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ALL3DP review of the new Ultimaker 2+

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Hi folks,

Forum regulars might be interested to read my review of the new Ultimaker 2+ for ALL3DP.

https://all3dp.com/ultimaker-2-plus-review/

It's a bit of a long read, so apologies for that, but the gist of it is that it's a very impressive upgrade to the Ultimaker 2, particularly the new material feeder and the redesigned cooling system. My only quibble is that these changes are evolutionary rather than revolutionary (but I guess that's why it's called an Ultimaker 2+ and not an Ultimaker 3).

Would be great to hear your comments and feedback, and how we can better improve our reviewing methodology for the future. There's not enough in-depth testing of 3D printers in the technology press at the moment, and we'd like to rectify that.

Thanks for listening,

Bulent

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all3dp.thumb.jpg.de38bcd11d8e883fa60f693780a8fb54.jpg

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Two things I always miss in specifications are reliability and ethos / user friendliness.

At the same time I understand this because you can't really put a number on these factors but as a user I can imagine it is very important information.

For example, if you have the best specs in the world but you only successfully print 1 out of 10 attempts there is a very small chance you will be happy with your 3D printer.

The same goes for running into a problem, and what can you expect from a company when you do. (when you just started 3D printing it is likely you'll run into some kind of problem at some point). I like to think you engage a long term relationship with a customer instead of a single purchase. So what would that be like for a customer? And what is warranty or service like, spare parts and the options you have as a user to find help or solve your problem. Like a very conclusive support pages, fast customer service or accommodating customer service.

Or are you suppose to just figure it out?

Overall I don't mind your review being elaborated.

Usually I like it over a very short review.

Not sure how you would want to test this, but I always thought those are two important aspects which barely are being highlighted.

(I do know Make shootout tested customer service response time a year ago, which was good although it is only a single impression).

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Hi Sandervg, thanks for the feedback!

I agree with you, looking at a printer over the long-term and rating customer service would be really useful. We have to return the 2+ to the distributor who loaned it to us next week (there's a lot of demand!), but we'll investigate a way to borrow one over a longer period.

We've been using an Ultimaker 2 and Ultimaker 2 Go as our daily machine over a period of months, and there's loads of things we could report about those over day to day use, but wondering how to make it interesting for our readers. Would you like to see something like that?

As for the customer support angle, that's a very good idea. We'll investigate a way to compare and contrast customer support from different manufacturers. If you have any personal experiences of your own, we'd love to hear them!

Cheers,

B

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I just started a small business offering 3D services. Reason we went with Ultimaker is because there's people to talk too if/when there's a problem and there's parts to be bought/replaced with! There's an entire army of users who are willing to help too. Can't beat that.

Sooooo many other companies out there sell a printer and thats it. I hope our Form2 doesn't run into problem, because it doesn't have the CS or user base for quick answers/solutions/etc :)

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Some of your "Cons" are rather laughable, to be quite direct.

"Foul odors printing in ABS"

Really? So tell me, which printer DOESN'T have foul odors printing in ABS??

"Sometimes difficult to remove finished objects from print-bed."

And that's with every 3D printed object, be it on Blue tape or heated bed.

I could go on...but I think your review criteria is flawed.

If that's how far you had to dig to find Cons on the Ultimaker 2+....well, it's outstanding then!

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We cannot emphasize enough how useful this feature is; it’s one less thing to worry about when troubleshooting or prepping a model for printing.

 

I actually strongly disagree with this. Auto calibration is a big gimmick in my opinion (especially for a single nozzle machine). I've re-levelled my bed maybe 4-5 times last year. It seems fairly silly to have an extreme complex feature so you no longer have to do that (This is the same reason why tanks are still manually reloaded; it's actually more reliable)

Closing the design is also not quite possible due to patents. Most other 3d printers don't have fully closed machines for exactly that reason. I've only notices the effect of draft with ABS, which is a pretty annoying material to begin with anyway.

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To elaborate on Nallaths post about auto calibration.

Most 3D printers that have auto-bed levelling level the bed every print.

Usually at 3 or 4 points on the bed. This can take easily a few minutes, if it goes right.

Plus heating up a bed and printhead I wouldn't be surprised starting a print can take close to 10 minutes.

Not having this feature saves you a lot of time.

Yes, you do need to learn what the best calibration is. But once right, you don't have to do it again for months. But everyone who owns a 3D printer is in it to make things. It would be the last audience I would expect to be wary of getting involved with a machine. Regardless how low that level of 'involvement' is.

Not saying it is a useless feature, but there are big pro's to our bed levelling which are easily overlooked. Just because it is 'automated' doesn't mean it is better.

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I love the manual leveling. F.e. the new felix has mechanical auto leveling with multiple mini motors build under the bed... just looks over complicated to me for a non-issue.

 

100% correct. That's exactly what I think when I see all this over-engineered stuff ;)

Edited by Guest

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agree - I have not run a levelling script for over 2 years - even when I take the printer home in the car - I watch the first layer going down, make micro adjustments and off we go - it is rare that I don't have time to fix the first layer and have to scrap the print.

Do i want the software to skew the print for me ..... no thanks.

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About auto calibration: I strongly disagree!

The UM2+ is sold with the Olsson Block with interchangeable nozzles . Every time a nozzle is changed, the bed must be leveled again. Nozzles are cheap (very cheap) so it is perfectly viable to have different nozzles of the same size for different materials (PLA, XT, ABS, Wood, or for different colors). So if you don't print with the very same material for extended periods of time, auto calibration is god send.

And by the way, auto calibration takes as long as you set it to. If you don't want a super fine mesh of probed points, then it takes less than 20 seconds. And given that the UM2 heated bed is super stable, it would just need even less than that.

 

Don't forget, 3d printers are for tinkerers and makers too and they tend to fiddle with the printer a lot, including different materials and colors...

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Auto-calibration would remove a common hurdle many of us face, newbies and experienced alike! As we know, that first layer is the most critical and can be quite a challenge given the variety of materials

So would the plate be motorized in 3/4 locations to adjust up/down? Many ideas!

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Auto-calibration would remove a common hurdle many of us face, newbies and experienced alike!  As we know, that first layer is the most critical and can be quite a challenge given the variety of materials

So would the plate be motorized in 3/4 locations to adjust up/down?  Many ideas!

 

with 3 point leveling you only need 2 locations motorized. This is the way Felix is doing it. Not out of experience, but "gut feeling" I prefer hardware leveling over software leveling (constant Z adjustment).

But although @nicolinux has a point, and I do swap nozzles frequently, I don't have a need for auto-leveling myself.

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changing nozzles without auto calibration is no problem as long as the nozzles are equidistant (which is the case for the 3dsolex nozzles). I change nozzles 3-4 times a week on two different printers and the minor re-leveling is made within a few seconds while the printer prints the skirt.

@nicolinux: does the auto calibration recognize the difference between two nozzles, or do you have to tweak the firmware?

On my printrbot I have to tweak the firmware after a nozzle change allthough it has auto leveling. This takes more time than turning some screws. But may be the printrbot leveling is just not intelligent enough?

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On my printrbot I have to tweak the firmware after a nozzle change allthough it has auto leveling. This takes more time than turning some screws. But may be the printrbot leveling is just not intelligent enough?

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one who found this to be annoying. I ended up selling my printrbot and the auto leveling was definitely one of the reasons.

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changing nozzles without auto calibration is no problem as long as the nozzles are equidistant (which is the case for the 3dsolex nozzles). I change nozzles 3-4 times a week on two different printers and the minor re-leveling is made within a few seconds while the printer prints the skirt.

@nicolinux: does the auto calibration recognize the difference between two nozzles, or do you have to tweak the firmware?

On my printrbot I have to tweak the firmware after a nozzle change allthough it has auto leveling. This takes more time than turning some screws. But may be the printrbot leveling is just not intelligent enough?

 

I never tried to adjust the bed leveling while the skirt is printed. I want to press play, wait a second to see if the filament won't catch onto the nozzle and then leave.

Autocalibration does not take nozzle size into account, but you do specify this in Cura when you slice your stuff. Since there are several settings depending on nozzle size (shell thickness for example), I don't think autocalibration should mess with that.

And about the nozzle size - mine from Carl too but not all are the same style/size.

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...

Autocalibration does not take nozzle size into account, but you do specify this in Cura when you slice your stuff. Since there are several settings depending on nozzle size (shell thickness for example), I don't think autocalibration should mess with that.

...

 

I just meant the size difference in Z not the diameter ;)

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I hadnt re-levelled my bed since i bought my machine 3 months ago or replaced the glue or done any atomic pulls between materials. Granted i did not change nozzles but now I have installed my ob, albeit painfully and possibly damaging my head while i was at it, i still found levelling a one time affair that took less than a minute. I think most people are simply not careful enough about taking their models/plates off. its that simple. I personally think re levelling is ONLY necessary when changing nozzles or after at least after a few months. However I also didn't have a clue at the start. You need to memorise how it feels when its right, otherwise you will always get it wrong and get angry like I do, lol. You cant show someone, they need to feel it. If you cant feel subtle differences in pressure from the nozzle touching the paper, you will unfortunately struggle and want auto calibration.

For people who have their beds calibrated, auto calibration is simply a waste of time and pointless wear on already hard worked machinery, unless its done by laser without moving anything rather than banging against glass. If you (Ultimaker people) are going to introduce it then please make it optional rather than a must before every print.

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Having extensively used a UM2 for over a year non stop and another newer UM2 for almost three months straight makes me want to do an honest no bullshit review of the UM2 without any bad smell or auto calibration nonsense, and focus on explaining what it does how it does it, and why its my FDM printer of choice, even after bad times.

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