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Ultimaker S5 Reliability

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 Reliability

I'm an engineer at Primary MFG in Humboldt, SD. We do a lot with Carbon 3D and 3D Systems machines. We finally got a "cheap" FDM/FFF machine to do simple jigs, fixtures, and cheap customer orders. We picked the Ultimaker S5 pro bundle over the Raise 3D Pro2 and Zortrax M300 Dual because the vendor claimed that it was more capable, more reliable, had better quality, and better support than the Raise and Zortrax. The material station was an added bonus since it would simplify the material selection and loading process.

 

Now that I've been running the machine for a couple months, I have determined that we would have been better off with a Prusa i3 mk3. The quality is on-par with my Anet a6 at home. The capability seems to be similar to other machines until you plug in the material station, at which point you have to fiddle, trick, and bamboozle the machine into doing anything that isn't an Ultimaker or generic material. The reliability hasn't even been good enough to utilize the entire print platform.

 

The errors I've been encountering include, but are not limited to:

  • failed auto leveling (either too high, too low, or just failed outright)
  • Flow sensor error
  • Failure to unload material back to the material station
  • Material run out message despite plenty of material being left on the roll
  • Machine aborting prints with no warning or message
  • Jammed nozzle
  • Grinding extruder gear

 

I've been having to babysit the printer until it starts printing and even during printing. A few notable scenarios are when I was printing XStrand GF30-PA6 and the flow sensor would cause the machine to error out even though I was using the profile, settings, and temperatures recommended in the material alliance. This would happen every 30 minutes. Lately I've been trying to print an ABS part for the past couple of days. It's a 4 hour build, but either the nozzle is too high, too low, active leveling error, or the part just doesn't build beyond the first layer and it starts making a spaghetti mess.

 

My question is did I get a lemon? What can I do to make this worth the $9.2k price tag, or is that not possible? I want to know what you guys think because I've never had a printer so finicky, yet so expensive.

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 Reliability

Well, 

 

The problem you described do exist for some users. It's unfortunate you got so many...

Can I suggest you to go back to the vendor. Can he be of any help?

 

We have a UM-S5 at work and are considering getting the E2 or Pro2 from Raise. Quality of the S5 is not any better than a Prusa i3mk3...

 

Good luck!

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 Reliability
20 minutes ago, Framar said:

Well, 

 

The problem you described do exist for some users. It's unfortunate you got so many...

Can I suggest you to go back to the vendor. Can he be of any help?

 

We have a UM-S5 at work and are considering getting the E2 or Pro2 from Raise. Quality of the S5 is not any better than a Prusa i3mk3...

 

Good luck!

 

I have talked to the vendor and they mostly give me troubleshooting tips that don't solve the issues. Things such as redoing the manual bed level to fix the active leveling, and changing the profile I am using in Cura. Spencer Priddy with the support staff seems to do a far better job of helping me out, but not everything gets solved. As great as he is, Spencer unfortunately can't snap his fingers and make the world spin the other way for me.

 

Interestingly enough, I recommended to my employer that we get a Raise 3D Pro2 in the beginning. The vendor talked up the S5 so much however that we ended up with that machine instead. Kind of unfortunate. Thanks for the response by the way!

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 Reliability

I am in exactly the same boat.  We are an injection molder.  I have some experience in plastics as well as 3d printing.   I have posted a number of times in an attempt to get a feel if other users had the same experience but specifically with CF Nylons; one of the main reasons for the purchase.   Our POlyjet machine does not have strong enough materials long term and cost of course. 

 

I will give you my experience based on the last 3 months of work but with respect to your issues specifically as I hope to help and they are different from my experience.

 

The errors I've been encountering include, but are not limited to:

  • failed auto leveling (either too high, too low, or just failed outright)
    • >>> Never had an issue
  • Flow sensor error   
    • >>>>> Never had an issue
  • Failure to unload material back to the material station 
    • >>>>>98% issues with Cf NYlon (this work maybe 1-2 times),   occasional issue with PLA/others materials. 
  • Material run out message despite plenty of material being left on the roll 
    • >>>>> Never an issue
  • Machine aborting prints with no warning or message 
    • >>>>Never an issue
  • Jammed nozzle 
    • >>>>  Maybe a couple of times
  • Grinding extruder gear   
    • >>>>  Frequently with CF Nylon,  PVA, TPU-95, 

I just lost a long print last night so I am not happy.   It was a CF NYlon.   I have tried 4 different brand.   We ran out of material.  Was a mistake in estimation (that is why we have the station) ; but the machine freezes with no exit option.  This is because the machining is incapable of depriming Cf Nylon.  From what i can tell this is a firmware issue.  The material is just too strong and the temperature is  wrong for the depriming process.   User has no control over this to resolve.   Restart mechanically removed.

 

So my question have you had any success with the material station on CF Nylons.   I would like to know.

 

 

 

 

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 Reliability
21 minutes ago, Kelson said:

I just lost a long print last night so I am not happy.   It was a CF NYlon.   I have tried 4 different brand.   We ran out of material.  Was a mistake in estimation (that is why we have the station) ; but the machine freezes with no exit option.  This is because the machining is incapable of depriming Cf Nylon.  From what i can tell this is a firmware issue.  The material is just too strong and the temperature is  wrong for the depriming process.   User has no control over this to resolve.   Restart mechanically removed.

 

So my question have you had any success with the material station on CF Nylons.   I would like to know.

I have not had a fully successful build with CF Nylons at all. I believe I've had the machine properly deprime the nozzle once, but then when it was spooling up the filament it spit it out of the port entirely, which was odd. Your machine ran out of material, then just froze? That's very unfortunate. I feel like this machine can't be trusted to run overnight. I can't remember the last time I had a successful overnight print. In that case I can't use the full build area anyway so I may as well have a smaller machine like a Zortrax M200. What are you planning to do with your machine?

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Posted · Ultimaker S5 Reliability

Interesting.  We can build fixtures overnight, extended print without issue.  We have tried 5 brands.   2 worked very well, one was so brittle it snapped when feed, the other had adhesion issues which I did not solve yet.   The main issue for us is that they you cannot finish or deprime.   This would occur at the end or if you were changing spools.  We have probably 10 Cf Nylon print or more.  Possibly 2-3 fixture lasting 12 hours or more.  I print overnight all the time, but it is always a surprise in the morning as to whether it worked or not.   We will finalize on core materials optimize for them and continue on. 

 

I still want to know if any other people had any luck with Cf Nylons and the station.    

 

Works fine with PLA and some good successes with PETG,  and PC.   Minor problems with the PVA.   Significant issues with TPU-95. 

 

I never wanted a hobby, was just looking for a reliable machine to engineer jigs,  and fixtures.   I read another thread and the user laid out most of the issues perfectly.   I am sure they are working on these issues and should resolve the de-priming with firmware update.  

 

 

 

 

 

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