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3D Nightmare, Somebody WAKE ME UP!
on May 31, 2017
I am a professional that specializes in the design, fabrication and production of one-off test equipment used to test products as they are assembled. I also do a lot of prototyping. About twenty months ago the company purchased an XYZ 3D printer for me to learn 3D printing. It was a good learning platform and soon they invested in an upgrade to a Flash Forge Creator Pro, which has been a workhorse and a great machine, but is still recognized as less than a commercial platform. I had always read that Ultimakers were among the best desktop 3D printers for series professional, no nonsense printing, so I requested we upgrade again to achieve the next level of accuracy and quality of output.
I have had the machine a month now. I have only used it to print ABS models. I'll try to make this brief, but frankly I'm embarrassed that I recommended this machine to the company. The first week, I couldn't get the model to stick to the bed, no matter what I did. I tried the glue stick that comes with it, hair spray, and ABS slurry, but nothing worked. I adjusted the bed temp to 110 degrees and the extruder temp to 240, still no luck. After a week I contacted the US support staff and, while I did get responses, nothing they had to say did any good. I provided my phone number and requested they call me, but all I ever got was email correspondence. It was frankly the worst customer service I've ever experienced.
Ten days after receiving it I still had no success in printing a good model, and then the machine couldn't perform Active Leveling, and stopped working due to it's own diagnostic protection system. I opened the fan shroud on the print head, and discovered the entire left extruder was encased in melted ABS. I contacted customer support and they told me they were sorry I had experienced a "PRINT FLOOD", something they said happens sometimes with this machine. I asked why it happens, and they just left me hanging. They asked me to email photo's which I did, and they said they'd get back to me when they decided what to do next.
I dismantled the print head and meticulously with heat and dental tools, completely cleaned and polished the head and put the machine back into service. I was trying to avoid the embarrassment of admitting I chose the wrong machine. I asked for a replacement silicon head seal and an o-ring from support. I got nothing.
I gave up on support. Previously they had mentioned one helpful idea, the addition of a door to the front of the unit to hold in the heat. So I added a door. Eventually I started having, at least, some success printing ABS models. So I kept the machine. You would think, when you spend $3,500 on a machine, that needs a door to successfully print out a common material like ABS, it would come with a door.
Bottom line is, eventually I was able to print ABS models, that is until the glass print bed delaminated during the cooling of a model on one side. I flipped it over and used the other side for a few more prints, and then it delaminated as well.
************** NOW IT"S JUST BROKE, AND I LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT FOR SELECTING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE *****************.