Which Printer?

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chippwalters
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Which Printer?

Post by chippwalters » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:17 am

Hi all,

I have an Affinia/UP which I am very happy with. Been running for a year without any service. Question 1: Do I need to do ANY maintenance on this thing? It runs great, but I suspect I need to oil the transport mechanism some how. Any ideas?

Question 2. I need a bigger printer volume for some print jobs. Any recommendations on which printer to get? I need to get one before the end of the year if possible. I trust the folks here as they *know* what works and doesn't. I'm not into Makerbot or DYI systems. Thanks!!

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JuliaDee
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by JuliaDee » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:39 am

Question 1: Personally I don't do any unless something fails. Been running my Up going on 3 years and my Afinia for almost 2.

Question 2: No contest - Zortrax M200. Integrated software like the Up, excellent customer support and frequent updates/improvements, extremely high quality prints with easy support removal, and extremely reliable. Just ask anyone who owns one (I just bought a second one). Octave now sells it in the USA. Or you could wait for the Up Box, but there's no release date yet AFAIK.

chippwalters
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by chippwalters » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:45 am

Thanks Julia! I was hoping you'd weigh in. Very helpful! :)

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wilsonj
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by wilsonj » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:01 pm

+1

Wonder how long this thread will last? Julia, you mentioned the Z word :shock: :shock:
Regards
Jamie
3DPrinterGear.com.au

stormychel
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by stormychel » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:37 am

JuliaDee wrote:Question 2: No contest - Zortrax M200. Integrated software like the Up, excellent customer support and frequent updates/improvements, extremely high quality prints with easy support removal, and extremely reliable. Just ask anyone who owns one (I just bought a second one). Octave now sells it in the USA. Or you could wait for the Up Box, but there's no release date yet AFAIK.
Been looking at that one too, but filament availability isn't always reliable...

But looking at these 'good' printers, I think the choice will be either a DIY-printer or Open Source-based prebuilt printer, which can print almost all materials, but with less good software, and much tweaking/calibration needed, OR an UP! - Zortrax - Makerbot - ... printer that only prints well with OEM-filament (without tweaking), and comes with pretty good software...
@stormychel

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JuliaDee
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by JuliaDee » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:36 pm

stormychel wrote: Been looking at [M200] too, but filament availability isn't always reliable...
I'm surprised, as there are a lot of resellers in Europe now, including iMakr. Shipments direct from Zortrax China take about 4 days to USA.

Up filament works fine in the M200, it is virtually identical to Z-ABS.

julia

stormychel
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by stormychel » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:25 am

JuliaDee wrote:
stormychel wrote: Been looking at [M200] too, but filament availability isn't always reliable...
I'm surprised, as there are a lot of resellers in Europe now, including iMakr. Shipments direct from Zortrax China take about 4 days to USA.

Up filament works fine in the M200, it is virtually identical to Z-ABS.

julia
I guess comments and reviews about the Mini were better that time then... would have loved a 200x200 build envelope.

Is the temperature on these adjustable, or moddable? I use reels (ABS, PLA and HIPS) from a supplier that delivers the next day, so I am used to not having much stock and ordering what I need the next day.
@stormychel

ming
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by ming » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:46 pm

I too am intrigued by the M200 and i look forward to more reviews on the following items
1. MAterial options - Is the temperature control adjustable via software or hardware
- Z ULTRAT - is this material nylon "like"
- Standard ABS can quality ABS not from Zortrax be used on this machine
2. Print quality - What bearings are used on the machine (Rod / ball screw / Dovetail ....?)
3. Software - Does it have finish layer thickness control (looking for layer thickness control on sidewalls and top/bottom)
Dream@night / Holdit@sameday

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JuliaDee
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by JuliaDee » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:15 pm

Extrusion temp of the M200 is not user-adjustable, it is optimized by Zortrax for each material in the slicer. Modding for temp control is not as straightforward as with the Up and requires electronics but I am working on it.

Currently available from Zortrax are:

ABS - virtually identical to Up filament, matte finish
UltraT - Stronger, more dense, better layer bonding and less warp than ABS. Gloss finish. Not really nylon-like.
HIPS - Little or no warpage.
Z-Glass - Like Taulman T-glase. Translucent.

Coming "soon": nylon, wood, metallics

Third-party ABS can work, especially with older versions of the slicer that used 260-270 instead of 270-280, but use of any third-party filament voids the warranty. The limitations on materials used to bother me but as the material and color selection from Zortrax has increased I don't mind much anymore because the results are so good. I use UltraT almost exclusively now for engineering parts; looking forward to trying HIPS and glass soon. Software and firmware updates are very frequent and the company is responsive to problem reports, analyzing any issues and improving all the time.

Z-Axis has ballscrew, main rods have linear ball bearings, outer rods are bronze bushings. Printer is very smooth, solid, and precise.

Slicer has control over number of top/bottom layers, seam randomizing and the usual support, infill/speed/layer thickness settings. Not quite as many support options as Up but enough. Seam hiding is not quite as good as the Up. Raftless printing is not possible. It spends a lot more time on its rafts than the Up does but it is necessary for adhesion of large parts. Ease of support removal is similar to Up. I still use my Up for parts that fit, because it's faster.

Auto-height sensing works great. Auto-level is OK I guess but I don't really use it, I level by eye. Once leveled the bed doesn't need to be touched again for months.

Enclosure panels are available from a few sellers, I just bought a laser-cut set on ebay for $25, very nice.

Community is very nice and helpful, and senior Zortrax staff are often online in the chatroom and on the forums.

stormychel
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by stormychel » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:19 pm

Interested in your opinion on HIPS, keep us posted :) I like it but it's not as strong as ABS, even removing support needs to be done with more care. But it really warps a lot less, to the point of almost making the UP usable for large prints (with 80° C bed mod)
@stormychel

ming
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by ming » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:03 am

As usual Julia thank you for the very thorough explanation.

I am looking at it and still waiting for santa :)
Im debating also on getting a formlab but thats a totally different goal. Its difficult for me to get another FDM since Im happy with my UP/Afinia except for the smaller bed size and wall thickness (sidewall)

Julia, have you used the Zortrax filament on your UP ? I want to get the light Blue ABS. and though i have temp control and enclosed chamber. I like to get your feedback of that material and your settings if you have printed it on your UP. Since you mentioned the software does not have temp control and its upwards of 260 deg - Is it safe to assume it will print fine on the UP with temp control turned off.
Dream@night / Holdit@sameday

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JuliaDee
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by JuliaDee » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:22 am

Yes, I've used both Z-ABS and UltraT on the Up/Afinia. They work fine at full temperature.

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JuliaDee
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Re: Which Printer?

Post by JuliaDee » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:42 am

Temperature control is now possible with the Zortrax M200:

http://www.z-temp.co

Julia

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