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zews

I have yet to create a decent print.

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I have had my new Ultimaker 2 for a bit over a month now, and I have yet to make a decent print, which frustrates me enormously. Almost everything I print includes weird irregular artifacts, that clearly should not be there. I do not know how to get rid of them.

I also have trouble with Cura. On the screen under the "Basic" setting tab there is a section that says "Speed and Temperature", yet my version of Cura does not have any temperature settings, I can only change the speed settings. Why is this so?

I also find it annoying that I get notifications that there is a new version of Cura available, but on the Ultimaker web site I cannot find any release notes for the update. I think I have Cura 14.06.1 installed, since this is the latest dmg file I have on file. The latest release notes on the Ultimaker web site are for version 14.03! It would be nice if Ultimaker would provide release notes.

I cannot even check anywhere which version I have indeed installed. The default for OS X to check for software versions is under the name of the software on the menu bar with a link that says "About". Not so with Cura. There is nothing there. It would be nice if Ultimaker would adhere to the Mac OS X conventions regarding this.

 

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Please post pictures of your print. It's impossible to debug without more information.

Cura for the UM2 does not have a temperature setting as those are on the machine. This is done because the temp settings are material dependant, which the machine should know. If you want to change the temps; you can do this in the 'materials' menu of the machine.

There is a change log in the software, which is shown when a new version is instaled. More people have noted that this isn't easy, so this will probably be changed.

Adhering to the OSX standard is neigh impossible. Especially because they are a bit vague about it themselves and seem to strive to complicate the lives of developers (even going to the point they seem to actively hate developers). I'm not sure how OSX handles this, but your version should be in the title bar.

 

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Thank you for the very quick response! I will post photos, once I have figured out how to do that.

If Cura does not have a temperature setting, why is does that Basic tab have a "Speed and Temperature" section? that is a bit confusing to say the least. I have seen screen shots in this forum from users, where it does indeed have a temperature setting.. Maybe those were form the original Ultimaker printer. Still it is a bit confusing to expect a temperature setting, and then not see it.

You are right, my installed version of Cura is indeed in the title bar. I just never looked there, I am so used to see the version under "About". Thanks for pointing it out.

Could you please post the change log for the latest Cura update somewhere.

 

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Thank you for the very quick response! I will post photos, once I have figured out how to do that.

1) If Cura does not have a temperature setting, why is does that Basic tab have a "Speed and Temperature" section? that is a bit confusing to say the least. I have seen screen shots in this forum from users, where it does indeed have a temperature setting.. Maybe those were form the original Ultimaker printer. Still it is a bit confusing to expect a temperature setting, and then not see it.

You are right, my installed version of Cura is indeed in the title bar. I just never looked there, I am so used to see the version under "About". Thanks for pointing it out.

2) Could you please post the change log for the latest Cura update somewhere.

 

1) The temperature setting is not there for the UM2. It is there for all the other printers. That's why it's called Speed&Temperature. It's a historical thing (and due to the messy code of the Cura GUI currently hard to change)

2) Last few updates have been maintenance releases with mostly UM2 firmware fixes. I have a list of changes somewhere. And the changes are also in the "first time popup". I think Sander also posted the changes on the blog, but forgot to tag them right so they show up.

 

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After uploading to gallery make a new post and click "my media" and add some images to your post. I chose 2. If you post too many questions or too many pictures you won't get all the answers.

The first photo in your post above shows a bottom layer underextruded. This is very easy to fix. The problem is levelling. You need to get a more accurate level to get a better looking bottom (where it touches the glass). I recommend you just turn the screws counter clockwise (from below) 1/4 turn and try again. You have the slightly older version of Cura which comes with a Marlin with several leveling bugs. So you can either get the newer cura or you can just avoid the levelling procedure now that you are very close. The final adjustment is best done by screws alone now.

If you have default settings then the bottom layer is .3mm but if you made it .1mm that will make your levelling accuracy requirement 3X more accurate. So make sure bottom layer is .3mm also. If you level too close then there won't be enough space for all the filament and the extruder will get more and more backed up until it slips and you get zero extrusion for a few seconds. This looks even worse.

Your second photo above (see? I get to choose the photos because you didn't, he he :) )...

That one is much trickier. I'm wondering if maybe you have infill showing through? I guess I'd like to see all your settings. Save your settings to a "profile" file and please post that file here. But basically you want your shell settings *always* to be a multiple of the nozzle width and you need at least 2 passes to not have bumps so set it to .8mm. If it was .4mm then just print as is. If it was already .8 or 1.2mm then try printing 1/2 the speed you printed this.

Printing slower always improves quality.

Get back to us all here and feel free to ask more questions about other stuff.

 

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Actually looking more carefully at image #2 above I think it's underextrusion and not bumps. What speed are you printing at? I would try much slower speed if you want super high quality. I usually print 75-100mm/sec but when I print that fast my parts don't look as good as this. When I want super quality I print slow - 20-35mm/sec. Alternatively you may be printing too slow. What temp is your bed and nozzle? (you can read these off in the tune menu once you start printing).

 

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I think you might just be expecting little bit too much... Especially the second picture looks fine to me. I don't think you'll ever be able to make perfectly even prints with current home 3D printing technology. I've learned to be realistic and live with the uneven surfaces. My customers haven't so far complained....

PS.. the shiny black always looks the worse... this is why I print in bright colours where the little faults are not showing :)

 

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Deepshots the 2nd picture is really not fine:)

The wall is gone at several places. That is something that you definitely do not want.

It should be perfectly avoidable with the correct settings :)

I think gr5 gave some great suggestions to try out.

 

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I would suggest that using the RepRap support and enabling temperature control is a viable alternative to using the ridiculously bad default Material settings on the UM2.

 

Well that is a third way to do it. Zews can choose his own method. I agree that the default material setting is bad so it's best to just fix it - takes a few seconds. Still both of his issues addressed so far (leveling, underextrusion) may be unrelated to his current printing temperatures.

 

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The first photo in your post above shows a bottom layer underextruded. This is very easy to fix. The problem is levelling. You need to get a more accurate level to get a better looking bottom (where it touches the glass). I recommend you just turn the screws counter clockwise (from below) 1/4 turn and try again. You have the slightly older version of Cura which comes with a Marlin with several leveling bugs. So you can either get the newer cura or you can just avoid the levelling procedure now that you are very close. The final adjustment is best done by screws alone now.

 

I have tried to level the build plate so many times it's discouraging. When I first got the printer, the instructions seemed very easy to follow, yet I could not get this right. In fact after my first build plate leveling I thought I had done this so poorly that I thought that the nozzle scratched the glass instead of laying down filament. I later turned out that I was wrong about this, and the what I thought were scratches was in fact very thin filament. I later learned that a bad firmware bug and/or leveling bug in Cura had been to blame for that.

In the photos Knob 1 03 and Knob 2 04 you can clearly see that I still have a leveling issue. The right side of the objects in both photos does not touch the build plate correctly.

 

 

 

Turning the screws COUNTER clockwise does not seem right though. I have done this so many times already, that if I continue to do so, the nuts will come off the screws. To start over, I think I may need to pull the build plate and the thick aluminum plate below it back together a bit, and then start over with the leveling procedure and turning the nuts counter clockwise.

 

I will do the leveling again, and then only print the first couple of millimeters or so of the same object to see if I did it correctly.

 

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I agree that the default material setting is bad so it's best to just fix it - takes a few seconds.

 

However, it "just takes a few seconds" every bloody time you start and restart a print, which is infuriating after the first few hundred times.

Perhaps you or Ultimaker would provide a simple guide to changing the default material settings? Or, just maybe, Daid and Ultimaker could actually update the firmware with settings that work well and don't create support issues?

The material settings are an issue that would take seconds for UM to correct in any Cura update, and would save a lot of posts from unhappy customers - it's hard to understand why UM hasn't addressed it after many months.

 

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If you have default settings then the bottom layer is .3mm but if you made it .1mm that will make your levelling accuracy requirement 3X more accurate. So make sure bottom layer is .3mm also. If you level too close then there won't be enough space for all the filament and the extruder will get more and more backed up until it slips and you get zero extrusion for a few seconds. This looks even worse.

Your second photo above (see? I get to choose the photos because you didn't, he he :) )...

That one is much trickier. I'm wondering if maybe you have infill showing through? I guess I'd like to see all your settings. Save your settings to a "profile" file and please post that file here. But basically you want your shell settings *always* to be a multiple of the nozzle width and you need at least 2 passes to not have bumps so set it to .8mm. If it was .4mm then just print as is. If it was already .8 or 1.2mm then try printing 1/2 the speed you printed this.

Printing slower always improves quality.

 

When I save my profile setting to the clipboard and I look at the "Cura Profile String" I get something that I am sure I should post. Instead I post 3 screen shots of my Cura settings of my last print, which was Knob 2 (BTW, this is a replacement power know for my lathe which broke in half some time ago, and for which I cannot buy a replacement)

 

 

 

As you can see I printed at 50 mm/sec. When I first got the printer I took screen shots of the default settings, and this was the print speed. When I "mouse over" this field it says "A well adjusted Ultimaker can reach 150 mm/s, ...", so I thought 50 mm/s would be reasonable. I don't remember the speed settings for Knob 1, which I tried first and came out worse. Note how the blemish on the outside conforms exactly to the hole in the part. The depth of the hole is 20 mm, the blemish on the outside stops at the depth of the hole.

 

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I would suggest that using the RepRap support and enabling temperature control is a viable alternative to using the ridiculously bad default Material settings on the UM2.

 

 

Well that is a third way to do it. Zews can choose his own method. I agree that the default material setting is bad so it's best to just fix it - takes a few seconds. Still both of his issues addressed so far (leveling, underextrusion) may be unrelated to his current printing temperatures.

 

 

However, it "just takes a few seconds" every bloody time you start and restart a print, which is infuriating after the first few hundred times.

Perhaps you or Ultimaker would provide a simple guide to changing the default material settings? Or, just maybe, Daid and Ultimaker could actually update the firmware with settings that work well and don't create support issues?

The material settings are an issue that would take seconds for UM to correct in any Cura update, and would save a lot of posts from unhappy customers - it's hard to understand why UM hasn't addressed it after many months.

 

Being totally new at this, I must confess that I a bit taken aback by these statements. Of course I assumed, that the various temperature settings for nozzle and build plate for PLA and ABS, were settings I would not have to worry about. In fact I was grateful for Ultimaker to have taken care of this for me. And now I find out that the settings are "ridiculously bad". To say this is disappointing is an understatement.

The temperature settings on my printer are (taken from the LED screen on the printer):

PLA. Nozzle 210C, Build Plate 60C, Fan 100%, Flow 100%

ABS. Nozzle 260C, Build Plate 90C, Fan 50%, Flow 107%

What should the correct settings be?

I agree, that it would be much more convenient to be able to control these settings from within Cura, instead of having to fiddle with them on the printer.

 

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My experience - YMMV.

Most PLA won't print well below 220-225C - some PLA needs as high as 230-232C. 60C is OK for the Buildplate temp, but most small parts will print well with the buildplate at room temperature. (The default used to be 70C, which was too high.) Fan at 100% is often too high, and varies by print - larger prints require less fan.

ABS should print well at 235-245C - depends on brand. 260C is almost always too high. Build plate temp of 100C works better. Generally ABS needs no fan at all, but 10-40% may be needed if overhangs curl up. I don't know why they default to 107% flow for ABS.

As you can see, these are complex issues, and are not readily addressed by a single set of defaults, which is why I choose to ignore the defaults completely and manually set temps/fan/flow for each print.

 

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but here is a problem - I am currently printing a fine print with PLA at 207 for trouble free bridging - when I don't have any bridging and want to go faster I use 220 - these are colorfabb filaments - but every one seems to have a sweet spot.

Across my 2 UM1s there is also a slight difference in reported temp and performance - so again you need to know your machine.

IMHO the temp settings are a starting point and you always need to tune.

Not sure how to avoid this in this emerging technology! (without going to the closed environment of something like the cube).

James

 

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The temperature settings on my printer are (taken from the LED screen on the printer):

PLA. Nozzle 210C, Build Plate 60C, Fan 100%, Flow 100%

 

That's fine. I usually print 220C/60C for nozzle/bed.

You can probably leave the bed at 60C for a year and never touch that. But the nozzle temp varies a lot.

If you are in a rush and want to print something low quality you can print much faster if you print at 240C. But if you want to avoid stringing (not an issue for your knob) you have to lower the temperature to prevent the nozzle from leaking when it is spanning a gap to print some tower or something. But if you lower the temperature now you have to print slower.

 

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Note how the blemish on the outside conforms exactly to the hole in the part.

 

Hmm. Just a coincidence? That's very strange. Maybe there is a slicing issue - I've seen many slicing related bugs but this isn't one I'm familiar with. It's really hard to believe this is a slicing bug but still, knowing the path the head takes can be informative. I'm guessing these spots are where the outer shell starts? Maybe? Seems unlikely though.

Go back to Cura and look at this region of the part in layer view - half way through this "bad" region. Are there movements related to this area? Blue movements? Could you post a screen shot?

I still think if you simply lower the speed to 35mm/sec it will look much better and those tiny holes will disappear.

And regarding leveling - yes you probably need to tighten all 3 screws by about the same amount and do the leveling procedure one last time. Then adjust without the procedure afterwards (just turn screws a little if it's a little low or high while printing skirt - that's half the purpose of a skirt). Once you get leveling perfect you can leave it alone for weeks at a time.

 

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I have redone the leveling procedure, and as you can see in the photo it is a great deal better, but still nowhere near perfect.

 

 

Now I have several new questions.

 

1. Can I get this better, or is this a good as it is going to get.

 

2. If I can get it better, what do I need to do? Do I

a. Try leveling using a metal feeler gauge instead of a piece of paper?

b. Increase the nozzle temperature and/or build platform temperature?

c. Print slower? (This was printed at 50 mm/sec, initial layer thickness .15, bottom layer speed 20 mm/sec)

d. Something else?

 

I still have a couple of other issues which I will post about separately.

 

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One of my original concerns were, which the moderator mentioned, was stringing. Albeit inside the part, while printing the infill, so it was not visible once the part was finished printing. But I wonder if this has something to do with the overall bad a quality of the print because of my bad settings. I first noticed this when I printed the knob part for the first time. I took a photo while I was printing it the second time. It is a bad photo, but you get what I am trying to show.

When I printed the first few millimeters of the part again to check if I had done a good job on leveling the stringing happened again inside the infill.

What causes this, and how can it be avoided.

 

 

 

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