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Pondering on a switch from Makerbot

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Hi!

I got into 3D printing at the beginning of May of this year with the 5th Gen Makerbot.

To my disappointment, it didn't meet a lot of my expectation. Looking at the 3D printing community from the outside, the Replicator was the printer to buy. I was completely hooked.

However, after two months, four clogged extruders and one printer repair, I'm done wasting my time. I'm currently in the midst of talking to them about returning the printer.

I was about to give up on the hobby all together but I found Ultimaker and this community.

My question is this: is 3D printing supposed to be as difficult as I experienced it? Not only did my extruder would clog consistently, I had many homing errors, retraction optimization issues, lack of dimensional accuracy of the prints, warping issues and bed adhesion issues.

I enjoy tinkering and figuring out why things are going wrong, but I have a limit. I understand there will be hick-ups but I just refuse to believe it's this complicated. I'm not necessarily a patient man, just so we're clear.

So please let me know the experience that you guys have had with 3D printing. This community sounds great, and the printer itself seems so much more focused on 3D printing itself (I always wondered why I needed a onboard camera...). I went nuts over a 0.1 resolution so a 0.02 just seems out of this world to me.

Thank you in advance!

 

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Realistically, and others might disagree, I view 3D printing as still in the hobbyist realm. Meaning that if you expect a consumer experience where you just "push print", we aren't there yet.

Many of these things:

clogs, homing errors, retraction optimization issues, lack of dimensional accuracy of the prints, warping issues and bed adhesion issues are simply the nature of the hobby-ness of 3D printing at this point.

Things are relative and even with the hobby limitations, I think the satisfaction with a 3D printer will be largely based on how often problems happens. UM1 & UM2s have all those problems/limitation and anyone that tells you otherwise is full of it. However, once you figure it out, UM1&UM2s can work well. That might be true of a makerbot too.

However, somethings will always be an issue at this point. Accuracy, warping and adhesion are always going to be a concern with thermoplastics because they shrink when they cool and worse yet, they shrink differently depending on the batch, color, shape, temp and cooling rate.

All I can tell you is UMs can be made to work within their limitations and work well. When you have problems with them and you will, there are a lot of knowledgeable people here that will help.

 

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I am just going to add a little more, by suggesting that Ultimaker have done a fantastic job with both the development of their software, their hardware and importantly this community. If you are using the 3D printer for hobby projects with normal use, then all of the problems mentioned above will happen yes, but with a little TLC and patience you can get the UM2 working flawlessly.

I may just be a lucky one, but even though I read everywhere about feeder issues, underextrusion, adhesion problems bla bla bla, so far my UM2 is doing a great job! I am using NO modifications to feeder systems or extruders. Yes there are a few tricks that I have learnt along they way, this community is priceless. But honestly, I think the UM2 kicks ass on the competition at the moment!

Loves ya x

:)

 

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Whatever anyone says; the 'low' end FDM printing (such as Ultimakers & makerbots) are not for everyone. A 3D printer is a tool and as such requires knowledge to operate. We are in the process of pouring as much knowledge as possible in the machine, but it is a difficult (and tedious) process.

 

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First off, thank you every one for their feedback.

 

Meaning that if you expect a consumer experience where you just "push print", we aren't there yet.

I understand it is still in the hobbyist's realm. I've done enough research to know this isn't a "push and play" product yet. However, I feel like there could be a difference between the difficulties I experienced and the difficulties everyone else experiences. I'm not saying my problems are of bigger importance than anyone else's. But once the Makerbot Smart Extruder clogged, I wouldn't be able to unclog it because I would lose warranty. That means ten days for my extruder to be replaced.

I found this community because of this

on the lack of rigidity of the printer which is something I did notice. I just thought... it was normal. Apparently, it is not. Do you believe this to be true? That other printers have a better build.

Again, I am new at this but I have done some research and I know this isn't an "easy" hobby to have. But I've made a $3,000 mistake once. I don't want to do it again.

 

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The main thing that made me choose Ultimaker over MakerBot was the fact that it was open source and willing to stay so.

I'm now very glad of my choice as my printer runs very good. Of course i'm having some issues but the great community here helped me a lot and now i'm able to solve my issues (and other new members issues) fast.

When i saw the whole patent stuff going on with thingiverse a couple of weeks ago i was really happy not to be part of that community. Except that i'm pretty sure there are a lot of happy customers with makerbots.

If you're planning to change Ultimaker is a good choice but as said before it will not work without problems by just pressing print :)

 

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I have a UM1 that I built from a kit and then added a self made heated bed.

I've run into problems but have been able to fix them pretty quickly.

I think UM is pretty good about supporting their printers and warranty.

I will warn you that currently UM's support and order fulfillment process is HORRIBLE. I believe they will always eventually do right by the customer but you usually need to really push them to get an order completed and shipped.

 

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I think the big difference is you have to send stuff in to get it fixed... I think that's kind of unacceptable with the nature of these machines.

While my UMs aren't free from issues, they have all been fixable by me with the help of the folks here. I don't want to even think about the astronomical cost of sending it in to get it fixed.

The UM2 is pretty close to plug and play.. I've had some extrusion issues in the beginning, but now I just plug in my card select the file and come check on it about 10 minutes in and it's usually humming along nicely.

 

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>But once the Makerbot Smart Extruder clogged, I wouldn't be able to unclog it because I would lose warranty.

On the UM Original we sometimes have the issue that a transistor "blows". Which means the fan stops working, or is on all the time. The normal response from the support staff is asking if you are willing to replace it yourself, which means soldering on the board. That's how far support goes at Ultimaker. Trying to find the best solution for everyone.

(Note, if you want to spend less money, the UM Original kit is still a great machine, and doesn't under-do it for the UM2 except on a few looks and usability fronts)

 

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The normal response from the support staff is asking if you are willing to replace it yourself, which means soldering on the board. That's how far support goes at Ultimaker. Trying to find the best solution for everyone.

 

Just clarifying a bit here. Reading this it might sound like "you either fix it yourself or you're out of luck" if you read it the wrong way which of course isn't what daid means. What he means is that Ultimaker will allow you to do "scary" things like soldering on their electronics if you're up to it, which very very few companies would allow. But of course, if you are not willing to do that they will help you get it fixed.

 

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I started with the UM1 kit and I am happy with it. To reduce the cost of entry, you should consider it as long as you have the skills to assemble it. Otherwise, like for someone selling an assembled UM1.

I think functionally and performance wise the UM1 and UM2 are very close. The UM1 is missing the heated bed which is can be added/built by you or you can wait for UM to release the HB kit for the UM1 which is rumored to be soon.

 

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Just my 2 cents here. Makerbot makes great idea products, but their support is junk, quality lacks and their customer service is junk.

Now, to further explain and clarify.. makerbot essentially stole the communities HARD WORK. Everyone putting in their research and development to make reprap and mightyboard and so on. Makerbot took the mightyboard that was 100% functional and working awesome. They took that added a few things like laser output and some other stuff and close sourced it. Meaning no pinouts, traces and you can't diy anything on their products. They closed sourced their boards and printers YET up untill a year ago they were still silk screening the board with Open Hardware and Open Software logo. Total conflict, and illegal in the lines of OHOS / OSOH.. I had emailed makerbot and had a conversation and of course they tried pressuring me to buy their product. I took a few weeks to gather my facts and information and responded. When I replied my 2 complaints about and reasons for not buying is you can't tinker with their printers, and the fact they are closed sourced. I then added how I don't agree with the way they took the communities work. Essentially stole it then close sourced it. I went on and explained in depth. His response was "well, if you have moral reasons against using a makerbot, then I don't know what to tell you!". He acknowledged they took the hard work of others and now put their name on their OHOS which all they did was change the layout of the board and add a few things.

Ultimaker is a great setup. Pricey but worth it. If you want great support go to ultimaker. Their quality is sky high, and reliability is awesome. Plus it's upgradeable, hackable and you can add stuff to it.

I don't own an ultimaker yet, but i have used my friends who has 3. I have 2 replicator clones (FlashForge Creator Pros) which have been great. Had a few issues with cheap Chinese parts and junk wiring and bad baord. Of course their support is junk too, and they give vague replies and mostly won't answer any technical isues. Plus if a part breaks it's a hassle to get replacements. I also have a Geeetech Prusa i3. It was a pike of junk. PSU caught fire, main control board caught fire, Too many broken parts. They sent a PSU to me labeled 350 watt. When it burned up and smoked I pulled it apart. It was only a 200 watt that they put a sticker on. I have totally rebuilt the entire prusa i3 and redesigned the extruder setup, electronics and it's working great.

To touch again, ultimaker makes great products and has excellent support. As does lulzbot, but if it were me choosing between makerbot and ultimaker, hands down I would say ultimaker. If you asked me between lulzbot and ultimaker I couldn't say as I feel they are both great but I have not used a lulzbot. But they too are open source and hackable.

If your good mechanically and with electronics. You know what you want, you know how to look at other printers goods and bads and combine the best parts, you could build your own printer that would be solid. But you'll be paying for it too. I'd still lean towards ultimaker. If I had it to do.over again, I would have never gotten a flashforge or even the second one, I would have got the ultimaker. Their extruder setup and x and y axis are just awesome. Quality is beautiful too

I know this is probably a way old post. But my 2 cents.. maybe 3.

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As Anon4321 stated, these homing issues, bed adhesions, retractions, even print quality is all part.of a hobby thing. I don't care if you have a 5k machine, you still will have problems. Adhesions can be dealt with and you can find ways to make it work. I have.

It takes time, patience, and experience.. and it doesn't come overnight. I'm still learning! But love manufacturing..

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Two year old thread lol, Boy am i glad i didnt get a makerbot 5th gen, as 2014 was when i got my first um2, my friend talked me out of the mbot5. ill buy a him a pint! I definitely owe him one! I feel sorry for any makerbot 5th gen people out there.

Dont waste your time with closed source hobby 3d printers yet. You'll be be sorry for it!

Is Makerbot still open for business these days or are they shut down? Thats one company that has gone down the toilet. Lol.

Edited by Guest

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