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Ulti 2+ vs Ulti 3? Which is better?


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Posted · Ulti 2+ vs Ulti 3? Which is better?



We currently have 2 printers - an Ulti 2 (upgraded to 2+) and a Ulti 2+ Extended. We have budget approved to get another machine but I am not sold that the Ulti 3 Extended is better value for money over a 2+Extended.


The Pros v Cons for an Ulti 3 over an Ulti 2+ as I see it are:



  • ability to print dissolvable supports
  • ability to print in 2 colours



  • more expensive
  • slower print speed due to extra weight of the dual print head
  • slower print speed due to printing dual filament
  • slightly reduced print area size due to larger print head
  • dissolvable support filament is twice as expensive as normal filament


Pretty much our most critical factor is time. From what I have read, the Ulti 3 is slower than an Ulti 2+ on a like for like print, due to the extra weight of the print head (slower movements to compensate for the extra weight). We also print almost exclusively in white PLA filament, so apart from dissolvable support material I don't see much use for 2 colour prints. But easily over 90% of what we do print does not require the use of support material, so the majority of the time dissolvable supports would not be of benefit.


It also seems to me that the Ulti 3 is also a bit more fussy than the Ulti 2+? It is obviously a more complicated machine than the Ulti 2+.


Just wondering if I am missing anything? Just wondering if those who have or have had both an Ulti 2+/3 could perhaps relay there experiences of using them. I am prepared to be swayed but at the moment can't see that the Ulti 3 would be a clear improvement for us over the 2+ ? 



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    Posted · Ulti 2+ vs Ulti 3? Which is better?

    I think you already nailed all the distinction between the 2 machine. The UM2+ is pretty good for those that want to mod machine, not sure how much you need the dual extrusion for dissolvable support but there are a few option. This option may not be for production environment but they're already pretty good.


    Speed is a relevant term in 3d printing, I dont do production runs but I do run long prints. Personally, speed for me is only one of the factors for the end result I wanted. If I need just representation model, I go fast but if I want accurate and nice looking print, I go slow. Even with access to dual printing I print models with single material and adapt the design to reduce support but access to dissovable give new dimension to what can be achieve both function and looks.


    It all depends on your company needs, but looking at your future expectation both machine seems to fit your bill just with some trade offs, tho I think S5 looks good as well for your company if the budget allows it ?

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    Posted (edited) · Ulti 2+ vs Ulti 3? Which is better?
    3 hours ago, model_dude said:

    slower print speed due to printing dual filament

    This would be a false equivalence as you state yourself, you are printing twice the filaments. If you are printing two materials with equal amounts at once, well, yeah, that will take longer. This is a design issue and not a machine issue.


    3 hours ago, model_dude said:

    dissolvable support filament is twice as expensive as normal filament

    This is a material issue, not a printer issue. This will be true for any machine using this material. And, honestly, I have seen some engineering grade materials that are in the $300.00 USD range. Again, not a printer issue.


    I am not going to compare the two because I do not have a UM2 series machine to actually compare with and that would be just guess work on my end. For me, this would require actual loading the same model up, timing each print and producing images of the quality differences with an actual one to one comparison of settings for each. And, depending on your use of slicers, this can really be an issue of how you set things up.


    As for fussiness, I would not see this  as an issue as I do not have any fussy issues with the UM3E machines that I personally have. In all seriousness, I have one Machine that has literally been printing for 1 year 8 months straight with no issues other than cores wearing out. My second UM3E has been printing for 8 months straight and not issues with it either. I do not see the UM2 series being any less or more robust as far as this goes.


    I also would not be able to print 99% of my designs without PVA supports due to the spindly nature of my designs. So, this would rule out a single nozzle setup and remove any comparison. If I were to be required to do so with a single nozzle machine, I would have to take the time to:

    1. design in splits of the model to make it printable
    2. take the time to assemble
    3. take the time to post process the model to presentation quality

    So, in many cases, there is not a simple 1:1 ratio of comparison. Especially with the time needed to accomplish many designs. One machine would require a lot of additional hours, where the other would require the use of an expensive filament. And, some designs just do not work as a multipart process.


    In my case, my time is much more valuable than the cost of the filament. At my current production rates, just one hour of my time accounts for more than 1Kg of PVA. So, I do prefer a 'set it to print' and leave it alone approach. I know my clients do as well. And, this also factors in the amortization rates of a one time investment of a more expensive machine.


    Edit: and for computer design.....I am pretty darned fast and it still accounts for my time vs. filament being a more expensive option.


    Just things to throw into the mix of the 'One vs. the Other' type of debate. It can come down to personal needs and not just a few machine differences.

    Edited by kmanstudios
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    Posted (edited) · Ulti 2+ vs Ulti 3? Which is better?
    2 hours ago, jffry7 said:

    tho I think S5 looks good as well for your company if the budget allows it

    Love my S5. Currently I am printing out a design that requires the use of one of my UM3Es AND the use of the S5. This was designed to be made as two sections. I would have to run the same design for the UM3E machines in three pieces. So one made the S5 due to print area requirements. The other is being printed at the same time with the use of a UM3E.


    The design does require the two part print at least due to post processing needs. Really cuts down on the  post processing as they are very disparate parts that do require, post production wise, being made separately, painted, and then glued together.


    And, just for kicks and giggles, I printed out some teenitsy parts on the S5 just to see how it can handle the details. I was quite happy. This is a set of photos I took for the test. I could have printed the same thing on the UM3E machines I have, but wanted to see how the S5 handled it. The coins for size comparison are a US quarter and 2 Euro coin....both about the same size and easy for people using two of the most common monetary coins available.



    Edited by kmanstudios
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