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Posted · Company update

I am glad you also took the effort to put in your 2 cents Korneel, and not just because of your kind words ;)


I happen to have more of a public role :)

Now about the rest of your post; like I said.. we have always and will continue to work with our users in a user-friendly way. We know you, and many others, are very important to us and your support is the reason we are here today.

We continue to be user friendly of course, the expectations are just much clearer outlined from the beginning.

For our current users, we can't ship out the free parts to everyone because very quickly we will run out of stock. For a lot of users they will be stored in a drawer for times in need, while we have to turn down users who are in need at that very moment. On the other hand, when you (our existing user) find yourself in need of a new PTFE or nozzle, and it turns out you haven't received a complimentary one, you can still count on us.

About the promises that were made about dual extrusion, I have explained this fairly well in one of my previous posts.


We would have loved nothing more then release dual extrusion, unfortunately it did not work out as planned.


I personally don't see a solution in a free reel of filament ...Yes, it will offer our users something physical and they will gain something.. but it is a very random compensation. There has also been mentions about a new fan now it remains single extrusion, that is something I prefer. But even the development itself has yet to be decided, let alone form of compensation.

@Solid Print 3D, I am sorry to hear the recent developments are the reason for your decision to go with Formlabs.



We will start implementing this in Q2. Seeing yours is in the mail it won't have these parts yet.


 

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    Posted · Company update

    turns out.. i have more cents!

     

    Hi Guys, thanks for responding!

    I am glad you also took the effort to put in your 2 cents Korneel, and not just because of your kind words ;)

    (for which, I thank you once more!)

    At Ultimaker everyone does what he/she can to pitch in and contribute wherever it is necessary.

    I happen to have more of a public role :)

     

    fully understood and i understand that by having that public role, you will also be more restricted in what you can and cannot say. which explains the wording of some of your posts and statements. I think you put in more time and effort than can be expected from you. unfortunately, these limitations do have an impact. as you can see by solid prints posts, his expectations now are that the UM2 is left adrift. I've been to the Ultimaker office and i know for a fact that it is anything but left adrift.. improvements are still being worked on and sometimes stuff doesn't work out. there is a different issue here but i'll address that further below.

     

    Now about the rest of your post; like I said.. we have always and will continue to work with our users in a user-friendly way. We know you, and many others, are very important to us and your support is the reason we are here today.

    In our user friendly attitude, we have supplied countless of users with complimentary parts when officially being 'out of warranty'. Now it is more an official statement.

    We continue to be user friendly of course, the expectations are just much clearer outlined from the beginning.

     

    Let me be clear on that i honestly believe that that is your attitude and also from the other people within Ultimaker. friendly and customer focussed. now, that being said there has to be a negative kicker from my side.. and there is. you refer to sending out complimentary parts and stating that you are making the warranty is now more official.. i do want to point out that a lot of people (i don't want to start dredging up old posts) including myself actually bought parts that should have been replaced under warranty (or perhaps this complimentary parts arrangement) because e-mails to support went unanswered for weeks. now I'm also not a lawyer but 3 months of warranty on a machine would be an interesting thing to test. also replacing parts that were "out of warranty" (I believe you are referring to the parts that will suffer from wear and tear) for free is a very nice thing to do. but unless you define those wear and tear parts as wear and tear parts (which you've now done in your new warranty statement) they would still fall under warranty
    :)
    as i said, i'm not a lawyer and i don't want to go to deep on this, but there are multiple ways of explaining what you've done. I'm choosing to see this from a sunny side, but take a good look at the people that are less happy about some dealings with Ultimaker and choose to see your statements in a less happy bright light..

    For our current users, we can't ship out the free parts to everyone because very quickly we will run out of stock. For a lot of users they will be stored in a drawer for times in need, while we have to turn down users who are in need at that very moment. On the other hand, when you (our existing user) find yourself in need of a new PTFE or nozzle, and it turns out you haven't received a complimentary one, you can still count on us.

     

     

    how would they know this? I think you missed a crucial part of some of my earlier posts.. the statement that you just made is burried on a 3rd page in a forum post. so if my PTFE coupler burns out, and i need a new one, I'll go to the website ordering system, order a new PTFE coupler, and then what? if this is my first new one, will the system recognize me and give me an automatic discount? will i have to make a forum post? will i have to send an e-mail?

    that is the problem I have with statements like that. I'm on this forum, I'm sharing my concerns, and you address my concern. great. a statement from Ultimaker and what Ultimaker stands for would not be a forum post. it would be an e-mail to all existing buyers of an Ultimaker 2 from the CEO of Ultimaker. (assuming you can actually see who bought them since i cannot see my old orders anymore.. ). This can be a very simple e-mail stating something like, hey guys, thanks for putting your trust in us and it seems we have made a boo-boo. we worked really hard on dual extrusion since we promised this to you, but it seems we cannot get this to a level that we stand behind. so we can either release this and give you a poor experience or not release it. we have chosen to not release it. once again we apologize for this. we also increased our warranty and we have identified certain parts in the UM2 that suffer more from wear than what we expected. the PTFE coupler is one of them. since you were one of the people that put your trust in us from the very beginning, we want to make sure you are aware of this and we would like to offer you a free replacement once this is needed. any additional parts susceptible to wear will have to be bought from our UM store.

    thats an e-mail that would have made me quite happy and make me understand this way better. however it would mean quite a public statement instead of 3 paragraphs on the company blog, in a link on 2/3rds of the web site. or from 3 paragraphs in a Ultimaker owned forum. or from a post on the 3rd page of that specific topic.

    that's what's bugging me and i'm assuming i'm not alone in this.. while i do not doubt your intentions nor do i doubt the intentions of any other employee, the methods employed to communicate this has been poorly choosen for such a huge decision.

     

    About the promises that were made about dual extrusion, I have explained this fairly well in one of my previous posts.

    I think you have already read it.. if that does not answer your question please let me know and I would be happy to answer it anyway.

    It definitely is not a surprise people are disappointed, let me tell you something Korneel. So are we!

    We would have loved nothing more then release dual extrusion, unfortunately it did not work out as planned.

    And asking how we are planning to compensate our users is an expected question, which has also been asked before. And as you may have read, I have always kept an open mind/attitude about that, didn't I?

    It is something we are talking about internally.

    I personally don't see a solution in a free reel of filament ...Yes, it will offer our users something physical and they will gain something.. but it is a very random compensation. There has also been mentions about a new fan now it remains single extrusion, that is something I prefer. But even the development itself has yet to be decided, let alone form of compensation.

     

    if it is so expected, why not think about this and mention this in the original post? your post was quite clear. it's not coming, live with it. if you cannot live with it, send us an e-mail. wouldn't it be nicer if you would have included this in the initial post and found a better way to communicate this?

     

     

    Sander, I'm sorry if this sounded like a rant. i know you are doing your best and i do not dopubt your attitude nor the attitude of the ultimaker team. you are getting clear feedback on how some people are feeling. some people feel cheated. some people have expressed they no longer want to do business with Ultimaker as a company after this. what i'm trying to convey is that it's not the message I am unsatisfied with.. it's the way it's communicated.

    at least it is for me :)

    the way this was communicated did not make me feel i was/am a valued customer. it makes me feel i need to know a secret handshake to actually find out what has happened. the professional thing would have been to send out an e-mail to all of your customers and tell them what has happened as i explained above and have something ready in advance.

    this now comes across to me (and i'm sure it wasn't intentional..) as a message that was sort off hidden, and depending on the backlash from the community, additional steps would be taken.

    no more spare change now ;)

     

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    Posted · Company update

    ...

    the professional thing would have been to send out an e-mail to all of your customers and tell them what has happened as i explained above and have something ready in advance.

    ...

     

    Unfortunately such an e-mail would only reach customers who have bought directly from Ultimaker.

    There are plenty of resellers out there selling Ultimakers. I'm pretty sure that the Ultimaker store itself has never heard of me or my e-mail address...

    For sure - one could inform the resellers and requesting a forwarding of informations - but that would be a request...not more...

    Instead - customers (at least that one who care about...) _will_ ask support for the second extruder kit. Offering a modified fan shroud (as apology) in these cases is a reasonable idea (i think...)

    ...just my 2 cents... ;)

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Well, what is done, is done. It certainly took quite a bit of the thinking and IMHO - courage to announce the decision to abandon the dual extruder. Noone is happy, but that's it. I still appreciate their honesty with the customers. Many companies would have done the things much differently and certainly not better for us, the end-users.

    My next question is - would UM re-design the printhead of UM2 to allow better cooling, among the rest?

     

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    Posted · Company update

    On of the reasons that i chose for the UM2 a while back instead of other competition models (that are also cheaper), was also the dual - extrusion. On the other end, some part of me already knew that it would never come out. I've been experimenting allot, reading allot on other expierences etc and never have I see any very succesfull results.

    So I knew a company like UM would never bring anything to the market that requires too much input and research from the user to make it work. That said, I'm still disapointent because of the promised release date.. Don't do something like that when you are not yet happy with a product..

    but yeah nothing that my comment will change so up to the next question regarding the warranty. I read that UM2 will be shipped with extra nozzles and PTFE tubes.. What about current owners? We also bought exactly the same machine for the same price. And we also have the same problem with PTFE couplers that we have to change and pay "allot" of money for. Will there be something for the existing owners? Since this only seems fair to me..

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Hi Korneel,

    as a company I am obliged to say: bring us all your cents! ;)

    I agree with you that there is room for improvement in our communication. One side is the response time which we are really focussed on bringing down. We are actually making progress in this regard, it looks to me that the amount of complaints about this is getting less..

    On the other hand we are also going to expand our support pages, and include in the manual a note that informs our new users about warranty.

    The hot end is not covered by warranty, so if someone goes out to buy some without consulting the manual, us, the forum or anyone else that is what the webshop is for obviously.

    We are not going to build in a warning that prevents users from buying spare parts and direct them to our support team.

    We would be back at day 1 with the delays, and that is what the manual is for. To inform the user about policies and guidelines.

    You are right about the forum post and blog we put on the website, but so is Tinkergnome.

    With the network we are setting up we do not have access to all of our users.

    This seemed like the best solution, but I take your feedback at heart and for future references consider including all of our partners in case of a important notification.

    At the time of writing my original post our angle was to invite the users who felt really upset and mislead to engage the conversation with Ultimaker and together look for a mutual and reasonable solution.

    We like to talk to our users, and have a more personal approach in such a situation.

    Luckily, a conversation also rose here on the forums and the idea was born to focus on the cooling (or at least, investigate), now it remains single extrusion. Given the situation, something like this makes sense.

    Don't worry about your post Korneel, you address some valid points.

    We try to do everything the right way, if ever in our attempt it does not come across as such, I am happy

    we can always count on you guys to tell us so we can try to make it right again.

    @ Shurik, that is something I want to address internally.

    @Klucky, thank you for your post. The warranty is retro fit and also applies on our current users.

    Starting on when we shipped out your Ultimaker. If you have not had the pleasure to talk to our support team and get the spare parts when necessary (and covered by warranty), feel free to reach out to them. If indeed this is the case we would be happy to make it right and make sure you receive them anyway.

    Thank you!

     

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    Posted · Company update

    I'm not talking about broken parts, I'm just saying that if new buyers get PTFE couplers and even spare nozzles, then it's only logical that users with an UM2 of less than a year old should get those parts as well. I already had to buy a PTFE coupler to replace the original one. But this one will probably be worn after that 1 year warranty. So are there plans to give the existing users the same benifit of these spare parts or are we left in the cold?

    You talk about "if needed", I might not need those parts right now, but neither do new owners need those parts straight from the beginning :-)

     

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    Posted · Company update

    If you read back through the topic (I don't know if you already did?) that question got asked before.

    Unfortunately sending all of our users from last year those parts is not possible.

    We would immediately run out of stock, and flood our support team with questions and demands.

    We would also not be able to supply those who are actually in need, while most of the parts we would send out end up in a drawer waiting. So yes, for multiple reasons I talk about 'if needed', because the alternative is not possible.

    If you are a current user, and have not received the parts you are entitled for, we would be more then happy to help you out if you contact us when the parts need to be replaced. So you will enjoy the same benefits, and will not be left in the cold. That is not how we do things at Ultimaker.

    To be clear, we are not just putting in a fun pack of spare parts. In Q2 2015 new users will receive 2 PTFE parts and 2 nozzles to keep them printing.

    Thank you for your time.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    While I understand your reasoning for not wanting to compensate existing customers with the spare parts right away, there is no reason you couldn't compensate those customers in the coming months. It seems like a kind of slap in the face when you offer to essentially give 110 Euros worth of parts (plus shipping if someone like me purchased them from the store) to your new customers and make a vague statement that existing customers will be able to work with the support team to get those parts if they break down. Why should people like myself have to experience definite downtime when someone who buys a UM2 will essentially have two backups that will keep their machine likely running for the entire first year? I have already had to buy a replacement PTFE coupler which cost a lot of money to have shipped to Canada.

    What it comes down to is that Ultimaker is favouring future customers over people who have already supported the company by buying their product. I've already had to deal with the fact that there will be no duel extrusion which did factor into why I bought the machine, and now I also won't be getting 110 Euros worth of spare parts because I bought my machine at the start of October. In my opinion, that's just downright ridiculous.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the UM2 and am still considering buying a second one, but I find the way UM has handled this situation just insults their existing customer base. I was a purchaser for 10 years, there is no reason you can't adjust your supply lines in the coming months and compensate the rest of us over a 6 month period.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Thanks for your post and giving your perspective on things.

    I don't see how by making those parts available for our current users as well, is interpreted as favoring our new users.

    We are saying yes, our current users are also entitled to those parts if they haven't received them already.

    In my opinion by making things retrofit (we do that with the warranty now, we have also done it with hardware) is the opposite of favoring new users. We always do our best to take great care of all of you.

    When we run out of stock because we send out those parts to all of our existing users (some may not even use the Ultimaker anymore?), we wouldn't be able to supply our current user either when they place an order. I don't see who would benefit from such a policy, it would be a huge expense and seemingly impossible to set up. Just like we don't have all the email-addresses of our users (due to our network of partners), we also don't have all the shipping details.

    A lot of users have already benefited from our user friendly policy and received complimentary parts, so they wouldn't qualify for the hot end in this new policy.

    From the beginning I said we are open for a conversation if you feel disadvantaged we can see how / if we can make things right in a reasonable way. I will send you an email to get in touch with you about this.

    I hope you understand why we can not organize it differently.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    What it comes down to is that Ultimaker is favouring future customers over people who have already supported the company by buying their product.

     

    C'mon now. It has already been stated several times that if you need these parts down the line, and you haven't already received them, you'll get them. I bought my first Ultimaker way way back when they were still sitting in someone's kitchen putting kits together. Since then a lot changed on the printer, a new hotend was made, a new feeder was made, steppers got mounted differently and more quietly, the bowden got a better mount and so on. I didn't get any of those benefits as an old customer. Yes, I know there's a difference here in that we're talking about spare parts, what I'm getting at is that things inevitably changes. If you buy a new TV today and it goes on sale the next week, you can't go to the store and demand your money back either.

    They're doing all they reasonably can to make people happy here. If we are disappointed that dual extrusion didn't work out, imagine how they feel, the people who would make a shit ton of money on it. They've put hundreds upon hundreds of hours into research. That's a ton of money they're never getting back (well, ok, they've learned stuff, but you get my point).

     

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    Posted · Company update

    iRobertl, as a newbie, I wanted to pop in and say a big thank you for your sig file at the bottom of your post directly above!

    That Troubleshooting Guide, a/w/a the REST of the guides available from that source are so very valuable to guys such as myself, just getting into UM2 world.

    THANKS!

     

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    Posted · Company update

    totally agree Robert, there's no need to send free parts to older users, just because the new buyers get them, the TV price drop example is clear enough.

    Sander, just don't keep making up excuses about not having enough stock if you give some to older users, just say you don't, you don't have to, you don't want to, probably beacause it will become a logistics & ordermanagement nightmare to decide who should get one, and/or UM don't want to spend the money. Being honest would be perfectly ok....

     

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    Posted · Company update

    UltiArjan, thank you for the feedback.

    I am not making up excuses. I don't know if you wrote it on purpose or accidentally, but you say 'not having enough stock if you give some to older users'.

    What we have been discussing so far, is sending these parts to all older users. Quite a difference there.

    You are right, it will be a ordermanagement nightmare, maybe impossible. But the stock is not a neglectable argument.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    People seems to not get that they can make a request for those parts whenever they want. They dont need to wait for the printer to be down to do it.

    @Robert, here we can request the tv price difference in all big store within a month but I totally get your point and fully agree.

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    Posted · Company update

    Another thing to keep in mind regarding the spacer is that Ultimaker is still trying to improve that part.

    At this point it might not make sense for them to track down all UM2 owners and manufacture and send thousands of spacers of the current type, in case there is a more promising material being tested right now.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    My bigger disappointment isn't the cancelled dual extruder option - was never a selling point for me anyway, but the fact that the hot end design was compromised for a feature that is no longer even going to be offered!

    The cooling fans/cooling ducts are really not the best for single extruder layout, changing slicer does help a bit but UM should now be working on a new metal (free) upgrade to the fans/cooling ducts to get the best from the 'compromised' single extruder design.

    I know there are various printable versions out there, but since UM has decided to let a lot of hopeful users down, the least they can do now is to improve that part of the design.. me thinks.

    Just reading through previous posts and others have mentioned this also.

    Come on Ultimaker, lets all be able to print your little robot with with a decent left ear!

     

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    Posted · Company update

    C'mon now. It has already been stated several times that if you need these parts down the line, and you haven't already received them, you'll get them. I bought my first Ultimaker way way back when they were still sitting in someone's kitchen putting kits together. Since then a lot changed on the printer, a new hotend was made, a new feeder was made, steppers got mounted differently and more quietly, the bowden got a better mount and so on. I didn't get any of those benefits as an old customer. Yes, I know there's a difference here in that we're talking about spare parts, what I'm getting at is that things inevitably changes. If you buy a new TV today and it goes on sale the next week, you can't go to the store and demand your money back either.

    They're doing all they reasonably can to make people happy here. If we are disappointed that dual extrusion didn't work out, imagine how they feel, the people who would make a shit ton of money on it. They've put hundreds upon hundreds of hours into research. That's a ton of money they're never getting back (well, ok, they've learned stuff, but you get my point).

     

    I will work with Sander on this. This has nothing to do with demanding money back and I think you're way more emotionally invested in Ultimaker than I am. Which is cool as Ultimaker is a great company.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Hey one silly question..

    If the UMO+ has the same electronics as the UM2 and UMO+ can't power dual heads + bed at the same time. Does that mean that they knew from the beginning that UM2 won't be able to support that many power at the same time or someone just forgot to make 1+1+1 when redoing the board?

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    Posted · Company update

    No, the heater cartridge of the UM2 is lower powered (25W i'll think) than the one in the UMO+ (40W), thats why there is just enough space for dual extrusion in the power budget for the UM2 but not for the UMO+

    And the problem is actually not the board but that the power supply cannot supply enough current for a second heater on the UMO+.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    No, the heater cartridge of the UM2 is lower powered (25W i'll think) than the one in the UMO+ (40W), thats why there is just enough space for dual extrusion in the power budget for the UM2 but not for the UMO+

    And the problem is actually not the board but that the power supply cannot supply enough current for a second heater on the UMO+.

     

    That's right.

    When we where designing the UM2, there was going to be a 260W power supply available with the same connector. Which should have given us the power budget that we really wanted. However, this power supply got canceled at some point before release (due to American legislation). So the end result on our side was a bit like the scene from Apollo 13 with the power budget.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    Well, this is kinda of annoying. I purchased my UM2 from a good friend who only had it a few months and is now moving out of the country. Both of us has the same desire: dual extrusion. Knowing that it was promised, and now being told it's not going to happen, it's never going to happen for the UM2. Had I known this back in December, I would not have purchased the printer, I would've looked at something else. So that's something that I will now have to give up on and start looking for another solution. The UM2 isn't useless as I'm still using it and can continue to use it, but for the purpose that it was purchased for, it's no longer viable. And that money spent could've gone to a different printer.

    Then there's the issue of those spare parts. I just placed an order for new insulators and a nozzle and heating block. The printer is still using the original one and I've been having clogging issues, particularly with PLA, although I'm slowly refining the process and just dealing with the clogs, and the insulator is damaged as well. I don't know if this is something I should just say, hey, send me a replacement nozzle because something's wrong with this (we have never been able to print PLA, not since day one) or just swallow up the cost of the parts. It's great that spare parts are now more easily available, but at what point does a replacement qualify as a 'free replacement'? Having never been able to successfully use PLA, we had given up and printed with only ABS. Now, I'm actually spending the time, baby sitting it constantly, as I try to figure out why it won't work with PLA. And while I am able to get some prints to work, it's all been very small and thin stuff. I can't print anything that's more than a few mm tall because it will fail, it will clog, something. I have now disassembled the entire head and nozzle assembly for cleaning so many times I can probably do it in my sleep. It shouldn't be that way. Which is why I have replacements parts on order. But I now question whether I shuold've paid for some of those or whether they should've been free replacement parts.

    Considering it's been almost 10 days since the order went in (sitting on day 9 here) and I haven't heard anything other than 'thank you for your order, we took your money' ... I don't know what to expect, other than 'yay, I have a UM2 ... that won't ever see a dual extrusion upgrade, even though we were sold on a promise of it coming avaiable.' Or I could also say, 'yay I have a UM2 ... that won't print PLA to save it's own life.'

     

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    Posted · Company update

    So that's something that I will now have to give up on and start looking for another solution.

     

    Don't expect anything below 5000 euro that will work. I've yet to encounter a machine that does dual extrusion well.

     

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    Posted · Company update

    nalath is that your personal view about the dual extrusion that is not working correct? No machine below 5k can handle it?

    Btw how many machines have you tested?

     

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    Posted · Company update

    It's not that it will never be there for the UM2, just not from Ultimaker. Creatr Labs ihttp://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/8390-ultimaker-2-dual-extruder-upgrade-creatr-xlabs/ and they seem to be coming along nicely.

    I think they're just a good solution for the PLA jams away from releasing it. One of the disadvantages of an all metal hotend...

     

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