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skint

Should Ultimaker designers get involved ?

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I originally posted in Ian`s thread about his work and dedication to improve the feeder system. I think he has done a great job and commend his effort to improve the U2.

I have also read about numerous other designs / improvements submitted by others and fair play to them having a go too! I am sure I may come up with an idea one day to try to benefit the community.

However... as a novice 3D printer user I really have no idea if some of the modifications / hacks that I see bounced around the www are a real benefit or not.

So, considering we pay £2000 for a piece of kit I would like to see some input from the ultimaker team / designers on these modification threads. Open Source is fantastic, and it is this which drives improvement...but again as a new user, I would like to see some comments/input from " ultimaker professionals " before I start to dismantle my £2000 toy and rebuild it with parts found on the web ?

Also, it would be nice for community designers such as Ian to receive some feedback, good or bad, from those who " are in the business ".

Thoughts ?

 

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Hi Skint,

I really wished we had time to test all the ideas that are made in the feeder improvement ideas right now. But the truth is that we simply are quite swarmed with work to test it all. I already have a tough time just keeping up with reading the important threads on the forum.

There is also the thing that not a single solution will fit all uses. For example Ian's design is quite cool looking, works on his setup, but no way you could print any flexible materials with that setup.

I think Geeks design is a quite safe thing to fit instead of the default feeder. It combines the default UM2 feeder with the better adjustable pressure of the UM-Original.

But, I haven't tested them. I do have a normal UM2 feeder on my home machine, with the exception that it is printed. Which works great for me. But 1 data point is hardly a test. We spend many hours printing with the UM2 feeder in printed form before we released it in the UM2. But, the "going to injection molded" part introduced some extra complexities that we did not anticipate, which is why some people are seeing problems how. There was also a problem with the springs in the feeder, the ones that we tested where slightly weaker then the ones that we got shipped for the first batch, causing some feeding issues for some people.

Anyhow, we are here, watching, trying to do our very best. But it's a lot of work.

Cheers,

David

Ultimaker R&D

 

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Hey Daid

Thanks for the response, don't worry we all know and understand the pressure and hectic lives of the ultimaker team at the moment. Success is a good thing to worry about and your all doing a great job!

This is an open source forum so I will always welcome any suggestions put forward by the community.

If we take the feeder development as an example, if would be nice to know, quite early on, if the " Ultimaker team " actually agree that the feeder mechanism could of been a contributing factor to some users problems. Have the ultimaker team already considered a redesign...have you received compaints or feedback regarding this component...etc. If the community knew the answers to these questions, they may be more inclined to spend time/money on helping and making suggestions within this thread development.

You say that the injection moulding stage introduced new issues as did the springs that were installed on early machines. This information could have been placed into the feeder development topic so that users could interpret this info and do with it what they may.

From my point of view, I was merely suggesting that as a new user, I do not have the knowledge about the feeder system to give any constructive advice as to whether or not it is actually a cause to any problems experienced with the U2. If however I knew ultimaker would keep a close eye on these development and be interested in the outcome, then I would be more inclined to offer design input/suggestions knowing that its not a waste of time.

Apologies, I`m ranting on a bit haha.

Over & Out for now.

 

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Oh, you might have missed a bit on the feeder topic, but Harma (our R&D co-ordinator) responded in the topic.

We know the feeder is at least some part of the current problems, and it's surely a place that can be improved. As we never would imagine that we think up the best possible solution.

I also responded by putting the UM2 feeder models online as soon as I had permission.

Harma also regally speaks with Ian on his ideas and what else it coming up in the topic. (But this is invisible to most)

 

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Skint - I haven't experienced any of the problems that Nicolinux has had. He seems to be the only one who has had relatively consistent issues. I don't know if there is anyone else out there who has seen problems as long as Nico did and who have tried as many things as Nico did without "success". Other people are definitely having some trouble. Also I know that the UM2 feeder definitely has a tendency to grind itself to dust and may need to be replaced after a while. But still - overall - it's not clear to me if more than 1% of the printers out there have issues and what the issues are.

My latest theory (it changes every week) is that the filament diameter when you get to the center of the reel is too extreme when passing through the white teflon part in the print head. The fix would be to drill out the white teflon part a little more. I experienced this personally when experimenting with it when I took my head apart 2 days ago. The amount of force needed to get the bent PLA through was - well - extreme. So maybe Nico got to the end of his spool of PLA with the tighter bend radius.

If the community doesn't know what the problem is and if it is prevalent or what even approximate area of the UM2 is causing this problem or if it exists on more than 3 printers... Then why should Ultimaker make an announcement. They are certainly looking hard at improving the feeder right now. But that might not fix any of the problems people have seen so far. So I'm not sure what you expect from them at this time.

My UM2 works great so far. It exceeds my expectations.

 

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Hey gr5, I have done some basic measurements on filament ( very basic as I only have two types ) and I did not find much fluctuation in filament diameter, either at the ends or in the centre of the real. I am seeing a fairly consistent 2.85 - 2.95 diameter. This is with Ultimaker blue as supplied with the printer. I did notice quite a few small notches ( tiny ) along a length of the filament though, but doubt this effects anything. Filament falling of the reel and twisting IS a bugger though and once the filament bends and twists its a nightmare to set it straight :p

I am not expecting anything from ultimaker, just merely pointing out that a little more involvement, mainly within the modification and hack section, wouldn`t be a bad thing. Touch wood so far, like you, my um2 doesnt seem to be having any faults, especially to the level of poor old nicos, but I may not have pushed the machine much compared to others. I hope he gets it resolved!

 

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Can one assume that one`s warranty would be void if one was found to be "tinkering" with ones machine ? lol

 

Kinda depends, if you drill extra holes and then complain that your machine has holes....

But if you do a reversible change, no harm done really.

 

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gr5 was referring to the coiling diameter rather than the diameter of the actual filament.

 

Oh I see, so the smaller O/D of the complete roll of filament causes a tighter bend radii upon entry to the feeder. Makes sense. Thanks for clarifying. I will keep an eye on that too.

 

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Poor old Nicolinux here :p

I did (unintentionally) test the theory with a half empty spool because I change filament quite often - no difference.

My UM2 is now on its way to the mothership (UM offered to replace it). So here you have it. Another example for community involvement and use friendliness. Sander (from UM support) was up to date with my monster thread about underextrusion. He also offered to send me replacement parts on several occasions. So far I can't complain. The sympathy is mutual. I tried everything in order to avoid the (costly) printer replacement process. And they (and the community) tried everything to help me get to the bottom of the problem. We all failed and I hope my old printer burns in hell, but all in all I won't remember it as a bad experience.

 

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