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jh2014

Should I even try to order UM2 ?

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Do you want the printer? Then yes. And since you're well aware of the time it takes for delivery you don't need to get anxious about it. Win win?

 

I don't see how dealing with a company that doesn't respect its customers is win/win... maybe you could enlighten me?

I've never seen such a non responsive company... reading these threads about non delivery for months and non truthful communication, false promisesm etc... doesn't make me want to give them my business...

It's a pretty shameful way to run a company.

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I can tell you my story -- several weeks ago, my wife and I had finally decided to pull the trigger on buying a printer for our 7-person cable manufacturing business. I had settled on either a UM1 or a UM2. I really wanted to put a UM1 together myself so I'd be able to better understand and hack things, but since this was after all a business tool, it was harder to justify the time it would take me to assemble, test, debug, modify, and finally get the printer the way I wanted it. My wife agreed, and she also liked the looks of the UM2.

So, being in the States, I checked the Maker Shed web site for a UM2: "Out of stock". Ultimaker web site: "8 to 10 weeks". I was feeling about like you probably are right now.

But life finds a way. In my case, I finally realized that the San Francisco Bay Area Maker Faire was coming up in three weeks, and *surely* Maker Shed would have some for sale there... And they did, 30-40 of them. Full story of that escapade is at http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/5787-post-maker-faire-um2s-in-stock-at-maker-shed/.

Maker Shed is still showing them in stock as of today. Shipping cost to the UK should be about 75 GBP.

Worst case, if I had ordered a UM2 from Ultimaker when I first wanted it, I probably would have gotten it about three weeks from now.

In my case the UM2 is well worth it, and this community is where half the value is. In three weeks I've been able to print the parts for a tricky project that would have taken me all summer to machine on my CNC mill. I did run into one bug, but with the help of these folks I was able to figure it out, and because Ultimakers are open source I was able to fix it, build my own firmware, and contribute the fix back via github. My bug fix is coming out in this week's UM2 firmware maintenance release, less than a week after I first found the bug itself. Granted, as I did in buying the printer, I did put some effort into making this bug fix happen, but I doubt I would have had anything like the same good experience with a closed-source printer.

If you're still on the fence, I just noticed that the Paris Maker Faire is coming up in a couple of weeks -- might be a fine excuse for a Eurostar trip. :wink:

Steve

 

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What Steve said and more!

Before I bought my UM1 (I now have 2 :cool: ) I hung out on the fora of the larger printer manufacturers - if you want to see grief go to the Makerbot Gen 5 threads!

I think you will see that 3d printing is a mix of art and science - kind of like getting a great hand tool, but still needing many hours of hands on experience.

With this analogy you could go the route of a really low cost printer to learn all the basic skills - but you will soon hit the capability envelope of the printer. But at the same time, your first few weeks with your new UM printer may also look like pants while you learn the hand skills to use it properly.

I still learn stuff every day - like the vibration of having 2 UMs next to each other can produce interesting artefacts!

Few of the threads that start out angry end up angry because the problems are solved - look at the smart extruder experience of other machines!

Naturally I am biassed as an owner - but then I would also be more critical if I was not getting the results out of my machines - in use everyday.

There are others that come close to the UM (The Lulzbot) but have less developed communities and other drawbacks (moving bed).

Let us know what you decide!

James

 

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I was going to order my first 3D printer... but seeing these threads here is very disconcerting... to say the least.

 

I guess two key questions you should ask yourself are:

1) Do you (or your business) need to rely on your printer?

2) How much are you ready to spend time and money to get around problems?

In my case, I ordered UM2 on December 27. Since then I have been able to use it for about 6 weeks - out of 23 weeks. OK, my math is a bit unfair, as the first 11 weeks I was waiting for the printer to be delivered. After that, I had about 6 weeks with the printer - and it gave me some marvelous results. Now, for the past 6 weeks, the printer has been out of order and I'm waiting for spare parts: http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/5431-thermocouple-failure/

I have dozens of spare time projects and I live in a small country. I'm used to facing blockades with projects, partly because I can't find all possible materials/parts/services locally. So, for me the answer to question #1 is "not really"; therefore I haven't yet bought another 3D printer with another brand.

If I was bored and didn't have lots of other projects, I could fix my UM2 myself, but it would require quite a lot of time and switching to a 3rd party print head. My answer to question #2 is "not so much", which leaves me waiting for Ultimaker to get their act together.

 

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>>> If you're still on the fence, I just noticed that the Paris Maker Faire is coming up in a couple of weeks -- might be a fine excuse for a Eurostar trip. :wink:

<<<

Thanks! Paris sounds like a good idea - I'll also look-up Maker-Shed

 

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>>>I guess two key questions you should ask yourself are:

1) Do you (or your business) need to rely on your printer?

2) How much are you ready to spend time and money to get around problems?

<<<

I'm new and it's for personal use. I want to spend my time learning how to create and print 3D models - not fixing 3D printers.

So, I need a printer that's proven and works out of the box with professional backup and support. I'm happy to pay a higher price for the best machine/support/delivery combo.

I was attracted to the UM2 because of it's speed, precision and quietness.

What alternatives are out there that at least meet or exceed UM2's specs without the delivery or support problems?

 

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You can pay $100K for a printer and still won't necessarily work out of the box. No one makes a "3d printer" the way they make the "2d printers". The 2d printers are very complicated now. Even the ones they give away for free have all kinds of feedback sensors. They all have a camera to watch the paper loading and things like that.

It should not be called "3d printing". It should be called "Additive Manufacturing". It's easier to use than a CNC milling lathe. But at least as hard as learning how to use a sewing machine. There's definitely a learning curve no matter who you buy from. For now. Wait until HP starts making millions of these every month. Then you will see some serious improvement.

Having said all that the UM2 is a pretty awesome printer. I don't think you can get as good a printer for the money unless you get the UM1 kit and are willing to spend 20 hours assembling.

 

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I want to spend my time learning how to create and print 3D models - not fixing 3D printers. So, I need a printer that's proven and works out of the box with professional backup and support. I'm happy to pay a higher price for the best machine/support/delivery combo. I was attracted to the UM2 because of it's speed, precision and quietness. What alternatives are out there that at least meet or exceed UM2's specs without the delivery or support problems?

 

Your requirements sound pretty similar to mine -- precision, speed, works out of the box, willing to pay more. In my own case, though, I didn't particularly *want* a traditional support organization. As a manufacturer myself, I know the value of personal relationships and active customer involvement in design and debug.

Ultimaker is having some obvious growing pains. Demand is a good problem for them to have. What they haven't done is jack their prices up high enough to throttle their volume back to a manageable level. We can thank them for that, but if I were them, I would increase the list price by 1% a week until they are able to maintain a few weeks' worth of stock (how much stock they maintain depends on how long their own upstream lead times are -- this is all just normal logistics planning math). Then I'd throttle the price dynamically to maintain that stock level. (This is pretty much what we do in our own business. The trick is to get over the traditional mindset of fixed prices.)

As gr5 hints at, these are CNC machines, not printers. When learning how to run a CNC machine, you will always want to understand the inner workings of the machine and the low-level gcode that drives it; by doing so, you will understand better how to design parts to be produced with quality on that machine. This, incidentally, also launches you down that slippery slope of wanting to hack on the machine itself; it's an occupational hazard for most of the CNC machine shop owners I know. :wink:

The only alternative to the UM2 that I know of that's near the same price range and quality would be a MakerBot machine. I used to like them, and thought I'd buy one of their machines someday. But then they got bought, and this sort of thing started: http://www.google.com/search?q=makerbot+patent.

Steve

 

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