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I'm on the verge of buying an Ultimaker 2, my first leap into 3D printing after checking all the reviews of different manufacturers over the past 2 years. A few questions please: I am concerned that suddenly Ultimaker is getting very popular and hear they are a small company. Will I have problems with delivery and support? I have tried sending several emails over the past week. Not a very good start. I'm completely new to computer aided design. What easy software would you recommend that exports to Cura? Sketchup? I envisage making simple rectilinear and cylindrical components in rigid and flexible PLA. What is the wattage of the U2? I just want to calculate electricity consumption. Is it too ambitious to hope this printer will accommodate metal type filaments in the near future or does that take a different kind of printer? Thanks.

 

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    The logistics of producing and shipping the new model, and the barrage of enquiries has rather swamped them, but they've been around for a long time now with the original model, and I think that once things settle down they'll soon be able to handle the load.

    Pretty much any CAD software will export STL files that Cura needs. You could look at Sketchup, or perhaps Autodesk Fusion 360, or even just TinkerCad - especially for small, simple shapes. It really depends what suits your style, your budget, and your need to interchange files with other proprietary systems. Personally I'm using SpaceClaim now, which is a really capable professional package that's cheaper than some (but still $1000's), but a) has a $50/year educational version if you qualify, and b ) is also available in a cut-down version for free - see: http://www.deskeng.com/virtual_desktop/?p=7531

    It takes a slightly different approach to most other packages, but I find it more intuitive to use, and if you don't have background/baggage from other packages, it might work well for you.

    Power consumption was discussed in another thread today - see http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/3042-electricity-consumption/?p=22373

    Metal is typically 3D printed using a totally different technology - sintering. This is using a laser to melt shapes into a bed of compressed metal powder. As such its unlikely that the UM2 will support metal printing any time soon. However, you can use PLA-printed parts directly for lost wax casting if you just need a limited number of metal pieces.

     

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