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Considering buying UM3 @ Company, some questions


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Posted (edited) · Considering buying UM3 @ Company, some questions

Hi all,

I'm quite new to 3D printing but have my eyes set on the Ultimaker 3 as a possible model for installing here at the company. Now, there are several questions that I cannot find a clear answer on when I browse the full manual. One question about network functionality and one question on third party filament

1. The WiFi/Ethernet function is important to us to print remotely. Our company is at a large campus (High tech campus, Eindhoven to be precise) where the network infrastructure is entirely in control of campus management. Computers/notebooks can only connect over ethernet if they are tied to a domain and that domain is added by campus management. You cannot simply plug in a device in an ethernet socket and see it appear on the network. There is a wireless to which all campus guests can connect but it is public, meaning you can see all devices. We do not want the UM3 to appear on that network so that everyone can see it. My question is, would it be possible to connect the UM3 over Ethernet to this 'managed' network. For example, can we tie it to a domain? Also: we are not permitted to install our own wireless routers. I'm not an expert in network topology but is anyone experienced with using it in such an environment? Or... as an alternative, can the UM3 work entirely standalone as a wifi hotspot with password so we can connect to it and print like that? (this is allowed here btw, since it's not a router)

2. We're interested in printing flexible materials. Colleagues have recommended various filaments from Ninjaflex. But I also read that the UM3 has an NFC chip inside their own branded filaments. Does that mean the machine will also accept filament rolls that identify as UM3-certified or can it take 3rd party filaments too like Ninjaflex. If so, what is the purpose of the NFC chip, if not for guaranteeing you only buy from UM..

Thanks in advance, love to hear from you to make our decision.


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    Posted · Considering buying UM3 @ Company, some questions

    Hi @Grasmier,

    thank you for your message and welcome to the community! What type of company will the Ultimaker 3 hopefully find a place in? Will you be prototyping, make end-use products or something else? I'm always curious to learn about the uses of 3D printing.

    About your questions, it is possible to connect your Ultimaker 3 to internet using an ethernet cable. How it exactly fits in in your network topology I am not exactly sure. Also not an expert here ;) Perhaps @Nallath knows the answer?

    I do know that if you want to send a project to print, the station from which you send it must be connected to the same network as the Ultimaker 3. You can also not just take control of the Ultimaker 3, this needs to be authorized on the physical Ultimaker 3 first.

    You can bypass this network by setting up a VPN, do you know if that is allowed?

    About your second question, I can be of more help.

    The NFC chip is installed to make it easier and more reliable to use Ultimaker filaments. But it is in no way a limiting factor.

    We have a materials team who made default profiles for every material we have, and every color in which material is available. Due to the pigments that define the color, the profile of Ultimaker PLA White may vary slightly from Ultimaker PLA Orange. These settings will immediately be loaded if the material is being detected by the NFC chip.

    In the scenario of using NinjaFlex, you just select (for example) PLA, and you get a standard profile. This may require some more tweaking to get this profile right, but this would be the 'normal' scenario when we would not have a NFC reader at all.

    So it just makes it easier when you use Ultimaker filaments, nothing more and nothing less :)

    I would like to advice to not start with NinjaFlex in general. Ultimaker has a bowden tube system and this makes printing flexible materials slightly more tricky.

    One or two drops of sewing machine oil in the bowden tube, printing at 20mm/s at 240ºC should get you started. But I would recommend starting with regular PLA or Nylon to get a feel for your new Ultimaker and 3D printing. Once you are more familiar with it you can start with more expert materials like NinjaFlex.

    (We also have TPU, which is also flexible material).

    If you have any further questions, looking forward hearing from you!

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    Posted (edited) · Considering buying UM3 @ Company, some questions

    The UM3 connects to a LAN. The LAN needs to have DHCP. The videostream of the printer is then accessible to everyone on that LAN.

    Printjobs can be sent and paused/canceled only only after a user has been authorized. Cura then asks to press a button on the printer to get this authorization. This means the user must have physical access to the printer to become authorized.

    It is not possible to tie the printer to a domain.

    The printer allows third party materials to be loaded. The NFC chip on Ultimaker material just makes that the printer recognises which material is loaded, so this can be relayed to Cura. Cura printing profiles are tuned towards Ultimaker materials.

    The TPU95A material is currently the only flexible material that UM offers. Printing profiles for the UM3 are not yet available, but will be later this year.

    Ninjaflex is (much) more flexible, and is hard to print on a printer with a bowden tube (like the Ultimaker printers).

    In many applications, high flexibility can also be achieved with TPU95A, by varying the infill. Saves material as well.

    Note that when using non-Ultimaker material, limited warranty applies.

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    Posted · Considering buying UM3 @ Company, some questions

    I think it is possible to tie it to a domain. The nuance here is that we don't support it out of the box. The printer runs on Linux. We did add a "dev-mode" to the machine which gives you full access to the OS by means of SSH.

    But this is not for the faint of heart / non tech savvy. You will need a fair bit of knowledge to get it working.

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    Posted · Considering buying UM3 @ Company, some questions

    Great information, thanks everyone.

    We've discussed what you said with our IT service and they indicated it is no issue to set it up to the network.

    @SandervG, we will be used it for prototyping of small medical devices and surgical equipment.

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    Posted · Considering buying UM3 @ Company, some questions

    @Grasmier, thank you for your reply. Good to hear that the network features should work fine for you. I think your question about the NFC was also answered?

    Were there any other questions you had regarding the Ultimaker 3?

    Prototyping of small medical devices sounds very interesting. Prototyping is very widely used application of 3D printing, in a large variety of fields. And we can totally see why. How small are the devices you will be making?

    Do they come with certain design challenges, or perhaps challenges to get them 3D printed?

    Have a good day,

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