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corngolem

Ever wanted a metal Ultimaker ? it's the Zortrax

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I don't think I'd spend that much money on a Kickstarter project. It's too easy to get burned. Also, my experiences of supporting a Kickstarter project at a lower level is I'm a second class citizen when it comes to delivery schedules. Just my $0.02 and your mileage may vary. Also, Kickstarter supporters are more into drinking the Kool-aid dispensed by the project owners and less into being critical consumers and customers. Not my cup of tea.

I like the extra size of the Zortrax, particularly in X/Y, but it doesn't seem to offer the features I'd like to see in a new Ultimaker. The Zortrax head is massive and appears to include the filament drive motor. If this is correct, it's a significant departure from the Ultimaker concept. The Zoltrax probably needs its double printer head rails, because of sag implied by a single supported beam (these rails must also be accelerated during head motion). If I were designing a larger Ultimaker, I'd investigate the use of a stiffer rail shape (like an "I" beam) to keep the mass down. Of course the bearings would need to change too.

I don't see any signs that the stage is any stiffer (or features better return to zero after a disturbance) than the Ultimaker statge and the X/Y steppers are still within the cube frame structure (not good for enclosing and heating the build chamber). It's easy to move the steppers to the outside of the box on an Ultimaker and maybe it will be equally trivial with the Zortrax. In this application, the Zortrax ball screws are a big "yawn."

 

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<off topic>

Kickstarter won't do anything to force the project creator to send you what you paid for, so yeah it's risky. But it's (with indiegogo) the only way to get products that have no equivalent before everyone and cheaper than everyone. That's why I backed a 3D scanner, 2 filament makers and 1 print polisher. I might have found an efficient counter to the delivery issue, you need to use a bank card which includes an insurance against undelivered goods or goods that don't match.

</off topic>

Does the bowden extruder (or should we say bowden feeder) really make a difference ? I'm not convinced that in the end the models are printed faster. And I suspect it from generating underextrusion. I'll compare with a Replicator when I get one.

 

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By moving the filament feed stepper motor off of the print head to a stationary location, the mass of the moving head can be reduced (everything else being equal). The idea is the movement of the head is then more precise at high speeds and it can be accelerated more quickly. It's tough to prove the significance of any actual benefit, because comparisons between 3D printer designs are always an "apples and oranges" comparison, due to so many design, setup, and usage differences. The Ultimaker is known to be a very fast and accurate consumer/hobby 3D printer, however.

No need to worry about under extrusion. The Bowden tube does nothing to cause that malady. You should work to anchor it well at both ends, however. Any play in the endpoints creates hysteresis when using retraction (filament "pull/push" or "suck/prime").

In my experience, ABS cannot be printed as fast as PLA (ABS is more viscous) so the benefits of accurate high speed movement may not be realized with ABS. Similarly, the highest quality prints are generally a relatively low speed activity. At the speeds I typically print, I'm confident there are many printers with moving extrusion stepper motors on their printer heads that can print just as accurately as my Ultimaker. BTW, I've used 0.25mm, 0.35mm, 0.40mm, and 0.50mm nozzles and the 0.25mm nozzle works with PLA but not ABS, because the very small orifice presents more resistance to ABS than PLA and the filament feeder cannot supply sufficient force to drive ABS through the nozzle. I seriously doubt that any of the current 3D printers on the market have a filament feeder that could do it reliably.

If you compare the UM to a Rep2, I suspect the setup and "tune" of the printer will have more of an impact on the results than the model of the printer! As an example, all of the printer nozzle sizes I mentioned above have a marked effect on the nature and performance to the printer. Nozzle size is always a compromise and the best nozzle depends on what you are trying to accomplish, as do a plethora of process parameters and settings!

 

 

Does the bowden extruder (or should we say bowden feeder) really make a difference ? I'm not convinced that in the end the models are printed faster. And I suspect it from generating underextrusion. I'll compare with a Replicator when I get one.

 

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