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After weeks of research and decisions, I’m ready to make the plunge and buy a UM3 or UM3E. Does it matter which vendor I buy it from?  Ultimaker, Dynamism, MatterHackers, 3D Universe, Amazon, etc.  Price seems to be same so wanted to ask what else might matter?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice. 

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I'm biased and like 3D Universe but all of these places (except probably amazon) definitely have good customer support and dedicated people who know the machine somewhat but at some point if you want even better advice you should come to this forum.  Sorry we were away last week - we had great fun.

 

I am familiar with the staff at all of these places (except amazon) and they are nice people who have experience with all kinds of issues with UM printers.

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I got good service at my supplier of choice right off the bat and did not see the need to go elsewhere. I have a feeling that they all need to be this responsive in this competitive market place.

 

In the US, fbrc8.com will be your actual support place. Parts, etc. @fbrc8-erin is here a lot and has excellent advice as well as some nifty links they make to help with the basic how to things. And, as @gr5 says, this will be a great place to get basic info, especially if you are just starting out in 3D Printing.

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Thanks for your feedback, kmanstudios.  

 

These responses (or lack of) have helped me make a decision to not immediately purchase a UM3.  I got very, very close to purchase but I just haven't been able to source a variety of filaments like I can for 1.75mm thicknesses.  There is just so much more variety out there, and for significantly reduced cost.  Oh, also finding a couple vendors that do sell 2.85mm but on 1kg rolls that don't fit.  This reminds me of when Sony used to sell their proprietary memory sticks when the standards in the market were already great.

 

I really want to print PLA-PVA support combos, so I may still get one eventually (although now I'm looking at the Craftbot 3 which releases soon).  But PVA on the 2.85mm is still pricy.

  • Ultimaker PVA is $13.33 per 100 grams
  • 1.75mm PVA from MatterHackers is $8.00/100g

67% increase in cost for PVA.  However, I cannot speak to quality as I haven't used MatterHacker PVA yet.

 

I'm also looking for 2.85mm PLA in neon colors, transparent colors, and impregnated with contrasting color beads (like this) or glitter/sparkles (like this). And unless I've missed it, but am unable to find any wood-impregnated polymers.  Am I thinking up the wrong tree?

 

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Well, I am not sure where you have been looking for this stuff, but I find all I need. I use Matterhackers PVA and UM PVA. The Matterhackers is good for a lot of things, but when it comes to needing that rigid, no give support, UM PVA is the one to use.

 

As for variety of colors, there is a lot out there and the sparkles you showed can be found in Fillamentum Extrafill or nGen_LUX.

 

I have not seen the marble type of mate4rial you linked to, but have not looked. And, I am at a loss as to why you would not find wood fill filaments....there are bazillions.....

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Don't search for "2.85 filament".  Search for "3mm filament".  That's what most people call it.

 

printedSolid.com sells a great variety of filaments.

meltink3d in florida has a nice line of filaments

protopasta has a lot of amazing and interesting filaments

amazon has some really cheap ones (e.g. esun)

and lots more.  I didn't mention matterHackers as kman mentioned them.

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32 minutes ago, ruggie said:

but on 1kg rolls that don't fit. 

I have bought 2.2kg spools from printedSolid.  Works great.

I rarely put filament on the spool holder anyway.  Usually I just put it on the table behind the printer or on the floor behind the printer.  Spool shape is not important to me.

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34 minutes ago, kmanstudios said:

Well, I am not sure where you have been looking for this stuff, but I find all I need. I use Matterhackers PVA and UM PVA. The Matterhackers is good for a lot of things, but when it comes to needing that rigid, no give support, UM PVA is the one to use.

 

As for variety of colors, there is a lot out there and the sparkles you showed can be found in Fillamentum Extrafill or nGen_LUX.

 

Good to know the quality difference between the two brands.  Have you happened to have tried eSun?

 

Thanks for the links to Fillamentum, I missed them and they look beautiful!  I will get some.  The LUX looks nice but seems pricey, nearly as much as PVA at $12.18 / 100g.

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44 minutes ago, gr5 said:

Don't search for "2.85 filament".  Search for "3mm filament".  That's what most people call it.

 

Hey, thank you for bringing this point up, maybe this is why it feels that there is very little variety to choose from.  I have been specifically looking for 2.85mm while excluding 3.00mm filament.  Why?  I was actually trying to take your advice!  In this thread, you said "strongly recommend you do not buy filament that is truly at 3mm" and "I don't care if 3mm filament is free - it's not worth it. Buy some 2.85mm filament."  Down in that thread, InertialPrint says UM can handle 3mm after modifications are made (but I wouldn't want to need to mod right out of the box).

 

Here's another thread where you say: "So you would think 3.0mm PLA is fine. But it's not."  And a third thread linking use of 3.0 filament to poor printing.

 

So is it now ok to feed in 3mm filament?  Was it UM2 that was more sensitive or are 2/3 equally able to take (or not) 3.0mm filament?  I know I have more selection options if I am able to run 3.0 filament through.  Have been just looking for 2.85. 

 

Oh, and thanks for your philosophy on the spool size.  I shouldn't let that trip me up, thanks for explaining.

 

 

Edited by ruggie
forgot a sentence

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I live in Hawaii and purchased my UM3 from Matterhackers. I have been very happy with their filaments and support. They ship all there products anywhere in the USA for free.

BTW I would not let the size of the filament spool dictate your choice on the suitability of the UM3. I say this because you mentioned your desire to use PVA support material. If you use PVA filament you will almost certainly start using a drybox to keep the humidity incheck in the PVA filament. I purchased a PrintDry system to dry the filament while I am printing. Here in Honolulu the humidity ranges from 60% to 100% and keeping the filament dry is essential for PVA to print properly. You can put a big roll of PLA on the back of the UM3 and then run the PVA from the drybox.  Nylon needs the same treatment also.

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1 hour ago, CapableQuad said:

I live in Hawaii and purchased my UM3 from Matterhackers. I have been very happy with their filaments and support. They ship all there products anywhere in the USA for free.

BTW I would not let the size of the filament spool dictate your choice on the suitability of the UM3. I say this because you mentioned your desire to use PVA support material. If you use PVA filament you will almost certainly start using a drybox to keep the humidity incheck in the PVA filament. I purchased a PrintDry system to dry the filament while I am printing. Here in Honolulu the humidity ranges from 60% to 100% and keeping the filament dry is essential for PVA to print properly. You can put a big roll of PLA on the back of the UM3 and then run the PVA from the drybox.  Nylon needs the same treatment also.

 

Hi, thanks for this information, but my main concern is getting to a variety of filament types when forced to purchase 2.85mm filament and keeping costs low.  I live in a low humidity place.

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No problem, you need to make a decision based on your requirements. For me, I realized that I may pay more for the 2.85mm filament, but I made a choice, if I was willing to pay $3,500 for a quality printer, then I should also be willing to pay more for the filament, the quality of the output was the most important for me. Another way to look at it is if I pay $3,500 for a printer, then I am likely to spend about the same amount for filament over a period of time. Allow $42/kg for the PLA Pro. $3,500/$42 = 83kg of filament. If you pay $20/kg for cheap PLA, then that is 175kg of filament.

You will probably waste a lot of the  $20/kg than the $42/kg.

So what is my point, its a balance of quality/cost/time, it is always the decision we make. Its all fun in the end.

 

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12 hours ago, CapableQuad said:

You will probably waste a lot of the  $20/kg than the $42/kg.

So what is my point, its a balance of quality/cost/time, it is always the decision we make. Its all fun in the end.

Very good point, I see what you mean.  Can I ask if you use 2.85 or 3.0mm filament?

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As far as I understand, 3.00 is the generic designation and from there, the maker would specify. Some are actually 3.00 with a bad spread of variability in diameter. Specifically, printing with 3.00mm filament is pushing the limits of designed functionality. But, at the same time if it gets larger than that (The +- information of tolerance) it will definitely clog. It may not e3ven make it inside the hot end.

 

I always search using 3.00mm but check to make sure it is 2.85 with a low tolerance for diameter change.

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4 hours ago, kmanstudios said:

As far as I understand, 3.00 is the generic designation and from there, the maker would specify. Some are actually 3.00 with a bad spread of variability in diameter. Specifically, printing with 3.00mm filament is pushing the limits of designed functionality. But, at the same time if it gets larger than that (The +- information of tolerance) it will definitely clog. It may not e3ven make it inside the hot end.

I always search using 3.00mm but check to make sure it is 2.85 with a low tolerance for diameter change.

 

Yes, I believe you are correct, though I notice that many popular brands of filaments are specifically noting that their filaments are within the 2.85mm specification nowadays (2.85mm +/- 0.05mm) so that purchasers don't get confused. It does warrant a check before you press the 'buy' button. One of the filaments that I checked is eSun, which many call out as a low cost and popular filament.

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8 minutes ago, CapableQuad said:

 

Yes, I believe you are correct, though I notice that many popular brands of filaments are specifically noting that their filaments are within the 2.85mm specification nowadays (2.85mm +/- 0.05mm) so that purchasers don't get confused. It does warrant a check before you press the 'buy' button. One of the filaments that I checked is eSun, which many call out as a low cost and popular filament.

I believe they are a strict 3.00mm filament. I could be wrong. But I remember one of those low cost filaments being a bit off in size.

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22 hours ago, CapableQuad said:

Yep, Amazon advertises eSun at 2.85mm, eSun China specs state 2.90mm to 3.0mm - who can you trust? Good thing I don't use eSun. 

If I buy some, I will measure in multiple places and will post my findings.  

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I bought some eSun black pla for a large project about 6 months ago.  It was fine.  It was mostly around 2.9mm.  I'm not sure if it's any better or worse than more expensive filament.  But it worked fine for me.  I mostly use more expensive filament.

 

When you go shopping and you put the 3mm in your shopping cart - at some point before you hit buy - get the specifications of the filament from the manufacturer.  most post things like modulus (flexibility) and strength and diameter and tolerance and glass temperature or softening temperature and other things.  Among those specifications should be the diameter and tolerance.

 

There was a time when some manufacturers of 3mm filament were producing.... 3mm filament.  Yikes.  But by now I think everyone got the memo and I believe you won't be able to find truly 3mm filament even if you try very hard.

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