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Setting up for printing is a pain

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Hi. Sorry if this is a common question. I have a new machine and it works fine apart from one point. Every time I want to print I have to remove the feed tube, remove the end of the material, put the heater on and then advance the material forward. Next I have to fiddle around getting the end of the PLA inserted into the head. Then replace the tube and clip. This seems a bit mad at the start of every print. I also have a Makerbot Replicator 2. The print quality and speed are clearly nothing like as good. However all you do with this is level the bed and print as long as you do not want to change the material. Am I missing something or will I just have to get used to removing and reinserting the material at the start of each print job?

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We have two ultimaker 2 and a replicator 2. The Ultimaker is now working better than it was but still tends to stall more than the Replicator I am afraid. I wish this were not the case after watching the movie Printing the Legend. Worth a look if you have not seen it. What tends to happen is that as the machine cools down after a print job the plastic seems to shrink back from the nozzle. After a bit of testing the problem seems to happen in about one out of three prints. This means that the plastic simply does not come out of the machine. To avoid this now I just pre heat the head and check that the material is fed through correctly before each print. The Makerbot started without fault. However after watching the above mentioned movie I want to hide the makerbot away in a cupboard. Watch the movie and you will understand why. Anyway apart from this the print quality and tinkerability (take that one autocorrect) makes the Ultimaker more fun and far more flexible. It is just not as good for kids at the school to use as I do not want them playing around with the feed tube. It is also not so good for some of the staff who throw their hands up in the air at the first misprint and want to make the item out of wood. This will improve with training. Anyway now want to get my hands on some of this new conductive material. Have you tried it? Just about to see if there are any posts on it.

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My work flow is that when I have something to print I preheat the bed to 60C and the nozzle to 180C then I bring the SD card over to the slicing computer, do my slicing and save on the SD card. When I get back to the printer it is warmed up (sometimes for 30 minutes - that's why I do 180C - at 220C it would convert PLA into glue). Here is the important part:

At this point I reach around behind the printer, find the PLA entering the feeder and slide it up. The feeder isn't powered up and the filament moves easily. some filament then comes out of the nozzle and it is at this point "primed".

Then I select PRINT and choose what I want to print.

There are versions of the firmware that retract the filament different amounts at the end of the print job. I lost track of what does what and just do this manual prime everytime before I hit PRINT. After you hit PRINT it's too late as the feeder is powered up and you can't move the filament by hand anymore.

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