UP300 - 1 week - first impresssions

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Joined:Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:38 pm
UP300 - 1 week - first impresssions

Post by JothamB » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:17 pm

Here is my thoughts and review of the UP300:

Build quality is great. Its a sollid well built H-bot belt configuration with belt tensioners fitted. Very good. Great cable management. I'll be hard pressed to break this even with the thousands of hours that I will be clocking up over the coming years. The chassy is really solid. The only complaint I have is that the x axis uses bushings rather than linear bearings, I'll keep them well greased with a quality lithium grease for trouble free operation. All rods are 8mm diameter. I like how the flex cables will be relatively easy to replace if I ever need to. My last few (non tiertime) printers start to get cable fatigue issues at around 1000-1500hrs of printing.

Moving on to the hotend, I've torn it down and put it back together, its well built. I question the longevity of the extruder design with its odd idler bearing configuration (see pictures), though tiertime has been in this game for a long time, I trust they know what they are doing.

Works a treat out of the box. Zero tolerance parts will fit with a friction fit out of the box without any fiddling or calibrating. However I have had to add custom heat bed temperature to negate warping on Esun ABS (120c) though these are the best ABS prints I've ever had.

Well built, solid, well thought out - 2 exceptions: extruder motor has a fan cooling it, it does not have any shield whatsoever preventing it blowing on the print too, and the print cooling fan could be, in my opinion slightly better. There's no options to control it at all.
Hotend swapping is super easy, works well. Quick and hassle free.

I love the switchable beds, brilliant. Autoleveling works well. However the bed offset does vary a little bit depending on if there's any debris on the nozzle when it detects its offset. Software has nice way to keep track of filament quantity in the machine and what filament is loaded. Wifi features work well. The touch screen was a bit slow to respond to my inputs at first, but once the software update was installed it was much more responsive and not frustrating at all (it was a little at first).

So far, so good. Now I do have a couple of complaints:

UPStudio has very limited settings for printing. Supports don't have many options for controlling adhesion. Turning off supports doesn't actually turn them off. Workaround is to manually go through and remove all supports which is somewhat tiresome. This is a real gotcha when you think theres no supports running through your prototype's internal ducting in the body of the print, only to find out about 20hrs and half a spool of filament, that supports aren't actually turned off when it says they're off.

I can't customize retraction settings - some materials I print (like htpla+) are more stringy and need custom settings to get clean retracts.

UPStudio is generates their own proprietary locked down gcode files, you can't use Cura, Slic3r, or any other slicer like Simplify3D which I've been using it for years, I love it - in my opinion, its superior, in every way to upstudio. Sorry Tiertime.

UPStudio supports importing of gcode from other Simplify3D on the UP Box+ and their other printers, but not the UP300 - it just crashes when using Simplify3D settings for up box+ and importing that gcode. I filed a ticket with support to get them to add UP300 to their Simplify3D gcode guide. Support has simply said they won't support gcode imports for the UP300 at this time which I find very frustrating. I've asked them for an update or any other information to which they have been non responsive - I was on the fence about buying this machine due to the software restrictions but read other gcode could be imported, which is what got me to pull the trigger on this purchase. Disappointing.

Yesterday I tried to slice a model that worked great on slic3r and Simplify3D, well, it caused UPStudio to crash and just vaporize. Running the model through meshmixer, hitting repair, exporting it and then putting it into upstudio seems to have fixed the issue, even though the model is perfectly manifold, and appears to have no issues at all on Simplify3D or Slic3r which both interestingly seem to think there are no errors.

So there you have it, overall, would I buy it again? Yes.
Is there room for improvement? Yes.

What would it take for me to give this printer a 5 star rating? - the printer will need to accept normal gcode.

I've owned a prusa i3 MK2 for many years, clocked up thousands of hours on my machines and I have to say, this one has the most consistent layers and extrusions of all of them. Its on par, if not better than the prusa ever was. And that's saying a lot.

If you need a ABS printing monster, look no further. - though I haven't printed ABS parts bigger than 130x80mm. From what I read some people put a towel over the machine to keep it warm if the room is very cold. Someone I read got 10mm thick foam pads with magnets glued in clicked onto the outside panels of the machine to get the ambient temperature up to 60c though 70C would be ideal. That is the temperature stratasys FDM2000 machines use when printing ABS. Pretty sure the life of components reduces under such high ambient so probably not a good idea.

Anyway there you have it! My thoughts on the UP300. :)
IMG_20190304_152142995.jpg (397.74KiB)Viewed 3355 times
Last edited by JothamB on Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joined:Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:52 am

Re: UP300 - 1 week - first impresssions

Post by cj7hawk » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:48 am


The example of the hot end pics didn't show up - Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter?

(Another UP300 user ) - Currently at about 2Kg printed.

Joined:Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: UP300 - 1 week - first impresssions

Post by JothamB » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:14 am

Sorry. I hit post, and I was going to edit my post further adding pictures and more information, but as soon as I hit post my post disappeared till moderation approved it. I couldn't get photos into the post without them disappearing all the time. :?

Will attempt to add info now.

Joined:Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: UP300 - 1 week - first impresssions

Post by JothamB » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:25 am

Some updates on my UP300 printer:

The leveling servo stopped working. I manually deployed it, forgot to put it back up and well, it broke off the switch lever.

Tiertime finally responded to my request to have gcode importing added, they said, maybe later. Not at this time.

UPStudio slicer got an update today. It tells me it needs the printers firmware to be updated for it to be compatible with the new upstudio version, well, it asks for version 1.4.4, and guess what, they haven't updated the firmware available for download (its been 8hrs since the update, it broke my workflow - I have a lot of parts to print on a deadline). Uninstalled UPStudio to reinstall the older version. Uninstaller crashed halfway through (their software is so glitchy - more on this later). Second run of the uninstaller did the trick.

Sometimes when moving parts, the UPStudio window goes completely white, I've experienced this problem of 2 of the computers. The only way to solve this is to move the window. Then move the part, move the window again, etc.

Under custom material settings, I added ASA with 120c heatbed temp. If you put 120c, it actually just uses 90c without any warning. Putting it to 110c works as expected. I think it must be too high and its going to its default heatbed temperature which always, always warps printing ASA. At the very least warn the user that its not going to the set temperature? I spent hours trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Took me FAR too long.

Forum posts: Its been 3 days and my last forum post finally got moderation approval. How in the world are we supposed to have normal conversations like this on the forum? The wait times are ridiculous. It doesn't take long to approve a post.

The forum deletes attachments at random when you submit your post. I'm guessing they were too large but it accepted those photos so I don't know whats going on here.

If you have a previous print job saved to the printer, with a custom material profile, and then you connect another pc, it will rewrite the material profiles loaded to the machine, their internal profile ID's wont match the previous job saved on the machine, so even if the second machine's material profile has the same name, same hotend and heatbed temp (the rest is left on defaults) it will tell you material mistmatch and you won't be able to use the saved file.

Heatbed preheating: The darn thing cannot be made to wait for its bed to hit preheat temp. You can tell it to wait 15,30, 45 and 60 minutes before starting a print, but there's no option of waiting for it to come to specced temperature before printing. Overall, its a very frustrating experience. Hardware? Wonderful. Software? what a steaming pile of :poop:

Honestly I think the best thing you could do for a machine like this is put a duet wifi unit into it. Even a shitty $50 ramps 1.4 controller might be better because you can use other slicers, settings, diagnose better, use babystepping to dial in Z height perfectly on the fly and more..

On a more positive note, when it works, it works great. Rafts detach well and just work. layers are super consistent. Print quality is pretty darn up there, with the exception of the perimeters not sticking to infill properly (yea - thats a big one - I file a ticket and they just told me to bump up the extrusion multiplier which reportedly messes up part tolerances)

Do I still recommend it? Maybe, yes. Could it be better? Yes.

My message to Tiertime is, spend some money on more support staff, and hire more software developers. Get some tooltips into UPStudo that explain what everything does (like every other slicer out there). You're frustrating people. Its starting to feel like a 2 man operation back there (sorry guys if there's more of you working on it, I understand little things can take up a lot of time), but please step up your game. Like the firmware update issue I mentioned above? Someone dropped the ball there and messed up.

Next up some photos in my next post:

Joined:Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: UP300 - 1 week - first impresssions

Post by JothamB » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:59 am

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