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I want to purchase UM2 and I need your help!

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I am working in a lab where we decided to purchase 3D printer to speed up our prototyping work. After doing some research I came to conclusion that UM2 is the best solution in our price range. So now I need your help to form an order.

My questions are:

1) What additional spare parts should I order? For example additional Ultimaker 2: Nozzle + heaterblock? Basically I want to stock spare parts which are most likely to fail in Ultimaker 2 so I dont need to wait for replacement.

2) What filaments should I choose? Since I do a lot of prototyping work my main requirement for printed parts would be precision and hardness. I have found a lot of information about ABS being harder material in comparison to PLA, but ABS also suffers greatly from shrinkage. I think I can combat shrinkage with some overscaling and trial&error. Or maybe there are some other types or filament material which would match my requirements better?

3) Since I am completely new to 3D printing what else should I consider before purchase? Maybe there are some additional finishing tools which would increase the quality of printed parts? What about https://www.ultimaker.com/products/blue-tape-3m-scotch?

Thanks in advance!


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I would advice to start with PLA, as it's the most easy and clean material to work with. Maybe later you can try Colorfabb XT. You don't need many special tools, just a decent set of torx screwdrivers (think you need at least a T5 and T8) for dismanteling the heating unit.

For spare parts it's depending on how bad it is to not have your machine available... for normal use I would say just buy the "hot end pack" and maybe a few extra "PTFE couplers".

If you really can't affort any downtime you'll have to buy 2 machines ;)

In general the printer is easy to take appart and maintain, it's a big plus for the Ultimaker compared to many other machines.

and about the blue tape, you dont need it IMHO;



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I have done quite a lot of prototyping an production of small series of components for the lab where I work.

I only use ABS, here are some reasons why:

- The maximum operating temperature of PLA is a bit low for engineering purposes.

- PLA is a rare plastic outside the 3D-printing community. ABS is well known, which makes it easier to convince people that the printed components are just as good as injection molded things (I usually mention that LEGO is made form ABS)

- The reliability of my printer has been much higher with ABS. I had lots of issues with random underextrusion with PLA while ABS simply never causes me any trouble. It might just be something with my printer though.

- The shrinkage of ABS it a minor problem in my case, since I almost exclusively print small things (less than 100mm diameter and 40mm height). I also generally end up printing a prototype which I then measure carefully to adjust the dimensions for shrinkage in the final print.

- I am experimenting with manufacturing custom filaments and ABS is much easier than PLA to extrude into a nice filament with a cheap extruder.

If you intend to print large objects which will not be subjected to high temperatures, PLA is a good choice though.

ABS it tricky when printing larger things. To get a good result you have to think about how shrinking will affect the component when designing it.

What typically does not work with ABS is to print a large box with high walls, sharp corners and solid bottom.

I don't use my printer for such things though since I consider 3D-printing not the preferred technique for manufacturing a box.

But if you intend to print boxes, go for PLA :smile:


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