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steel_neuron

Should Ultimaker Original be my first printer?

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Hello SeeMeCNC Forum! Nice to meet you.

I'm an electronics engineer (recently graduated) and I'm planning to get into 3D printing in a big way. I'm currently reading on different models, trying to decide which should be my first 3D printer, with a budget of 1000 euro (roughly 1400 USD).

So far I got it down to three models. I'm trying to decide between the Rostock MAX V2, the Ditto + by Tinkerine, and the Ultimaker Original. They three are within my price range, they are kits (which is a plus for me, as I enjoy the challenge of building it myself, plus future moddability) and seem to be well regarded by the community. I'm having a hard time deciding which one to choose as my final pick, though. I don't care much about speed, but I'd like to strike a good balance between a reasonably big printing volume, good resolution, and reliability (I wouldn't like to have many prints failing mid-job as I typically won't be around to oversee it).

I decided to make an account in the forum of each of the three makers (although I'm not sure if Tinkerine has one) and ask for opinions on which one I should choose. I realize there might be a conflict of interests and that most people here will probably lean towards the Ultimaker, but it's okay, you can go ahead and convince me! I would appreciate an unbiased point of view though :).

I don't know much about 3D printing yet, but so far this is the mini list of pros and cons that I put together. Please correct them if I'm wrong!:

Ultimaker Original

A lot of people swear for the Ultimaker Original and it seems to be pretty established. My main concern with it is that it's a couple years old, and seeing how fast this technology advances, maybe it's not the best idea to go with a product that might be slightly outdated. However, It seems to print in good quality, and it has a big presence in Europe so I wouldn't have problems with shipping.

Rostock MAX v2

I'm liking the Rostock MAX V2 because of the big printing area, and because it seems to have high quality despite the low pricetag. I see pictures of it and it looks... Professional. It prints with both ABS and PLA which I like a lot, plus it seems that most of the assembly problems that the Rostock MAX original had have been fixed with the V2 redesign. However, I'm not sure about its resolution and detail (I haven't seen any small, detailed prints with it), and being in Europe I'm not sure if I can find a retailer that won't cost me an arm and a leg in shipping fees. Also, I'm not sure how reliable it is compared to cartesian machines.

Ditto+

I've read good things about the Ditto+, but it seems like it hasn't been around enough for me to find opinions in forums. It looks to my untrained eyes like an upgrade to the Ultimaker original in the same price range, and seems to strike a good balance of detail and volume. However, it doesn't print ABS out of the box, needing an upgrade for that. The company is Canada based so the retailer issue may be even worse.

Sorry for the long read. That's where I stand right now. Any feedback, corrections, and opinions are very welcome! I will also accept recommendations for other printers, but I'm trying to narrow it down to these three because otherwise I'm going to die of information overload :).

Thank you very much in advance!

 

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The UM Original has changed over the years - it keeps getting improved so it's not really an old design.

It can print ABS if you add sides and a cover and a heated bed. The heated bed upgrade kit is in alpha test right now meaning it exists but you can't yet buy it. It should be out soon. There are great alternatives for a heated bed if you can't wait that long. If you really want to know ask and I'll post a link.

You should also consider that the Ultimaker is all open source - hardware, firmware, and slicer. This doesn't seem important until you have some bug that is driving you crazy and someone else volunteers to fix the bug for you that doesn't even work for Utlimaker.

 

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Hi Pablo,

I've recently purchased an Ultimaker 2 (fully assembled), and am impressed by the quality of the printer, the Cura software, and the resulting prints (as well as the quality of the Ultimaker community). If I specifically wanted to put together a kit, I would have bought the Ultimaker 1 and added the heated bed.

I'm also a member of a maker space which has a Rostock, and while I don't know the details, I do know that they've been messing around with it for a while, trying to get decent quality out of it. My own suspicion is that the deltas, while promising in theory, are usually built too big to be stiff enough for good resolution.

Steve

 

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While I can't speak for the other printers, as a UM original owner, although the machine itself looks and feels a bit retro, the results are by no means outdated. The print results are comparable to UM2 prints (except the ABS thing). And while there has been strides made in the past few years in materials, build and marketability, the core technology hasn't really changed all that much. You can run virtually the exact same print on the UM1 as you can on the UM2.

There has been a ton of advances in Cura though, and UM1 takes advantage of all of that good stuff. So no worries about not being able outdated.

And plus, PLA's not that bad. It smells kinda sweet, starts up in about 2 minutes, no bed heating/cooling time, almost no warping. What's not to like?

The UM's a workhorse, it works reliably, fast, accurate, assembly is easyish, tons of support and experienced users.

http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/2128-new-ultimaker-kit-review-first-samples/?hl=valcrow&do=findComment&comment=14706

http://www.redicubricks.com/

So yeah! UM1! dooooo it!

 

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So I did the same as you for a year and one of the most important things for me was the community that had built around the printer.

MB and UM had WAY the most active and helpful forums (fora?)

But for me the UM had way more demonstrated reliability - like MB did before it went closed source (I think the flashforge is now the nearest).

I have now 2 UM classics and having had one for over 10 months I look at the newer printers and do not find any killer improvements - so bought another one second hand as the only negative is that I never have enough time to print everything :)

Being able to alter the machine to do what you want is a real plus for me - I mainly play with nozzle size and build platforms etc. I will put a heated bed on the second when I get time, but have not so far needed to as PLA is still delivering what I want. (funny how no matter what experimental filament I buy I switch back to PLA)

I think Nylon will be useful so I am thinking heated bed, but also have Bridge which I think may not need it.

I am continually stunned at what a cranky looking lash-up can print - but then realise that the thought and engineering that went into the design is really good - and the 'look' is deceptive - these are really industrial machines.

Sure they break, need tinkering, need skill, tips, technique - but so do all my high end industrial machines - which is the difference between a craftsman and a bodger :)

So I was not biassed at the beginning but chose UM classic and AM now completely biassed :)

James

 

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