Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
Sign in to follow this  
lord-devil

Want to order an UM2 - but I have a few questions...

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone :)

First off, I am relatively new to 3d printing. While I have followed the ongoing happenings in this sector, I never 3d printed myself. However I have read a lot of books and got a lot of information from the internet... so I finally want to start myself and buy a 3d printer.

That lead me to the Ultimaker 2 - since I myself am no real tinkerer... I waited for a machine that would be customer friendly and easy to maintain. It looks like the UM2 mostly fullfills this.

I have also read through several other devices in this price range, from makerbot to zortrax and other closed systems but it appears to me that UM2 fits me best.

Still there are a few gripes that stop me from finally clicking the Buy button... :)!

I have read that there are several problems with underextrusion as well as some other minor gripes - from what I hear every popular product is facing issues.

But will it be easy for a beginner to do the maintance yourself - I mean, its a lot of money to spend here and who wants to send it back and force just to fix a clogged nozzle etc... So I wonder how much knowledge you need to do basic tasks? How user friendly are those printers by now?

And regarding a few of the current issues a few people are facing, are most of those issues fixed by now? So when joining the long queue of shipment can you expect to get a brand new product from the latest revision?

In closing I wonder what would be the best filament to order for the UM2 - the one from the ultimaker or are there better ones out there like colorfabbs etc.?

Thanks in advance for your help, kind regards,

Oliver

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Oliver, and welcome.

Tthe UM2 is carefully designed, and based on a many years experience with trying to get the best possible 3D printing results - and arguably that shows in the great prints that it can make. But it's not, fundamentally, a desperately complicated machine. Many of the parts are off-the-shelf hardware like motors and belts. A few are custom made - such as the nozzle block - but still not desperately complicated.

In the event that you did have a problem with your machine, there's a very good chance that you'll be able to take care of it yourself, with just some basic skills, like knowing how to wield a screwdriver. One of the big advantages that UM has is this great forum where there are a lot of experienced users ready to help out. So, if you do have problems, you should be able to quickly find the information and advice that you need right here.

Some users have had problems - perhaps most noticeably with under-extrusion - but equally, a lot of users haven't really had a problem at all. I don't work for Ultimaker, so I have limited knowledge of the issues - but as a moderator, I do have a little bit more access. I've tested a bunch of printers personally, and not seen any problems. I do know that Ultimaker is well aware of the issue though, and approaching it from several angles: I can't speak for them, but once they figure out the fix, I fully expect they'll make sure all their existing customers are taken care of. If you order now, there will be a bit of a wait, so I imagine that there's a good chance that by the time yours arrives the problem will be fixed for everyone. Most importantly UM does stand behind their products strongly, and I'm confident they'll take care of any issues for you. But, equally, there's a good chance you won't have any real issues, and you'll just get a great printer!

Regarding filament... hmm. Personally, I wouldn't bother with official UM filament. I'm just not convinced that it's anything amazing. Lots of people buy it and use it - perhaps because they see it as the 'official' filament. But in my experience, while it's not bad, it's also nothing too special - and frankly, I think UM has been too busy lately putting a lot of effort into their printers, and not had a lot of time to focus on the materials side of things. Personally I'd look at Faberdashery filament (which I've gotten stunning results with - it's a bit pricey, but prints great). Colorfabb is another option that is well regarded, and doing some innovative things. Diamond Age is another option - available in the US via Printbl. A lot of it may come down to where you are located - where is that? (Please add it to your profile). One thing I would strongly advise is to stick with well-regarded big name manufacturers, and not buy off Amazon, eBay, or random cheapo webstores, based on price alone. Compared to the cost of the printer, and the time that it takes to print things, even expensive filament is comparatively cheap. Don't waste time and money on cheap stuff that ultimately causes more problems.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The UM2 itself is very easy to use. Sure, you can have an occasional problem with media getting stuck - as with any printer, but actually it's quite rare and anyone with eyes and ears and a bit of intuition can easily see where the problem is and correct it.

IMHO, the UM2 is so good that you needn't even think about it. Your real problem is to find 3D design software that suits you and the kind of work you want to do, and that you can afford. The printer is a big expensive paperweight without that. See other threads for discussion of good candidates. And in case you have the same misapprehension that I had: the Cura software that goes with the printer is responsible for rendering a design on the printer - you need other software if you want to create your own 3D designs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People seem to have ordered from printbl recently I gather from other posts.

No matter what printer you get you are going to have issues. But usually UM doesn't get upset if you open up your printer and fiddle with it - even though that should break your warranty it doesn't seem to happen in practice. The issue isn't that the printer is complex - if you can read and write and take photos you can fix anything that breaks on your printer. The problem is fear. Fear of taking off the bottom cover or whatever. Or fear of failure. The difficulty isn't technical - it's fear of breaking something. Once you are over that fear, fixing anything that breaks isn't a big deal.

These printers (all FDM printers) aren't plug and play - none of them. You are going to have issues with levelling the bed, how to tune some settings to make prints come out better. You are going to have to learn about support and overhangs and shrinkage, but you probably will *not* have to fix anything and if you do it won't be a big deal. Unless your fear turns some simple thing into a big deal.

People in this forum are biased towards UM of course...

Everyone I have spoken to at 3d printer shows who own both UM and competitors (usually makerbot but not always!) say UM is much better than anything else out there but... I think they are biased also, lol!

According to this poll here:

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/4586-can-your-um2-printer-achieve-10mm3s-test-it-here/

Very few people actually have extrusion problems. It's just 4 people left who still have some issues and at least 16 who are fine. I'm sure there are a couple others with problems and hundreds of others with no issues. There are new feeder designs out there that you can print but I'm quite happy with my UM2 right now. No need to print up a replacement feeder.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just 4 people left who still have some issues and at least 16 who are fine. I'm sure there are a couple others with problems and hundreds of others with no issues. There are new feeder designs out there that you can print but I'm quite happy with my UM2 right now. No need to print up a replacement feeder.

 

Actually I should be taken off the bad extrusion list in that poll and moved to the "no problem" section. Since I fitted the new nozzle that Ultimaker kindly sent me, the extrusion has been perfect.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there and thanks for the heads up.

Well I am not too worried for doing some maintance myself, I am a bit more worried of fixing common stuff that sooner or later will be happening but is difficult to do. E.g. I heard that fixing a clogged nozzle can be dangerous, because removing the bowden tube or changing the nozzle can be a pain (I never liked to work with bowden mechanism - e.g. bicycle brakes etc.) - I wonder why those things can't be easily replaced, if those issues are not avoidable?

I would really love to try printing with woodfill too etc. - but I heard you are facing high risks of a jam... so without being able to easily replace nozzles, I am afraid of damaging something in the process...

Thats basically the biggest gripe I have, before finally investing into a brand new UM2 :)

@EldRick: I know that the cura software is only for slicing and I am not afraid of doing some 3d work on todays programs - since I have already used Autodesk 3D studio student edition a long time ago... so thats no problem :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Devil. I was in exactly the same position as you a month or two ago.. i managed to convince myself to buy the UM2 and I am sooo glad i did. I have had a few issues yes, but nothing major and nothing that this forum and its wealth of knowledge and helpfulness cannot fix. Each day that I play and use the printer.. the more I learn..and the less worried I become that I may BUST something :p

I dont think you`d regret it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well to be true I was already close to ordering... when I came across the ProDesk3D Printer... it was total coincidence, because this printer received a lot of "this must be scam" etc., also its propriety and it was getting very silent after the announcement - maybe some of you know it already.

However a few days ago I found out that one of the few distributors around the globe was sitting in near me - so I immeadently contacted him and he was very friendly - explaining that he was getting the first batch himself within the next few days and that he is also very exciting on how it will work out. So he will keep me updated on the happenings.

I myself am a bit sceptical too, but for now it looks very promising - surely its much more expensive than ultimaker, but hey its full 3D and plug and play - at least its worth to check it out.

I'll keep you updated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And one other thing I forgot to mention, 1 thing you will not find in any review is reliability.

Any printer can have the best specs in the world, but if only 1 out of 15 prints come out successfully you still have

a shitty printer ;).. I do not mean that in regard of the ProDesk3D Printer specific, but in any comparisons in general.

And service. You will probably run into some kind of difficulty with your printer.. that is most likely bound to happen.

What you want to figure out is, what will happen then. Will you be left out in the dark or will the community and Ultimaker (or a different manufacturer) help you out? That is information you want to find out, and best way is to look for first hand experience. IMHO.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay I totally agree with you guys here... without support etc. you are really left in the dark in case of problems - which should sooner or later occur. That's also why I like this place here... most probably the best community regarding 3d printers :)

Its just that they claim that their product comes with out the need for fiddling yourself with the machine (which would be a big plus). And it looks very promising as you can even get an optional 48h on-site replace service for 1 year... that sounds too good to be true though... ^^

So for now I really don't know... promising is one thing, but delivering the other ;)

Well I keep you updated on my findings as I stay in direct contact with their distributor here. He also said that we need to wait now for the machines to appear (which should be any day now) on the market to see if they can backup their claims.

P.S. Oh and yes I wanted to say full color, not 3D.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and yes true... the filaments it costier (around 5 times!!). It seems you are also limited to their PLA filaments only (no ABS yet). And we even don't know its quality as of yet. I would have loved to also try different filaments like woodfill etc., even though those filaments don't seem to be ready for prime time.

It's just that the full color printing, automatic support material filament, local nearby distributor and plug and play features are just very tempting...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh thát printer, yes I have read about it :)

Exactly as you said, there was a lot of buzz around it and I am very curious to see what parts of it they can actually deliver.

But don't let the full color fool you, as you can see on their samples they color changes are only over the entire Z axis.

For example, if you wanted to print a chess board standing up (best example I can think of right now) I don't think that would be possible as it would require you to swap color several times in one layer. (Does this make sense to anyone?)

In regard of your filaments, they do claim to have ABS: ' ABS supported with additional cartridges (not included in standard package) '

I think a part of the buzz was that a lot of their https://botobjects.com/latest-updates look like renderings. What is anyones thought on this?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay I know the color will most probably only change inbetween layers and there only in gradients!?... That is truly limiting your options - still you would be able to create a much more diverse work than what you can do now.

Also we still don't know the technology yet so wheter it would be possible or not. I guess it all depends on their software. However technically I can't think that would ever work e.g. printing details on a layer... the color changes would required to be as fast as a normal 2d printer - something which may not be possible by melting filament "on the fly"...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I just got access to their manual and software (actually its now downloadable on their site - all you need to do is registering - I guess its just a bug and so it doesn't require the serial number).

All in all my dream of full color 3d printing is over for now :D Well first off the software is a bit unstable... but the feature regarding coloring is really just a gimmick.... its nothing I would call full color print or be usable for serious prints...

You can only choose up to 6 colors (sure those are completly free to select - thus full color)... then the colors will be automatically sliced onto your loaded object (from bottom to top)... so if you choose 2 colors you get color one on lower and color two on top and a gradient inbetween... if you select 6 colors you get 6 gradient mixes for 6 colors automatically placed from bottom to top... ! However you can't change anything else from the colors - there is no way to make specific layers in specific color nor change the way how those 6 colors are placed onto the object - its always automatically placed and simply divided by 1 to 6 gradients...

I would say that's pretty limited and doesn't deserve to be called full color printer? Also since its twice the price of the UM2... I don't think its worth the high filament price. Surely a auto leveling bed and the plug and play features are still cool but not enough to convince me...

Well so it seems I will order my UM2 now ;) - I heard there is 8-10 weeks lead time but a distributor in Europe has several in stock now. Would you buy it there... or would you buy it directly from UM2 and wait for their latest batch to get the latest fixes etc.?

Kind regards,

Oliver

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even for the cheap ones it's an expensive investment, so I would be very sceptical about going for an unproven 3D printer. For me it was a tossup between MakerBot and Ultimaker, and in the end I decided that UM had better specs (e.g. it can do ABS) and better local support, e.g. with the Cura software being relatively mature and actively developed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say I'm very impressed by the multi-color printing examples. I'm pretty sure I've seen a YouTube video where a guy got exactly the same effect with a standard single filament printer, by staining sections of a single natural PLA filament and then feeding it into the printer. I have to say that I found even that trick a bit pointless - I guess I'm just not the arty type... :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And in case you have the same misapprehension that I had: the Cura software that goes with the printer is responsible for rendering a design on the printer - you need other software if you want to create your own 3D designs.

 

I'm sorry that that happened. We do not want to give off that illusion.

Note that free software, with free updates, is not always the case. For example, we have Trotec lasercutter at the office. Nice machine, but the software we have is horrible. So, we asked if there was an update. There is, costs 450 euro, and they cannot tell us what has improved...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no need to apologise. That was just as aside: not even a complaint, more of a statement about my level of ignorance at the time.

On the software being free... frankly, I can't imagine any alternative in a tool aimed at the domestic market. If I had been researching the market and learned that I have to pay e2000 for the printer, and then I have to pay another $xxx before it can actually do anything? And maybe another $yyy to get a design capability? I would think I was being ripped off and I'd have moved along to the next manufacturers website.

Trotec can't tell you what's improved? No changelog? I wouldn't have high hopes in that case. Hopefully you have other options.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

Announcements

  • Our picks

    • Architect Design Contest | Vehicles.
      We're open for entries! - Design and submit your 3D designs of architectural entourage - vehicles - for a chance to win a large filament pack. Presenting an idea, an architectural design or something as big as an urban project isn't easy. A scaled model can really help to get your idea across.
        • Like
      • 14 replies
    • What The DfAM?
      I'm Steve Cox, an experienced engineer familiar with 3D printing. I wanted to share some DfAM guidelines with this community to help and make stronger parts.
      I'm also an Autodesk Certified Instructor for Fusion 360, so many of the images in ...
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 18 replies
×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!