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snowygrouch

Mechanical development is too slow

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Good packaged slicer software = yes

Good website and forum = yes

Good sales = yes

Good reputation = yes

Dual extrusion = no

Heated bed = no

Heated chamber = no

Belt tensioners = no

Direct drive = no

Bed height sensor = no

Filament thickness sensor = no

ABS proven hotend = no

Decent pulleys = no

Proper 3 point bedheight adjustment = no

When do I get to put a "yes" after something mechanical ?

 

C.

 

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Especially as pretty much every single thing above has been invented and developed by people

on this forum on their own machines....but there comes a point when the number of add-ons and widgets outnumber the original parts...that to work properly, all the new stuff should be consolidated into the official design.

I vote its time that happens. Its no good just waiting until things start breaking, we need performance upgrades

not just failure fixes.

C.

 

 

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Dual extrusion is in the work, I hope it will be in the shop soon. (There are some design issues with this)

Heated chamber is patented and we won't do it.

The pulleys are fine, the grub screws have been changed solving most of those issues. (Some argue GT2 belts are better then the current MXL belts, but there is no physical change visible when you change to GT2. Yes, we've tested this)

 

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I'm not as experience as Snowy and I'm not asking for as many things because I'm not particularly interested in dual extrusion or printing ABS, but must agree that since I have been using my ultimaker, the pulleys getting loose and bowden tube popping out have been an issue. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy with my ultimaker in general and the other point Snowy stated, I know that 3d pritning is not "plug n' play" yet, but it's frustrating when a print fails after 10 hours because a pulley got loose

 

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Yes you are correct about the heated chamber Daid, my mistake on that.

However there are alot of people on the forum who just paid out their own pockets to

upgrade the pulleys.

So depends what you mean by "fine". Do they turn round, and not melt ? Yes.

Are the well made, concentric, with properly toleranced bore, acurate toothform and deburred ? No, no, no, no and no.

Depends what you want. My wishes are now extended beyond function, to functioning well. So thats where all

this comes from.

C.

 

 

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The lose pulley issue came from bad grub screws. Which have been changed and extra screws are now in the kit just to be sure. If you have pulleys that keep vibrating lose, contact support, they will send you new screws.

Heated bed is needed for large ABS prints. But for large PLA prints:

http://daid.eu/~daid/IMG_20121119_100449.jpg

I managed quite big without heated bed.

 

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Heated chamber is patented and we won't do it.

 

Daid - Have you guys closely examined this? If you are referring to US patent 6,722,872 it only patents methods of getting the extrusion head and xyz gantry out of the heated envelope so that higher temp materials such as Ultem and PC can be used (at chamber temperatures well over 100C).

Lower temperatures (~80C) do not infringe on this patent AFAIK. Most Stratasys machines - the ones that only print ABS - are not covered under this patent. Again - this is this only my understanding of it.

 

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In general I'd fully acknowledge to snowy, but I think that most of the "professional" Ultimaker users who upgrade their machines in all aspects are not the audience Ultimaking is targeting to in reality. Ultimaking isn't interested in bringing out a machine that can handle ABS prints or that has the absolute toughest tolerances in the mechanical parts and so on. They want that persons who are curious about that cool new subject "3d printing" just can grab an appropriate machine that can 3d print objects without much effort, without much tinkering, and without having that much knowledge about the inner and outer aspects that make the device to work. They take the printer and just print some "funny" objects, then sharing that fun with their friends, maybe also using it as an educational material. For that case the Ultimaker is fine. It's not designed for the rest of us who truly want the best print quality that meets the highest artistic or mechanical standards possible to date on consumer FDM printers. Maybe parts you can even *sell*. For those guys the Ultimaker might be the wrong machine to start with. For me it was not. I knew that there were many parts of the concept that had to be revised. I like tinkering so no problem here for me and the

Ultimaker gave me a good start. The only problem I see is the way Ultimaking is representing their machine. They represent it as one of the best consumer 3d printers on the market that is capable of doing everything in FDM aspects. They seem to want to address the professional consumers. But it is not. In my opinion the Ultimaker clearly is in its first instance for people who just want to enjoy and have fun with 3d printing, but not for the guys who have serious demands when it comes to consumer 3d printing. So I wouldn't expect them to be too much interested in enhancing the machine in too much ways. Maybe we see a heated bed someday. But the Ultimaker won't get that top notch 3d printer ever some are expecting.

 

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Well sorry but I disagee almost completey with the validity of any of that.

The things I am suggesting are NOWHERE NEAR, reaching the standards that commercial printers are using.

Neither are they even getting in the same ballpark, as the kinds of things that can be produced in terms of

presicion or expense.

3D Printing is not some kind of huge playpen full of happy tinkerers....it looks like that now beause we are right at

the base of the "technology curve". When everything is new and interesting and things are still at a level where

"a guy in a shed" can produce results that are still at least vaguely comparable to a commercially produced part.

However this is not a static situation !!!

Things are moving at an incredible rate, and quite simply you must be running at full speed - to have even a

chance of standing still in relation to the competition. To be actually standing still, and admitting you have no

interest in any particular development is utter and total madness, because you are then moving backwards

at a tremendous rate of knots relative to everyone else.

Quite simply what will happen is that at some point (I dont have a time-machine so I cannot say exactly), someone

will release a machine that has ALL the things in the list above, for the same price as your machine. Or also

possibly the price of the UV resin will continue dropping (now $60 USD for 1 Litre from SOLAREZ) and someone

will make a printer than can make net shapes bigger, cheaper, faster and better than you can......then one day

you will notice a few less orders than usual....which will quickly become just your mates and a few die-hards

buying it and you will be left high and dry.

Its not my company ! Just saying that thats exactly what will happen....take it or leave it. But any amateur

historian of tech will have books filled to the brim with idential stories. (Eg, Commodore Amiga - came out and blew everything away, but they were so pleased with themselves that they never bothered upgrading the hardware significantly and eventually someone went into a computer shop and saw the same games being played on an IBM PC for less money...then sales simply stopped).

The "hobby market" you are referring to will simply not exist in its current form in a very short period of time. Its going to move forward too....move with it...or be prepared to end up on the street at some point.

If UMaker have no interest in improving significantly, did they send the same memo out to every other garage maker on earth ? Will they also stop because UMaker doesnt want to ?

I dont know......but I can make a pretty good guess.

C.

 

 

 

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i really love ultimaker with a big heart and the people behind it.... but if you guys are right... then this is all open source, im sure there is an army of small companies around the world, looking at Calums list and saying to themselves.... ok we take the ultimaker design, add these missing features, sell for a price close to ultimaker... and bang we have a pontentially great product.

im always scared that ultimaker will keep them selves too tied up in their small little fun world... and the biggest nasties will bite and tug, until ultimaker is no more..... something i would hate to see.... how many companies can you really say... that actually have love and passion behind their product and service ?

 

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Oh, and stuff is happening. I cannot tell anything more.

But you are also right that stuff has been standing still for quite a while. Just going from 3 people in a shed to a company simply shut down development for half a year. Next was properly defining the machine, as drawings and details where missing, company wise it was a mess. That's all done now, and development is being done now. That's all I can tell.

 

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There is no reason to panic, and I am not trying to be a pain.

Just a good example, is this one. Which is I think a really better way to do the bed adjustment.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8550

Im not saying do THIS design. Just that its a good concept that can be surely applied to the machine at very

minimal cost without any super high cost parts.

Most of the stuff on the "wanted" list is similar. Its just that someone needs to sit down for a few months and

make all the changes.

I hope they will !

 

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I agree with snowy. And something else which I have mentioned probably more than a year ago is their lack of telling anyone of their developments. Not wanting any deadline or anything (though this would be nice and professional) we have not really a clue what is going on. Why not reporting on the development and tries. Sure they could benefit from some of the knowledge of the fora.

Dual extrusion seems to be in the pipeline but why not having a simple table like snowy's above and give an order of priority. This list should be prominent on ultimaker web page and updated so people see what is going to come. maybe some red/orange/green indicator how far of development from offering is.

What about a heated bed (actually just curiosity as I build my own). The marketing is really poor (still waiting for a site where all videos of ultimaking events are listed).

Belt tensioner (one person should simply test the designs and give some official recommondation, I am sure they tried some of them, but they do not take community development seriously?!)

So I completely agree they really risk to be left behind if they do not change and have a faster turnaround and involve their community better.

 

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There are so many clever people on the forums, who are all probably happy to share their own developments

to their own machines. I dont think it would be that hard to arrange a "european ulti-weekend" or something

where people could be invited to bring their modified machines, all get together and help out.

If the problem is that UMaker is flat out just building the machines, then there are 3 choices:

1) dont make new developments and eventually "do a Commodore"

2) hire a mechanical engineer for R&D

3) Use the engineers/inventors/hobby engineers/and so on, who are already on your forum !

For me #3 is the winning choice....look how well it worked out with the Umaker/Bertho extruder mod !

 

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im sure there is an army of small companies around the world, looking at Calums list and saying to themselves.... ok we take the ultimaker design, add these missing features, sell for a price close to ultimaker... and bang we have a pontentially great product.

 

Yes they are called Makerbot, but too bad they lack in the QA department :)

 

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I think it's about time for an Ultimaker 2. The Ultimaker is pretty old now and companies like MakerBot are brining out new printers every few months.. I know people like the ability to upgrade and nobody likes their printer to be made obsolete, but really it's time to take what we've learned and design a new printer from the ground up with everything rather than trying to bolt on additional stuff to the current printer.

The Ultimaker has the best gantry system out there. I've compared quite a few now and Ultimaker's XY design is far, far superior. I see a lot of talk about 'direct drive' conversion of the Ultimaker... I do not want direct drive. I see no advantage to it and it just causes the motors to stick out. Part of UM's brilliance is the placement of the steppers inside the case while other designs have them hanging out. The biggest advantage of the UM design in my opinion is the fact that all motors are stationary. The only design that I think would be even better is a corexy / H-Bot gantry system.

I would like to see an official heated platform... but I just don't think it's wise to do it as an official upgrade on the current version. You either need to change the electronics to be able to directly switch enough current for a low voltage DC solution, or you need to go with a separate power supply or AC version. An AC solution is out of the question for something like this that will be retrofitted by people without AC experience. Even a separate power supply will present serious electrocution hazard as ones powerful enough are either open frame or expose the line wiring to the outside. Any sort of official retrofit kit is just asking for people to electrocute themselves or burn their houses down. A new printer should be designed for a DC heated platform to be plug and play without having to change core parts or do any soldering / wire splicing / etc.

Dual extrusion would be nice too... But I'm afraid that UM is working too hard retrofitting the current printer again when they could take what they've learned and apply it to a new shiny printer with Dual extrusion a priority from the start, as Makerbot did with the Replicator 2.

Just my 2c.

Cheers,

Troy.

 

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I don't agree with you @snowygrouch. The first three are all good (Dual extrusion, HBP and enclosure).

UM are working on Dual and enclosure is patented. They won't do HBP since customers may electrocute themselves if using 220V and the external 12-24V power bricks that can deliver enough watts are really huge and expensive. I can see why they don't want to do it, but they could have offered it as a DIY-kit?

I've had my UM for 1,5 years now and my pulleys have never slipped. As soon as Bertho's new feeder arrived, it's been near fail-free. I would also say that the UM has an "ABS proven hotend". One third of my prints are ABS and they all come out great on my home-built HBP - much better than on Makerbots and comparable printers that I have available to test with. Only exception is maybe the MakerGear M2. It's very near UM in both print quality and speed, but is much less hackable.

Direct Drive, Bed height, filament sensor, tensioners? Nahh, but I have to say that this auto-levelling looks kick-ass:

 

:smile:

J

 

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I think its an interesting discussion here.

Snowy is correct of course. But think about the size of the company and the state of development they are in.

To me it boils down to the kind of company that Ultimaker wants to be. They can go the Makerbot road, professionalize their machine, (at least optically) close down the software and put themselves in the hands of big capital investors. These guys wont give them a dime if they dont get rid of the "pioneer spirit".

I 'd rather see slower development of the machine but sticking to the open source theme. I guess the step from "a couple guys in a shed" to a professional company is the most difficult thing. They seem to have come thru this without being broke or being squeezed out of business or being reduced to doormen in their own company. This is an achievement in itself.

Possibly they should split the ultimaker product line into a PLA and an ABS machine. A universal machine is always a compromise. I had not thought I would ever long for ABS printing, but a recent test (we have a heat wave here at the moment) has shown me that the darker varieties of PLA will even melt and deform being outside in sunlight. Not talking about the hot car!

Dual extrusion is not on my priority list since it will always come with print times being too long. Your printhead will get heavier, and you need time to switch between the two hot ends.What is great about the UM is the compromise between quality and speed, and in this respect I think it is indeed unique on the amateur market at the moment.

So a lot of the improvements would be nice to have, but I think at the moment they should consolidate their company, improve the existing product if it does not cost them control of the company and sell as many of the classic machines as possible. I'm sure some sort of UM 2 is in the works anyway.

Albert

 

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(at least optically) close down the software and put themselves in the hands of big capital investors. These guys wont give them a dime if they dont get rid of the "pioneer spirit".

 

If you see me running from UM, then this is what's happening. And I'm not running. I'm staying, and I'm quite happy right now about how things are slowly turning out. I wished that things could advance faster, but we all do, however, development takes time. Setting up a proper company takes time.

 

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