Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ultimaker 2 First Impressions

The Prusa I3 was to that junker of a first car that many people fondly remember.  Not dependable, not all that smooth at times, certainly not fast, but gets you where you need to go.  The Duplicator 4S was your first new car, maybe a Ford, or something like that.  Dependable, a little faster and a lot smoother.  When you finally got the beans to upgrade to the BMW you are now thinking Ultimaker 2.  Another thread of analogy...first computer assembled from parts, second computer a Dell, third computer an Apple Mac.

The Apple analogy is the one that I will run with.  Like an Apple product the Ultimaker 2 is certainly priced at the top of it's market!   It seems to be able to hold that honor through reputation that allows it to maintain top price.   I have not detected a cult as there is for Apple products but that may be part of the equation as well.

The packaging of the printer was solid, maybe not as glitz as a Mac product but it is only packaging!   First impression of the printer coming out of the box was of Apple like design and build quality.  It is a compact, sturdy, attractive little box.  Slightly industrial looking in a fancy sort of way.  There was not much effort involved in getting it ready to run.   Mostly just unpacking things and getting rid of some cable ties.  Assembly was pretty much just putting on the spool holder, mounting the glass build plate (a very nice piece of glass), and plugging it in.

When the printer powers on the inside LED's light up and the printer kinda glows.  Tres cool.  From a factory reset the printer comes up asking for a build platform alignment.  Pretty much the normal stuff here but done really well and pretty fool proof.   The printer then asks for some filament to be inserted.  Again, very straight forward and pretty fool proof if you are following instructions! 

Finally, I was ready to print some tests.  The instructions recommend using the included glue stick to prepare the build platform but I am a fan of hair spray.   From my previous printer I have a hood that keeps the hair spray from messing up the inside of the printer though I need to craft on that fits the Ultimaker.  The test objects loaded on the 4gb SD card that came with the printer all worked nicely.   Here is a picture of two of them.   

I also printed some of my own calibration objects and the results were really good.  Right out of the box it does the bridge torture test perfectly.   I guess I should have expected this but it was still good to see.  The printer is a keeper!

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