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UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?


ZD3D
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Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

Longtime user and lover of ultimakers here since the start: I personally own an original, X2 UM2gos (the best ones IMO) and a UM3 and at work I manage a large fleet of X2 UMs5, X2 UM3, X2 UM2go, X8 UM2+ and now we just got X4 UM2+ Connects. We also have about 10 other "pro level" (expensive) printers. We have around 30 printers total.

 

We run the Tinkergnome firmware (ver16, anything newer has a fatal bug, please fix that Mr. Tinkergnome) on all the 2+ versions, this firmware makes them my most used printers out of all of them, yes including the ones that cost between 30k and 80k. This is because with tinkergnome everything is visible and tunable, it feels like a professional tool such as a CNC machine, not a toy.

 

Ive had the UM2+ connects for over a week and the Hardware is a great upgrade, but the firmware is like a child's toy.

 

To us this is a MAJOR step back and is a total deal breaker for me, Where is the tune menu? Wheres the printing data?

 

For example: when the machine is warming up the screen just has text that says "the machine is warming up" and nothing else, no number, no status bar.

 

When we got the S5 I was disappointed by how few options are in the menus but with the UM2+ connects you cant even change temps or feed rates while the machine is running, let alone see any data at all. ......Even my cheap 200 dollar Ender3 shows me this

 

So am I missing something? Help me out because Im ready to throw these glorified toys in the trash and get old UM2+ machines on Ebay

 

Is this thing even running Marlin??

 

REQUEST: Pro level firmware for the UM2+ Connect that has ALL options and shows ALL data, even options that will crash/break the machine if used improperly by an idiot.

 

Rant over, Thank you.

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Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?
2 hours ago, ZD3D said:

So am I missing something?

Unfortunately no, you don't. The UM2+Connect prints great but you are right, feature-wise there are only the basics implemented. The UM2+C uses a new board, the Onion board in this is limited in memory, so don't expect too much, but I am sure a few things will come in the future. I use the UM2+C since the beginning and we get from FW version to FW version additional features. But I don't think we will get the feature set from the UM2+ or the Tinkergnome FW. 

 

On the other hand, I really like the printer and in most cases I don't really miss the features. It is currently the most used printer I have, because it is so reliable and just prints in great quality. 

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    An important difference between the UM2+ and the UM2+C is that the former has firmware that is completely open source so that it could be enhanced with additional features by @tinkergnome (and others). The firmware for the Onion board mentioned by @Smithy is not open sourced, making it much harder - if not impossible - for intrepid community members to create an alternative firmware with additional features.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    Hi ZD,

     

    Thanks for your feedback. Question  - are you missing the tuning parameters because of a lack of quality prints? My own experience with the machine mirrors Smithys, it is reliable with great print quality out of the box. Tuning after the print job is started is understandable, but in general we find that its more important that we get reliability and quality in one go correct. Most (not all, ofcourse) people want to hit the print button and just collect their item after the fact, no hassle. This was deemed priority number one.

     

    Showing stats is also request we're aware of, so you'll definately see this at some future firmware update, but I cannot speculate as to when .

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    #metoo
    Ultimaker disappointed me too with there Apple style approach of GUI's. We are engineers! We have to deal with technical systems. As ZD3D calls it, not with toys. An simple temperature indication would have safe me an hour on finding out the wrong profile was selected for some part. Feed-rate an speed are also not that hard to plot on the GUI. And maybe it's the lake of processing power for the display but the "fade" effect between selection and menus is on addition of the poor rotary button extremely toy feeling.

    Please give us tools to work with. Not a toy with one play button!

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?
    4 hours ago, MIO said:

    And maybe it's the lake of processing power for the display but the "fade" effect between selection and menus is on addition of the poor rotary button extremely toy feeling.

    @MIO The mentioning of 'rotary button' seems like you refer to the UM2(+) ?  This thread started about the interface for the UM2+C which is very different with a touch screen.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?
    6 hours ago, Szahari said:

    Hi ZD,

     

    Thanks for your feedback. Question  - are you missing the tuning parameters because of a lack of quality prints? My own experience with the machine mirrors Smithys, it is reliable with great print quality out of the box. Tuning after the print job is started is understandable, but in general we find that its more important that we get reliability and quality in one go correct. Most (not all, ofcourse) people want to hit the print button and just collect their item after the fact, no hassle. This was deemed priority number one.

     

    Showing stats is also request we're aware of, so you'll definately see this at some future firmware update, but I cannot speculate as to when .

     

    Szahari,

     

    Thanks for the response, but No, I'm not missing the tuning or data because of bad prints. I do this for a living, my prints come out perfect on every printer I own.

     

    Im missing the info and tuning because the "no hassle" "magic button" approach is NOT REALISTIC! In the real world you need to be informed on your process, adaptive and flexible. This machine is NOT THAT.

     

    For anyone who runs printers  24/7 you will know that any printer, even my 80,000 dollar printer, is NOT A MAGIC BUTTON. Things fail in weird ways, parts wear out, ect...

    I need to be able to do diagnostic testing and troubleshooting.

    I need to be able to watch a print run take some notes on the running data in real time to improve processes.

     

    If Ultimaker intends on going to the "no hassle" "so easy a cave man can do it" route with all products like Makerbot did then this company is fated for the same doom.

     

    I choose Ulitmaker BECAUSE I can work on them, BECAUSE I can modify them, BECAUSE they WERE open...

     

     

     

     

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    Posted (edited) · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

     

    On 7/16/2021 at 3:12 PM, CarloK said:

    @MIO The mentioning of 'rotary button' seems like you refer to the UM2(+) ?  This thread started about the interface for the UM2+C which is very different with a touch screen.

    Your right. But fact is it covers the same complainment. If Ultimaker keeps aiming for "No hassle" "Plug and play" "Every moron can print if he is able to push an button and don't care about engineering" then, Ultimaker is not making the products that fits my needs and i will get to another brand. Sure there will be enough cavemans that like to 3D print, but i like to engineer stuff. Not just print funny toys that are nice to watch.

    Edited by MIO
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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    The "no hassle" and "plug and play" approach is important for professional users and industries. They need systems which work out of the box, so they can produce their parts in less time and with less resources. They are not really interested or have the time in fine tuning everything, they just want to print and get great results.

     

    Personally I like to tinker but I am also lazy and like that I have the possibility to print plug and play. And to be honest when you did the first prints and see you can trust the system and the settings from the profiles, you just send the print job and forget it. I don't check the printer or first layer or whatever anymore. My printers are on a different floor and I just send the job and go to the printer when print has finished. 

     

    If I want to tinker and engineer with a 3D printer I would probably buy one of the Chinese printers, there you engineer, repair and mod 99% of your time and when you are at the point to print something you probably print Benchys or other calibration objects to get another reason to mod something else on the printer 🙂 Perhaps a bit exaggerated, but you get what I mean.

     

    To get back to the original topic, compared to other UM printers, the UM2+Connect has currently less firmware features, but to be honest when I use the printer I miss nothing.

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    Posted (edited) · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    Thanks for your personal statement. But i think you probably not going for the best result for every (technical) part you can get. That's fine. Not everyone has the same needs. And of course there are many Apple style users that like to power up and use it as it appears. But for me as an engineer i like to know every detail of what my machine is doing so i can tweak it for my needs. Special PLA, faster printing, stronger models, specific quality requirements are one of those. But as already sead, if Ultimaker keeps aiming for Apple style then this brand will loss me as an customer. I will find some other brand.

    Edited by MIO
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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    I also do some tuning if needed, as you say, special filament or whatever, but then I do it during slicing and not during printing. Also with my UM2+ printers with Tinkergnome I tuned very rarely during printing. But just my very personal experience and workflow. Maybe also because I like the Apple style and and I am a bit of a fan boy of Apple since 20 years and never looked back 🙂 

     

     

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    I also feel quite quite strongly about this. Would love to have more information visible to us. Even if you have to toggle on an advanced mode in the settings to see it.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    @ZD3D 100% with you there. Unfortunately the only thing I can do is share my shock, again

     

    It is the 1st UM I buy but might very well be the last. I bought mine, as explained in that old thread because I wanted to support development (so not buying a "copy-cat" with a thin layer of dev). I also bought UM because I am not a 3D printing expert so as others have suggested in this thread, I did want the "turn key" solution or as you said, critically, the magical button but NOT as the cost of being able to tinker!

     

    So ... I'm very sorry you had to go through this but you are not alone in being deeply disappointed.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    I understand that you are disappointed because the printer has not all the features you have maybe expected, but I think you should be fair to say that this is not the fault of the printer or of Ultimaker. You just bought an Ultimaker printer without checking before if the printer has all the capabilities you need. The UM2 range is the older one with Arduino board and open source firmware but no developer mode, the S-line printers have a developer mode to hack something you need and the UM2+Connect is on a completely different platform with a closed firmware and no developer mode. So depending on your needs you, can choose the best printer for you. It is the same when I would buy an UM2Go and be then disappointed because the bed size is not big enough for my print job.

     

    From my experience with the UM2+Connect, I can say that it is my most used printer, because I don't have to worry about tinkering, tuning or hacking. I just slice and send the print job. I never had the need yet to tune something or do some hacks in the firmware. That is exactly what I need. If I want to have everything open source, I would probably buy Prusa, Creatily or something like that.

     

    So your mileage may vary, but the UM2+Connect is the perfect plug and play printer for users who just want to print.

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    Posted (edited) · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    Yes, I trusted UM as a brand as I didn't have the knowledge sufficient to know if a board was new or not. I expected the model to be as tinkerable as the others because it was the trend. I took a risk because it was the new model and there was no feedback yet. I misunderstood UM as a company and clearly I was not the only one as OP is much more knowledgeable than I am.

    Edited by utopiah
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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    You can still trust UM as a brand, they offer great and stable 3D printers - nothing more.

     

    But are you unhappy with the printer on its own, beside that you cannot integrate it into your smart home or something like that? Do you really miss something you need for daily print jobs?

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    We own a 'fleet' of UM2+ printers that are running day and night, and we bought a UM2 Connect, assuming that we could just add this to our print farm.

     

    However, we discovered that the UM2 Connect does not fit in our development and work flow at all. We have a unified set of print tables and changing between materials is easy, just change the setting on the printer when loading material and the rest is taken care of.

     

    The UM2 Connect does not print gcode for the UM2+, nor does it handle a print object (.ufp) using different materials. So our design cycles would get hopelessly complicated as we would have to maintain profiles and slicings for different machines and materials.

     

    In addition, we don't want to use the UM clould for several reasons:

    * We don't allow company designs to leave the premises to unverified cloud providers

    * We don't want to add a completely useless layer of complexity and infrastructure. SD cards work just as well.

    * The clould service would make us dependent of a range of providers that can all break down. See this UM message this morning: "Printers are currently experiencing issues connecting to Ultimaker Digital Factory". So our production would just stop and be at the mercy of the Ultimaker IT managers.

    * We don't want more machines that connect to internet and introduce more cybersecurity risks.


    A centralized cloud printer management seems useless anyway, unless it includes a robot to clean print tables and replace filaments.

     

    The UM S3 might be an option for the compatibility, but its print table is too small for our designs.

     

    The UM2+ is rightfully a very popular production machine. Reliable, simple and tunable. It seems that Ultimaker has given up on this professional market in favour of beginners and hobyists, or just hitch with the fashion market.


    Ultimaker, please provide a UM2+ compatible mode on the Connect, so we don't have to look for UM2+ compatible machines from other places.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    I can understand that the UM2+C doesn't fit in your workflow, but ....

     

    38 minutes ago, R3DE said:

    In addition, we don't want to use the UM clould for several reasons:

    * We don't want to add a completely useless layer of complexity and infrastructure. SD cards work just as well.

     

    The DF cloud is not the only option to print, you can also use an USB stick instead of SD card, works in the same way.

     

    39 minutes ago, R3DE said:

    The UM S3 might be an option for the compatibility, but its print table is too small for our designs.

     

    The UM S3 has the same print bed size as the UM2 and the UM2+C

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    I have to admit that I was somewhat disapointed with the UM2+Connect too. I'm an engineer and the UM2+Connect is the first 3d-Printer I bought. I collected some experiences with other printers from colleagues, mostly chinese brands with the issues Smithy already mentioned.

     

    I didn't want to have to tinker around with the printer, but of course as 3d-printing is a process which depends on a large bunch of parameters I have to tinker around with the prints! Theres no way to slice and print without searching for the right set of parameters, unless you only print similar geometries with PLA perhaps.

     

    With the UM2+Connect I bought the most expensive printer in it's class. What were my expectations? I thought I get a reliable plug and print printer which I can connect to my computer via ethernet and get all the information of the printing process, which is available. In the end it is a reliable machine with excellent print quality. However, my other expectations were not met.

     

    The reduced information gives you the feeling of having bought a beginner's device, you are treated like a non-expert. This would be acceptable if you could change to an expert mode, like on most digital cameras for enthusiasts. 

     

    It is important that you can see the temperatures to check if everything is alright. It's like the engine temperature in a car. I once had a broken temperature sensor on the heatbed. I had several bad prints and quite a lot work to find the cause. If there had been the bed temperature displayed I would have recognized the issue right away.

     

    Besides that I don't see a reason for sending my print data around the world when the printer is standing next to the computer. And the other option is to fiddle around with an usb stick? In times when everyone is talking about CO2 savings, I can't understand why servers have to transmit data somewhere, even though it is not necessary.

     

    In my opinion, Ultimaker should adapt the firmware of the UM2+Connect in particular so that justified customer expectations are fulfilled.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?
    2 hours ago, MarkusBaumann said:

     

    The reduced information gives you the feeling of having bought a beginner's device, you are treated like a non-expert. This would be acceptable if you could change to an expert mode, like on most digital cameras for enthusiasts. 

     

    Excellent way to summarize it. Being locked out of the device is no problem for beginners but for expert or tinkerers it's basically feels like the wrong purchase, despite the quality of the prints.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    @R3DE I'm sorry to hear you are disappointed in our printer and I'd like to hear more about your workflow in order to understand your problems and see how we can be of help.

    The UM S3 printer is a printer from our professional line and has extra features like: 2 materials, flow sensor, active bed leveling, web cam, better touch screen. Important for your situation is that the S3 model also supports printing over the local network next to the cloud based solution. The UM2+C printer had to drop the local network printing feature because of a less powerful processor.
    The build plate in the S3 model has the same size as UM2+ and can be used equally. Perhaps you are confusing the UM3 printer? The UM3 has the same build plate size, but because of the 2 nozzles and same housing size it's effective printing size with one nozzle was smaller than the UM2+ (equal size with both nozzles). In the S-line this was improved by making the housing wider.

    The S3 model, however, will have the same mentioned problem that it won't print the UM2+ files. The request for a compatibility mode wasn't heard before. I can't make a promise, but I added it to our list of requested improvements.

    Do you intend to use the UM2+C printer with USB drives, or would it include a USB-to-mmc converter?

     

    Quote

    nor does it handle a print object (.ufp) using different materials.

    Can you elaborate? What are you trying to do that fails? Our intention is to warn against user errors, but it should still be possible to print from a ufp file.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    @Smithy, @CarloK Thanks for your replies.
     

    First, where ever I look the S3 is specified with a build volume of 230 x 190 x 200 mm, while the UM2+ has 223 x 220 x 205 mm. We need all 223 x 220 mm for several of our print objects. In any case the S3 is not a viable option because of the price.

     

    The UM2+ has always been a perfect printer for us to do production runs of about 15 print tables that take up to a week for a complete product. We needed to add a printer so we got an UM2+C. The slightly increased price was not a problem, and we didn't need the Connect part. But then we found that we couldn't just add it to the farm and do more printing at the time.

     

    Our work flow is this:

    We have a lot of STL objects that we have gathered onto 15 GCODE print tables. We use 4 slicing profiles for different tables. When we need to change a design (STL) we pull up the 3MF project file for that table, replace the STL, slice it and copy the GCODE onto all SD cards so we can print on any printer.

     

    On the printers we have the material profiles for PLA, PETG and ABS. So at print time we can still decide on the material by selecting that during filament loading, since the GCODE objects don't include material properties.

     

    We tried to print the GCODE with the UM2+C. It prints but it does not set the temperatures so there is no output. I can imagine that the printer won't be happy to print with a cold nozzle. We also tried to slice with the existing profiles saved to a .UFP but the UM2+C refuses to print that because it is for the UM2+. Then, Cura doesn't reuse a profile if you change printers.

     

    This is where the trouble starts. We now have to slice for he UM2+ and then again for the UM2+C. But Cura is very particular and doesn't allow using a UM2+ profile for a UM2+C project. So we have to develop our 4 profiles again from scratch. To complicate things even more, we have to maintain those profiles for 3 different materials.

     

    To summarize:

    Currently, for each table we have the STL files, a 3MF project file and one of 4 profiles. We slice that into a GCODE and that prints on any of the printers with any of our materials.

     

    When we add the UM2+C in the mix we have to maintain 4 project files for each table, 13 profiles (1 + 4 x 3 materials) and slice that into 4 outputs (1 GCODE and 3 UFP) and distribute all that to the SD/USB carriers. This is quite unworkable. When we want to add a material the amount of files explodes exponentially.

     

    An easy fix may be if the UM2+C would accept the GCODE without material settings and apply its internal material settings (temperatures and retraction settings) if they are not found in the GCODE, like the UM2+ does. It would then print our exiting UM2+ GCODE.

     

    But a much more satisfying fix would be to have a real UM2+ compatible mode, including the settings menus. Many of us feel a lot more comfortable to be able to control, monitor and adjust the printer as on the UM2+. I'm sure the rotary button can be emulated with a slider or something like that on the touch screen.

     

    The current UM2+C yields an unworkable workflow and we feel we are on a dead end road with our UM2+ setup. Our UM reseller told us about several companies that are scouring the market for used UM2+ printers so that they can keep printing. I find it hard to believe that Ultimaker would leave their installed base out in the cold like that.

     

    Other than that, the UM2+C seems to be well built and quiet, although a filament sensor would have been nice and it is hard to understand why UM has downsized their processor in times of ever expanding firmware requirements.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    Thanks for explaining your workflow, I understand now your problem. But I fear there is no solution for a mixed environment. The UM2+ and the UM2+Connect are too different also from the platform. The UM2+ has, depending on the gcode flavor, the ability to use the material settings from the gcode or from the printer. The Connect don't have a material "database" like the old UM2+, so you have to put the settings in the gcode. Most users prefer to have the settings in the gcode, but in your case it makes sense to have the opposite.

     

    I would also not say that the Connect is a downgrade from the processor, it is completely different. The UM2+ is running an Ardunio board, the Connect uses a small Onion board (Linux) similar to a Raspberry PI. 

     

    Maybe it is confusing for customers that the printer is called UM2+Connect, which could mean it is an UM2+ but with network/cloud functionality and not a complete different name. On the other hand the print head and the mechanics are the same (or nearly) as the UM2+.

     

    I don't think there is currently a solution other than to slice the files for both printers and then additionally for each material. But maybe Ultimaker has some more ideas.

     

    As much as I like my UM2+C, it is my most used printer and a real workhorse, it has less features than every other UM printer. But I hope that we will see future improvements of the firmware, which covers currently only the basics.

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    Posted · UM2+ Connect Firmware sucks? Am I missing something?

    I get it that the current UM2+C doesn't do what we need. But it already keeps material profiles for loading and unloading filament.

     

    We could do what we need with a minimal change in firmware:

    Accomodate a MATERIALS.TXT import with material profiles, and use the currently selected material settings in a GCODE print (the GCODE could always override this if it includes the material settings itself).

     

    But again, a full UM2+ emulation would be much more desirable for the installed base out there.

     

    The hardware shouldn't be a problem: I determined that the UM2+C uses an Onion Connect 2+ module with 128M RAM, 32M Flash and a 580MHz CPU, running Linux. There should be room for some material profiles with 20 bytes each...

     

    I have added pictures of the contoller boards here.

    Overview Bottom.jpeg

    PCB Controller.jpeg

    PCB GUI.jpeg

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