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hacklordsniper

"Newbie" ordered a Ultimaker 2 - here is why

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I decided to write this post if it will maybe help someone deciding in printer purchase. This is a long post and maybe it will help some beginner in decision what printer to buy, otherwise its not useful post because it contains my rants and observations.

 

I wanted a 3D printer for making some non critical parts for my various hobby and products i often make. Some parts are somewhat simple but need quite alot of machining time and time is very precious.

 

I noticed a Velleman K8200 kit in local store and decided to try it out, i had confidence in Velleman although i was not quite happy with mechanical construction and details. I received the kit and assembled it, but it was a shame. Z lead screw was a simple threaded rod (M8X1.25) bent like a banana, motor mounts were to weak, linear bearings required more force than a provided stepper could handle, aluminum carriage plates were heavily bent, heated PCB was warped, plastic parts were bad quality and out of tolerances, drivers overheating.

 

This is the best print achieved after fixing quite a lot of stuff, and even with glass plate it was hard to level the bed because the bottom plates were again bent like banana.

 

IMG_1798.jpg

 

 

That was a joke, so i wrote to Velleman and their distributor and using my lawful rights as buyer to get back my money.

 

After that i decided to buy something more "serious". I hunted all possible printers on the market, read all MAKE ultimate printer tests and was not sure what printer is a good buy.

 

There are some nice printers that will (maybe) come to market (as example ProDesk3D) but the status is still unknown and they many of them are not delivering as promised. But i decided to make a purchase now, early even if its not the best decision. I think in future there will be more printers at better price (Chinese Korbot looks nice, but too expensive for no warranty, support or anything, and can be seen using Cura from Ultimaker).

 

There are three companies that were in my mind at the end and i needed to make a decision. The MakerBot replicator (fifth generation), Ultimaker 2 and Zortrax M200. Although i was not too excited about Makerbot because there is no support for ABS.. I sent to all three inquiries about their printers, Makerbot never responded but sent a 200 micron sample print of a screw with express delivery. Zortrax newer responded, and Ultimaker team gave all the answers.

 

It was clear who is the winner, because if company ignores you before they have your money, what will be after they have your money? However i was still not sure between Zortrax and Ultimaker. Generally i have read quite of bad and good things about Zortrax, and after asking questions in their forum i got private messages from people very very unhappy with printer performance, support from Zortrax, software, firmware and what not. This people still hold all that back because Zortrax keeps them promising new firmwares that will turn their printers to "gold". Its true that ARM has more flexibility and power than 8 bit AVR of Ultimaker, but they are always late on this updates and they don't bring promises with them. I liked more the ball screw and double rods on head from mechanical point but decided Ultimaker is the way to go because many happy users and good support.

 

The only thing i would say for all manufacturers is that more or less they keep the prices a little bit too high. I paid less for my lathe 3 months ago than for ultimaker. Although not fair comparison but my lathe has a milling head, frequency inverter, 1.5 KW 3 phase motor, 850 W single phase motor, quite of precision parts and 300 KG of machined cast iron.

 

Some early or not Ultimakers had some quality issues but i belive that is already solved by now.

 

And at last i would like to add that between all the printers i reviewed the Ultimaker is only printer that is "eye catching". Its not important for functionality but it shows someone invested passion in designing it. More than that, i don't want anymore on my desk table something that looks like built by Pat & Mat.

 

This is a long text useful maybe for someone in dilemma like i was. Next post will be when Ultimaker arrives :)

 

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Nice posting. As an owner of an UM1 for over two years, I am confident your expectations will be met. Some minor problems may come with a new machine, but UM or the users will help figure it out. You and the machine will be better for it. More than 2 yrs ago, the choice for me was UM or maketbot. I went with UM for the speed, print quality and the user community. I continue to be impressed. There is another recent thread commmenting on how much has changed and for the better in the last year. I couldnt agree more. I felt the same way last year. I wonder how things will improve in the next 12 months.

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Great report thanks. I got my Zortrax M200 to replace my UM1.

My findings about support are the opposite of yours. Zortrax has always answered quickly to my mails.

Anyway - my M200 prints like a dream. It make the UM1 look like a ... well .. amateur machine. It prints ABS better in most parts than the UM1 does in PLA. And my UM1 is quite well tuned.

There are issues though - but no deal breakers. More "it would be nice to have xxx" - than I NEED xxx to print this. I'm now perfectly happy starting a print job - and leaving the M200 to do its job even overnight without parental supervision.

I have printed big items, small items - detailed items - and 99% comes out usable on first print.

My short list of issues:

1. Flat top infill is not up to (my) UM1 standards - but still better than a lot of the UM prints I see here.

2. ABS can be pushed through the perforation holes in the top PCB on the heated platform - making it slightly uneven. But easy to clean and get level again.

3. My power supply gets a slight rattle when hot from the fan. I have not looked into that but possibly an easy fix.

4. Cold drafts can cause ABS layer splits - but after I moved the printer away from AC draft I have only had one layer split on a very large print.

5. Raft (currently) limit's max object size to about 189x189 mm

6. Firmware is far from complete

But the above issues are small compared to the positives by far.

1. Prints have the right size - screw holes are the size you expect - I printed a BIG adaptor for a VHF for a boat - and it was a perfect fit at first try. Mount was made in Autodesk Inventor.

2. Prints looks great on both .2 and .14 layer height

3. Prints are easy to remove from the print bed - no glue needed, no kapton and no painters tape replacements. I no longer "ponder" about printing a slightly useless thing because I MIGHT have to reapply painters tape afterwards. I just print it.

4. Support is VERY easy to remove - usually takes less than a minute to remove support and clean up a print

5. Machine is very quiet and built like a tank.

6. Plenty of firmware features to come in the future :) improving an already great product :)

So it would say - for the price vs performance I am very happy with my M200. It is a true workhorse. I don't know if i'll keep my UM1 or donate it to a maker space. I thought I'd keep it for odds and ends where ABS was not really needed - but after finding out how nicely the Zortrax prints ABS - I can't see a reason to keep the UM1 any longer.

But check out the print room - http://zortrax.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=8 - plenty of amazing prints.

 

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Hello,

i would not agree on you with some things. Comparing Ultimaker 1 and Zortrax, affcourse UM1 looks like amateur machine because its made from plywood. Also the thread you are reffering to at Zortrax is not the "questions" that i meant. i sent them by e-mail few questions about expected FW and SW finishing time and some more similiar questions.

 

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Hello,

i would not agree on you with some things. Comparing Ultimaker 1 and Zortrax, affcourse UM1 looks like amateur machine because its made from plywood. Also the thread you are reffering to at Zortrax is not the "questions" that i meant. i sent them by e-mail few questions about expected FW and SW finishing time and some more similiar questions.

 

I did not means LOOKS. I don't care if it is made of plywood or concrete if it is solid and works well. But the M200 is just a much more sold built machine - and I would say - it looks better made than the UM2 as well. But I have only seen pictures/videos of the UM2 and not seen it IRL. Don't get me wrong - UM1 was a great machine in its time. And I loved making things on my UM1. But the M200 has outpaced the UM1 by many many miles.

Prices in USD ex. VAT and shipping

UM1 - $1610

UM2 - $2554

M200 - $1895

So you can get the M200 for $300 MORE than them UM1 and $659 LESS than the UM2....I'm not saying the UM2 is a bad 3D printer - it is possibly an excellent 3D printer. On some points the UM2 seems better on paper - on others the Zortrax looks better on paper. But being an Electronics Engineer - I am impressed with the Zortrax - with all its "short comings". But the Zortrax makes ABS printing as easy as PLA printing on the UM1 - and in some ways even much easier - like support and raft removal.

 

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Hello

we are in the same trade :)

I agree with you, Zortrax is better mechanicaly built. I like all the axis, i dont like at UM2 that Z lead screw is not supported on top. Zortrax also have z-axis rods better supported. However i would like to see few pictures of x-y from down, especially do they use bearings or bronze bushings on carriers of X-Y? I can see bearings in extruder mount itself, but i have not managed to find any pictures of this details. Can you post few photos?

The thing in question is are the Zortrax team capable to finish the FW and SW that they started?

 

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The only thing i would say for all manufacturers is that more or less they keep the prices a little bit too high. I paid less for my lathe 3 months ago than for ultimaker. Although not fair comparison but my lathe has a milling head, frequency inverter, 1.5 KW 3 phase motor, 850 W single phase motor, quite of precision parts and 300 KG of machined cast iron.

 

Courious, which Lathe did you get? We're looking to replace our shop lathe for something better.

(And, part of the money you pay for an UM goes to R&D, you know, for Cura development for example. As I also like to eat)

(Supporting the Z axis at the top actually makes the prints come out worse, as you add Z wobble. The first 30 UM machines had this and where all changed to no longer have fixed the axis at the top. There is a lot of valuable experience in the UM2)

 

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Hello, i got lathe directly from Weiss because the Bernardo versions are skinned down. I bought it directly from them, from China. It suffered a standard problem of uncleaned sand and swarf, had some problem with gearbox (leaking oil, the worker break off a wall from it while drilling holes). Weiss shipped me new gearbox immeadatly, great company to work with after first "not so happy" experience. Here is some pictures : http://www.hacklordsniper.com/Arhiva_projekata/Projekt_(55).html

I have never had harder decision in my life between this two printers. Its quite an investment and want to get it right on first try. Experience bulit in UM2 is definately positive thing

 

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I don't own an ultimaker, but do own

lulzbot A0-101

Rostock Max

A finis

2 UP Plus 2's

QU-BD Revolution XL

Zortrax

So you could say that I know a little about 3D Printers. Up until I received the Zortrax, the UP Plus 2 were the benchmark in high quality printing with good support and rafts that were easy to remove. This changed when I received my Zortrax printer which produces superb prints with very good support and rafts. I am extremely impressed with the build quality and components used in the printer and for the money, I think it is probably the best printer on the market at present.

The firmware and software is still beta so the printing can only get better from here out.

David

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I don't own an ultimaker, but do own

lulzbot A0-101

Rostock Max

A finis

2 UP Plus 2's

QU-BD Revolution XL

Zortrax...

 

I could have sworn I saw a post just like this a few days ago somewhere, and I remembered it was on the Zortrax forum. Said topic in now deleted there (maybe because he didn't buy a zortrax in the end :mrgreen:), but it was the same OP as here. Please don't tell me you registered on this forum just to reply to the same person with the exact same reply.

 

 

I don't have an Ultimaker, but do have a lot of 3d printing experience and own

SeeMeeCNC Rostock Max

Lulzbot A-101

Afinia

Two UP Plus printers

QU-BD Revolution XL

and now a Zortrax, and I can say unequivocally, the Zortrax is the best of the

bunch... etc.

(courtesy of google cache)

Bear in mind, I'm not trying to start any wars here, but a single post out of the blue like this, just to say once more how Zortrax rules... smells like spam. If you get my drift. If I am somehow mistaken, I apologize in advance.

Oh and personally, I would never give money for a printer which uses rafts. Come on, it's 2014.

 

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@chopmeister

About reason why his thread was deleted ask the thread creator which deleted it = @hacklordsniper (our mistake that forum flag which let for users to delete they posts was set), anyway we will try to move back topic which he deleted then some funny story you can read there :) I really want his thread back so fast as possible from forum backup.

I respect every customer choice but speaking about non-existing messages which @hacklordsniper "got" (luckily having forum administrator right let to see that 0 (zero) messages he got) and also story about dozen of e-mails which he sent to us (he sent only 1 (one) message with priority of SPAM) is kind of...

I wish that my answer can be posted here :) I like honest opinions but I hate lies which @hacklordsniper spreading here (somehow he don't like us which is ok but to create a reasons using lies is not good).

Is ok if he wrote that he don't like 'Z' and he think that UM2 is better this is his personal decision but coloring story with non-existing messages/e-mails etc. is...

Best Regards

 

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After you acused me of various lying things (like here) on your forum i posted proof showing my first post in this topic was not a lie, all my posts magically disapeared. I did sent you few e-mails inquiring about any time-frame in which you will finish your firmware and software and a possible visit to see Zortrax M200 prints in person before purchase and i had not recieved any communication back.

I have allready asked moderators of this forum to remove this topic as its not a place to discuss this details that in some way maybe can harm Ultimaker reputation. Luckily this time you will not be possible do delete one of my proof as i quote you "with lies about non-existing messages which @hacklordsniper claim to got (luckily having forum administrator right let to see that 0 (zero) messages he got)", could you please see this, i have more than one. 1234.jpg

Altogether i think this discussion is not needed, and i did not expect it will create such a reaction. However i wanted to somehow "warn" the community to choose carefully in their 3D printer purchase. I see that was a silly thing, most of the potential buyers are over 18years, let them learn themself on their mistakes.

 

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Hey guys, I think everyone needs to calm down a little bit, please.

Hacklordsniper has indeed emailed me to ask for the thread to be removed, but actually I don't see any particular need for that. He expressed his opinion that he'd heard mixed things about the Zortrax, and that some folks told him they were unhappy. That hardly seems like the most damning of criticisms. I think all 3D printers have some folks who are, for whatever reason, unhappy. (Including Ultimakers).

I note Martin's concerns about the interaction, and have no interest or knowledge about what is or isn't happening over on the Zortrax forum. If there's still a discussion to be had on that subject, it's probably best if it happens there... we're rather wandering off topic now from this forum's primary aims.

BTW, I will also personally vouch for winstonc's contribution; I know him from the QU-BD forums, where he's done some great things to get the RXL actually working (which is more than I ever managed), so I think his contribution was genuine and well-intentioned.

Clearly there are pro's and con's to the Zortrax, as with any machine. These have been aired, so I'd like to think that we can let the subject drop now.

Thank you :-)

 

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