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leon-grossman

First impressions with UM2

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I recently received my UM2 at my company. The package is really pretty but I've got a few thoughts based on doing a few test prints and dealing with some annoyances.

 

  • One of the Y axis gantry rods was completely misadjusted and was not in the hole when it arrived to me. This was not a shipping issue, the pulleys were in the wrong place on the rod.
  • The drive pulley for the filament was not tight and spun off after the second print job.
  • I can't figure out how to control the printer using Cura. The LCD menu is poorly laid out for doing certain common functions. So, I get annoyed every time I need to setup the printer for use. To be fair, I've only spent five minutes trying to figure out how to connect from Cura.
  • Every time I abort a print, the filament retracts so far that I have to manually use the scroll wheel to re-feed the filament. This is annoying because it takes forever to do with the scroll wheel.
  • The concept of filament independent g-code is awesome in theory. In practice, it's cumbersome. The predefined ABS settings warp like mad and I haven't been able to fix that. The predefined PLA settings don't work for the transparent PLA. Adding a custom setting is annoying and the interface is confusing. I spent one minute on it but it looks like I can only have one custom setting? This should be, at least, downloadable from the PC because I've got ABS, PLA, Clear PLA and Soft PLA right now with intentions of playing with other materials in the future.
  • Continuing on the materials issue. Having hardcoded ABS and PLA settings is really frustrating. Unless UM filament is dramatically better than everyone else's (which I haven't had a chance to verify), different batches and different colors may have significantly different behavior and need different settings.
  • Changing filament is a PITA. Why couldn't I just have a spring I pull out of the way so that I can just pull out and insert filament?
  • I hate, hate, hate 2.85mm filament.

 

There are a lot of things to like about the UM2 but the annoyances are driving me crazy.

Basically, the printer feels like a half step towards a truly plug and print solution but a half step is not far enough to justify taking away the capability that hackers need to get great results.

Yes, I'll admit that I may be missing something, but that also says a lot about the process of interacting with this printer.

 

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  • Do you mean that the pullies were installed in the wrong order or that they had moved along the axis? If the latter it could've been a poorly tightened set screw + vibrations causing it to move.
  • I've seen this now a couple of times, I'm going to make sure it gets to the right ears.
  • The UM2 does not officially support USB printing so that's why you're having issues.
  • This is a bug in the current firmware. It has been fixed and the update should show up any day now.
  • I haven't played with these settings yet so I can't comment.
  • Same as above
  • Agreed on the filament change. It feels a bit clunky and I've been thinking about modding it so that I can disengage the drive and just pull/shove filament the way I feel like.
  • Why?

I can say that I shared your frustrations in the very beginning. I felt really really limited after having used the original for a couple of years before. But I have to say, after having used the UM2 now for a while it's growing on me.

 

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They had moved along the axis. They did not appear to be loose bu the left Y axis rod was shifted far enough back that it was out of the housing. For that to happen, both the front and rear pulleys had to be shifted back. It appears to be an original placement defect rather than a shifting due to being loose.

I don't need USB printing but PC controlled jogging, heating, etc. *like every other printer on the market* would be very useful and would mitigate many of my complaints about the information available on the built in display.

I don't like the 2.85mm filament because it feels hard to work with. I know it's not a very well formed or good reason. It could just be that my printer at home uses 1.75 and I'm comfortable with that.

A few other annoyances I forgot to put in the list:

 

  • Why is there no preheat option? I have to dig down into maintenance to preheat.
  • The bed takes forever to heat up. I can understand due to the mass of glass. I refer back to the preheat option...
  • I hate the progress bar. Give me numbers. If I'm heating, I don't want to have to go to the tune window to see the current heat bed temperature. This information exists. Show it to me with the progress bar.
  • The same goes for the progress bar during print. Show me the percent complete along with the bar. The information exists, show it.
  • Why is there no feed filament option? Let's say I removed the filament and aborted the re-feed process. Now I have to go through the remove filament process when there is none in the printer.

When I'm not dealing with machine QC defects or fighting the annoying UI, the printer puts out fabulous quality. That is certainly one thing I have no complaints about.

 

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  • Do you mean that the pullies were installed in the wrong order or that they had moved along the axis? If the latter it could've been a poorly tightened set screw + vibrations causing it to move.

 

 

Let me clarify, the rod was out of the hole when I pulled it out of the box. They were in the right order, just shifted along the rod.

 

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Last ranty post, I promise...

 

  • The glass clip on the right side mechanically interferes with the nozzle. I have to pull the clip away from the bed to level the printer.
  • The recommendation procedure of using a piece of paper does not work. The nozzle winds up way above the bed during printing. I have to actually move the printer down so that it just touches the glass. This is very similar to the way we used to have to level the Thing-O-Matic we had.

 

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The interference of the front right clip when performing leveling is also fixed in an upcoming firmware release.

There are some annoyances about using the printer after being used to others - and I was acutely aware of them at first, too. And there are certainly some things in the firmware that still remain to be fixed. But it is still very early days for the printer, and the firmware is very actively being worked on. I firmly believe that it will get a lot better fairly quickly - one of the huge advantages that UM has is that it has in-house firmware and slicer expertise, and it's actively pursuing the development of both. In the meantime, my advice would be to do what I did - stop fighting it, and just do things the UM2 way :-) Fortunately the printer is mostly just doing its thing and producing great prints, so when you have to interact with it, take a deep breath, and accept that it does what it does (or doesn't) and let it be. :-) I promise it will get better pretty soon.

And by all means continue to post your wishlist items here, so that we can make sure that the firmware gets improved to meet the needs of its users :-)

 

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That said, the leveling procedure absolutely should work fine (notwithstanding the interference of the clip on the front right). One thing to be aware of, is that if you move the clip out of the way, then the glass in that corner can tend to curl away from the bed slightly, so that it's out of level once the clip is replaced.

The next firmware release - which should arrive any day now - should fix that problem. In the meantime, you need to try and move the clip far enough out of the way so as not to catch, but still keep the glass pressed tight against the metal panel.

 

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OK, that wasn't good...

I installed the new firmware. Aborting a print causes the machine to have a heart attack. The first time, it just rebooted. The second time the LCD display went blank. I've done a re-flash just in case but don't have time for more testing today.

Additionally, the filament drive motor was making a crackling/buzzing noise for awhile and when I went back to my print the noise was gone but I was wildly under-extruding.

 

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1) Can you double check your firmware version Leon? You can read it back from the control panel on the UM2.

2) FYI Daid who posted above is the author of Cura and has customized Marlin for the UM2. So you are lucky that he read your post and complaints. Hopefully he will address some of them over the next months.

3) The piece of paper thing - I'm a bit surprised - but the good news is once you get leveling right it tends to last for months.

4) You *can* change the existing filament defaults. For example you can change the nozzle temp for PLA permanently. How the hell I did it I'm not sure as it was confusing and took about 10 tries. Instead I gave up on this and everytime I start a print I go straight to tune menu where it will not start printing until you leave the tune menu. In there I change everything - bed temp, nozzle temp, etc and only exit when the bed is close to desired temp.

 

Additionally, the filament drive motor was making a crackling/buzzing noise for awhile and when I went back to my print the noise was gone but I was wildly under-extruding.

 

Video please? That sounds strange. If it clicks and slips backwards that is "missed steps" and is by design but means you are printing either too fast or too cold. You may have a partial clog - when switching from ABS to PLA people get lots of problems - the head doesn't seem to clean out all the ABS with normal printing - you might have to take it apart :( - sorry.

If it is under extruding you could just drop the feedrate to 50% (while printing I forget if you just spin the control or if you go to tune and lower it there as I haven't needed to do this much).

Crackling and buzzing sounds - well - broken. Not sure what you mean exactly but it could be bad.

 

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OK, that wasn't good...

I installed the new firmware. Aborting a print causes the machine to have a heart attack. The first time, it just rebooted. The second time the LCD display went blank. I've done a re-flash just in case but don't have time for more testing today.

Additionally, the filament drive motor was making a crackling/buzzing noise for awhile and when I went back to my print the noise was gone but I was wildly under-extruding.

 

Daid uploaded the wrong firmware this morning, try re-downloading it.

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/4033-cura-1401-printer-restart-after-aborted-print/?p=32212

 

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1. My firmware is 14.01.1. Aborting a print causes the UM2 to restart itself. I'm presuming this is unintended.

2. I hope my feedback is useful to them. :)

3. Once I read that the system assumes 0.1mm offset on calibration, I used a feeler gage to set it to 0.08mm this morning (that's the closest I have) and it seems to be sticking but it really looks too far from the bed. The material is "dropping" onto the glass rather than squishing. Maybe my reprap experience doesn't apply here.

4. This is an area that needs significant work. Seriously, I'm cool with no printing from Cura but product management, etc, should be doable from somewhere other than the display!

After my initial problems, I did a firmware download this morning. I've restarted a print and the buzzing noise is not there. I'm not going to worry about this unless it returns.

I've also restarted my print that made it 15mm through the base plate and failed when it had to start printing pylons. I don't think it is a clogged nozzle or a direct under-extrusion. If it fails again, my guess will be something wrong with retraction between moves but I'm not sure if that's a user setting I should be dealing with.

 

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The material is "dropping" onto the glass rather than squishing. Maybe my reprap experience doesn't apply here.

 

Yeah - your experience is probably does apply. It should be squishing it a bit - not dropping. I know exactly what you mean. What is your first layer height? Default in Cura is .3mm but once you get leveling dialed in you should be able to do .2mm or .1mm even.

I recommend you ignore the leveling procedure and just give your 3 screws a 1/4 turn and try reprinting a 1st layer. Again, once you get levelling down you probably won't mess with it for weeks. But turn very carefully - sometimes both ends turn at the same time so watch the screw on top.

 

and failed when it had to start printing pylons.

 

Do you want to be more specific? Did something fall over? To get parts to stick well you do need that first layer squished a bit. Also glue stick helps. Also warm bed helps. Or for ABS, abs glue is good or hairspray. You probably already know ALL of this if you have printed with other printers. Don't mean to talk down to you or anything.

 

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I am using a 0.3 initial layer height. The print is sticking at the moment. I'll re-investigate on the next print.

This is what I was printing:

http://thingiverse-production.s3.amazonaws.com/renders/03/8c/18/66/53/IMG_5673_preview_featured.jpg

The entire base printed just fine but when the uprights went to print, it was underextruding like crazy. I think what was happening was a retract glitch. Retract too much, as a result feed too late, retract again...

Also, the buzzing is back:

 

UPDATE: After I uploaded this video it is now squeaking on retract. I went to take a video and it stopped squeaking... *sigh*

 

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It seems my buzzing/squeaking was a loose drive wheel on the extruder motor. I tightened the set screw down for a second time. If it doesn't hold, I guess I can try to get the knurled pulley off and grind a flat onto the shaft.

I also figured out the material settings screen and it is confusing.

 

  • Select a material in Material->Settings. Those are the loaded settings.
  • Now go back into the material->Settings screen and select customize. You can now edit the loaded settings.
  • Then select store as preset. Now you're going to be confused because it takes you back to a screen with all of your presets in it. I though it had just stored the presets but, no, this is the screen where you select which preset to store the settings in.
  • Select your preset or the create new preset option and that will save your settings.

AFAIK, you can't rename your customized presets but at least you can create more than one. I don't think you can delete custom presets either.

I can think of several ways to make this more straightforward but, at least, it works for now.

 

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I have a Ultimaker dual and I have been trying to upgrade to cura.

1st problem is that cura is not working with windows8.1

my second problem is I was trying to update the firmware and now the

LCD display is blank. I have tried cycling the power on the Ultimaker

and at power up the LCD still remains blank. The machine was working before with ReplicatorG

But everything went bad when I try to update the firmware.

 

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This is a common problem for people who select "ultimaker2" as the machine. You have an "ultimaker Original". Also you should probably have posted this in a new topic, not here.

If you have trouble connecting to the arduino now that you have updated it, there is a small chance you will need to remove the arduino from your ultimaker to update the firmware. But this is rare.

 

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