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SandervG

Aluminum build plate update

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We have an update regarding the aluminum build plate which we would like to share with you. Because we still have not been able to get reliable and consistent results that are up to our quality standards, we have decided to cancel the release. This decision does not come lightly of course, but we felt that the alternative of continuous postponing would be more harmful. 

 

Why?
During development we’ve faced a variety of challenges which took too long to overcome and the results did not always match our standards. We only want to release a product if we fully stand by it. 

 

What now?
The cancellation of the aluminum bed leaves a gap, which needs to be filled. After all, there were supposed to be two build plates included with the Ultimaker S5. For that reason we will compensate everyone that purchased an Ultimaker S5 with an additional glass plate. With an additional glass plate you can increase your uptime by swapping build plates when a print is finished and start a new print immediately. You can also still use all of our engineering materials. Please visit our material guides for the proper 3D print guidelines and achieve the best results. 

 

So how can I claim my additional glass plate?
Up until this point you’ve been able to register yourself to receive the aluminum build plate once it would be released. Everyone who did, will automatically receive a glass plate. You don’t need to do anything. If you already have an Ultimaker S5 but haven’t registered yourself yet, you can still do so via this link. New Ultimaker S5’s will come with two glass build plates. 

 

Looking forward.
We’re always looking forward and exploring different innovative methods that can improve your user experience. Will there be an alternative build plate in the future? We don’t know yet. Innovations will continue, some research projects will succeed and others won’t. When we’re ready to bring something new to the market, you will be the first to know.

 

Finally, I would like to thank you for your understanding and offer our apologies for the inconvenience. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them below. Thank you. 
 

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8 minutes ago, IwanBeentjes said:

Thank you for the information regarding the build plate.

Its a shame that the aluminum build plate did not meet the required quality standards!

 

Yes, we totally agree. However, we rather go this route than release a product which won't bring you a positive user experience. 

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I can understand you have technical problems. I can understand that you will not work further on develloping the aluminium plate. But there was a reason why you had spend a lot of time into developing a aluminium plate. This was one major reason why i decided to buy the S5. I want to print big ABS things and the hope was, that the aluminium plate will give me better adhesion. 

To get a second glass plate it is a nice try to make the customer happy, but will not really fit to me. For me a second glass plate is completly uselees, except i will destroy the first one. 

Perhaps you find another solution you do not know yet. What will happen to us, who bought the S5. Will we have to spend a lot of money the get the new sulution? If it is only a question of time i think we can talk about it, because i know when i bought the S5 that the aluminium plate was not ready. OK you told us that you will deliver at Q4 2018. Ok shit happens. I am able to wait. But if i have to spend a lot of money to get a better adhesion for ABS i will have a big problem. Than my decision to buy the S5 was wrong and that is not good thing.

 

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Yes, the Ultimaker II problem. I remember. After i read the post my first thougt was the same. The Ultimaker printer are so good. But these behavior you will keep in mind after years and you will remember next time. When i thought about to buy an S5 or an Ultimaker 3, i thought they will have learned about the dual extruder problem and i decided to buy the S5. Now I have to explain a lot. I am not shure if will get money next time if a key feature is not ready. Thinks like this can happen one time but a second time..... oh oh not good. 

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I also was looking forward to the aluminium plate. From what I understood, it was aimed at materials that have issues sticking to the standard glass plate, such as ABS and PC. I was hoping to be able to avoid using the adhesion sheets with these materials, which I find a pain to use.

 

Is there any news on the Ultimaker S5 adhesion sheets? I would actually personally prefer a pack of adhesion sheets to a spare build plate in this situation.

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Hi, thank you all for your responses. It's good to keep the conversation open. 

 

@twuelfing, since we're talking about quite a number of glass plates we aim to have all additional glass plates shipped out before the end of Q1. 

You can use all of our engineering materials on the Ultimaker glass plate. Please visit our material resources page for the exact 3D print guidelines for the best results. Also all materials that are becoming available through our material alliance in Cura are being tested on our glass plates. If a material has no consistent or reliable adhesion, we will not offer it to our customers. 

It is true though that some materials are more forgiving than others, but that does not mean those others are unusable. 

 

@zungara, I'm sorry perhaps I don't understand. Why would a second glass plate be useless for you? An additional (aluminum) print bed would have provided you with a solution to easily swap build plates and increase your uptime, and use it for our engineering materials. We regret not being able to release this aluminum build plate, but an additional glass plate offers you the workflow an aluminum bed would have offered too. 

 

If there is a material you are printing with that is giving you difficulties in terms of bed adhesion we would be happy to help you. We've tested all of our materials and profiles on Ultimaker glass plates. 

 

@piphil, what kind of news/update are you expecting? You should be able to source adhesion sheets from your local reseller. 

 

Again our apologies for not releasing an aluminum build plate. It would have been all of our preferred outcome, but eventually we prefer not to release a product unless we fully support it and provides you with a reliable user experience. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask! 

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Hi @twuelfing, thank you for your response. Even though the situation may appear similar on the surface as in the past, it is different. Many lessons were learned in the meantime. Unfortunately, they could not prevent us from this outcome. Which we heavily regret.

 

Perhaps a conversation to have in a separate thread, but what adhesives or precautions do you take when you print with ABS?

It is recommended to use a thin layer of glue, not only to increase adhesion but also to protect the glass plate from chipping. An adhesion sheet could also help. Have you tried these methods already? What do you usually do, to ensure adhesion and protect your glass plate?

 

Thank you for your time. 

 

 

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@zungara - ABS works great on glass.  The only material I know of that doesn't work well on glass and would have benefited from the brushed aluminum plate is PP.

 

For ABS it's critical to get the build plate above the softening temp of ABS which is around 99C.  I print ABS with the build plate at 110C to be safe.  Unfortunately I don't think this is the default bed temp for ABS.  This is one of 4 critical things to do in order to keep large ABS parts on the build plate.  Another critical thing is to use brim for large parts for 2 reasons.  Another critical thing is to add either liquid PVA or ABS juice to the glass.  I recommed ABS juice.  You can google it.  The final critical thing (squish) is done automatically on the S5 and you don't have much control (autoleveling can't be disabled) so we won't talk about it.

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Getting a second sheet of glass is welcome news as I have already damaged my glass a little bit (I had a print that stuck too well to the glass and the print ripped out a flat sliver of glass from the bed).

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I'm really not interestet in exchanging my aluminum plate for a glass plate. I bought my S5 with an aluminum plate, not and extra glass plate. Your own glorification and sales pitch fore this mashine had the aluminum plat as a key feature. and was highlighted as being better than glass. And now you just wanna downgrade it like its no big deal! 

 

And yes, one of the selling point for me on this machine was getting an alternative to glass.

if you can't deliver the aluminum plate, give me a refund so I can look for an alternative third party product.

 

(I pay for a gold watch but get one in plastic. whats the problem i can see the time on both.)

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Just buy a neoceram glass plate, cut to size and cheaper than UM parts. Also, from the point of view of giving 1 extra glass, it’s a bit of shameful. UM is aiming at pro market and can’t make their promises. I would understand that from e3d and prusa, but UM thinks of itself as ‘pro’ market. Ofc the buyers could make a legal use of the written promises and ask for more money than just a glass price. Just like what happens to any mayor market seller, if they fail they get sued, clear and simple. Ofc that didn’t happen when was the um2 and the promised second extruder upgrade because that wasn’t Pro market, but now?

 

From the point of view of finding a good replacement I would buy a neoceram glass or vitroceramic glass, no expansion and very sturdy (many shops around the world sell cut to size hightemp glasses). Ofc the issue would be the bed sensor probably? Dunno. 

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@SandervG, i have no problem with the uptime. So it is not a solution for me.

I have problem with adhesion of big ABS parts. Sometimes it is to lees or sometimes it is to much. So I have the risk of destroying my glass plate. The solution was an aluminium plate.For me it is a challenge to print for example the attached part with ABS without the risk of destroying my glass or get a proper print. 

@twuelfing, agreed, I think the same

@gr5, in general you are right. But it is tricky. And that is the point. As you can see I use a very long time Ultimaker printers. Yes it was very in the beginning when I start using Ultimaker. The old one makes a super job and I was very happy. With some tricks I got the old one printing ABS. But after 6 Years 3D printing, not commercial, I want to have some automations and benefits. Keep in mind what different price tag you have for an S5 und Ultimaker 3. 

 

Tisch.stl

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1 hour ago, NBull said:

And now you just wanna downgrade it like its no big deal! 

Oh it's a big deal.

Also Ultimaker tried really hard to get this to work.  They spent a lot of money on this.  They gave up.

 

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.... Unfortunately, although i like your proposal of a discussion, the decision has clearly already been made. This will have been weeks if not months of discussions at Ultimaker to decide how to best handle this situation.

 

Ultimaker have come to the conclusion (and rightly so) that Existing S5 users will be compensated. It's Unfortunate however, that they have chosen an additional glass bed as compensation, instead of something that would actually increase the performance/capability of the printer such as for example additional Nozzle. 

 

The retail price of the machine that we all paid, will have been calculated with the development and production of those Aluminium bed plates for the years ahead, in mind. The Cost of the machine can be altered (although it probably wont) for new customers, so really i find the inclusion of 2 glass beds in all S5s sold in future a strange choice.

 

 

 

 

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I appreciate this has been a tough road for Ultimaker technical.

 

That said.  Ultimaker marketing has some explaining to do.  I am pretty certain that part of the pricing strategy / premium of the S5 was based on having technology the 3 did not.  The builld plate was really the stand-out there.  Yes, the interface was improved, filament handling and hardened extruders, size clearly, but did those changes alone justify the price delta?  It didn't quite, for me at least.  I have been procrastinating on the S5 since its release.  Now?

 

Ultimaker should consider whether the asking price for the S5, now that the build plate will be glass only, is fair.  It may be that a price drop is in order.  Other manufacturers have done this (The Sinterit Lisa comes to mind) without a loss of capability.

 

Those who purchased on the reasonable (but regrettably not deliverable)  expectation of an aluminum plate may need to alter their intended long term plans for this machine.  IMO it would not be outrageous to offer these purchasers a rebate equal to the delta between the old and new price.

 

If, on the other hand, Ultimaker elects to retain the price, I would not be surprised to see a goodwill impact on sales.  The Cura issues are not that far behind us.

 

None of this changes the fact that an entire team of people at Ultimaker likely feels pretty badly about their efforts and the decision to halt progress.  Any maker or techhie here can and should take a moment to send some good karma their way.  It would not be the first time that operations picked up the tab for marketing. 

 

So let me close with a shout out to the tech team, thanks for trying.  I am sure a great deal has been learned and will come back around in a future product.   Better days ahead!

 

John

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Hi @NBull and @ScanHD , thank you for your input. I'm sorry to hear you feel disappointed about the news. 

We also regret having to make this decision, but like I said earlier, the alternative of releasing an inconsistent and under-achieving solution would have been worse. 

 

I think @twuelfing is looking into the right direction.

Although we should not ignore what is behind us, forward is the only way forward. I understand the feeling that a glass plate may not sound like a worthy replacement of an aluminum bed, but in terms of usability it offers similar uptime as an aluminum bed would and it can be used for all engineering materials an aluminum bed can be used for too. 

In theory an aluminum bed should last longer, but not all of our findings validated that assumption. So if this eventually would have been the case or not, that is difficult to say at this point. 

 

If you feel like you are missing out on an important feature and there is a specific application you needed it for, please reach out to me via a DM and together we can look at how to make it work for you. 

 

As it is stated above, newly sold Ultimaker S5's will be shipped with 2 glass plates. There is no intention of lowering its retail price. 

 

Thanks again for everyone's input. Hope you have a great day. 

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Well. pricing strategy is yours to choose.  It's your product.

 

If it were up to me (and it is not), I would consider at least throwing in a CC red print core or something on that scale.  That would be a bit closer to the enhanced mission of the S5.  That said, the existing S5 community probably has a much better idea of what the S5 brings to the table.

 

Thanks for engaging on a tough subject and staying in the discussion.  Best of the season to you and yours!
 

John

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On 12/19/2018 at 12:06 PM, SandervG said:

Up until this point you’ve been able to register yourself to receive the aluminum build plate once it would be released. Everyone who did, will automatically receive a glass plate. You don’t need to do anything. If you already have an Ultimaker S5 but haven’t registered yourself yet, you can still do so via this link. New Ultimaker S5’s will come with two glass build plates. 

 

Filling out that new form does not result in any kind of confirmation e-mail either (as didn't the aluminium plate form); at least it did not for me. Maybe some kind of short receipt would be a good idea? It would not create that slightly uneasy feeling that the submission might not be considered due to a technical problem.

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