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twiereng

Ultimaker - does management listen to users?

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OK, let’s see if I’ve got this straight. I bought an Ultimaker 2+ for $2,500., which has one of the best reviews out there. In addition, I bought the maintenance kit and the advanced printing kit., the later of which is useless. The person who came up with the idea of using that plastic sheet in the advanced kit with ABS should be required to use it with an ABS print about 8 centimeters square that takes 8 days to build. If he cannot remove the print without damage he should be dismissed from his job. I’m only getting started.

 

So to print ABS you really need a complete enclosure for the printer. I built one out of plywood with a Arduino controlled fan for venting and a heater so the inside temperature can be closely controlled. If the printer is going to print ABS it needs to be enclosed to raise the ambient temperature, so why not manufacture it that way as an option.

 

I’ve also had issues with the filament breaking do to tangles. The spool is mounted 3 centimeters away from the back so the input hole for filament does not line up with the inside of the spool. To fix this problem I’ve got a couple of pieces of thin wood placed behind the spool at the bottom and the outside wall. The spool doesn’t need to be that far out from the back. If it were 5 mm back the in feed would line up with the spool.

 

Next we have the retraction problem. There are lots of questions about this online. It appears to me that retraction doesn’t seem to be much of a problem when the print head is moving from one printed portion of the total print to another. The problem always seems to be when printing support structures. Not all support structures just some. You can get strings from poor retraction all over the place. In addition if the strings get in the way enough the nozzle will knock the entire support structure off the base. See attached photo. The nozzle also seems to hit portions of the support structure when moving around, just enough for you to hear a little snapping sound. Obviously, the people who wrote retraction into the build part of the software aren’t the same people who wrote retraction for support structure.

 

While printing one day the entire feed system came loose from the back of the printer. It’s held in place with two screws. Fortunately I was able to screw it back in place while printing. The Ultimaker people have evidently never heard of Loctite.

 

I read in the forums a lot of things about changing your settings to solve a problem. I have only used Ultimaker filament and when I select the filament in Cura I not only choose PLA or ABS but also the color. I understand different colors behave differently. So, why can’t the default settings print at maximum quality? Why do you need to change settings?

 

It would appear to me the 3d industry is still in its infancy, maybe even prenatal. I hope this gets passed on to someone in engineering who can make a difference. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Theron Wierenga

 

 

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As for printing ABS without an enclosure; I've done it quite a few times. It's definitely possible, but ABS is indeed a lot trickier to get right than PLA is. I don't think i need to explain that there is a major difference between hacking an enclosure for a single machine and making it production ready. It would also mean that we need to provide multiple ABS profiles; one for people with an enclosure and one for those without it (which is a bit of a UX nightmare!).

That is also a nice bridge to your next point; There is no such thing as "good" settings for a single material for all objects. We just aren't there yet. So we often need to make choices that impact certain models / settings / situations. We know this is an issue, which is why we provide people with so much tools to change settings.


Colors have absolutely zero impact on the settings that Cura uses. They do impact the settings a bit (or again; they do it slightly), but it would mean that we would need to maintain 5-6 times as many profiles (it's already taking multiple full time employees to ensure that the profiles got to this stage in the first place)

 

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1 minute ago, nallath said:

It would also mean that we need to provide multiple ABS profiles; one for people with an enclosure and one for those without it (which is a bit of a UX nightmare!)

 

More of a materials team nightmare (that would have to create all those profiles). We have ways to handle this in Cura, either through variants, or similar to how the heated bed or ollson block upgrade are options when adding the UMO and UM2 respectively.

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