Still on the brink about buying an Ultimaker ...

Still on the brink about buying an Ultimaker …
While it is way over my usual budget, I still believe it is one of the best “hobby” printers out there (I blame you @Florian_Horsch_flouS :slight_smile:

However before I take the jump (if) I would love to hear feedback from those already using one , on these specific aspects:

  • reliability : I don’t want to spend as much time tweaking things as I do with my Huxley reprap
  • speed :I have seen a lot of demos, but I am more interested In the possible limitations in daily use
  • required “mods” : what are the modifications which should be added from the get go to get the best out of the machine.
  • heated bed/pla: I only plan to use Pla, but since I want to print bigger objects than I currently can, is warping a major issue without a heated bed ?

Thanks in Advance !

I have got the emaker huxley and it don’t need any tweeking. It practically worked straight out of the box as it were… (a kit… That needed assembly)

What happened to hbot?

Buy a +Makibox :slight_smile: the box will be smaller than the Ultimaker, the print area will be more or less the same, but the boxes pricetag is much more budget friendly then a U-Maker :slight_smile: The box is actual in beta status and near to production.

Reliability: Cura is pretty darn good. Handles all the software aspects for you. The first things I had the 3 Ultimaker users at my space do was a fan shroud, and a rod-alignment tool. There’s not much else to play with. You won’t need to play with it, but you can if you want. Although to be fair, no other machine needs constant tweaking either if you just set things up correctly.

Speed: You can go fast if you absolutely want, but maintaining a good rate of speed without going overboard is much more sensible. I’ve seen better results with speeds under 140mm/s

Heated Bed/PLA: Warping isn’t a major issue without a heated bed. We’ve had some pretty large prints at the lab, no heat. Blue tape was used as the print surface.

And @Henrik_Peiss , the claim that the makibox will be smaller than the ultimaker and print area be the same is an outright dubious claim. Quit trying to mislead people. The Ultimaker is about as compact a machine as you can get. It’s also not in beta, is a proven design, and prints well with known settings and a solid community behind it. Things that a makibox doesn’t have.

Now, while I absolutely love the fact that the Makibox exists, suggesting a non-released machine to someone who is looking for something that “just works” and has a proven track record is not what @Mark_Moissette_ckaos asked for.

Don’t nail us on few mm, but the alphas and internal betas of the #makibox have so far the following dims:

  • x30 y22 z22 (cm) overall dim
  • useable heated area of the printbed x12 y15 (cm)
  • build volume x12 y15 z11 (cm)

The box will run for a normal user out of the box and when +Mark Moissette is able to write nice software like open #coffeescad - kudos - then he is able to start with a Makibox as kind of advanced user.

@Henrik_Peiss , build volume of the ultimaker is a 21cm cube (21cm by 21cm by 22cm). The makibox doesn’t even touch that if your numbers are correct.

@Florian_Horsch_flouS , what are the external dims of the Ultimaker? I am on a netbook at the moment so checking the files would be tedious for me. I’d like to check the printable area to machine size ratio…

I very frequently use the Ulticontroller to print a file from SDcard. My USB connection seems to be unreliable (cable too long?) causing serial connection errors and prints that fail half way. Plus, it’s a great way of quickly tuning speed and temperature during a print by simply turning a knob on the machine. So, I recommended buying the Ulticontroller as well.

For me the weak spot on the Ultimaker is the print head - but since I purchased it, there’s been a redesign so that may not be applicable any more. I’ve had to clean out a blocked head twice this year. Otherwise, it does what it says on the tin. It is possible to load a file in, press Go (Ulticontroller) and walk away. I still watch it, but it’s very close to being a point and shoot - after you get the parameters dialed in.

Speed wise, nothing I’ve seen touches it. Cura will warn you that 150mm/sec is beyond the machine’s capabilities, but I have turned it up beyond that as a test. I haven’t tuned the mechanics excessively other than some thrust blocks in the bearing housings. You do need to pay attention when assembling it to lubrication and alignment.

I did replace the z-axis switch mechanism to get better home repeatability, see Otherwise, a stock machine does pretty well.

Warping is a major issue with ABS. See for example here: But even this doesn’t work very well - the tape starts to lift - so much so that I’ve given up on ABS for now. I expect the next “accessory” I get will be a heated bed. I’m waiting for the Ultimaker folk to offer one.

Hahaha, @Mark_Moissette_ckaos I’m sorry to cause your budget planning some pains :wink:

Most stuff is already said by the beautiful write-ups of @Derrick_Oswald_curmu , @ThantiK & @Jan-Pieter . Well done guys!

@Mark_Moissette_ckaos , since the London event I can honestly recommend the machine to anybody able to build an IKEA cupboard (and now with the pre-assembled one even to all the others ;)). Why? With the then released version (v2 hotend, v3 bolt, v2 extruder clamp, UltiController), hundreds of small improvements (noise dampening spacers, slight improvements to cabling, etc.) and accompanying factors like better default filament, improved support, shorter lead times, etc. I can assume that people will have a super reliable machine. I print 24/7 with my Ultimaker lately and it’s running smoother than ever without ANY mods installed. If you want to go the extra mile you can of course argue about better fan duct designs, belt tensioners, helping tools for the last degree of axis alignment, etc., but it’s not needed to operate reliable.

+Anthony Morris, the dimensions are compact 34 x 36 x 39 cm. Compared to the build volume of 21 x 21 x 21, that’s rock solid. You have to keep in mind that there’s still the extruder and the bowden occupying some space.

@Henrik_Peiss , I have to second @ThantiK . The comparison is not really a good match (looking at the numbers, but also philosophy of the machines). Don’t get me wrong here! I can count myself as one as the earliest backers of the #makibox and a huge fan of the work of @Jonathan_Buford , @Felix_Lam , @Nils_Hitze , you (I’ve heard good stuff about your contributions) and the rest of your supposably ever increasing team. Building a proper machine is important, but it is also important to see where it fits into the market. And I don’t see the #makibox as a competitor to the #Ultimaker at all. It’s a different approach with slightly different design goals which make a huge difference to the potential customers addressed. #3dprinting is growing rapidly and there’s enough space for all kind of different machines (proven by the fact that even the worst design get sales…). Only if you understand the unique selling point of your machine, you can make the very best out of it. There’s no need to compete with a machine which serves different goals (and got deficits on other areas on the other hand). Ahh… this is getting lengthy.

Let me close with with some bold claims: Don’t try to compete with the Ultimaker’s speed, Z height layer accuracy or the build volume. Before you target those put all your energy into your USPs which are: price, portability, possible next-generation extrusion systems, hopefully ease of use (e.g. plug&play USB drivers, and proper software).

@Jan-Pieter i had the same issues with my cable - i think i broke it down to the port AT the RAMPS Board. Will doublecheck.

@Mark_Moissette_ckaos you can do speed on stuff like the bracelets and vases (done 120-150mm/s with these) but if you want fine details, you will have to stick around 50mm/s (cura - speed up infill around 200% then)

  • reliability : you will have to clean the printbed from time to time (as on every printer) - apply new tape/clean the heatbed (depending on what you buy)
  • required “mods” : i am running my Ultimaker almost as Default, only applied two Belt Tighteners (small plastique pieces)
  • heated bed/pla: small issue, totally depends on how good your z-axis is calibrated. Cram the first layer into the blue tape and you will be fine.

@Henrik_Peiss , here’s the broken down calculations now that I know the dimensions of both machines:

24.39^3cm overall
12.55^3cm buildable
51.45% of desk space used is buildable area.

36.275^3cm overall
21^3 cmbuildable
57.89% of desk space used is buildable area.

So the Ultimaker does indeed have a better ratio of buildable area to desk space used, as well as nearly double the actual buildable space. What the Makibox has going for it though, is a cheaper price tag, pellet extrusion system, etc. Might want to focus on those before claiming the makibox has “more or less the same” build area as an ultimaker (it has roughly half, actually)

Shake-hand time for @ThantiK & @Henrik_Peiss :wink: As I said: Every printer got its strengths. Let just focus on the unique stuff and push it to the next level.

On the other side there’s a even bigger need for talented people like @Mark_Moissette_ckaos who push the software side. Of course everybody want to have him in their respective sub-community. But I’m pretty sure that he’s up to the challenge to contribute to the whole scene with his open developments.

Luckily I already have his address, so it’s going to be easy to send him a little treat for his recent work on this yummy SCAD-latte :wink:

Wow thanks a lot for the detailed answers everyone !
(I’ll answer in multiple posts, google+ refuses to work well today)

@Tony_Hine_Nifty_Acce Ok , my choice of words was not the best I guess: my Huxley is “stable” too now, but once I step out of its confort zone (bigger, longer prints) , I do need to readjust too many things for my taste.

@Billy Exhaustion and lack of time happened :slight_smile: technically all I would need to do is print an extruder mount and filament driver, but it still an experimental machine, and I need a machine to “just print” and not tweak:) (in a way it is sad, because I would get a bigger build envelope and possibly faster speeds than the ultimaker…for less)

@Henrik_Peiss I seriously love the #makibox (I have been following all the progress, really nice work you guys did :slight_smile: , for its price, design (love boxes:) , mechanics and other extruding related goodies, unfortunately I am looking for a machine that has a bigger build envelope than what I currently have (141412 cm), and that is also faster if possible (currently printing at 40-55 mm/s)

@ThantiK wow that is detailed ! :slight_smile:
Software : good to know, I took a look at cura a while back and it seemed rather promising !
Speed: that sure as hell beats what I currently can achieve (for precision parts I even go as low as 25 mm/s :D)
External dimensions I am not too worried about (although I can see the look in my girlfriend’s eyes “seriously Mark, one more 3d printer ?” :slight_smile:
That is good to know, I usually only use usb connection but since I would use the ultimaker as a “production” machine, more reliability + not having to switch the pc on is good to have.

@Derrick_Oswald_curmu Exactly the kind of user experience I was looking for:) Cleaning twice a year is not too bad : do you print a lot with it ?
I have seen/heard that there have been a lot of improvement in the hot end and filament driver this year, so I’ll double check what version the Ultimaker comes with as of this date.
All your links are bookmarked for future reference:)
ABS is not something I will be using so the last part should not be an issue

@ThantiK and @Henrik_Peiss : I can only second what @Florian_Horsch_flouS said: not need to fight over this as “we are in this together”:slight_smile: And both machines have strengths and weaknesses , for different use cases.

The assembled #ultimaker might be nice, but to be honest I can’t stretch my budget that far, which is too bad given the list of improvements you mention (looking at the ultimaker shop, this means that all those things are part of the “upgrades” and not included in the base version ?)
Also, I love assembling stuff soo… :slight_smile:
And hey , thanks for the kind words again but I am the one who owes you gifts now :slight_smile: (I still haven’t forgotten about the list of “geeky things” I mean to send you :wink:

(damn I am tired, I took me five minutes to get the “SCAD-latte” joke, I was reading it as SCAD-LATHE (which would be cool as well :))

Wow , those are really amazing speeds for objects like that !
That kind of bigger, (possibly) lower detailed printing is exactly what I would use it for, so it fits the bill
-you are right, bed cleaning is pretty much a must for every 3d printer , so no surprise there !

  • upgrades: I have those Belt Tighteners in my thingiverse bookmarks (call it “wishful thinking” as in “ooh I might need these if I get an Ultimaker”)
  • blue tape cramming I can deal with too:)

Huge thanks and kudos to everyone for all this information, I will have to think about all this before I make up my mind (oh and have the money to spare too haha :slight_smile:
Seriously, these kind of discussions are one of the reasons I love the 3d printing community (not the google + thing only !) !

@Mark_Moissette_ckaos , SCADA-Lathe is freakin’ awesome as well :smiley:

But more importantly one urgent clarification: Ultimaking is ALWAYS shipping the @Ultimaker with all upgrades included (except the UltiController!). The upgrades are in the shop for old users to be able to upgrade.

Possibly this should be mentioned more clearly. So base version = fully equipped version.

@Mark_Moissette_ckaos you poor poor thing you. 55mm/s is so god awful slow. While I’m pushing my limits, I’m generally doing about double that on my Prusa, and I still need to bowden tube it. It causes my perimeters to be off a little (frame wobble), but worth it when I’m just pumping out a low-infill prototype.


Thanks again ! that is some very precious info, it leans heavilly in the ‘pro-buy’ balance! does that include the V3 knurled drive ? (I can see the V2 hot end in the listed features but seem to be missing the other info)

@ThantiK Really I am not complaining, I reduced speed on purpose for better reliability and finer details (hint hint, servo horns ).
Of course if I could print the same quality at higher speeds …
I don’t know if you remember one of our old discussions , but I am limiting things because of the very bad tendency of my steppers to overheat (and my parts are PLA only ;))
110 on a Prusa is great though :slight_smile:

@Mark_Moissette_ckaos , as I said: It’s all included except the UltiController. I talk to the guys and ask them to state this more clearly.

Would love to see you running an @Ultimaker :slight_smile: Expect some matching and very interesting material in your inbox soon. #men_toys_time_v02

@Henrik_Peiss the makibox is not ready to even be close to comparing with the Ultimaker. I have high hopes for a low cost printer but the prints have not been good. @Mark_Moissette_ckaos the only mod I had to do personally was add belt tensioners,, the smallest one from this set worked in my case. Also @Florian_Horsch_flouS helped setup some profiles for Kisslicer and it is awesome. Cura isn’t bad and I hear Netfabb is good too, but I haven’t played with it yet.