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Do firmware issues correlate with mainboard lots?


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Posted · Do firmware issues correlate with mainboard lots?

Hello everyone.  Happy 2023!


This might be an old idea, but I haven't seen a related thread, so here goes:


I've been following firmware issue discussions for a long time.  My UM3 seems to tolerate firmware updates better than the UM3X does.  As I try to keep the printers matched so I can swap a job between them (very few need the additional height), I ended up rolling both printers back to a very old version and have had no issues since.


The challenge is that Cura is evolving and I wonder if I will soon encounter a time when Cura creates files my older firmware cannot correctly handle.  So I may have to try an upgrade and risk serious disruption - or not.   Many, I would wager most, users of these printers have seamless update experiences.  So what makes certain printers vulnerable and not others?


I ran into a possibly parallel issue working on an industry machine control system bug, where a firmware upgrade introduced unexpected behaviour on 2 out of 60 installations.  100% of the cards were the same spec and these are certified devices, but we traced the issue to a production lot of processors that, for reasons we are still trying to find, had a latent issue that had not presented in firmware levels prior to the latest one.


So I wondered about some of the hard to catch gremlins talked about here.  What is the possibility that certain Ultimaker main boards and/or component lots correlate with certain rare firmware side effects?  Given how well attended this forum is, is it possible at all to map firmware issues to machine or main board serial numbers?


Maybe a silly Sunday night muse.  Thanks for your time and patience reading it...




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    • 3 weeks later...
    Posted · Do firmware issues correlate with mainboard lots?

    I guess you can't rule things out but with the UM3 we didn't have that much variation in hardware suppliers as we've had with the S5, S3 etc (mostly due to Chipageddon). Most bugs we find also don't have that as a cause, and often differences between machines can be cause by settings, a factory reset or (better) doing a clean install from an microSD card can help. But certain things like bed leveling sensor have certainly had a lot of different printhead PCB's in the attempt to make the leveling process better and less vulnerable to ESD. That should move between printers with a swap of the printhead though.

    Cura is not that likely to remove the option to generate UM3 compatible files, I wouldn't worry about that.
    As far as I can remember an UM3 can also print plain gcode files as sliced for an UM2 or a UMO+ while some features like proper estimates of print times will fail, the print should be fine.

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