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  1. #11
    I have owned both the Makerbot Replicator 2 and the Ultimaker 2. I purchased one of the early MB Rep2's and sold it after 2 months of frustration. It did not have the upgraded parts that MB provided later after I sold it.
    I did my homework after the first purchase disappointment with the MB. The conclusion I came to was that the Ultimaker 2 was the one to get. I purchased it from MakerShed and saved on the shipping costs that Ultimaker charges. The new UM2 was very nicely finished. It seemed more refined than the MB2. I carefully set it up and to my happy surprise I started printing successfully right from the start. Then after a few days the problems started happening. Clog after clog after clog. I searched the web for answers but found few as I had one of the first machines in the US. At first Ultimaker was responsive and tried to solve my problems. After many hours of searching for the problem, I FINALLY discovered what was causing all my grief. I contacted Ultimaker many times to let them know of the problem with the filament feeder design but thats when they totally stopped communicating with me. The knurled sleeve that attaches to the filament stepper motor kept slipping. It is held on to the round shaft of the stepper motor with a tiny tiny set screw (poor design IMHO). Once this tiny set screw loosens the filament can no longer be fed properly. OK you would think it's an easy fix...just tighten the tiny set screw. MUCH EASIER said than done!!!!! Access to the tiny set screw is totally blocked unless the stepper motor is removed. This requires dismantling parts of the printer. This takes about 2 hours to do. Then the problem is that the set screw is so tiny it's not possible to get it real tight so it will, as it did on my printer, come loose again. After fixing this 4 times I finally gave up on the Ultimaker 2 and returned it to MakerShed. I wish the factory would have admitted the design weakness and come up with a solution because the quality of prints it is capable of making is outstanding. Hopefully Ultimaker has corrected this design flaw...if they have then it is a fantastic printer but if they have not then I would look at other brands.
    FYI...MakerShed was absolutely great to deal with. I would give them an A+++ for outstanding customer service.

  2. #12
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    Follow RAMTechRob On Twitter
    I am ordering a Makerbot Replicator 5th Gen in a week. I will let you know how it does.

  3. #13
    Engineer
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    zortrax has their own pla in the works but you dont have to use their filament either. it will print anything....pet, nylon, abs, pla just like any other machine. the hot end is all metal so i believe is good for 300+ deg. one of their selling points is that its quiet but ive never heard it in person. that printer puts out about the cleanest prints i have seen from an fdm machine. dell just purchased 5000 of them for their employees.

    while im sure makerbot is a fine machine i have always felt there is nothing special about them and they are waaayy over priced compared to everything else. there is just nothing there to justify the price they ask for them. i just dont get it. you get a nice pretty package for the money and the rest is all big name marketing. no offense to rob. i will be curious to hear your review.

  4. #14
    Super Moderator DrLuigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atoff View Post
    Yes, those 2 do seem to be winning the battle, the Makerbot, just seems to be lacking for that hefty price tag. Yeah, the Ultimaker warranty is kind of scary. I tried to find out if I could get a Squaretrade (third party) warranty for either the Ultimaker or Zotrax, but I wasn't given a clear answer. I called twice and spoke to two different people... the first told me that because the MFR is international they wouldn't be able to cover it, the second told me that it would be covered. I'll need to wait and speak to a supervisor to be certain.

    Definitely about the PLA... if it doesn't print PLA then I'll have to pass. I'm also unsure about it's positional precision. 1.5 microns doesn't seem possible, especially for XY, so I'm going to assume it's completely false. I do like the price though. The filament size for the UM really bothers me though... being in the U.S, it's not very popular / abundant.

    Nice video on the Zotrax, it does seem really loud though.
    Ye he also says that, But he told in youtube that its kinda the camera that picks up the noise to well,

    I doubt it will be that noisy

  5. #15
    Well since I read about the Zortrax I have done masses of reading up about it and I have to say, I am likely not going to order a 5th Gen from MBI.

    I contacted them on their forum and uploaded a few STLs of items that I was having problems printing with my RepRapPro Mendel, asking whether the Zortrax would likely be able to print them reliably.

    What happened next is what is impressing me the most - one of the Zortrax employees posted that they had taken my files and were going to print them all (one is really big too), so that I could see photos of how they turn out, so I could see what difference their machine would make to my printing. I am waiting for the demo pics, but have to say I am MEGA impressed as it will really give me an idea of what the machine is like with MY prints.

    That really shows incredible customer service - something it seems that some people have doubted previously. I'm sure others may have their own opinions, but for me they have been spot on.

    At the moment the M200 only does ABS, but the availability of other material profiles is imminent. Plus, it not like that's a handicap - even the MB 5th Gen can only do one material type on launch and but there is no plan whatsoever of them changing this in the future. ABS is probably more useful anyway to me.

    So for me the plan is wait and see how my files print and then if everything is good it will be a Zortrax order later this evening!

    Thanks for the advise and tips guys.

    Cheers,

    J

    ps if anyone wants to read the answers to the extensive questions I posed to them earlier then here's the link:

    http://zortrax.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=351

  6. #16
    Technologist
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    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    I have owned both the Makerbot Replicator 2 and the Ultimaker 2. I purchased one of the early MB Rep2's and sold it after 2 months of frustration. It did not have the upgraded parts that MB provided later after I sold it.
    I did my homework after the first purchase disappointment with the MB. The conclusion I came to was that the Ultimaker 2 was the one to get. I purchased it from MakerShed and saved on the shipping costs that Ultimaker charges. The new UM2 was very nicely finished. It seemed more refined than the MB2. I carefully set it up and to my happy surprise I started printing successfully right from the start. Then after a few days the problems started happening. Clog after clog after clog. I searched the web for answers but found few as I had one of the first machines in the US. At first Ultimaker was responsive and tried to solve my problems. After many hours of searching for the problem, I FINALLY discovered what was causing all my grief. I contacted Ultimaker many times to let them know of the problem with the filament feeder design but thats when they totally stopped communicating with me. The knurled sleeve that attaches to the filament stepper motor kept slipping. It is held on to the round shaft of the stepper motor with a tiny tiny set screw (poor design IMHO). Once this tiny set screw loosens the filament can no longer be fed properly. OK you would think it's an easy fix...just tighten the tiny set screw. MUCH EASIER said than done!!!!! Access to the tiny set screw is totally blocked unless the stepper motor is removed. This requires dismantling parts of the printer. This takes about 2 hours to do. Then the problem is that the set screw is so tiny it's not possible to get it real tight so it will, as it did on my printer, come loose again. After fixing this 4 times I finally gave up on the Ultimaker 2 and returned it to MakerShed. I wish the factory would have admitted the design weakness and come up with a solution because the quality of prints it is capable of making is outstanding. Hopefully Ultimaker has corrected this design flaw...if they have then it is a fantastic printer but if they have not then I would look at other brands.
    FYI...MakerShed was absolutely great to deal with. I would give them an A+++ for outstanding customer service.
    Yikes, thanks for the info. I'm somewhat leaning towards the Ultimaker 2 now because of Jay's post in the Zortrax forum (see below). Apparently, they have no intention of supporting g-code, or other software options... from what I understand, and anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, you're stuck with their Z-Suite slicer. There's also the fact that they'll not be offering the ability to print without a raft, and some other obstacles here and there with their proprietary tech. These are definitely deal breakers, especially being locked into the Z-Suite software. Otherwise, everything about it sounds great! It's just so damn disappointing... it seems like the perfect printer to date, then they completely screw it up with all of the tight restrictions. What a shame.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimc View Post
    zortrax has their own pla in the works but you dont have to use their filament either. it will print anything....pet, nylon, abs, pla just like any other machine. the hot end is all metal so i believe is good for 300+ deg. one of their selling points is that its quiet but ive never heard it in person. that printer puts out about the cleanest prints i have seen from an fdm machine. dell just purchased 5000 of them for their employees.

    while im sure makerbot is a fine machine i have always felt there is nothing special about them and they are waaayy over priced compared to everything else. there is just nothing there to justify the price they ask for them. i just dont get it. you get a nice pretty package for the money and the rest is all big name marketing. no offense to rob. i will be curious to hear your review.
    Good to know about the filament, but from what I've been reading in their forums since we'd be locked into using the Z-Suite software, would we not be restricted in the options available for the other filaments? For example, printing in PLA is best on glass without a raft correct? But apparently, you cannot swap out the bed, because you'd be unable to calibrate in the z-axis. They also mention that they will not be offering the option to print without a raft.

    I guess now my gripe is with being locked into their proprietary software.

    I'm leaning more and more towards the Ultimaker 2, but they have issues as well. I hate the fact that it uses 3mm filament, and am now worried about whether or not they fixed the issue with the filament feeder that Cobalt had experienced. The lead time is awful too. 10 weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by jayceekeys View Post
    Well since I read about the Zortrax I have done masses of reading up about it and I have to say, I am likely not going to order a 5th Gen from MBI.

    I contacted them on their forum and uploaded a few STLs of items that I was having problems printing with my RepRapPro Mendel, asking whether the Zortrax would likely be able to print them reliably.

    What happened next is what is impressing me the most - one of the Zortrax employees posted that they had taken my files and were going to print them all (one is really big too), so that I could see photos of how they turn out, so I could see what difference their machine would make to my printing. I am waiting for the demo pics, but have to say I am MEGA impressed as it will really give me an idea of what the machine is like with MY prints.

    That really shows incredible customer service - something it seems that some people have doubted previously. I'm sure others may have their own opinions, but for me they have been spot on.

    At the moment the M200 only does ABS, but the availability of other material profiles is imminent. Plus, it not like that's a handicap - even the MB 5th Gen can only do one material type on launch and but there is no plan whatsoever of them changing this in the future. ABS is probably more useful anyway to me.

    So for me the plan is wait and see how my files print and then if everything is good it will be a Zortrax order later this evening!

    Thanks for the advise and tips guys.

    Cheers,

    J

    ps if anyone wants to read the answers to the extensive questions I posed to them earlier then here's the link:

    http://zortrax.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=351
    Jay, I read your post on the Zortrax forum earlier today. I've been going through that forum myself, trying to do as much research as possible. Good to hear that they're going to be receiving a large shipment around the 15th. I'm pretty bummed however about being tied into that Z-Suite software, otherwise, yes, their customer service seems pretty good. The prints look fantastic, it's becoming a tough decision between the UM2 and the Zortrax. I think I've abandoned the 5th Gen Replicator... just don't think it'll be on par with these two.

  7. #17
    Hey atoff,

    Yes ... we're in exactly the same position!


    Beyond anything, I just want a printer that is bulletproof - something that gives me awesome prints without being a printer god dialling in a million different variables into the slicing engine - all of which seem to be dependant on each other to get that perfect combo that produces a good print. I had a VERY hard think about the MB 5th and also the ultimaker 2. I already have a reprap that can use all the opensource programs such as Cura, Slicr, etc etc etc. I'm not getting on well with having a printer that doesn't come bundled with matching software as its a case of guessing the right combo of machine, configuration, temps, extrusion values, filament diameters, fill percentages and the list goes on. So I am concerned that if I buy a printer that doesn't come with a matching software that I won't be able to dial the two into each other.

    I was initially concerned about buying a printer from a company that was less renowned than MBI or similar, just in case I end up tied to a software that never gets finished.


    BUT ......


    I figure, if Dell have bought 5000 printers, there is no way on earth that they would get away with leaving them with all those printers without them being able to print perfectly and without working software. Dell must have faith in them and their product enough to commit! I believe they are also delivering the contract in several batches - so Zortrax know that they have to deliver the working perfect software very quickly - or risk not getting the remainder of the orders? They are probably one of the few persons that have tested all of the printers (including the MB 5th Gen) so I am going to follow their lead - plus I have seen the quality of the prints and the feedback on the printers. During the research I have done I spotted that Dell are actually selling MBI new printers - BUT they are actually using a different printer for their own company? It kind of tells you something doesn't it!! LOL


    I am really on the edge of ordering the Zortrax - especially as they are printing the parts for me to see (although I think they have probably left them to finish overnight). I can't ask for better service than that. As soon as I see the finished parts I am going to place an order (provided they look good).

    Cheers,

    Jay

    PS I know some people prefer open source rather than closed software, but I have a reprap and I just need a printer that is reliable and high quality in print. For others, they have more skill and perhaps time than I do so its just personal preference for each person I guess.
    Last edited by jayceekeys; 03-04-2014 at 02:59 PM.

  8. #18
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    The only true way to get a trouble free click and print experience is unfortunately with closed source. when you start intermixing slicers and plastics from other manufacturers there are just too many variables there. i have no problems using their software. why would you use a different slicer anyway. if their setup, printer, slicer and plastic gives great results then there is no reason to use something else. they have worked all the kinks out of it. atleast its abs. mb your stuck with pla which is about useless for anything that doesnt sit on a shelf. if you want a super quality open source printer then give a look at the makergear m2. a usa company that has been around awhile and you cant get better customer support.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc View Post
    The only true way to get a trouble free click and print experience is unfortunately with closed source. when you start intermixing slicers and plastics from other manufacturers there are just too many variables there. i have no problems using their software. why would you use a different slicer anyway. if their setup, printer, slicer and plastic gives great results then there is no reason to use something else. they have worked all the kinks out of it. atleast its abs. mb your stuck with pla which is about useless for anything that doesnt sit on a shelf. if you want a super quality open source printer then give a look at the makergear m2. a usa company that has been around awhile and you cant get better customer support.
    Well, I believe there's plenty of reason to want to use different software or filament. There's a wide variety of filament choices out there, with some fantastic colors, or experimental filament, such as laywood that I would love to try. I'm not sure whether or not the Z-Suite software has the option to custom adjust things like temperature and speed, or whatever else might be necessary to use these filaments. Do you know whether or not that option is available?

    I did take a look at the M2, it looks great too.

    I'm pretty much stuck between the UM2 and the M200 though, I am completely unsure which to go with. It is aggravating trying to decide. The UM seems to have a more active / larger community as well, not to mention the fact that I'm able to purchase from a U.S. seller.

  10. #20
    Ok so yesterday I ordered a Zortrax M200. In the end they made it supper easy for me - I was asking whether the type of parts I had been tying to print on my old machine would be better on their machine. Next minute they had downloaded my files and were printing the parts off in their factory so that I could have close up photos to actually see the finished article - incredible quality and superb customer service so it made the deal for me! The photos are ok their forum :

    http://zortrax.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=351



    Cheers,

    Jay
    Last edited by jayceekeys; 03-06-2014 at 12:56 AM.

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