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Mick F

Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

Hi,

 

I just wondered about the life expectancy of a UM2/2+

 

Is there an estimated life span for certain parts?

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Mick

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

I would like to know this as well for the UM2. I need to determine depreciation and maintenance costs in order to budget appropriately. I'm sure there are businesses out there who have already determined these values for tax purposes, so hopefully they can share this information. 

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

5 years

 

As far as I know they last forever.  You might have to spend $100 per year on maintenance ($20 on teflon part every 500-1000 hours and new set of belts every 2000 hours printing).

 

I'm told there are UM2s with 20,000 hours printing on them which is 11 hours a day for 5 years.  Wow.  I think you could use half that value (10,000) and assume most printers are used 8 hours per day and 5 days per week, 50 weeks per year (which is heavy use - higher than average I suspect).  That would be exactly 5 years.  5 years seems like a reasonable depreciation time frame.  Even though they will last longer.

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

I've had my UM2 (recently upgraded to UM2+) for 5 years and put close to 4k hours on it. You can certainly get more then 5 years out of it.. as long as you stay ahead on your maintenance. The largest maintenance cost will be changing the six belts (<$100 here in the US) which I did at around 3500 hours. Like gr5 said there will be other small maintenance costs that are more regular. 

 

I've also been told there's UM2's in the wild that have over 10k hours and are on their fourth set of belts. 

 

For a business I'd look at doing a 3-5 year depreciation. 

 

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

How do you know when the belts need changing?

 

I've got several UM2+, two of which have over 20000 hours.  I've never changed the belts on any of them as I have never found a reason to.

So I would be very interested to know what I should be looking for that indicates the belts need changing?

 

Thanks 

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

I found that my print quality decreased slightly. If you're printing visual models it might concern you, but 90% of my prints are end-use parts so I don't care too much if they have small artifacts. 

 

I also noticed that black belt dust was piling up on top of the steppers in the rear of the machine. It starts to get everywhere and leaves black streaks on the white interior of the machine, very annoying.  

 

I'd say 5k hours is pushing it on a set of belts so it boggles my mind you got 20k hours on a set. Changing them isn't expensive (I'd recommend changing the short belts too while you have it apart), costs less than $100 here in the US from fbrc8. I have linked Erin's instructions on how to change the belts below.. its a lot of steps, but straight forward. Anyone that's mechanically inclined can do it in <2 hours. 

 

https://fbrc8.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207813353-XY-Axes-Parts-Belts-Pulleys-Motors-

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

In what way did the "print quality decrease slightly"?  What was it that you noticed had changed?

 

Thanks for your reply

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

I'd say the biggest artifact's that I was noticing was "waving" on the sides of prints that are aligned with the X and Y axis. Say you print a cube that's parallel to the X axis.. if you have any slop or wear on the belts it can cause waving effects on the outside perimeters of the print. Additionally, when printing at small layer heights (<0.1mm) you will notice layers not lining up especially on long straight runs in the X or Y direction. The misalignment is very subtle, but can be felt if you run your finger nail across the part. This isn't a picture of my print, but an example of what you might see. 

 

image.png.e14b2cb269381078ee21da9a78286b8b.png

 

Ultimaker recommends that there should be no more than 20% of the belt tooth missing, if you have a newer machine that doesn't have as many hours maybe you can compare. 

 

Not trying to sell you on getting new belts, if its working and you're happy with the prints I wouldn't worry about it. The risk is high if a belt fails so I always try to stay ahead of items like that. 

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

I usually recommend belt replacement based on the following criteria:
* 3000-4000 print hours

* build up of black dust behind the short belts/on top of the motor
* visual quality issues (like the above photo)

* considerably louder (belts that are past their prime can sound like railroad tracks)

Like Gr5 said...I've known UM2/UM2+ machines to run 20k print hours as long as you replace soft wear and tear parts. I'd also add bowden tubes to the list of parts you might want to replace periodically, but odds are, if you aren't seeing issues with yours, it's probably okay. Check the feeder end of the bowden tube for wear and tear; if it's getting bad it will look "chewed up". Occasionally I see wear and tear on the interior of the tube with certain materials. 

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

Thanks for the replies.

I'll look at the belts and run some test prints to compare the printers.

 

I do get dust on the motors, but that happens when the printers are new as well (although any printer with less than 5000 hours I still consider new!).

I certainly haven't noticed loud noises from the belts.

 

Bowden tubes have been replaced, and many other parts as well on a regular basis as required.  I think belts are about one of the only things I haven't changed.

 

I tend to agree with the old adage "Don't fix what's not broken", so unless a part actually goes wrong I tend not to change it.

 

Thanks again for the replies everyone.

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

I've just looked up the spare parts available.

The belts pack looks like it comes with sliding blocks and copper bushes as well.

 

Do these other parts replacing when the belts are done?

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

Yes, the sliding blocks and copper bushings get replaced with the belts, they are one assembly. They can be un-assembled, but I wouldn't recommend it. 

 

Doesn't look like you're in the US, but here's what the belts should look like for your UM2+

 

https://fbrc8.com/collections/ultimaker-2-spare-parts/products/sliding-block-setum2series

 

https://fbrc8.com/collections/ultimaker-2-spare-parts/products/timing-belt-200-x2

 

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

You may not have noticed the noise change over the years (you may be used to it) but on most "old" printers there is this creaking kind of noise.  Like a creaking tree.  Of course, only when the axis is moving.  Kind of like lots of very fast "clicks" or "ticks".  If you look very carefully at the belt teeth, they are no longer square.

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

Still no noise (I've got newish ones to compare with).

I imagine the teeth probably are worn, however I can't see any effect on print quality.

 

This morning I ran a test print on all printers (the newest one only has 2000 hours), I can't see obvious differences in print quality that suggest that any of them need new belts.  Certainly nothing like the picture earlier in this thread.

 

I will look out for signs that the belts need changing, (I might change them at 40000 hrs whether they need it or not!)

 

 

 

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Posted · Life expectancy of a UM2/2+

There's a saying: "Don't fix it if it ain't broke".

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