2014-07-23

Ultimaker II - first impressions

So I have my Ultimaker II for a day now and these are my impressions so far.

Reliability

It is super reliable IF before every print I freshly level the bed, then extrude some filament into thin air using the maintenance->expert->move filament function.
For that the extruder usually needs a bit of manual push on the filament.
Maybe it retracted AFTER cooling down too much, maybe it wants to start moving to early, I don't know. It certainly starts up with a bit of grinding every time.

As for reliable, my first prints where 16 and 15 hours. while I slept and while I was away at work.
Haven't done that since the RepMan 3.0 days.

You do hear a little bit of skipping all the time but it does seem to work fine nonetheless.

Cura

is easy enough to use, maybe a bit too easy.
I cannot set the name of the gcode file when using the "export" button (I probably can using the menu).
I cannot see what the 3 default settings are to just modify one or two parameters (such as infill).

Build times are very accurate and everything works very well so far.
The Ultimaker II does display a "time left", something I've never seen before as it requires out of band information from the slicer or a complete simulation of the entire g-code including acceleration and time to change temperatures. However for a 6 hour print it did jump from 6 to 15 hours and then to 5.

Cura does seem to have an issue in deciding how to support curved surfaces on a 20% infill grid.
It likes to start and stop flat areas right in the are between infill grids.
This does work out 2 or 3 layers later.

Also beware that a "Fast low quality print" will not be water tight in any way.

What next?

Next I'll prepare a specially shaped plastic bag to protect the filament mounted on the back from dust to prevent blocked nozzles.
I couldn't get +-0.05mm filament at the moment, so I ordered some +-0.1mm and will switch in a few weeks.
I also ordered a custom made stage box to transport the Ultimaker, just like I dd with my TravelCNC.

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