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Bavilo

Buying advice needed

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Hello everyone!

I work for a company that manufactures luminaires for the industry. Our development department would like to buy a 3D-Printer for rapid prototyping of new luminaire parts.

I have checked out multiple reviews for the Ultimaker 2+ but we are still not sure about it.

These are our requirements:

Precise printing

Repeatable printing results

Build room at least 20cm x 20cm x 20cm

Printing speed isn`t that important, if a print takes a day or more that`s fine, but the print should be realiable and not abort mid way through the print!

This printer will not run 24/7, but when we need it, it needs to perform well, without having to spend hours and hours in tweaking it.

Would the Ultimaker 2+ be a wise choice for our needs or should we think about buying a different printer?

Thanks!

Mike

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I'll can only give you advice based on my own personal experience with one UM2 (upgraded to +)

I've had the printer for 2 years, printed 2300 hours with it and can't say I've ever had a time where it was out of order. The only part I've ever needed to replace that actually stopped me being able to print was the Teflon coupler, but having a spare on hand, I was back to printing in less than an hour.

Since upgrading to the 2+ with the TFM coupler, I've not had to replace it.

It's been a great machine with every filament I've thrown at it, it just prints and prints and the print quality is still as good as it was when it was new with just normal maintenance.

I now have a UM3 as well and so far, it's working just as well.

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Hi there,

I agree with @JohnK.  Absolutely rock solid, especially if you stick to materials and configurations you know/are comfortable with.  I.e. take some time to learn and develop a few "known good settings", and if you stick to that, you are golden.

Experimenting with new/weird stuff still mostly works excellently, but again give yourself some time to learn a/some good configuration(s) for that case.

I cannot speak to the UM3 or to other brands, but the UM2/UM2+ are rock solid machines that are particularly known for their consistent reliability.  I can personally attest to that too. (Almost 2 years and > 2600hrs printing.)  The only times the printer did not do what I wanted is when I did not now what I was doing.  For me, at least, the limiting factor has pretty much always been my ignorance as I learn 3D printing from scratch, not the machine. :) Especially since the 2+ fixes all the rough parts of the UM2 (mostly the feeder and the fan shroud).

Regular maintenance is well documented and the community is very helpful if you run in to issues.

The one point that I think you should double check, is the max print area.  The marketing info says 20x20x20-ish, but it might be a bit less in practice, factoring in skirts and the clip tabs etc.  I am not sure here, I have never really tested this aspect.  It will be pretty close to that 20x20x20 though.

Anyway, I hope this helps! :) Good luck!

Edited by Guest

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Thanks for the fast replies!

I do like the Ultimaker 2+, but I also like the Zortrax M200, perhaps even a bit more.

If I were to purchase a 3D-Printer for personal use at home I wouldn`t mind having to find the right settings to get everything working the way it should.

But since we are using it at work and we will have more than one person printing with it. I think that we need a printer that just works out of the box.

I don't want to say anything bad about the Ultimaker since it would be my personal number 1 choice, also this is an Ultimaker forum and I'm not sure if I am allowed to talk about other printers, but I need to keep in mind that this will not be for personal use, but for work.

Has anyone had any experience with the Zortrax M200?

Thanks!

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We have been happy with our UM2 at work. It is the only 3D printer I have any experience with.

Are you familiar with 3D printing? If not, study up. Read the forums and listen to any 3D printing podcast you can find.

I think all of my problems early on were caused by ME. And the damn PTFE coupler. And crap filament.

Stick with Ultimaker brand filament at first. Stick with PLA at first.

I would switch to some kind of ball bearing spool holder right away.

Wait for your prints to cool down after they are done. Don't pry them off of the print bed. This helps keep you print bed level. At first I was re-leveling it every other print. Now I only need to level it about once every 6 months.

If you are planning to do a lot of big prints that will take a long time, I would recommend putting your printer on a wire rack shelf so that the electronics underneath can breathe easier. There is no active cooling on the controller board.

Good luck. It is an exciting journey.

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Thanks for the fast replies!

I do like the Ultimaker 2+, but I also like the Zortrax M200, perhaps even a bit more.

If I were to purchase  a 3D-Printer for personal use at home I wouldn`t mind having to find the right settings to get everything working the way it should.

But since we are using it at work and we will have more than one person printing with it. I think that we need a printer that just works out of the box.

I don't want to say anything bad about the Ultimaker since it would be my personal number 1 choice, also this is an Ultimaker forum and I'm not sure if I am allowed to talk about other printers, but I need to keep in mind that this will not be for personal use, but for work.

Has anyone had any experience with the Zortrax M200?

Thanks!

 

Hi Bavilo :)

First thing yes you are allowed to talk about other printers or even say bad things about Ultimaker (as long as you stay polite).

I have some experience with the M200 and of course with the Ultimaker 2+.

The M200 is a very good machine, it prints reliably and with great quality.

I would say it's a good choice for a printer if you want to print ABS or ABS like filaments.

I always like the Ultimaker printers more because it allows me to print with a lot of materials, and it is also allowed to modify the machine to your needs. (If you change anything on the zortrax you loose warranty, you must also use zortrax filaments to keep your warranty).

Zortrax is completely closed source

One interesting thing on the Ultimaker 2+ is the ability to swap the nozzles really fast, specially interesting if you print big things like lamp shade or prototypes. The print time is greatly reduced.

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@Bavilo, hope you are well!

I was just wondering if you have already made your decision? :)

Like Didier said, it is allowed to talk about other printers here, of course! We would like to ask you to honor our house rules, besides that, everything goes :)

Basically, Didier gave you a great answer. The zortrax m200 is a good machine. I don't think you can go very wrong with any of these machines, depending on what you are looking for. The Zortrax gives good results because it is completely locked in. There is a limit choice of materials available, very limited amount of options in their slicer and that is it. Like your favorite band has just one song.

With Ultimaker, as a user you have more choice. We have developed our own slicer, with great default profiles and our own materials for you to use. But we don't limit you to only this. You can use different slicers, you can use third party materials.. and you can just talk about other 3D printers on our forums ;) Like stated above, this generates some learning curve, but in the end you have more freedom and more options. Basically a more versatile machine.

Again, like Didier said, the option to swap nozzles can allow you to print much faster or more detailed. And it makes any potential maintenance a breeze.

So it comes down to, do you only want to print this one thing, both printers would be a good match for you.

Do you want room for growth, versatility, and expansion, I think the Ultimaker would be the best fit for you.

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I've had my Ultimaker 2, which I upgraded to a 2+ , for about 6 months now. I bought an Ultimaker Original kit in August 2013.

What made me choose the Ultimaker was the strong support community. If I run into an issue, there's a lot of people that can assist. If I want to try something experimental, there's also a lot of support for that! And unlike the other machine you mentioned, the Ultimaker is not limited to use only their consumables (filament, spare parts, nozzles, etc.)

I think the Ultimaker would work great for whatever task you give it.

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I think a problem might be the size, since you say: "at least...". So, how much more is needed? Or can you cut your designs in parts, and glue or screw these parts together after printing if needed? This is something you need to verify.

Also, if you want to print lamp shades ("lampekappen" in Dutch, I am not sure if I have that correct in English) with huge openings, the required support structures to print these might be an issue. Supports do leave ugly marks after removing, so that requires postprocessing (sanding or so). Thus, in case you need lots of supports, an UM3 printer might also be an option? (I don't know about other brands, didn't follow that.)

I would suggest that you download and install Cura (slicer program), select an UM2+ or UM3 printer, and try if your models can be loaded and do fit in it. Also you can see how they would be sliced, and how the supports would look. This would give you a good idea if things can be printed. You can do this without printer.

Further, I would suggest that you find a 3D-print hub in your environment that has an UM2, UM2+ or UM3 (whatever you want most), and have one of your typical models printed. Costs a few euros/dollars, but it may save you a wrong buy. Or find a dealer willing to print a model (of course, offer to pay for it).

Personally, I am very happy with the two UM2 (non-plus) printers we have, although I did make a few modifications (e.g. spool holder with bearings), but no essential changes. This is one of the best investments we have done in our lab to develop custom stuff for use in the hospital. While far from perfect, we can now develop lots of things that we wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

Important considerations for us were:

- relatively open source, or "open plans", so we can find part specs if needed,

- good supply of spare parts, both from the Ultimaker dealer, but also from other manufacturers (in case Ultimaker would go out of business. I hope not, but this sector is still very much in development, with huge market changes; we have to calculate that in),

- good direct support from dealer,

- good forum for support,

- nearby dealer, so I could go there and have a look,

- dealer willing to do a typical test print (and us willing to pay for it, of course), so that we were really sure our models came out well,

- ability to print different types of materials: PLA, PET, ABS, nylon, ...

- ability to print materials from different manufacturers,

- standard filament spools,

- adjustable settings,

- possibility to modify the printer if necessary,

- heated glass print bed,

- within budget (thus no 100.000 euro/dollar machine),

- print size at least 15 x 15 x 15cm, preferably a bit more for spare,

- preferably dual extrusion for support in other materials (this obviously didn't work out),

- good printing quality, close to mass production quality,

- not too much or too time-consuming post processing required,

- no dangerous chemicals required, and no chemical waste,

- no messy post production required,

- reliable machine,

The UM2 at that time fullfilled our wishes best.

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Mike

I'll throw in my opinion for what its worth (not much), that is a bit of a loaded question to ask on a UM Forum (really), but I would not go for the Zortrax,, for a few reasons, but using there own software is high on my list.. the build quality on the Zortrax is good, but there is a flexibility with the UM's that Zortrax does not allow, I do believe the Zortrax will print when you want it too,, but your learning there software and that would be the highest drawback. Believe me I have looked at a lot of machines and purchased one but the UM's I have come to respect.

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