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  1. #1

    Was Sintratec a good choise to buy?

    I am not sure anymore.

    Yesterday i got an unhappy mail that Sintratec will not support me anymore, because i bought the printer second hand.
    They give me the choise to pay for the support 150CHF per hour or to buy a new Sintratec Kit from Sintratec. Funny joke!

    What was happen.

    I bought the printer from Hugues at Januar 2016. He had some problem with the IR-sensor. But in general the printer was working. I transport the printer and shit happens. I do not why but a short cut happens and the mainboard was destroyed. I bought a new main-board and got an new IR-sensor. The printer works again. But the software is not working realy good. There is bug that you are not able to place more than one object and slice them. After slicing the object the location of the object inside the print chamber has changed and sometime placed outside the print chamber.

    I asked for an software update but they told me to wait. I was waiting and sometimes asking for an update. Than the update comes and they told me how to do. I have made everythink the told me, but they forgot to tell that they have chanded the starting process. After startimg the new software moves the table of the printing chamber and powder chamber down and up.
    One end-stop was not working anymore. That could happen because the powder get a way into the end stop switch. But the main problem was that the moving of the plattform was not stopped and it destroyed my nut spindel. They send my two new nuts. After rebuilding the nuts the printer works but only 3 times. I got a new circuit fault witch my computer and the main board of the printer again.

    I was very suprised how this could happen. I talking to Sintratec and they told me that it must be the lamps. I am searching for the problem and found it. It was a electric spark througt the capton tape. I want to prevent such issues so i am talking to Sintratec again. After a long discusion the explained me that first kids have lamps with bad isolation cables. The cables will will only resist temperatures about 140 C. But near the lamp are temperatures near about 400 C. I told them with this knowledge i am not realy happy to use these old lamps. (remembering my computer was destroyed)
    After a diskusion they told told me what they in addition have changed. I ask for a price for the parts and they told me that they will send it for free, because i have had a lot of trouble with importing thing from Sintratec into Europe. Later more.

    I got new lapms, new spindel and a new firmware. I was happy about a good support, which is working slowly but working.

    After rebuilding my printer a got a quality issue. Every 2 mm in z-direction i got a woble (one turn of the new spindle). They send me a new spindle for free but the problem is not realy solved. It is much better, but not good.

    Right know we have nearly 11 mounth later. A long time for these tasks to solve. Why takes it such a long time?

    The most problem was that Sintratec was not able to send spare part soon and corretly to import to Europe.

    Commen problems are:

    1. missing invoice
    2. wrong invoice
    3. wrong part ID
    4. missing currency simbol (It is funny but you are not able to pay tax from zero.... you are only able to pay 0 Euro tax from 0 Euro)
    5. packaging
    6. bad labeling

    I have appreciation of the situation. It is a new company. There are less employes. They are developing new things. I does not expect a plug and play 3d printer with no problems. That is the reason why i spend not so much money for a professional 3d SLS printer.
    I am interested in the technology. The way is the goal :-) It is not my first 3d printer kit. My first one, the Ultimaker Kit, is working fine. The printer gets some updates and is still a very godd printer. But with a very good community and support. Everything is transperent. Every one is able to read it and is able to help solving the problem ....

    To make it clear. It is not a problem to pay for update parts or parts i have destroyed of myself. That is normal. But if there is a design problem than we have to discuse and find a solution. You have the advantage to use early adopter to make your products professional. The early adopter find your bugs you not have found. But if you say early adopter get no support anymore, then Sintratec has not understand what early adapter do. And there is no difference between first buyer or second. If you make a diffence between than no early adopte is able to sell your printer . Than the printer is without value.

    I am very disappointed and i not sure anymore that Sintratec was a good choise, but perhaps they reconsider.

  2. #2
    After this post the situation has changed a little bit.
    Sintratec has invited me to come to Brugg and helps finding the problem. I accepted the invitation.
    It was a nice day at Brugg. It was very nice to see the people and talk to them face to face. They give me an impression how they work and what they will do in future.
    The most importend thing was that they take a lot of time to solve my problem. After the first inspection they told me, that the printer was build correct and in an profession way. But they also see an unusual behavior at the coupling of the spindle to the stepper motor.
    When you rotate the coupling by hand you could see e very small (less then a hair) rising of the washer between coupling and ballbearing. This behavior was not normal. The conclusion was that my bad spindle has made a bearing failure at the stepper motor. We changed the stepper motor and made a test print.
    The test print was significant better and from my sight of view the problem was solved. With the ticket system i think we will not be able to find this kind of problem. You have to know where and how to look to find this problem. It was a very good solution for me and think for Sintratec too, that i was gone to Brugg.

    IMG_0029-2.jpg

    - the right cube was printed with the bad spindle
    - the middle cube was printed with the new spindle but bearing failure at the stepper motor
    - left cube is the final print

    You are able to see the wobble every 2mm (one rotation of the spindle) but with the final print you are not able to feel the wobble any more. What you can see is the gear backslash of the stepper motor.

  3. #3
    Student
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    35
    Hi rudschul, good to see your machine is now performing properly. You are very lucky that you were able to visit the company and get first class help from those with the best knowledge. I am very pleased with my machine and regularly printing parts with 0.5mm wall thickness. The parts I print are for competition space models and as such need to be as light as possible. I would like to try printing less that 0.5mm but currently the software does not recognise such thin walls.

  4. #4
    Hi Mike, nice to hear that you are very pleased with you printer. Hey, i was lucky that i am able to visit the company. But it was a stony way to reach this printing results i get now

    Do you have experimented with you printing parameter?

  5. #5
    Student
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    35
    Hi rudschul, On the advice of Sintratec, I have not yet tried experimenting with the parameters. However, on my OpenBeam Kossel Pro I have done a huge amount of experimentation and can print down to 0.2mm wall thickness. This is the kind of thicknesses I am after and if the Sintratec kit is capable of printing just outlines this would open up a huge area for experimentation. By using surface modelling instead of solid modelling I can persuade Simplify3D to print single outlines but it looks like the Sintratec software does not recognise anything below 0.5mm, in the default settings. I will experiment with the custom settings and report back.

  6. #6
    They make it true. I have no access to the support Ticket-system any more. Now i am not able to report bugs or ask questtions to the support. It is a very interesting behavior of the company.
    Yes, my printer is working and that is very good. Is everything fine, i do not thing so.
    For a growing start-up company they do a very good job. For a professional company they miss a lot of things. On the one hand side they demand patience of the customer on the other side they act as as big professional company. That will not fit. A professional company has a working product with nearly no bugs. And if there are bugs, they have a reporting systems where bugs are reported, dokumented and solved for all customer.
    They wrote at their web-page that recommended print volumen will be 11cm*11cm*11cm. If i print an cuboid of 10*10*10 after same layer there is not enough powder. There is no possibillity i know to adjust the amount of powder each layer. A cuboid of 9*9*9 is no problem. This was my last question via ticket system,but the reaction was kicking me.
    Has any body tried to shrink an object with the software? Fore me it is not possible? To increase an object is no problem.
    Has any body see the error codes? Do some one know what they mean?
    If i close the program sometimes the program crashes.
    Questions over questions...
    On the other side they call me at work in January and ask me how i solved the tax problem with importing the printer to Switzerland and a day later importing the printer again to Germany without paying tax. It was no problem to explain it and i gladly do it. They helped me with my printer and of course i gladly help with my experience.
    But how fit these behavior together?

  7. #7
    Student
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    35
    Hi rudschul,

    I have some sympathy with you. I have an open ticket that has not yet been resolved. It is to do with accuracy and the printing area. I printed two, identical parts yet one comes out a full 1mm smaller than the other. Both parts should be 39mm diameter. I am also having some issues with the X and Y axis dimension stability. It looks like the further from the centre I print, the smaller the parts are. Do you have the same problem?

    I now am able to print over a much larger area than before as I was finally able to adjust the front lamp shroud properly. I did it by disconnecting the left and right lamps so I could easily see the shadow. However, I have to raise the powder temperature to 174.8C and lower the print speed to 550 mm/s. Even at these settings I cannot print within 30mm of the left side. At this distance the laser seems very dim and does not sinter the powder sufficiently.

    I do not understand why you don't have access to the 'ticket' system any more. Have you tried emailing Dominik, one of the founder members? His email is dominik.solenicki@sintratec.com I get frustrated with the 'ticket' system because you don't always get a quick answer and it can be days before you get a reply.

    What error codes are you seeing? I always get two error messages when I close the program after loading a print file. I don't get any others at the moment. I opened a 'ticket' on this back in November but not had a reply yet and the ticket was closed.

  8. #8
    Hi Mike,
    the reason why i do not have any support any more is very simple.
    1. I bought the printer second hand and they will not give any support for these people. This was a new decision of the founder of Sintratec.
    2. I had o lot of questions and remarks. As i wrote in my first post there went of lot of things wrong. But now they want to see cash for every answer. That they have explained very clearly. My visit at Switzerland was the last action they do without cash. In general they told my that it was not really my fault for the problems i had, but they want only support till the first stable print. Before i made the software update i was able to print. But the software was nearly useless, because you are only able to print one object.
    3. Most problems i had was software bugs or elemental design issues. I do not really understand the behavior of the company. They need us early adopter but they will not discuss with us. (No official Forum, No official communication platform) It seems that they do not want that user share there knowledge. They want to sell their knowledge. But this is in my opinion not a good choice.

    The error code you found at the printing tab. Sometimes there is a grey link. (e.g. end stopper was hit than you see a number)

    To the printing area: Yes i have similar issue with a dim laser. I have this problem at each corner. I think it is a laser calibration problem. When you check the calibration pattern you see the dim laser while moving the laser position. I have not found the best position of my laser, but a use able position. A sqare of 10,8 i could print, but i have to move it to left (0,5) from the center. Bigger squares get bad corners.

    Your scaling problem with identical parts i have not seen yet. I will check next print in future.

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