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korneel

Expected Life Span of an Ultimaker 2 printer

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I suppose this might be a @SandervG question but i appreciate all input..

background :

I have several UM2's , my oldest is now 18 months old and has around 9500 hours on it's counter.. this means it has been running for 75 percent of it's lifespan.. I like big prints and I cannot lie i suppose...

we've had the discussion around PTFE couplers and such but now i'd like to know... since this is extremely important for warranty and saving for maintenance:

What is the expected lifespan of an UM2? I cannot find this anywhere on the website so I'm assuming if I buy a 2500 euro printer I should be able to print for at least 2 years before changing out mayor parts like bearings, belts, motors and axels..

am I wrong in expecting 2 years of worry-free use of these mayor components?

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Assuming you did some regular maintenance I would say yes to the axes, the motors and the bearings. I could imagine the belts wear out earlier. However, in case of the UM2 I'm also not so sure about the axes as they are not the best quality. Oiling them regularly is crucial; if you forget, they will have a shorter lifetime due to their quality IMHO.

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Assuming you did some regular maintenance I would say yes to the axes, the motors and the bearings. I could imagine the belts wear out earlier. However, in case of the UM2 I'm also not so sure about the axes as they are not the best quality. Oiling them regularly is crucial; if you forget, they will have a shorter lifetime due to their quality IMHO.

 

yes, i oiled the axes once a month with a little bit of sewing machine oil.

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The think it's that belts, motors and hotend are quite cheap proportionally.

Um2 motor pack (x/y/extruder) its around 95€. A Z motor should be around 40-60€. The expensively stuff of an um2 its mostly the motherboard, metal bed and the box itself. Ofc the hotend isn't cheap but with an olsson block to change nozzles, and a few spares here and there you could run an ultimaker for a long time.

Gt2 belts ain't that expensive also.

Also the axes x/y shafts. For around 50-70€ you could have a full set from Misumi (one of the best quality shafts). So yea. I would not worry much :)

Edited by Guest

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We don't have an expected lifetime that I'm aware of. With a product that is +- 2 years old (and a company thats +- 4-5 years old) much of this information simply isn't there (What kind of stuff do people print, how much, etc)

I do think that most parts (save the teflon thingie) should easily last you two years.

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We don't have an expected lifetime that I'm aware of. With a product that is +- 2 years old (and a company thats +- 4-5 years old) much of this information simply isn't there (What kind of stuff do people print, how much, etc)

I do think that most parts (save the teflon thingie) should easily last you two years.

 

Well, I would expect you have one machine of each type running all the time since start in order to know in advance what problems appear after some time...

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We don't have an expected lifetime that I'm aware of. With a product that is +- 2 years old (and a company thats +- 4-5 years old) much of this information simply isn't there (What kind of stuff do people print, how much, etc)

I do think that most parts (save the teflon thingie) should easily last you two years.

 

well, I do think it's a fair question in the end.. especially when it comes to warranty.. what can we expect from a printer.. is it 4000 hours? 10.000 hours? this seems very important information to know about the printer.

fully appreciate you did not know when you started, but the Um2 is now here for 2 years, which means 2 years of testing could have been done..

so we know a lot about the more general materials like the nozzle, the PTFE coupler and other components.. but what about the more mayor components i suppose is the question

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Ultimaker gives a full year warranty, except consumables like ptfe/nozzle. It's more than what you can find on other 3d printers.

Read:

https://ultimaker.com/en/support/16575-ultimaker-warranty

 

and that warranty collides directly with the European Union laws that state that a 2 year warranty has to be given unless the lifespan of the product is different..

for example

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/guarantees/index_en.htm

or

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV%3Al32022

the reason I am so interested in this is that I want to know what to expect in the future when it comes to repairs. stating that you have a 1 year warranty is great, too bad the EU law trumps that.

please note that in no way I am claiming that Ultimaker is not honoring or being customer unfriendly. to be perfectly open, I logged a case today, got told it was probably due to wear and tear and to be expected. they still offered me the parts for free even though the product was 18 months old and out of their own stated warranty without discussion.

this did get me thinking.. I expected my UM2s to last me at least 2 years with simple maintenance (like nozzles etc.) but now i'm a bit worried. hence the simple question, what is the expected life of a UM2?

I can't be the only one that has 9500+ hours on a printer..

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Well the two years warranty in Europe it's two years for consumer products (toasters, tv). For electronic stuff it's 1 year plus another year. And that second year only applies if the consumer can prove that there's a fault on design (for example macbooks that prove to have a missdesign of video parts that overheat etc etc). So if the ultimaker where a consumer product then yes, but it isn't. Therefore you have one full year and almost infinite support by mail and via this forum.

Ofc, the main advantage of ultimakers it's that all the parts can be found on other places. Pololu sells their motors, the board could be replaced for others, the hotend can be changed to e3d and others, and a long list of mods and adjustments that allow the user yo change the original design to keep up with the time. So in the long run, you could run it for many years. Ofc, stuff breaks, but you don't depend on ultimaker but also on many other sellers that can offer you a replacement that, with the help of a full open aource machine, you can adapt or exchange.

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I have had my machine since February 2015 and have close to 4000 printing hours on it.

At around 3000 hours I had major issues happen and had the bearings in the print head for the x direction lock up on me. I sent the machine to Fbrc8 and they replaced the X motor, the bearings that were locked up and installed new belts since the ones I had were starting to wear.

After getting the machine back and running for a week I had the bearings in the print head for the Y axis lock up (unfortunately fbrc8 only replaced the one set the first time so I had to send it back to them.)

They indicated to me that they expected most machines to need belt replacements at about 3000 hours or so.

Hopefully I will get another 3000 hours out of the bearings as well!

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For things like bearings, linear shafts, linear bearings and stepper motors. They actually have a life span at a given load by the manufacturer, They have been around for a lot longer then UM and most work to ISO standards which means they have to live up to certain standards.

When the UM2 was being designed then calculations on the given loads and speeds should have been done to spec the correct sized bearing or any other component for that matter in order to make sure it can withstand the environment for that components lifetime.

So UM should be able to tell you how many movements a components can make given the loads and speeds they are under.

But this is where is come model dependent to work out how many print hours this will equate to as most components are calculated by movements not hours running. I guess you could calculate how many movements one axis will make on a few models you do and average it out.

One reason why there are things like ISO standards is so companies can design new stuff and still give lifespans for different components even though the product hasn't actually been tested for that period of time. But this is hard for a company Like UM unless they track the printer movements not print hours.

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Well the two years warranty in Europe it's two years for consumer products (toasters, tv). For electronic stuff it's 1 year plus another year. And that second year only applies if the consumer can prove that there's a fault on design (for example macbooks that prove to have a missdesign of video parts that overheat etc etc). So if the ultimaker where a consumer product then yes, but it isn't. Therefore you have one full year and almost infinite support by mail and via this forum.

Ofc, the main advantage of ultimakers it's that all the parts can be found on other places. Pololu sells their motors, the board could be replaced for others, the hotend can be changed to e3d and others, and a long list of mods and adjustments that allow the user yo change the original design to keep up with the time. So in the long run, you could run it for many years. Ofc, stuff breaks, but you don't depend on ultimaker but also on many other sellers that can offer you a replacement that, with the help of a full open aource machine, you can adapt or exchange.

 

Hi;

I'm sorry but i disagree.. I've given you the references directly to the european law and the law is very clear

 

Traders selling consumer goods in the European Union (EU) are obliged to remedy defects which existed at the time of delivery and which become apparent within 2 years. EU rules guarantee consumers a minimum level of protection, especially if the goods do not meet the standards promised.

I cannot find the addendum that says

 

unless you bought electronics then you're out of luck
or something similar.. so that's kinda surprising to me. do you have a reference to that?

especially since the examples on the european website all cover electronics;

 

Sample story

Non-conformity of goods is not always immediately apparent

Mirek ordered a laptop, which appeared to work well. However, more than a year after buying it, he discovered that it had less memory than it was supposed to have.

Although this problem had not been obvious to him immediately, and the laptop was still functional, it nonetheless did not conform to what was advertised or agreed when he bought it. Mirek was therefore able to obtain a partial refund from the shop.

 

the second point you are making is very interesting. So you are saying it's not a consumer product? but me, as a consumer, has bought the product. It markets to "Professionals, Educators and Innovators".

I am really sorry for not understanding, but my initial ask is basically

"Hi company A. I bought product B from you. Could you please tell me, since it's been on the market for 2+ years now, how long is the product supposed to last and how many hours would that be?"

this directly impacts warranty and other concerns.

While I love the idea of open source and the fact that it gives me the option to go to other place, I should not have to rely on it for warranty. I should be able to go to company A. so back to the original ask, what is a reasonable amount of hours to expect out the UM2?

the post from @skinny-kid really concerns me. if 3000 hours is the time at which a belt replacement is needed, which is quite a large overhaul to be honest and bearings need to be replaced, that means that if I buy the machine, and only print during working hours, (so 8 hours a day, max 5 days a way, some vacation days etc.) the printer would need that massive overhaul within 2 years.. If I would really use the printers, so run them 24/7, i would hit that in just 4 months.. seems kinda ridiculous to me..

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@korneel, if you drive a car for 100'000km per year (which is not unrealistic when you drive it for 3000h), you will need much more than one set of tyres. Meaning: 3000h is four months non-stop! That's extremely intensive! An UM2 is not an industrial grade machine, it's a hobby machine, please don't forget that...

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Sorry but the law and interpretation of "remedy defects" means that they must fix a defect. So you, the consumer must prove that it was indeed a defect. If something break by use, it's not a defect. Unless you pay a notary to keep the hours time and check the use of each component vs the iso standards of each component. Sorry but that's the law.

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@korneel, if you drive a car for 100'000km per year (which is not unrealistic when you drive it for 3000h), you will need much more than one set of tyres. Meaning: 3000h is four months non-stop! That's extremely intensive! An UM2 is not an industrial grade machine, it's a hobby machine, please don't forget that...

 

totally agreed.

the thing is, with my car i got this great booklet that is telling me exactly that..

I am not saying at all that i expect Ultimaker to maintain my printer for free for X amount of years, dón't get me wrong :)

In the end, I simply want to know when to expect what to break. support seems to know it, some retailers do, just let me know as well :)

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Sorry but the law and interpretation of "remedy defects" means that they must fix a defect. So you, the consumer must prove that it was indeed a defect. If something break by use, it's not a defect. Unless you pay a notary to keep the hours time and check the use of each component vs the iso standards of each component. Sorry but that's the law.

 

totally disagreeing again.

especially in my country, we are talking about an expected lifespan of a product. if I buy a washing machine today, and run it continuously, doing full-load washes and the product breaks after 8 months, when I go back to the manufacturer, they will tell me that the people they marketed their washing machine to uses it in a certain way. i did not. the expected lifespan was X amount of hours and i totally went over it, so i am not covered by warranty. even within a year or 2 years of purchasing the product and they would be well within their rights.

however, if i buy a washing machine, use it exactly the way they advertised and it breaks after 3 years, even though 1 or 2 years have passed, by law, they have to help me and compensate me at least partially unless it's a specifically mentioned wear and tear part, because a washing machine is expected to last 5+ years with normal use.

that is the law.

saying if something breaks because you have used it means there is no more warranty is absolutely not the case. it is expected use versus actual use when it comes to warranty.

if I carry a consumer grade laptop with me all around the world and it breaks after a year versus a toughbook carrying all around the world, same kind of use but different kind of warranty handling.

as for stuff that dies by use isn't covered by warranty is also not correct. everything will break at a certain point because you are using it.

and yes, if i have a washing machine that i used in a normal way and the joint of my washing machine breaks after 1.5 years, i would have no problem at all getting that replaced under warranty UNLESS it is specifically stated in a place that i could access before buying the machine that this would break after 1.5 years or X amount of hours (that i reached).

so I totally disagree with you. perhaps our countries handle warranty differently, but this is the way my country works. even better, I have given you some links to prove it :)

but to get back to the real point, I really don't care about the warranty as such, I just want to know what can I expect of the Um2 as per expected lifespan..

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Anyway 2 years it's for 'consumer' products. Talk with a lawyer, I did it for the stuff I was selling on my company 5 years ago.

Edit: The main problem of a law it's that the language it's general. It can be interpreted as the lawyer pleases. In many cases that's the problem. Since to keep the printer running you do servicing this changes the printer, and many other 3d printers they only offer 60 day warranty, or even 6 months as maximum. The think it's that it's the buyer who must prove the 'faulty' part of that law. That means, that if the seller don't agree with you, you must lawyer up and expend money to prove your point. So in the end, unless you want to kill money on lawyers you can fight the 'faulty' part to get your part fixed, or you can just buy the part and keep printing. Two years yes, but with small letters + lawyer + time...

How long your printer will last in hours? You need to check the ISOS of each component. Gears, motors, etc. I don't think there's an answer for you. But 10000h for a printer, it's a lot. So lawyer up or just buy some spare parts, it depends on how much time you want to loose 'not printing'.

Edited by Guest

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OK, let's mix this up a bit... ;) Switzerland is not part of the EU but we have taken over EU law concerning warranty (maybe there are some small changes). So we happen to have a two year warranty on consumer products as well.

Anyway that's not the point. Very often, guarantee and warranty are mixed up or termed a bit differently. I think this is also the case with Ultimaker. Ultimaker gives a one year warranty but I think they actually mean guarantee (cf. Apple). Guarantee is always coming from the manufacturer and is up to the manufacturer to declare (length, region,...).

Warranty on the other hand comes from the seller. And this one has to be two years. So if there is one year guarantee from the manufacturer, the first of the two years warranty is covered by that guarantee. The second year is just the risk of the seller (this might be another reason for Ultimaker to close their own shop).

To exclude certain parts (i.e. to declare them as consumable) is basically ok if it is true. Otherwise you would get free blades for an electric shave within the first two years. I'm not sure if it would hold a trial in case of the UM printhead (especially not the head as a whole, maybe the teflon but there are ways to avoid the teflon melting).

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I think the EU bits are guidelines, in which each country is left to their own devices whether or not they follow it.

As an R&D engineer I'm not the guy to say what the exact lifespan of the machine is, nor how we, as a company handle return policies (that's up to sales / management).

What I did understood from previous times this discussion came up is that even though we offer an 'official' waranty of year, this does not mean that we're going to be assholes and stop helping you / replacing stuff after the one year mark.

Within the software I use the 6 hours a day printing and at least two year (over 2k hours printing at +- 6 cubic mm/s) as a guide line for 'normal' usage. It's safe to assume that the printer should outlast that (as we should design for more than 'normal' usage)

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Since this question was originally aimed at me let me get involved in this as well.

Don't know if I have something interesting to say, or completely derail the conversation.. lets see where it goes ;)

First of all, I don't think any of us are lawyers and we shouldn't pretend to be one.

The law is very complicated and 'flexible', depending on geographically where it takes place (we are currently in an international forum) and what it applies on. For 3D printing it is a fairly new technology, so under what definition (consumer / hobby / pro) it falls has yet to be determined as far as I know. What criteria leads to this definition is not something we as 'regular folks' might find logic. For example, the fact that Korneel bought an Ultimaker, and he is a consumer, does not turn it into a consumer machine.

..It may turn out to be a consumer grade machine, but that will have a different reasoning and has yet to be established.

Another thing which makes giving a specific answer more difficult; we have an open source philosophy and an open filament system. Basically this means we, Ultimaker, love it when you get creative with your Ultimaker and make modifications. But these modifications can significantly influence the behaviour of your machine. We are not a company where you should be wary to void your warranty, like @Nallath says, we are not assholes.

On the other hand we also have an open filament system, this means you are also free to feed any type of material (great or junk) through it that you want. Again, this can heavily influence the behaviour and life expectancy of your machine. And again we don't want to be assholes, we prefer to be reasonable and approach difficult situations case by case.

That makes the whole guaranty / warranty situation complex and probably leaves only a very small area, where it makes sense for every party. A long(er) story short; I don't think we can give you the number you desire.

Because it would be based on regular use, regular maintenance, no fiddling around, with 0 modifications and (for example) only Ultimaker PLA. That number won't make sense to anyone.

What I can tell you, is that we give you a 1 year warranty (or guarantee), some of our resellers extend it with another year (so you have 2) and if you find yourself in a pickle we will always try to find a reasonable solution together.

(reasonable does not always mean free by the way;) )

Hopefully this helps.

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thanks @Nallath and @SandervG because that was what i was looking for..

i don't know how this spiraled into a warranty/guarantee conversation but that was not my original question :)

I am very well aware Ultimaker is doing great when it comes to warranty questions or helping out with issues, regardless if a unit is or is not in warranty. there is no doubt in my mind.

what i am however trying to find out, when should i start replacing which parts. right now i'm using the "it sounds funny, let's mail support" strategy which is not a viable long-term solution. hence my search :)

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Imo, and that's why I pointed out first that you should get some gt2 belts/motors, it's that even if the warranty or not supports it, if you want to keep the machines up and running efficiently (and by the number of hours you need that) I would stock parts that move, and save time/money. If the reseller ask you to send the machine, or X part, back, you waste time/money. So even with the great support Ultimaker give (and I'm more than happy with it and the parts that I got changed by umo resellers) in the end I choose to have a good stock of parts (motors, belts, pulleys, screws, hotend, heaters, etc) because if anything breaks I must be able to keep printing no matter what, so instead of waiting for a changed piece, I have my own stock to avoid delays and surprises.

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