Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
SandervG

Company update

Recommended Posts

We are now a few weeks in 2015 and already it has been an amazing experience. After years of growing and expanding, we have made it to one of the worlds biggest Consumer Electronic Shows in Las Vegas where we were one of the big exhibitors in the 3D printing area.

Now that the dust is starting to settle down, we wanted to share some important updates that will shine some light on what 2015 is going to be and some necessary decisions that needed to be made.

// CES recap

If January is in anyway an indication of what 2015 is going to be, we are in for a wild ride!

It was the first year Ultimaker was an exhibitor at CES in Las Vegas and we brought some scoops with us to share with the press, audience and rest of the world. Kicking off the show we launched a new website which is more in sync with Ultimaker’s identity, where its main focus is to be a source of inspiration and enable our community members to tell their stories.

Besides the new website, which will continue being updated in the next few months Ultimaker also launched 2 new 3D printers.

2014 has been an inspiration for Ultimaker, where the Ultimaker 2 got a lot of recognition after being Best in Shootout 2015 by Make Magazine, and being awarded Best Consumer Product in 3D Printshow. This lead the team to expand the Ultimaker 2 family, by launching the mighty mini Ultimaker 2 Go and impeccable Ultimaker 2 Extended. Just like the Ultimaker 2, all the files will be released 6 months after the launch to live up to our open source values.

At our booth we got a lot of attention from various press and industry affiliates who wanted to check out the new members to our family. If you couldn't make it to the show, we made a time-lapse so you get a feeling what it was like. Hopefully we will see you next show!

 

// Dual extrusion

In the breaking dawn of 2015 decision has been made by Ultimaker not to continue developing a dual extruder upgrade for the current Ultimaker 2. It has been a hard decision, because we want to give our users a machine with utmost possibilities and we have been working on it for quite some time. Reasons not to develop the upgrade is the compromise we are forced to make in print result. Our users expect and must have an excellent experience, not compromising the print quality that we have set as a standard for the industry. Upgrading the existing configuration will result in disappointment in print results.

First of all, when printing with two nozzles, it often occurs that the print is knocked over by the unused second nozzle. In other occasions the second nozzle is scratching the print so that the end result doesn't have the Ultimaker surface quality we have come to love. Even our own engineers within R&D have removed the second nozzle due to these results. We cannot introduce a product our own team doesn’t stand by.

Secondly, everyone is expecting a safe, water soluble material as support. However, this is not yet present in the market as a consumer friendly solution. Our Ultimaker 2 is not a DIY kit anymore, it is one of the best machines in just 'hit-and-run'. When people will try anyway, it will be a disappointment for them with a lot of frustration of clogged nozzles.

Thirdly and last, we think the route to a dual material print is not yet as simple as it should be. This will give an overload on our support team, which we will not be able to handle at the moment.

Why this message? We strive to be as open as possible about our progress and create proper expectations. It is important to be honest towards the user, but also towards ourselves.

We have spent countless hours and efforts on this upgrade, unfortunately it has not resulted in a product we want to support.

We continue to work on solutions to make a dual-nozzle configuration work properly, not compromising our standards. In this development we see that there are too many changes to be made to the system, that we cannot make retrofit on the Ultimaker 2. Therefor Ultimaker has decided to put its effort in working on future solutions instead.

Our sincere apologies to all whom we have made a promise to. We must maintain our high standards. That is what Ultimaker stands for.

If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to reach out to us here on the forums or send us an email.

// Warranty

At Ultimaker we feel it is very important to listen to our community and everyone who cares about Ultimaker. While talking to our users we have learned that there where different expectations on our users end in regard of our warranty policy, and there was room for growth. Officially it stated that we have a 3 months policy.

In practice we acted upon a very user friendly attitude and within reasonable terms always put in our effort to help the customer back to 3D printing as soon as possible. With the technology maturing and Ultimaker continuously growing we felt it was time for our warranty policy to grow along with us. That is why from 2015 onwards we have extended our Warranty policy to 1 year!

All our new users will have an official warranty period of 1 year, and we will retrofit this for our current users as well, starting from the printer’s delivery date.

In the new warranty policy there is 1 disclaimer; the hot end is not covered by warranty and is considered to be a consumable. However, we are confident enough to claim that with reasonable use and common sense it should last for several months without problems. From Q2 2015 we will ship every Ultimaker 2 with 2 additional nozzles and 2 additional PTFE teflon parts to assist you in a successful, trouble free printing experience. Customers who already own an Ultimaker can continue to count on our customer friendly attitude. If you have any questions feel free to reach out our support team.

// Spare parts in the US

Starting in just a few weeks our Assembly & Service hub in the USA will expand its services and will start shipping filaments and spare parts directly from Memphis. This means there will be reduced shipping costs and faster delivery times. With our ever growing presence in the USA we feel obliged to improve our service in this part of the world and offering these parts is the first necessary step.

// 3DHUBS Most Wanted

The celebrations around Ultimaker 2 never seem to slow down. The most recent

achievement is by 3D Hubs this time. They went out their way to ask 2,279 certified hubs from their network which printer they’re likely to buy next. It was a close call with our friends from Formlabs but the Ultimaker 2 came out on top with an astonishing 184 votes!

Thank you everyone who is considering Ultimaker, we would love to welcome you all to our community. If you want to read more about this, follow https://www.3dhubs.com/trends link.

// Ultimaker stories

If you are putting your Ultimaker to good use and you feel you have an interesting story to tell, or perhaps you know someone who does, feel free to get in touch with us and it would be our pleasure to help sharing your story with the rest of the world.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad for dual extrusion but it's a very understandable decision. I got a UM2 with that in mind and still don't miss not having it.

Amen to everything else :). Keep up the good work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, quite a big announcement. It's a shame that getting it to work is so hard. I hope you guys have ideas on how to do it in UM3 and ofcourse the kit for UMO(+). Regardless, the decision to ship nozzles and PTFE with UM2's is wise, but what about UMO(+)?

Also I really like the stories! And I hope to keep seeing cool Ulti-evenings with the crew.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what I heard (no offense)

blah blah blah

NO DUAL EXTRUSION

blah blah blah

blah blah blah

I guess I have mud on my face for all the clients that have come to the shop (several of which have gone on to buy their own UM2's) Cuz I'm sitting here telling them "Oh yeah dual extrusion is coming out first quarter of March".

I could go on for pages...

Just upset is all

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cuz I'm sitting here telling them "Oh yeah dual extrusion is coming out first quarter

 

Well they did promise that. And broke their promise. If your friends are upset enough I suspect they can return their printer for a full refund (minus shipping fee maybe?). I'm not promising this but..

Also amongst that "blah blah" is FULL ONE YEAR WARRANTY RETROACTIVE. Which is pretty awesome. Minus the hot end. So if you bought a printer in February last year you are covered for a few more weeks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very disappointed about duel extrusion as that was one of the reasons I bought the UM2 a few months ago. The warranty while nice was always a joke anyway. 3 months on a $3k machine? 1 year is what it always should have been from the get go. Especially when someone can waste weeks just trying to get a response from support.

At least they woke up to providing spare parts with new printers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought as much, there was a real lack of info and updates about the dual setup,

The dual hot end probably needs a new revolutionary reinvention, and we will just have to wait.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very disappointed about duel extrusion as that was one of the reasons I bought the UM2 a few months ago. The warranty while nice was always a joke anyway. 3 months on a $3k machine? 1 year is what it always should have been from the get go. Especially when someone can waste weeks just trying to get a response from support.

At least they woke up to providing spare parts with new printers.

 

don't think the 3 months was even legal in europe ....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"We continue to work on solutions to make a dual-nozzle configuration work properly, not compromising our standards. In this development we see that there are too many changes to be made to the system, that we cannot make retrofit on the Ultimaker 2"

????

What could possibly be so complicated that it will not fit a UM2 ? sure maybe it's a complete new head design... so what, we replace the complete head. If you think it's to complicated for the average "apple consumer" at least consider to bring it out as an experimental, beta, or whatever you call it kit. If you want to protect the average customer bring it out as a UMO+ kit and tell the UM2 users how to install it ;)

At the time the Q1-2015 promise was made I thought you guys had learned a bit already about making fals promises... I was expecting the promise to be based on something real... so yes I'm a bit pissed off now.

It's wise not to bring anything to marked thats not functioning, maybe even to spread the message that you'll have no clue if you will ever succeed in dual extrusion, but to say it will never be available on the UM2 when you don't know what it will be is very disapointing.

With regards to the free spare nozzles .... better throw in a pt100 and heater cartridge as well as many of your customers will damage it the first time they try to exchange their nozzle.... If you really want to help your average customer bring them a block with replaceable nozzle, will probably save a few FTE on support staff in the end...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I'm another very disappointed customer who brought the UM2 for dual extrusion. I'm even more disappointed to see that the work is diched and not put on hold. UM0 took 3 years to get heated bed upgrade. Would be nice if Ultimaker had said that if new improvements in technology and materials came along then work would continue.

I hope ultimaker doesn't turn into one of those companies that just makes new printers to solve issues with there previous ones leaving there existing printers with inherent problems. When I got my UM2 I could see that the UM0 had different upgrade kits available and they promised that they would continue to support all their printers. I was hoping that the dual extrusion kit might have upgraded nozzle design to fix some of its issues. So I hope upgrade kits do come out for UM2 despite the lack of dual extrusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fear you misunderstood the different concepts of the UMO and the UM2. The UMO is a tinkerer machine. That's why it gets upgrade kits and always will. The UM2 on the other hand is a plug-n-print machine for consumers who are anything but not tinkerers. It has a CE conformity. That means the consumer is not allowed to make any changes unless he wants to void that ('safety') label. I guess you could count the numbers of users here in this forum who would be allowed to do upgrades on a UM2 without to void the CE label on one or two hands.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dual extrusion was going to be an upgrade kit wasn't it?

I did understand UM0 was more for tinkerers and UM2 for plug and play but when the said will upgrade to Dual Extrusion I didn't think it was exempt of any upgrades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

don't think the 3 months was even legal in europe ....

 

I believe that the europe requirement is that they cover problems that were discovered upon first using the machine even if they box was finally opened 11 months after delivery. I don't think it's what is normally considered a "warranty".

Anyway I think Ultimaker was already helping people with free replacement parts even well past the 3 month limit where the problem seemed to be their fault. Now it's more a formal promise.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys, thank you for responding.

We totally understand the disappointment, we wished the outcome was different but unfortunately it isn't.

The desire for a beta kit is at this point not an option. The result of our testing and development show that

in the current design a dual extrusion will just not give the quality and experience one might expect from Ultimaker as a user, but also not the experience we want to offer and stand by. Replacing the entire print head will only be a partial solution, and an expensive one for that matter. Issues will continue to be.

It may work around temperature issues, but you would still be looking at for example the second nozzle tipping over your prints and the lack of a proper solvable material. There are materials out there, but for the same reason we aren't releasing dual extrusion, we also do not want to develop it around a material we know will cause problems.

Solving these problems are big, and at this point have lead us to make this decision.

Currently our focus shifts towards future solutions, on a blanc page.

Time will tell where those developments will take us.

Perhaps we will find ourselves in a similar situation just like with the heated bed for the Ultimaker Original.

But at this point we have to face the cold facts that in the current design it is not meeting our standards.

I also want to shine some light on the warranty which has been extended. Just as it is being confirmed in the replies, we have always acted upon our customer friendly attitude and now it is of a formal promise. Of course, we will always remain customer friendly :)

We feel it is an important step in our growth and maturing of the company, just like our expansion in the US by offering the spare parts. This will help a lot of users. We continue to listen to our community and together move forward and raise the bar we set for the industry. That means we have to be honest and live up to our own quality standards.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

at least consider to bring it out as an experimental, beta

 

We might just do that, we've been pondering about limited volume beta kits for certain bits&pieces.

EDIT: This is not about dual extrusion, but other experimental kits that we are thinking about. Apparently I'm not allowed to say anything about dual extrusion at all. As Marketing wants to handle all communication about dual-extrusion. So, from this point on, you won't get any meaningful technical info about dual extrusion.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you shut the door on dual extrusion for UM2, also consider a minor redesign of the head to make it symetrical. Currently users have a less optimal airflow caused by the "design for dual extrusion". Would only be fair at least for new customers, certainly for GO and EXTENDED.

I would not mind paying a few euros for this simple modification.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's actually an solution that needs quite a bit of engineering. Getting new injection molding, testing everything again. We are no longer in the stage that we can just change some laser drawings and release it right away.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We might just do that, we've been pondering about limited volume beta kits for certain bits&pieces.

EDIT: This is not about dual extrusion, but other experimental kits that we are thinking about. Apparently I'm not allowed to say anything about dual extrusion at all. As Marketing wants to handle all communication about dual-extrusion. So, from this point on, you won't get any meaningful technical info about dual extrusion.

:eek: all the signs of a mature company..... marketing going into full damage control mode ..... lets just hope the ban will not be on for to long, as I'm getting curious about the other experimental kits ....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate your thoughtful and open news update.

I know the lack of dual extruding isn't going to be popular news item...but glad you addressed it. Even the person who claimed they had dual extrusion working on their Ultimaker 2 has failed to provide pictures or video to back up their claim. So clearly, its very hard to do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that sucks... I went with the UM2 over the taz with the understanding that I could get the upgraded kits. If there is a beta kit I would purchase it immediately.

That being said, why was luzbot able to pull it off with fairly good results (as far as my searches have turned up) but not UM? Nozzle spacing? Heat issues?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy