suppliers, but for some parts it's a bit of a gamble. And also it's a great advantage to have assembled one before, so you can mod, change and adjust knowing what you are doing.

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Hey guys, I just asked about the mainboard, for all the other parts we have already alternatives.

In my opinion it would be way easier to just use the UM board V2 because there would be the software at least almost ready to go.

We are using mechanical alternative parts and hotend and so on, this was not the question.

Those boards, the Smoothieboard or the Replicape you feed with different data and so on.

Our task is to concept a mashine which is basically an Ultimaker - how much would that be one if we change its brain to another.

We also should have none or very few soldering work at that Board.

Do you know anything about the UM2 Board by Robotdigg? Or is it that what you you've got?

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I have to say my opinion here differs a little to Neotko. I have also made a printer from Chinese parts, and the quality of prints is on par with my genuine ultimaker, and is infact more reliable at the moment! In fact, I had a problem with the OEM parts I got for it and went back to Chinese parts (peek and ptfe)! I am using a similar controller I think, but it's a much more modern version of the UM board, using SMD components with multiple fan out ports https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.11.mkiols&id=44460551886&ns=1&abbucket=7#detail. Yes, that board only costs 10 euros!

The heated bed kit I got from ebay when a chap was making them for the UMO, has a SSR system. I got a UM2 Z platform, bearings and z screw/motor to make it the same as my UMO with HBK, works just as well and accurately, with 3 point levelling (after a mod or two). Maybe I just got lucky with the suppliers I chose to use. I get a lot from this guy: http://robotdigg.com , never had a problem with any parts from there.

I really didn't expect the printer to work as well as it does, but, I don't know how long it will go on working for!

 

Your first link did not work, well if you tell me the chance is good that the UM2 Board by robotdigg would be good, I would put them on the list.

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You can gamble. But if you know what you are doing you can make it work. For example. Check the molex connectors on the robotdigg (and any aliexpress) photo of the board. They are upside down, so when you connect the cables, remember to change the polatiry... And if it dies after 6 months for overheat, just don't be surprised :)

And the most important think. If you sell a machine you are obligated by law to some responsibility. If it catch fire, warranty parts (Europe it's 1 year + 1 year of faulty parts). That's the plus of money that you must consider when selling/buying something.

Edited by Guest

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If you need a cheap, but very good relay board for the Ultimaker 1.5.7. board:

https://www.youmagine.com/designs/ultimaker-heated-bed-mosfet-relay-hack-v2

Good power supplies don't come cheap, period...

I usually get mine from mouser.com, where you'll also find the necessary components for the relay hack. Free delivery above 60 EUR!

Mean Well PSUs have always worked fine for me. They are "medium cheap" chinese stuff, BUT industrial certified. And Mouser is not Ebay, so you don't get the really crappy / surplus stuff but only the "real" products. The link above lists some possible power supplies.

/edit:

You'll also find your C14 sockets at mouser, but at better (actually about the same) prices than Conrad ;)

And we're talking about the good quality "Schurter" sockets.

(Note that you need to get the fuse holders for some of these separately - read the datasheets if you're interested!)

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The first link is for a UMO board anyway. I've not had a UM2 board from robotdigg, but everything else i've had off of them has been spot on with not problems. They also sell power adapters I think. Again, I have cheap Chinese power adapters for my second UMO, and not had an issue with them thus far. One of them is as you picked out originally. I'm going to print a fan enclosure for it at some point, but not got around to it yet.

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@neotko

I know the risks buying cheap stuff in China.

Well I have still some time for decide.

@jonnybischof

I do not actually understand everything you mean, but I'll sum up what you made me think about.

First of all I think about the original Parts. The UMO comes with a 19V 90W PSU afaik. The UMO+ comes with that Meanwell PSU 24V 220W.

This means, the heated bed has max 130W, which means it has a ~4.4 Ohm heating resistance and works on 24V. Most alternative Heatbeds I found are for runnig 12V from 120 to 180W. Well I think i gonna need a seperate 12V Power and a ~18V 90W Power for that Ultimaker V1.5.7 Board. This is what I designed: Two PSUs for theses Voltages and Currents and this C14 Plug. This Idea would work out great, but the "customer" doesn't like it.

Straight from the beginning he wanted us to use this set by Sainsmart (see first post).

Using this set in modified condition I could imagine a solution with a PSU less.

There is a 24V mod for that

.

Any problems I could face running that board on 24V?

The last thing i gonna ask you is, why this linked hack thing contains a transistor, would it not work with just a relay?

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The guy from that mod on YouTube it's very friendly and he did answer me some questions. Try to drop him a msg.

In theory if you change the fans/heater, etc. It should work just fine.

Btw there's a 'green' version of the um2 board that the components look better than the typical blue/copy from aliexpress. Check aliexpress for umo2 board that are green. The think I found specially different it's that it can hold 10A like the real one and the common copys only can reach 9A.

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The UMO+ uses the v2 electronics mainboard, which is made much better than the 1.5.7.

You can compare the power consumption between the two - but not how their power supplies are organised.

So, if you get the sainsmart package you will have 1.5.7.

Theoretically, the best solution is to use a single - powerful and good quality - power supply for everything.

However, I wouldn't run the UMO 1.5.7 electronics from 24V - it gets hot enough already at 18V. The fan PWM transistor might also blow out sooner (it's a crappy design that even fails at 18V some times..).

Also, if you're really going to run the UMO1.5.7 at 24V, you should switch out the UMO's linear regulator for a (pin compatible) switching regulator. Maybe that is actually what the youtube mod does, but I can't watch a video now while I'm at work...

Yes, it will probably work. No, I don't recommend it because the 1.5.7 wasn't designed for this and might die sooner when powered from 24V.

The simplest and probably best thing when you have an 1.5.7. board is to just go with the dual PSUs. Take the standard UMO 18V power supply plus a good one for the heated bed.

There is no drawback to this solution - it is the ideal thing to do when you have an 1.5.7. board. My UMO has been running like this for over two years now - never had any problems since I've installed my relay hack (which was well before I posted the design).

If your customer doesn't want this, then I'd recommend you to get a better mainboard in the first place. For example an UM2, or even a smoothieboard.

My UMO "relay" hack uses a transistor (mosfet) instead of a relay because that transistor is 100 times better than any mechanical relay (or solid state relay). You can of course use a mechanical relay, but that solution is very crude and inefficient. Not recommended... The hack is documented in detail. You should understand the difference when you read the information.

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@neotko

Any link to that green version of the UM2 Board?

I really missed to say that before: All the frame parts get lasercut on a lasercutter on our university.

All the mechanical parts are getting replaced by some high class (but cheap for us) parts. So in this direction wouldn't be any problem at all except maybe the calibration.

I will try to get the guy from Youtube for some tech advice.

@jonnybischof

From what I understood is, that the guy on youtube is actually changing this linear regulator and he did a bunch of videos with his UM after that, so maybe this would be a good solution.

Going to the relay/transitor thing: Well I do not understand why the source of this hack is telling me to buy a 300W PSU for a 200W Heatbet. A relay or a transistor should not consume so much power. Anyways I do not really understand what you mean "100 times better"!? Afaik they do the same.

Edit:

@neotko

I found that green version on aliexpress (e.g. this). What do you think of them? Are all these connectors on the right place? Where did you get that from, that the green one can handle more current?

_______________________________________________________

And there is another general question about the Ultimaker concept:

When they come totally original, the UMO+ and the UM2 have the same mainboard and different Ulticontrollers. Do they have the same firm/software on it?

How do I flash them with original firmware? Whats the difference if I wanna run them on marlin? Is there even a difference?

All what I know is, that I have to use a modified version (=marlin!?) for making the UMO (Board V1.5.7) working and to support that heatbed.

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@UniProject

Because of this component:

image.thumb.jpeg.194d47125807bd3425e00ea78f9427ba.jpeg

The connector seems upside down like other china boards (I wonder why they do that).

Remember that if you go um2 board the heat sensors must be pt100. If you go smothieboard or um1 you have a wider variety of heat sensors (cheapers/less accurate).

image.thumb.jpeg.194d47125807bd3425e00ea78f9427ba.jpeg

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@neotko

Thank you neotko, but which connector(s) do you actually mean?

Those of that stepper motors or this power connection?

I actually wanted to go with those steppers for this version.

Yes you read right. There has changed something:

The customer alowed us to buy material for two mashines.

It doesn't matter if we get those two finished, but there should be at least one ready for project presentation end of january.

I don't have to mention all this **** ducumentation stuff we have to do and so on.

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The plastic where the molex (heat sensors and fan/led) it's upside down. Isn't biggie since you can change the polatiry of the cable to match. Or remove the plastic on the board (I did but I haven't turn it on yet). I just don't get why they do that on clones.

As for big differences there are a few. The transistors on the clone are a model a bit cheaper, the steppers seem the same and probably since ultimaker sells at 250€ or so, to go from that to just 100€ they must be cutting on something.

Edit: Check this board shoot and check the clones:

http://www.printme3d.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/1010x850/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/o/motherboard.jpg

Btw I think the board from ultimaker goes around 300€? Something like that.

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@neotko

I did not find any source to buy the original UM Board V2.1.1, so its not 300€ its priceless.

If you find a source for that board (original), it would be great if you tell me how much and where.

Anyways, I found the differences of that clone board to the authentic. Well I could correct that, but maybe not necesary, bcoz we are using enough unauthentic stuff.

No one did respond to my firm/software question yet - that would be cool too.

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