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mtmvetultimaker

disappointed with Ultimaker

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I have been struggling, searching, studying, asking for help and trying to have patience but, after one month experience with my Ultimaker2 (Three, if I include the waiting time), I am very disappointed due to the following issues:

THE PRINTER:

1-Printer does not accept 3mm filament, only 2,85 mm and this measure must be very consistent in this diameter, otherwise the filament will be damaged in the feeder, will start clicking, and will affect the final print quality.

2- Printer is not reliable for long prints. As someone already said, it has to be “babysitted” . In the forums, one can find several people showing nice pictures of long time prints (24-34 hours). I could never get more than 5 hours printing without facing a problem.

3-Some members say the under extrusion is due to a clogged nozzle. I really don’t know if I had the problem but , I followed instructions from the community and cleaned the nozzle several times. It did not solve the problem. I only use PLA, and it was easy to clean. Also, I believe the Bowden tube clogs more than the nozzle.

4- CURA shows several “bugs” associate with UM2 such as : move material problems, wrong estimated time, abort printing, etc. I believe it is just a matter of time to solve those issues. UM2 is a new product.

5- The printer only accepts SD card files. Someone mentioned it was possible to use the usb cable with Pronterface or Repetier but, I could not figure out how to do it. I would like to use CURA with the USB.

6- In my printer, frequently, I have the error message “ERROR-STOPPED”- “Temp Sensor” that is mentioned in the manual and the solution is to contact Ultimaker support. I did it and got the instruction to “check the connection at electronics at the bottom of your Ultimaker? Therefore you need to remove the cover first, which is simply connected with 2 screws.Then you have to look for the cable with the thin red wire” (SIC).

This procedure solves the problem , but I have to do it very often. It works ok without the cover but, when I put it back, after one or two days, the error message shows again. Maybe it is due to the vibration??Also, since the problem is mentioned in the manual, I believe it probably happens very often. Ultimaker should make a video showing how to solve the problem and, more important, change the way the red wire is connected to avoid the problem.

7- Another very annoying problem is the Bowden tube that does not stays in the right place. It keeps popping up from the nozzle side and the printer starts under extruding. My printer came with the white tube clamps broken, therefore the tube does not stays in place for a long time. This is the kind of improvement (better fixation of the Bowden tube) the company has to do as soon as possible (maybe a printable Bowden tube clamp). After I sent a ticket to Ultimaker´s support, they promised to send me the replacement parts, but I did not receive it (see shipping comments below).

8- The Ultimaker 2 printer is not bad. As a matter of fact I could get some good prints. For small pieces, with the help of some very supportive people of the Ultimaker community (ex. Illuminarti, gr5, etc.) and a frequent monitoring/checking, I could solve several problems and print some nice jobs but, it is far away from what I was expecting when I bought the printer: I don´t want only robots, I want a reliable printer!

VALUE:

I live in Brazil, and I had to pay more than 80% in taxes and fees (printer 2000 euros+ 17xx euros in taxes and fees). At the end of the day, I paid approximately R$12500,00 (twelve thousand five hundred Brazilian reais) CIF for the printer. If I had acquired a Makerbot replicator 2x from the Brazilian local distributor, I would pay R$12000,00 with a full one year warranty , local services and parts. Maybe the ultimaker 2 might be much better than the replicator 2X but, as mentioned before, up to this time, I could not see the advertised qualities (speed, larger building area, different filament materials, etc.).To get a nice print , I had to print very slow and just small pieces. Also, the 2X has two extruders, in stock availability, …

ULTIMAKER CUSTOMER SERVICES:

1- Eight to ten weeks to deliver an Ultimaker 2 order. Pay and wait…

2- The Store “out of stock” in spite of showing availability when you place an order such as “buying filaments”. They immediately charge your CC and only when you complain about the delay, they inform that you order will be shipped after some weeks, when stocks are replaced.

3- When you ask to cancel the order, it also takes a long time to refund your money .I am still waiting for a PayPal refund confirmation. Order Charging is fast, refund takes time!

4- Support people also “take time” to answer. They are very polite but , apparently, very busy…probably taking care of other complains.

SHIPPING SERVICES:

1- DHL is the only and expensive option for international orders.

2- Regarding the Bowden tube problem I mentioned before, after some days, when I complained again to Ultimaker support team(Jan 29th), they sent me the replacement parts to hold the Bowden tube (apparently they also sent a new tube). I don’t know what kind of invoice Ultimaker sent to DHL, because they are charging me almost 35 US dollars as import taxes. It is unbelievable, this amount of money for the replacement of a plastic tube and a pair of clamps. If they have sent the little clamps in an envelope by regular mail when I asked the first time(Jan 14th), it probably would be here by now, without paying any taxes (in Brazil, international mail orders of less than $50 dollars are tax free). I sent a new ticket to support (yesterday, Feb 3rd) informing that I am not paying what DHL is charging and today (Feb 4t) I received an answer saying that “my problem was sent to the logistics department who will resolve the matter shortly…” It is amazing how the perception of words like “shortly”, “fast”, “soon” “promptly” “few weeks” can sound different based on what side of the negotiation table you are.

I will probably ask DHL to return the package to Ultimaker and try to buy the clamp from a different source.

Anyway, I hope other customers are happier than I am with their UM2. Some of them probably are, but I believe there are others, like me, regretting their decision. I also wish that the Ultimaker company understand the complains in a proactive manner, in order to keep the good reputation they have from the past and to solve the mentioned problems as soon as possible.

Regards ,

Mario

 

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Hello Mario,,

I can understand your anger very well. I had many thoughts just like yours. At first I did not recognize whether the machine is working correctly. For any issues we have I had to find suitable answers. That was a long process. After nearly two months of experimentation and nearly 1500 grams filament (scrap) and slight modifications, my UM2 produces reliably good to very good results.

Also, I have destroyed a temperature sensor due to inexperience, but I got fast and free replacement.

But I have also implemented an idea that has helped my machine to more independence.

The machine is certainly not perfect, but with the support here in the forum you could get it if you want to try it. You will also need some technical understanding. There are many experienced and helpful people here.

1: 3mm filament might work better if you put the lower opening of the small funnel fits somewhat. The filament should pass with little hand strength.

2: The reliability of the machine and improve the print quality you could optimize if you try out the described here:

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/4145-small-question-about-material-feeder/?p=35649

3: Hot Print can improve material flow through the nozzle. Print colder it makes the filament transport heavy, but protects against even before burn-in.

4: Cura is constantly evolving. Do you have the latest version on your computer and the latest firmware in the Ultimaker?

5 Here I am, unfortunately, asks ...

6: Drag the little white plug. Check whether both metal contacts to the same depth sit in the plastic housing. Reconnect the electrical connector back on.

7: A Bowden clip from PLA would break quickly, it would have to be produced from ABS. The small bracket could also be replaced by a very narrow cable ties.

8: It would be a shame to give up, but surely everyone has a different amount of patience.

Markus

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Sorry to hear of your troubles. I only have a UM1 so I can't really comment.

But Holy cow 80% tax!! that's robbery!

I remember recently reading an article stating that the PS4 was going to be taxed like 400+% when all is said and done, ($1800 in Brazil vs. $400 in the US) and I didn't quite believe it.

 

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Wow, that's a lot of money in addition. The respective tax can affect not a manufacturer. Shipping costs outside Europe are usually very high because of expensive things probably a transport insurance is included. Also, customs duties are different everywhere. I know all relationships are not accurate. Most often it is better to wait until a large local dealer buys many machines and then sold to the locals. If I want to buy something outside of Europe, I am facing the same problems.

Ultimaker is certainly endeavor to grant any access to its machines worldwide. This is good, but probably very difficult to realize.

Markus

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Hi Markus,

When I decided for the Ultimaker, I was aware about the high import costs. I am just disappointed because the printer does not work properly. I was expecting a much better printer compared to other local options (Makerbot, cube, local repraps, etc). Maybe it is. I will see when I replace the bowden tube clamps/clips.

Another issue is what dHL is charging for the replacement parts. I have been receiving small items (less than $50 dollars) from several countries using express mail (post office) and never paid any import taxes. Also, since it is a replacement part, I already paid all duties when I received the printer. I believe Ultimaker attached an invoice as selling me a new tube, and DHL charged the duties. I am still waiting for an answer from Ultimaker logistics department.

Mario

 

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Hello Mario,

I think with some help here you can get your UM2 to a good machine. Response times are sometimes very long, but often very helpful.

Ultimaker is as far as I know still a very small company. They have sold a lot of machines, there are probably a lot of inquiries daily. A great job for a few. Maybe you write another request, if you've been waiting for a long time. I'm very curious how it will help you. But I am confident that Ultimaker will find a solution with you.

Markus

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Hi Marrit,

Thanks for the answer.

I followed some of Markus directions and I also received the clamps you sent me. Now the printer is working much better.

, I am sure, one of the major problems of the printer is the bowden tube. When it stays in the right place, without any clogging, I did not have any underextruding. Later today, I will add some new comments about the experience.

regards,

mario

P/S: I also received the Paypal refund. Thanks!

 

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Only commenting on my area of work at Ultimaker. Which is Cura and the UM2 firmware.

 

4- CURA shows several “bugs” associate with UM2 such as : move material problems, wrong estimated time, abort printing, etc. I believe it is just a matter of time to solve those issues. UM2 is a new product.

5- The printer only accepts SD card files. Someone mentioned it was possible to use the usb cable with Pronterface or Repetier but, I could not figure out how to do it. I would like to use CURA with the USB.

 

4 - The move material problems are fixed for the upcomming release. The time estimate is a difficult problem, but with the better estimate inside of Cura (as of 14.01) the estimate on the machine should be improved. However, there is still an open bug in the time estimate on the UM2 that I have not found and fixed yet.

Abort printing should work in 14.01, I have not had reports of problems with it after that release.

5 - It's against all recommendations to do this. You can. But remember that the USB connection will be unreliable. To enable it you need to change the "GCode flavor" in the machine settings from "UltiGCode" to "RepRap" in Cura. This will enable the USB printing features. Note that it's not something I recommend on the UM2. We opted not to follow this path anymore due to the large amounts of problems we've seen on it on the UM-Origonal.

 

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Hi Daid,

thanks for the answer.

 

  1. the USB issue is not a big problem. I am getting used the the card and setting things in the printer button.
  2. I also learned to don´t trust the estimated time. Yesterday, during the last printing minute, the led was showing 6 hours estimated time..Usually, the wrong estimation is only on the botton and top layers..Apparently, it calculates the height and infill of those layers and multiply to the number of layers..I don´t know..

I have a question: Is it possible to make the move material to retract instead of going forward? I am asking just because I would like to retract a little bit the filament from the nozzle when I turn off the printer. I have a feeling that, in special when changing filament, little pieces and very fine lines of filament stays in the bowden tube and , only after cleaning it, it is possible to get a good printing (with no underextrusion).

thanks,

 

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In the move material menu, spinning the knob moves the filament one direction and spinning the knob the other direction moves the material the other direction. It works for me even when the nozzle is cold last I tested. Although I guess I haven't played with this since I upgraded the firmware to 14.02.

Also I believe if you print with ulticode, I think the last thing the um2 does at the end of the print is retract. At least it seems like it.

 

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just tried the move retracting and it works.

I want to try to retract more than the ulticode is doing. I don´t know why, but my printer clogs much more on the bowden tube. I always check the nozzle and it is clean, but any piece of melted filament in the bowden and the underextrusion starts .. at this point I have the feeder problems like other users complains. As soon as I clean the tube, all problems are gone.

 

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Hi Mario

Rectraction is to pull the filament backwards but didn´t quite understand why you want to retract more. Because of clogs? underextrusion?

You can go to the UM2 menu and change the retraction speed and retraction lenght.

I changed my UM2 rear http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/4319-prints-quality-improvements/page-2, and it was a big improvement, but stiil underextrusion at higher speeds. What is your speed and temp?

When change ABS to PLA maybe you want to clean the material feeder (and Bowden tube if dirty) since some times there is some ABS pieces that can cause clogs and underextrusion

 

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any piece of melted filament in the bowden and the underextrusion starts

I don't understand how melted filament gets into the bowden. Could you explain further? This sounds interesting. Maybe a picture next time it happens?

 

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I only use PLA and I already changed the retraction settings.

this is a Desperate tentative: I just want to try to keep the filament toe out of the nozzle when the printer is off and check what happens.

when the tube is clean, I printed at 210, 220, 230 temp in combination with 35,45,55 mm/s and got very nice results. As soon as I change material on the next day and a little piece of filament is on the tube, the underextrusion and clicking starts again. Clean the tube, and the problem is gone.

 

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Often when I change filament it won't extrude at all - nothing happens. So I retract about 3mm and then insert again (using move material) and then all is fine! Clearly it is getting caught on something deep inside the head where I can't see. Could this be what happened to you?

Some people have this worse than me. They solved it by always filing/cutting the tip of the filament on 4 sides so that it is pointy and won't get stuck on the way to the nozzle tip. I'm too lazy to try that.

 

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I am sure melted lfilament gets in the tube. sometimes, a little ball stays in the middle of the tube and a fine line goes all the way back to the feeder side of the tube . When you insert the new filament it does not reach the nozzle, or seems like I am using a 3mm filament (but I am just using 2.85mm measured filament). Next time, I will take some pictures .

 

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What temperature is the bowden? Are you in a very hot environment? In the hot sun maybe? Please - this is very interesting. PLA gets soft around 50C which I think is too hot for humans to breath. Maybe your printer is completely enclosed? (heated chamber)?

 

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I had one of those when I first received the printer, I had to drive the filament back and forth a few times to load filament for the first time. I assumed it was just the soft PLA in the head being pulled out half way. Usually it gets dragged out all the way but sometimes it gets hung up a bit on the way and snaps off.

 

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I don´t think temperatures are reaching 50 degrees, but This is considered the hottest summer in Sao paulo state since 1943. Temperatures are around 35-36 celcius (highs).Also, it is very dry.

When I have the problem, usually, I release the nozzle, check if it not clogged and then, without putting the nozzle back in place, I just simulate changing material 1-2 times until the little pieces comes out and I realize the filament flow is normal.

Following, I put the nozzle back in place and the extrusion is perfect.

 

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