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philippe44

Why I've decided to ditch my UM2 (+)

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I usually don't write such post, but my level of frustration with my UM2 (upgraded to 2+) has gone beyond a reasonable level. The UM2 was my first 3D printer in early 2014. I was new to 3D printing, but I'm a 25+ years of experience engineer. On top of doing that for a living, at home I do SW development, my own HW design, PCB, CAD etc ... just to say that although I do a lot of mistakes, engineering is my daily activity.

The UM2 worked very well for a couple of month, and then it started to be an under-extrusion nightmare. I already posted here and I tried a lot of fixes: ended replacing the hotend, teflon tube, printing a few feeders and many other accessories, tried UM and other filament, all sort of T°. But the result was 70-80% failed prints, no matter what, unless I would do 0.1mm vert slow prints.

I upgraded not so long ago with the UM2+ kit. Went reasonably well (had to tinker a bit with the X home switch) and then I was back to good quality prints.

Recently, issues started again by filament not unloading. The feeder motor was running, but not the feeder, and it was not a problem of grinded material. I pulled the material manually and insterted a new one that was only loaded half way. Removing the feeder, I saw that the gear on the motor had went almost off the axis hence the motor was running, but not the feeder. Strange. I pulled the gear back and started again. 1 successful print then, same thing started again. This time, I put a tiny slice of PLA between the gear and the flat part of axis and pushed it back real strong. Same thing happended again.

So, I'll stop there because I've now decided to ditch the UM2+. I have another printer which is far from being as good as the UM in term of print quality, but at least, once you know what to do, this other printer is reliable. You understand its weakness and when you're careful with these, it *prints*. The UM seems to fail randomly and defies logic in term of what cause creates which effect. That, as an engineer, drives me mad.

Sorry for venting :-(

Edited by Guest

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Hi Philippe,

I'll think everyone in here understand your frustration, so no worry..

I'd post to you lastly, but did not know you had a UM2+ version.

I have a "self made" "UM2 ext", but never had anything like your problems.

However, I've been looking into this problem for a long time as several have had/have this problem frequently with the UM2 versions. The latter problem you have is very well known as a few people have been reporting this here. I'll think someone cleaned well and used super glue, not so sure about this method, but someone will sure chime in.

I'll think that if you manage to fix the stepper gear, your printer should be fine.

So good luck. :)

Thanks.

Torgeir.

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I'm an UMO user, so I am not exactly familiar with the UM2/+ feeders. I would assume there is a set screw holing the drive wheel on? You might try some loctite on that screw, possibly adding another set screw at 90 degrees + threadlocker. Would hub-locking compound be helpful? I don't know if gluing on the hub would make disassembly/maintenance otherwise difficult, but Loctite makes a number of semi-permanent hub locking solvents that would essentially make the hub connection rigid. Something like Loctite 648 might do it.

I might be interested in picking up a used UM2+ if you're selling. If so, PM me what you want for it. May also depend on your location.

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Thanks for answering guys. Unfortunately, there is no screw to hold the gear on the axis. So once I resisted to hit my UM2(+) with a hammer and calmed down, I tried to superglue the gear on the motor axis - I hope it will work, but if not, I might really (really) get rid of it. And it's unfortunate because I think it's a very good printer ... when it works.

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Hi Philippe44, thank you for your post. I'm sorry to hear about your experience so far with your Ultimaker. Of course, it is not how we intended the user experience to be.

I am happy to hear you have decided to hold on to your Ultimaker for now. The print quality is great, and it is also known as a very reliable machine. There are various resources you can use to identify your troubles and fix them once and for all.

Your reseller should have trained technical support engineers who should be able to help you, besides that there is this community too.

There are already some good tips here in regard of your feeder motor.

To me it also sounded like the set screw got loose. If you are unsure, adding photo's always help.

Anyway, we are here to help! Looking forward hearing from you :)

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Think he's referring to a + feeder, so no set screw but the nylon gear.

Think this gear is known to have issues moving on the motor shaft (I never had any myself) and is already replaced by a version thats a bit longer.

@SandervG can you share the partnumber of this new gear? so people now what they need when communicating with the re-seller... and I think I'll get some just in case...

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That part has been updated to have a "built in" spacer on the back of it. Ask your reseller and they should be able to supply one for you. When installing the new one I would put a dab of loctite on it as well, just in case. In my experience (as someone who works with support for Ultimaker printers) the UM2+ has been very reliable.

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I've received the answer from my reseller. He is willing to help but does not seem to be aware of a better part.

"We've seen a few of these issues. In the short term it's possible to put a little bit of super glue and then tap it with a hammer so it is flush with the axel to get your printer running. I'll see if we have some extra motors with gears around for warranty."

Currently, I'm running a test with the gear super glued ...

Edited by Guest

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Phillipe44,

I had the same problem and similar experience as you with the UM2. Amazing machine when it worked but underextrusion was a major issue, I felt like I tried everything. The upgrade to the UM2+ was the best thing ever done to my machine. Honestly, I wouldn't be considering a 3 if Ultimaker hadn't got the 2 printing consistently at this level. Since then, I think I've had over 2000 hours of printing and the only issue I've run into was this one with the stepper gear.

I contacted support (fbrc8) and they promptly sent me new stepper with the longer gear attached. While it was shipping I decided to super glue it as a temporary fix. That was 500+ hours ago, I expect it to fail again and when it does I'll spend the time to take it apart and reassemble with the new stepper.

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Phillipe44,

I had the same problem and similar experience as you with the UM2. Amazing machine when it worked but underextrusion was a major issue, I felt like I tried everything.  The upgrade to the UM2+ was the best thing ever done to my machine. Honestly, I wouldn't be considering a 3 if Ultimaker hadn't got the 2 printing consistently at this level.  Since then, I think I've had over 2000 hours of printing and the only issue I've run into was this one with the stepper gear.

I contacted support (fbrc8) and they promptly sent me new stepper with the longer gear attached.  While it was shipping I decided to super glue it as a temporary fix.  That was 500+ hours ago, I expect it to fail again and when it does I'll spend the time to take it apart and reassemble with the new stepper.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm currently printing with the glued gear. Cross finger, so far so good after a couple of hours

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I think as soon as we talk about super glue your doing a "Heath Robinson" and a Plastic gear ??? ditch it, and get a Bondtech end of story. I have an UM2 and another machine and I think the UM2 is a lot more refined than I originally thought,, excepting it has some flaws and replacing them is better than getting rid of the machine, the UM2 is a good machine..

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@bob-hepple: The plastic gears is actually a great feature, they both make the gearing quieter compared to metal gears, but they also thermally decouples the stepper from the drive gear, which insures you will not get problems with PLA softening from the heat. This is a problem with the original UM2 feeder, and there has even been some reports stating that the bondtech feeders has some problems with thermal coupling making PLA soft, especially in hot summer temperatures.

I am not saying that the Bondtech feeders are not great, they are. It is just not needed to solve this problem, what @philippe44 should do is get in contact with the support so he can get the newer longer gear that does not slip to the wrong position, just like @supermanny did.

Edited by Guest
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I been using UM2+/UM3 geared extruder with my new bondtech feeder adapter and the mix works flawlessly (for me at least). No feeder issues, no filament grind. Is the perfect mix to save some cash and keep the reliability of the bondtech drivegears.

https://ultimaker.com/en/community/34976-neotko-fatiroberti-bondtech-adapter-feeder-for-um2-um3

Edited by Guest
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I think as soon as we talk about super glue your doing a "Heath Robinson" and a Plastic gear ??? ditch it,  and get a Bondtech end of story. I have an UM2 and another machine and I think the UM2 is a lot more refined than I originally thought,, excepting it has some flaws and replacing them is better than getting rid of the machine, the UM2 is a good machine..

 

Could not agree more. Bondtechs and a bag of PTFE couplers. All my UM2(+)'s are between 3000-5000 hours now. BTW I use a little fan to keep the Bondtechs cool.

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I have had a UM2 for 2+/ 3 years (just got around to order the 2+ kit...). The UM2 is my first printer from Ultimaker but not my first printer. I think all 3d printers are frustrating and all need tinkering sooner or later... I work with 3d printers costing upward of US$ 1/4 million, and they still don't always work and have tones of problems ( I am an Industrial Designer). I think what I appreciate with the Ultimakers is that they are easy to fix and they are mostly reliable, more so that the one I have had in that price range in the past. Plus there are super cheap to operate. Sure they can be frustrating, but it can usually be fixed fairly quickly.

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