Advantages of M3 over M2

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Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by dramsey » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:34 pm

I've had my M2 for a couple of years now, and have gotten it pretty dialed in. I replaced the noisy power supply fan and added isolator pads to the X and Y axis motors; ordered a MIC6 aluminum bed plate from a member here and painstakingly applied the requisite PEI surface, etc.

I do find that I have to re-level the plate very frequently-- removing the heavy aluminum plate to take the print off, then putting it back on the bed, will throw things off a few hundreds of a millimeter. But I've gotten really, really good at this, and generally it takes me less than a minute once the bed and extruder have warmed up. I do this check pretty much every print these days.

So I can crank out prints pretty reliably. So my first question is: mechanically, what's the advantage of the M3 over the M2? I don't really care that much for on-printer slicing or control as I prefer to run things from my computer, but I suppose I could be persuaded. "True leveling" sounds nice but I cannot for the life of me figure out exactly what it is.

The dual independent extruder version looks interesting, but it looks as it you'll lose a significant chunk of X-axis bed space. Or will you? And given the lack of scrapers I assume ooze shields would be required...

If anyone that's upgraded from an M2 to an M3 could chime in, I'd appreciate it.

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by 86bg » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:09 am

I agree with your sentiment. Sometimes I wish companies would place a button on their product details page that switches from marketing ejaculations to technical details and a true product demonstration video. There's little to no details on the web or demonstrations.

I'll bet the m3 is a test bed/upgrade for the R&D that's gone into the M4. We dudes in the 3d printing hobby are pretty technically savvy guys. You need to win us over with something we can digest, or even stomach to read. I want to see the independent dual heads in action. I want to see the differences of the more even cooling fan.

I WANT to buy it, but I just need a little more info.

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by Pekish79 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:12 pm

I think it's quite obvious that the M3 was made for dual head.
If you need dual head buy it! (it is an obvious improvement)
if you have an M2 that works great and that's all you need (no need another machine to double production)
why would you even think you need to buy it.

most of the time people are just taken but the desire of the new things
and want the company to convince them not to buy... that is quite weird to ask.

it's our consumeristic culture to blame not the company.
It's not their job to convince us not to buy it was never been and it will never be.
I read the tech info they gave, and even if they don't go into super detail, u can easily see there is no vast improvement other than some generic "better."
if there were something worth it, they would describe it in great detail.
You just to believe there is because you just want to buy new things

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by NF6X » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:21 pm

In the absence of information to the contrary, I'm assuming that the M3 has the same mechanical leveling scheme as the M2, and that True Leveling is the marketing wankword for the new leveling procedure I've seen mentioned that involves making some sort of zig-zag test prints.

I'd love to upgrade my M2 dual to an M3 independent dual, but I'm not prepared to spend that much money at the moment. But I did convince my employer to pre-order an M3 dual for use at work, so I'll get to learn all about it anyway! I've been doing an increasing number of prints for work on my home printer, making engineering development fixtures and so forth. We'll certainly make good use of a 3D printer at work, and my team agreed that the M3 dual is worth waiting for. Particularly since I can keep on printing stuff up at home while we're waiting.

I don't know if an upgrade kit to add independent dual printing to an M2 would be practical, but if it is, then I'd be a candidate to buy it. If not, then I guess that one of these days I'll buy an M3 dual, and then perhaps sell off my M2 to help cover the cost.

The new embedded Octopi server looks like a good feature for a better out-of-the-box experience. It's not so compelling to me as an upgrade feature, since I'm already running an Octopi anyway, and I've recently given it a built-in LCD display for local control. But it looks like a compelling feature for new purchases, though, since it saves the user from having to figure out how to set up an Octopi server. Maybe their Octopi installation also has some MakerGear-specific secret sauce added in, too? If the leveling tools are built in, then that would be very nice. I see that MakerGear has some OctoPrint related stuff in their GitHub repositories, but I haven't taken a close look at it yet.

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by dramsey » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:56 pm

I’d be interested in the independent dual extruder model, but would need some more information first, specifically on support inside popular slicers like Simplify3D, limitations on x-axis space, and so forth. I suppose I shall have to wait for online reviews since this kind of information seems to be secret.

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for an upgrade to M2 printers. I’ve been waiting for a sporadically available upgrade that brings the current leveling system to older printer like mine with the 3-point bed spider, and have been told it will be available and that I’ll be notified, but it’s been over a year now...

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by wmgeorge » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:28 pm

I was really thinking a larger print area would be coming instead of the M3 dual.
Retired Master Electrician, Commercial HVAC/R,CNC Router, MakerGear M2...and more.

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by owenwp » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:33 pm

The true leveling is a software wizard built into OctoPrint as a plugin. It guides you through with short video clips and does a fairly straightforward but precise leveling procedure. Starts by having you check bed clearance by moving the extruder carriage onto the build plate from off the side by hand. It is designed so the nozzle can go beyond the build plate, which also allows it to wipe itself on the edge of the glass each time. Then it does the zigzags, where each pass is minutely closer to the bed, giving you a sort of fine bed adhesion gradient, with a bit of loose string at the end for you to pull it off with. As they demonstrate visually, if its dialed in right, half of the zigzag pattern is supposed to unravel into a continuous string, and half of it is supposed to adhere as a solid piece when you pull. If it all unravels or all sticks together you repeat. They first do it in the center and have you do Z height adjustment, then they have you adjust each corner, with little videos showing you which way to tighten based on what the test print looks like. The screws are deeply sunken grub screws at each corner that are pretty tight, not likely to lose their position.

It did take a while to complete the process due to the need to repeatedly print the little patterns, but it was certainly very scientific about it, finding the optimal bed adhesion sweet spot reliably. I think its probably accurate to say that most of the benefits of the M3 over the M2 have to do with the out of the box experience. This is usable by a total beginner to 3D printing without any guesswork. An expert who it willing to put in the time to experiment and set up their own Octopi would probably be fine with the M2. The mechanical improvements seem to be very minor, though if the spec sheet is accurate then the stepper motors and/or drivers are higher resolution, and the X carriage is obviously better engineered with a part cooler that does more than blow in the general direction of the nozzle. I can see that it prints beautifully but I cant do a comparison. Maybe the resolution matters for that precise zigzag.

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by vesteroid » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:03 pm

Well, I ordered a m3 dual, so I can be the consumeristic guinea pig for you all :)

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by Tim » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:57 pm

dramsey wrote:I’d be interested in the independent dual extruder model, but would need some more information first, specifically on support inside popular slicers like Simplify3D, limitations on x-axis space, and so forth.
From the pictures, the X-axis space limitation has been at least partly solved on the M3 by making the top plate a bit longer, allowing the right extruder to sit well off to the side and gives the left extruder the full range (maybe?) of the plate. But the left side of the frame is largely unchanged from the M2 design and the right extruder is not going to reach the left side of the bed. In practice, this is unlikely to be a big deal.

The software limitations are the more interesting issue. The latest Make magazine features a review of the redesigned BCN3D Sigma, one of the few other independent dual extruder models available (and also open hardware/software/firmware), which relies on Cura. It's an interesting question as to whether Cura or Simplify3D will respond faster to demand.

Hopefully Make magazine will review the M3 soon. . .
wmgeorge wrote:I was really thinking a larger print area would be coming instead of the M3 dual.
It is. You just have to wait a little longer for the M4. Keep pestering Makergear for a roll-out date!

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Re: Advantages of M3 over M2

Post by 3DPrintingEgg » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:16 pm

I guess I am not alone in wishing for a bigger print bed over dual extruders. LOL.
But hey, I love the Makergear M2, so I will probably still pony up for a M3 soon.

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