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Micro review from UM Original to UM2 and 3E


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Posted · Micro review from UM Original to UM2 and 3E

Hi All,

 

it has been a while since I was active here as my Z-M200 has kept me out of trouble since my UM Original.

 

But circumstance and luck? brought me back with 2 "new" UM's in two weeks. One UM2 bought broken and quickly repaired - and another 2nd hand UM3E with < 24 hours on it.

 

So I'm back and have now gotten more or less up to speed on UM since my first "IKEA" Flatpack UM Original. ?

 

And a LOT has happened over time. It is great to see Cura is now Mature(ish) and UM 2 / UM 3 are huge steps forward. I like the new Autolevel - and for PLA the glass plate is great - adhesion works really well. Camera & Wi-Fi are perfect as well! And dual extrusion and removable print heads are all great features.

 

But ONE of the issues are the same as they wore on the UM original. I can not understand that the extruder is still such a "PITA"? It is still more or less the same and for the expensive UM3 I would have expected MUCH better like geared BondTech quality. Yes the extruder is better than the OLD wooden one. But not quite there yet.

 

And then there are the rest: 

Material feed from rear with 2 spools sticking out - 25-30 cm's with " engineers wet dream NFC reader"? (I'm an EE myself so I do understand) - but the development money should have gone to the extruder design(er)

 

PVA: I think I spent about 2 days trying to align (and repeatedly clean/hot-pull/cold-pull) the PVA head. Obviously the PVA had not been stored well from previous owner so I found out the hissing and popping is moisture.. But that material is so sensitive. Not even 5 hours at 65c in oven cured it. So 3/4 of spool "maybe" down the drain? Now got it in a drybox to give it a final push. Else it goes out.

 

BreakAway - as I print MOSTLY in ABS - I needed some BreakAway material. But mostly out of stock everywhere (UK)?

 

Prices : Hmm - Ultimaker seems to have some very LOYAL dealers who maintain prices within a few GBP/Euro of each other across the whole of EU? Sales prices are SO close that I do think it might classify as price-fixing...?

 

Anyway - once I have finished a "Dry-box" interface for my UM3 I'll dismount the NFC thing and see if I can get some stable prints in ABS with dual extrusion and breakaway support + PLA/PVA.  

 

So I'm crossing my fingers ? and hope the UM's will earn their keep. But compared to printing on Zortrax - getting the UM3 to print nice has been harder than I had hoped for. Zortrax have their own issues - but that (was) mostly staff attitude and broken promises based and that is better now.. I can't fault the M200 in quality of prints and stability/repeat-ability of actually getting things made.

 

So on top of head - my UM wish list for the future is:

 

1. Better standard geared Extruder(s)!

2. A PVA like support material that can actually survive hanging on the spool and do not "glass up" the Print Head. Or supply a PVA drybox as Standard!

3. A ?Rasberry PI "Cura Connect" add-on to "old" UM2/2+'s with (maybe) Camera Support

4. A printer that actually prints great out the box without a lot of the "fiddling" around. 

 

Sorry this was not meant to sound like sour grapes - I am impressed what has happened since UM Original. But I was also very disappointed especially with the UM3 extruders and how PVA handles.

 

 

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