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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Test Prints from Ultimaker 3 (and versus Ultimaker 2+)

As time allows I am doing some test prints on my new Ultimaker 3 with various materials.  I am also going to try and do the same print on my Ultimaker 2+.  I did not buy the new printer expecting any great improvement on the old ones but I do want to see the quality and if necessary do some tuning (in any case on either printer if some is needed).  In all cases I am using Cura and the profiles provided there-in at a resolution of 100 microns.  

Ultimaker PLA on the Ultimaker 3

This is as nearly a perfect print as I think is possible using a 400 micron nozzle on an FDM printer (at 100 micron resolution).  I could do better with a 250 micron nozzle but this is pretty good.  Note that I had accidentally printed with a brim which explains the layer of filament up the little river.

Ultimaker PLA on the Ultimaker 2+

Almost as good as the UM3 print but for the print layers being very slightly more visible and a little deformation of the sides of the bridging.  I think that I need to do some belt tightening and make sure everything is tight on the UM2+

"Upgraded" PLA on the Ultimaker 3

When I first started printing I happily purchased my filament from eBay based on price.  When I got my Ultimakers I started to notice the difference between suppliers and decided to standardise on a slightly better material than eBay cheapest.  The filament used here was 20GBP for a kilogram.  More than eBay but less than Ultimaker (35.99GBP for 750g)!  This is another nearly perfect print in my humble opinion.  

Ultimaker CPE on the Ultimaker 3

Nearly as good as the PLA prints but not quite as sharp.  These were done at the profiled temperatures and I wonder if a couple degrees lower might help.  

Ultimaker CPE on the Ultimaker 2+

'Def some issues compared to the Ultimaker 3 print.  This print was done with an older nozzle and it might bear a repeat with a newer nozzle and the same temperature decrease mentioned above.  I think these are issues that can be largely tuned out.

Colorfabb NGEN on the Ultimaker 3

I really like the NGEN portfolio of filaments from Colorfabb.  They print a lot like PLA but are more temperature resistant and have a nice look about them.   The temperature range recommendation is 220 to 240 and this was printed at 230.  I think that I would lower the temperature by 5 degrees for another attempt but this is still pretty good.

"Upgraded" PLA on a freshly tuned Ultimaker 2+

 It is clear from looking at the above prints done by my Ultimaker 2+ that some tuning is needed.  The print below on the right is after said tuning.  The one on the right is from the Ultimaker 3.  They are both pretty close to perfect.  As I stated above, I could improve the quality by using a 250 micron nozzle, and I could also slow the print down, but these are pretty good prints using the stock profile from Cura for PLA.  The tuning that I did consisted of making sure the short belts were tight, lubricating all the axis, and replacing the teflon coupler.  The coupler did not look degraded but I have to think that was the source of most of the improvement.

Colorfabb NGEN on the freshly tuned Ultimaker 2+

The tuned Ultimaker 2+ did a nice job on this print.  On par if not a little better than the Ultimaker 3 print though I would give credit to the temperature reduction.  Mechanically the printers seem pretty much the same when it comes to a single material print so the results are not a surprise nor does Ultimaker advertise an improvement for a single material print.  I am just impressed at how well my well used two year old upgraded printers do compared to a brand new Ultimaker 3!

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