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Posted · Company update

Hi Tottenham,

Thank you for your reply.

We are not saying there will be no upgrade kits for the Ultimaker 2, just not dual extrusion.

To answer your question why Lulzbot does have dual extrusion; you can just look at the reasons why we decided not to continue with the development. Heat issues being one of them.

But for example, they have a completely different print head design, which surely will be of affect.

They decide they do want to support solvable materials we are not fond of, but I also went out to their website to

look at some video's + info, and looking at their

the scarring and oozing is one of the reasons we decided not to continue the development. That is not the experience, nor the quality we want to offer our users.

When we release something like dual extrusion, we don't want to make any compromise in quality and experience.

That is what Ultimaker stands for.

 

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    Posted · Company update

    In the light of dual extrusion.

    The cyclops hotend of E3D is an interesting design. It will eliminate the second nozzle problems. Of cause both materials must melt at the same temperature. It is still experimental so I guess E3D has not yet figured out how to use it well.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    There are a few other manufacturers who have 'dual color', which allows you to print with 2 different colors from the same material. For example, Builder has this feature with a Y conjunction above the hot end where both materials are fed in the same heaterblock. Usually this also results in only a horizontal (gradual) change of color.

    Our goal is to enable dual extrusion, where you can print with 2 different materials. That is where the true potential and empowerment comes in play. Printing in multiple colors becomes interesting when you can go full color, having 2 colors available not that much.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    I think I have to add a side note, on the Cyclops hot end I see that they also change color on a vertical level.

    I guess this does influence the print time severely, and the waste of material, because with each color change you have to move away and change color (extrude any residu) + build up pressure again.

    But yea, there are a few options out there but like I said earlier:

    'When we release something like dual extrusion, we don't want to make any compromise in quality and experience.

    That is what Ultimaker stands for. '

     

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    Posted · Company update

    In my opinion, the standard dual extrusion approach might be a dead end for UM.

    Why?

    Thinking back, besides a compact design UM's brand essence has very much been the typical "UM-style", fast x/y gantry and a small and lightweight print head. UM claims that both features are important for fast and high-qualtity printing. Well, with the UM2 they stepped back a little from "fast" due to other reasons :wink:

    However, I doubt there will ever be a reliable dual or multi-extrusion printhead which you can call small and lightweight. You'll have to double the parts, add some space in-between and some additional mechanics for nozzle lifting. So, following this approach UM would have to say goodbye to some of its core assets.

    If you follow the original UM ideas and want dual extrusion you would have to make the printhead even smaller again and go for a 7-axes system with independently moving heads. While this is mechanically feasible, firmware might be a nightmare. Just think of collision avoidance.

    But just imagine: One head homes front left, one back right and stays there until it's needed. No unnecessary traveling of unused nozzles over the print, no oozing, no knocking down ... even parallel printing would be possible in various cases ...

     

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    Posted · Company update

    There was a project i saw a couple of weeks ago which looks like what you describe:

    http://3dprint.com/26590/dual-parking-extruder/

     

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    Posted · Company update

    UM "simply" has to realize it two-dimensional ...

     

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    Posted · Company update

    UM "simply" has to realize it two-dimensional ...

     

    ah well ... there are still 2 months in Q1-2015 .. :-P

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Ok so no dual printing, disapointed as this was one of the reasons I purchased UM2, but not the only reason.

    The CE conformity in Europe the same for the CF in The US is for the retail purposes, you can make changes that's not a problem depending on the change that would effect the warranty, but the CE etc. is only required if you want to supply it. Re the warranty being extended to 1 year, please check I think all items sold in Europe are covered by a 1 year warranty by law, if in doubt pay by credit card and they will sort it, and I think in the UK electrical items are covered by a 2 year although retailers will try and say it's only 1, again credit card will sort it. (Please correct me if you know the actual laws)

    And items must have been declared as a consumable such as the hot end, in the documentation, if not its a failure under the warranty, and if the are user replaceable, the process of replacement must be documented and not cause damage to other items in the process of replacement if done with due care, and not effect the manufactures warranty if done to the manual.

    I would hope that out of good customer relations UM would also supply existing users with the extra hot end kits too and not just the new purchasers, as we were swayed by the dual head upgrade a bit when purchasing originally.

    The UM2 is a tinkerable machine, after all at some point im going to have to change the belts, and at the same time I'm going to get better quality pulleys.

    If you do have a UM2 please check the LED wires in the top front left corner, mine were rubbing on the pulley, I have pushed it back a bit and may add a drop of glue as if they had worn through then they would short out! I would also suggest UM mod the Z platform with some access holes to be able to access the heater screws without disassembly mine were loose so problems initally with the heated platform.

    OK gripe over, I do think the UM2 is a good machine, yes there are some problems but nothing disasterious yet, some loose screws and such and my UK supplier has been helpful. I do like some of the upgrades on YouMagine and the IRobert feeder mod is the bees knees, now I need a shorter Filament holder on the back (no need for a dual reel holder now!) and my printer is mounted on a lazy Susan for easy all round access.

    I have tried some interesting fillaments from ColorFabb and they have great customer service, (Hoi girls & guys)(try their special filament pack )yet to try an ABS and a flexy.

    Which machine would I recomend to a friend? The UM2, I was critical when I looked around at the London 3D print show last year, also speaking to 3rd party users and most prefered UM mainly having the UMO but highly thought of. If I got another machine I would likely go for a UMO to build myself as an alternate but wouldn't rule out another UM2.

    As engineers remember, "those that don't make mistakes don't make anything!"

    Let's be positive in feedback with UM even on the negative and together we can improve things, who knows that 'lightbulb' moment for a dual extruder upgrade may be only a coffee break away. "Just because it hasn't been done doesnt mean it can't be done".

    Izzy

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    Posted · Company update

    "Those that don't make mistakes don't make anything" Very true, up there with "those who have tidy desks don't do anything" :wink:

    I too was also dissappointed to hear there would be no official dual extruder in the offing. But I completely understand UM's reasons why. As Sander keeps posting "UM is all about the quality of it's prints" and I have high regard for UM in sticking to that ethos, That's something to be very grateful for. Quality is paramount.

    From a personal perspective, it just re-affirms that I made the correct choice in investing my money in (two) of these printers when I was looking for a 3D printer.

    There's been speculative talk of UM2 'upgrades' and on the forums whether third party add ons may eventually be added to the shop. I think that's a great idea. Anders heater block which takes E3D nozzles would be a very welcome addition in my view, amongst a few other bits and pieces.

    The future looks bright :smile:

    Edit: Check out Faberdashery for filament as well. Their PLA is quality.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Quite agree ChrisR,

    UM is a quality product, and they are right in not putting something out that will not work correctly, taking the time to get it right and sticking to their principles. It also great to see other peoples mods to be able to print and try them.

    You can't please everybody all the time, and in engineering you have to be able to take criticism and hopefully use it to build on and improve.

    Thanks for the Faberdashery filament I will look into it, ColorFabb are announcing a new filament next week, will be interesting to see what it is, and if we can get samples.

    To the Guys and Girls at UM, keep up the good work, look forward to meeting you some time for a coffee at some show or other.

    Izzy

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    Posted · Company update

    8th Jan, 2014:

    "Both Ultimakers are upgradable. Ultimaker O receives updates and Ultimaker 2 will go dual extrusion soon!Do you have more Q? :)"

    https://twitter.com/ultimaker/status/420872373517426688

    Yes, I have one. How much money will Ultimaker give back to me now? (Having received my UM2 two weeks ago, specifically choosing to buy UM2 because of the promised dual extrusion upgrade)

    Oh and stop it with the "hit'n'print" propaganda. When I got my UM2 following your manual strictly the boot up wizard was a micrometer from scratching the glass and I had to learn how to do cold pulls the first thing since your test print had clogged the print head.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    First I would like to state I do not have an UM2, but only an UMO+ (actually the plus is self build).

    But reading about the dual extrusion issue with the Um2 I think Ultimaker is not really all it could do.

    First they promised up to some weeks ago that there will be dual extrusion for the um2. So to be fair they should accept returns of machines of users that have bought it recently (even return the shipping costs)

    Second as they have spent such a long time on the dual extrusion they should have documented it ( sure they have) and explain in detail what went wrong (too much heat?, knocking off?) show us some videos, prints etc that would be fair and people would be more sympathetic with the decision if they see the problems ( some clever community guys may even have some ideas to solve the issue, who knows). So far a non technical marketing bla bla ( sorry Sander) has been released. "We care about quality....."

    Third something that I do not like but Ultimaker thinks it is cool is their secretive "Apple-esk" behaviour in terms of developments.

    Why can't you just state: we are developing a new machine with dual extrusion, a 3D scanner or new soluble material a bigger/smaller new printer, a new print head for the UMO, new electronics or whatever. And give regular updates on the progress. Instead every next printshow a lot of hype (costs lots of money I guess), though you could have a continuous hype by just being open. A monthly newsletter from the development team.

    Okay enough rant, as besides the above I am really happy with my UMO+ , dual extrusion is okay but I rarely use it and the final question : are there any ideas to have a better quality UMO dual extrusion ?

    And Finally I have to exclude Daid from my comments as here at least I know from his comments what will happen with Cura. So he would be a good role model for the hardware development team.

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    Posted · Company update

    Thank you for all the replies, we are always open for conversation.

    Izzy, thank you for your kind words and elaborated reply on this topic. There was one remark you made on which

    I explicitly wanted to reply; that we should send out the additional free parts to all of our current users.

    We don't think that is a viable plan for the following reasons; if we would take that road we would very quickly run out of spare parts for those users who actually are in need of the parts. It would also create a lot of unnecessary shipping with accommodating shipping costs, but more importantly like I stated before we have always acted upon a user friendly attitude and this means quite a few users have already benefitted from this arrangement but at the time it was not officially called warranty. Of course, there are those who haven't, and when they reach out for technical support and from documentation we learn they are still on their first hot end, we can always look together for a reasonable & mutual solution. We will always continue to maintain our user friendly attitude.

    I like to see Ultimaker more as a player on the field, instead of a distant corporate entity, and you guys are on our team :)

    @ Troed, we feel the Ultimaker is a printer that can stand its ground, even when it is single extrusion it will still bring a lot of advantages to the table. However if you feel the Ultimaker is of no use to you and you solely wanted to use it for dual extrusion prints feel free to reach out to our support team. We would be happy to work towards a reasonable and mutual solution. The fact that you had some issues when setting up, does not mean it is a benchmark for the entire Ultimaker 2 family.

    @ Greengecko, thank you for your reply. Like I just proposed to Troed, we have no problem to start the conversation with our users who purchased an Ultimaker 2 recently and see no use in it without dual extrusion. We can work together towards a mutual and reasonable solution. But like I said, and what you confirm in your same post, it is still a very solid machine that brings a lot of quality to the table.

    The reasons we gave explaining why we are not continuing with dual extrusion are clear enough I think. I honestly also don't think expressing a vision, which also affected the decision making, is marketing blah blah.

    It is something that motivates everyone who works at Ultimaker and the drive for quality is in the back of every R&D's mind when they are working.

    In a later stage we can see what part of our experience and learning can be shared, so the community can benefit and learn from it. It would suit our open source values. But a decision like this shouldn't be taken lightly so we need to take it into consideration first. Besides that, the reason for not sharing it here and now, is because the intention of this update was not to start a discussion on how to improve our dual extrusion, but to inform our users that it will not be released.

    Why we are not that open about all the developments we are doing, is because we do not want to overload our support team with questions about timetables, etc. It has also been explained in one of the posts above if I am not mistaken..

    Also, it is very well possible that some of our works will never see the light of day.

    But I do understand the desire of the community members who want get involved and want to participate.

    To answer this need, we are going to implement a new section on the website (I don't know yet when exactly) that will be aimed at collaborating on a selection of current developments or suggestions by you guys. (sharing this, is a great example of not being apple-esk eh? ;))

    If you need tips on how to improve your dual extrusion I would like to suggest to start this in a different topic.

    We already have quite a few dual extrusion http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/3803-ultimaker-2-dual-extrusion/page-11, plus improving print quality http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/forum/48-the-art-of-printing/.

    Thank you all for taking the time to respond.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Printing in multiple colors becomes interesting when you can go full color, having 2 colors available not that much.

     

    Which reminds me:

    Spectrom to bring full-color 3D printing to a desktop near you

     

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    Posted · Company update

    I have to say that when I came across this I was very disappointed for two reasons:

    1) I bought the Ultimaker with dual-head printing in mind (not as the main reason, of course, but because I expected to have it added on later at a price)

    2) I would have missed this entirely had I not come across a mention of this as an aside in an entirely different thread. This is a major decision, and I would have expected to have received an email to that effect, at the very least.

    It would be wise of Ultimaker to learn a lesson from this: do not promise anything you cannot deliver same-day. So, if you do not have a perfectly functioning dual-head UM2 in your labs, don't market your printer saying that it is dual-head upgradeable at some point in the future, because now you have lost a great deal of credibility with just about everyone.

    You have to look at it in this way. Your unique selling point for the UM2 is the quality/speed combination. There are printers that can print as quick, and there are printers that can print as well, but not both. Certainly not for the same kind of money. Backing all this is your openness and commitment to behaving in the spirit of open source; i.e. none of the corporate behaviour we have come to love and know from the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft.

    So, you dropped the ball on this one in a big way.

    Now you have people like me who still really like the UM2 but feel quite badly done by. Not because I paid for something that you have not delivered - as I said previously I would have quite happily paid extra for the upgrade - but because you failed to deliver on a promise. This means that your trustworthiness has taken a huge dive.

    Of course you should strive for a quality experience, and if you cannot deliver on the UM2 that's fine. What upsets me is that you sold me a product with a promise that you have now violated. This does not detract from the UM2 itself as it is. It is still a wonderful machine, and delivers superb quality. But the promise - this should have never been made. And I bought your machine on the basis of that promise. Had you never mentioned dual-head printing, I might have gone for a different machine such as the Taz 4. To be honest, I don't really know, because that option was never on the books while the promise of a future upgrade lured me in.

    Can you make this up to me? I fail to see how. On the one hand, you never charged me for this upgrade, so you owe me nothing. On the other hand, this was a big factor in my choice. So part of the reason I invested in your company (only part, because by and large I really like the way you guys and gals are going) has now been dashed. This has no tangible value. All in all, right now I feel quite upset and let down. I trusted you guys, and you failed me very badly.

    You desperately need to re-think your strategy.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Totally agree with Danilius. I can not express it better myself.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Hi danilius,

    Thank you very much for your post and taking the time to write it in such detail.

    We understand your point and we agree that breaking a promise is one of the worst things you can do (as a company).

    You have to understand, for that reason, it was the only right thing to do.

    How breaking a promise can be the only right thing to do? Please allow me to explain.

    At the time we released the Ultimaker 2 we had prototypes and a direction we wanted to take this.

    Unfortunately, in time things took a turn and our development did not go as planned.

    The reason our promise was postponed at couple of times is because we did not want to break our promise.

    Our R&D team collaborated with the community and made several attempts to get the project back on track but

    we just could not get the results or experience we are after. While the promise was already out there.

    At some point, you have to be honest. To yourself and the community.

    Are you going to hold on to the promise, and tell others who are on the fence of buying an Ultimaker 2 while you

    don't know if you can make it? Or are you going to make a decision and admit it didn't work as planned?

    We chose for the latter.

    On one hand, our users plead for http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/9344-company-update/?p=91483, on the other hand you say: 'do not promise anything you cannot deliver same-day.' I think we all agree, we can never satisfy everyone. That is why we have to make our own choice on how we are going to deal with development and upcoming releases, and we did. Unfortunately, and we hate it as much as you guys, this time it didn't work out.

    How we can make this up to you? I don't know. Hopefully by elaborating on the choices that were made we can create some understanding and that will take the edge of your disappointment.

    If not, I would be happy to start a conversation to see if there is a better way, or answer some outstanding questions you still have.

    In your post, through the well expressed disappointment, I read you are still very happy with your Ultimaker 2 and have no regrets buying it. Without ignoring us dropping the ball, I hope that is what we can focus on.

    If you have any further questions or remarks, I would be happy to answer them for you.

    If you want to share your 2 cents on what you think would improve our strategy feel free to share it with me.

    Our support team is also available if you want to get in touch with us.

    Thanks again for your time, and I hope you have a great day.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    On the matter of openness, I commend you. I think you guys (and gals) are doing a great job there.

    The decision to drop dual head printing makes a lot of sense. I do not disagree.

    The quality of the machine is superb.

    In general, I still think Ultimaker is a great company with a great philosophy and great machines.

     

    On one hand, our users plead for openness, on the other hand you say: 'do not promise anything you cannot deliver same-day.' I think we all agree, we can never satisfy everyone.

    There are two very different things here: telling everyone what's cooking (very important, especially in a young company like Ultimaker) and promising something. One has nothing to do with the other.

    The UM2 was marketed with the dual-head upgrade as a future option. In hindsight I think you can agree that this was a big mistake. What Ultimaker should have said was: "We are working on a dual head solution for the future. Right now, it does not work. There is no guarantee it will ever work. But right now we are confident it will, and we are investing time and money on it."

    By "work", I mean to the quality we all expect from Ultimaker.

    Now, I don't want to flog a dead horse. Ultimaker made a mistake, and that can happen. I am not angry. I am not annoyed. I am let down, because Ultimaker is setting the standard for the New Economy, and I wanted to be a part of that. Now I feel a little foolish.

    So maybe I am more annoyed with myself than anything else. I fell for a marketing gimmick which I thought would have no place in the open source community.

    In your place I would ask myself: what can I do to make this up to my customers?

     

    How we can make this up to you? I don't know. Hopefully by elaborating on the choices that were made we can create some understanding and that will take the edge of your disappointment.

    No, this is marketing-speak. We know what went wrong, by and large. That was very clearly explained, and I'm sure we all agree that this was the correct decision.

    You need to come up with something concrete and tangible, although what it should be I have no idea. Perhaps others who feel the way I do can come up with something that makes commercial sense for Ultimaker and assuages the customers.

    On the other hand, if only a minority of customers feel this way I would be agreeable to ignore the whole thing and move on. I can be quite grumpy at times. :-)

     

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    Posted · Company update

    It was hard for me to accept the choice ultimaker made even though I do think it was the right thing for them to do. I was pretty upset as I was counting down the days just waiting for the moment dual extrusion was going to be released. I love my machine but it was a big investment for me and it was based on the dual extrusion upgrade. I actually put projects on hold till it was released thinking it was only going to be a few months away. It feels like false advertisement but I do understand and accept the final. What I would appreciate now is a new fan shroud that is designed for a single extruder. Seeing it's now just a single extruder machine. It will heighten the quality that you stand for. It wouldn't take much to design and fold up an new fan holder that you can add to the store and put on new machines.

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    Posted · Company update

    While the dual printing set-up is not so important to me, I do think it would be a great show of openness to post the information and even prototypes of your dual set-up,

    this would give the community to decide for themselves if the problems you had, can be worked with, and tinker with the design.

    I do think, with the very active UM community, there is a chance all or part of the problems might be solved, and make the design better and workable, even if it still remains experimental / Beta.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Hi danilius,

    Thanks again for your reply.

    I don't know onto what level I agree that 'what is cooking' has nothing to do with promises.

    It will be a very very thin line on which you will be sharing info and I am sure a lot of 'cooking' will be interpreted as a promise. I believe it will also turn everything in a discussion, which will take up a lot of valuable R&D time.

    However, I fully agree that we should be open and also engage the collaboration. After all, we are an open source company and sharing information / experience / knowledge + engaging the collaboration is part of the deal.

    But it needs to be addressed in the right way, so it is beneficial and efficient for everyone.

    For that reason we are going to ignite a new part on the new website.

    (I believe I mentioned this here a few posts back?..ahh yes I did:

    'But I do understand the desire of the community members who want get involved and want to participate.

    To answer this need, we are going to implement a new section on the website (I don't know yet when exactly) that will be aimed at collaborating on a selection of current developments or suggestions by you guys. (sharing this, is a great example of not being apple-esk eh? ;))) '

    I hope this underlines our desire to be open and involve our community in our developments.

    This new section will be a platform where you can discuss, participate but will also share information about current developments.

    And danilius, don't be annoyed with yourself. Perhaps we have different definitions of marketing gimmick, but it was a genuine expectation to release it further down the road. Our intentions have always been to share (true) information, on behalf of the entire team. Creating false expectations helps no one, and doesn't stroke with Ultimaker's values.

    About how we can make it right, a few times it has been suggested that the fan shroud can be modified and it makes sense. And perhaps this also gives us a handlebar on how to make it right with the community in the way we offer it.

    It certainly is food for thought.

    In regard of sharing our findings, this is also on our agenda, but a decision about this has yet to be made.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    i have been in doubt whether or not i should reply.

    some of the responses here have pushed me over the edge towards the yes.

    first of all I want to comment you Sander on your great work as a community manager. you are doing this quite well, both with helping people with the failing order system (although i still cannot see my old orders in the system) and with the unexplained and random shipping qualities. you're also quite on the ball with this.

    i know this might have sounded sarcastic coming from me, but it isn't. you've been extremely helpful.

    now to the point;

    I also understand that this is a marketing nightmare, but there are 2 things bugging me.

    I've now had a topic open for what is i believe 3 months where there is a discussion going on what parts are considered consumables and should be replaced. there has never been a real answer from Ultimaker. yet, people that buy an UM2 now, will get at least an additional PTFE coupler. this is leaving early adopters, the ones that made sure you could keep producing this out of luck.

    also, on multiple occasions you and the rest of the team have mentioned that dual extrusion is very difficult. on multiple occasions it has also been noted that it would most definitely be there. no doubt. for real. and not once or twice, but prominently on the home page, on twitter and in the forums. I bought my UM2 because it had an edge over the competition by being upgradable.

    in both cases i feel you are leaving the people that supported the company in the wind.

    sure, your posts have been open and well formulated. but as you can see by the amount of displeased comments, people are not happy. and this should not be a surprise. being clear in what you plan to do about that is not too much to ask. sending all early adopters a free spool of filament, or give them a voucher for the store, i don't really care, but make gesture towards the people that supported the company.

    but hey, that's just my 2 cents.. i won't be selling my printer for this but it will affect where i buy my next printer.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Was going to buy a 3rd UM2, but just bought a From1+ instead. The luster of future upgrades gone, the constant need for Teflon insulator replacements (at unrealistically high prices), and the way it looks Ultimaker is heading (cough...Makerbot marketing) has had a lot to do with my decision.

    Just wanted it documented that they lost a sale... no hard feelings, the UM2 is a great machine, but it's development has come to a stagnant stand-still.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    When I bought the UM2, dual extrusion was not something I even considered. So no big deal for people like me. I do commend Ultimaker for admitting that it was not going to work out, and making a no bullshit direct statement. Props to you guys. One question though, what is the cut off date which order dates do users received the extra Teflon isolators? I think shipping out the extra hotend parts is a great idea.

     

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        The winner will be able to pick any item from the overall product and service portfolio of the sponsors, e.g. printers, materials, consulting, software... Choose whatever you need to accelerate your startup.
         
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      • New here? Register your Ultimaker for free 3D printer onboarding course
        Hi,
         
        Often getting started is the most difficult part of any process. A good start sets you up for success and saves you time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. That is why we have a onboarding course ready for
        Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle, Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker S3 Ultimaker 2+ Connect.   
        They're ready for you on the Ultimaker Academy platform. All you need to do to gain access is to register your product to gain free access. 
        Ready? Register your product here in just 60 seconds.
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