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Assembled vs. Pre-Assembled - Expected printer accuracy

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I have a hard time deciding on the variant of the Ultimaker I should buy. I have already built a Prusa Mendel together with two friends so I am not lacking the skills to assemble an Ultimaker. I fear that a self assembled variant can not reach the same level of accuracy like the pre-assembled one. I'd like to ask about your experience. I am fed up with the constant tuning of our old printer and I want to finally start to get consistent print results.

So is it possible to tune a self assembled Ultimaker to be very accurate? And how complicated/time consuming is it? And do you have to constantly re-tune your printer after a few prints?

Many thanks,



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If you have assembled printers before, then definitely get the kit and do it yourself. There's no difference between pre-assembled and do it yourself, except that someone else assembled the kit, and you paid more for them to do it.

By assembling it yourself you will have the best understanding of how it fits together, where any minor issues were with the fitting, and feel much more comfortable making updates and maintaining it.

The level of maintenance required, and the potential print quality, is no different between self-built and pre-built (provided you have basic assembly skills, and can take the time to follow instructions).

The kit can be assembled by a first time user in two or three days, depending on how much time you want to spend on things like painting it, and how familiar you are with assembling these kind of things. It still requires ongoing maintenance to level the bed, lubricate it and keep the belts tensioned, keep it clean etc, and you will need to learn how to get the best out of it in terms of print settings. But for the most part 'it just works' and you certainly won't spend more time trying to get it to work than actually using it.


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Don't presume that someone else will do a better job of "calibrating" it. Recently someone posted results from their prebuilt and were not happy and had to do a little calibrating (although personally I think they were unnecessarily upset).

One of the key things is bed leveling and this will change when shipped and must be done quite often regardless because of the nature of the cantilevered design which tends to move over the time span of days.

Better to buy a used ultimaker that was truly and properly tuned by a loving owner than one built by a UM employee. UM still has low volume compared to most consumer products and so they haven't fine tuned their assembly process like say foxconn has with their iphones.


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