looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

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bbraml
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:50 pm

looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by bbraml » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:51 pm

So after doing SOME research, it seems the M2 is a reasonable price for a quality machine. Once I decided on the M2, i was looking around on how to actually use it. after looking at the Google+ version of this forum and read some of the before you begin, getting started, it seems like its a lot of work just to get it to work. Am I wrong? Is there something on this forum that could help me out? Is it easy to print out items? I really couldn't find real answers to these questions. here is the link to the doc on the google+ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... oTGwIvSkYs I'm pretty techy, but this seemed over my head. Any help would be appreciated.

Bratag
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:33 am

Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by Bratag » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:10 pm

bbraml wrote:So after doing SOME research, it seems the M2 is a reasonable price for a quality machine. Once I decided on the M2, i was looking around on how to actually use it. after looking at the Google+ version of this forum and read some of the before you begin, getting started, it seems like its a lot of work just to get it to work. Am I wrong? Is there something on this forum that could help me out? Is it easy to print out items? I really couldn't find real answers to these questions. here is the link to the doc on the google+ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... oTGwIvSkYs I'm pretty techy, but this seemed over my head. Any help would be appreciated.
You could order it assembled and simply start printing. I did and it was fine. However. ANY 3d printer is going to require tweaking and work to get the best results. Anyone who tells you different is selling you something.

Despite what companies keep touting - 3D printing is a combination of art and science.

The M2 is my third printer and I can honestly say I do not think there is a better machine per price point available. It is rock solid both in construction and in operation. You wont be dissapointed

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Matt_Sharkey
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by Matt_Sharkey » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:32 pm

As Bratag mentioned, these are symptoms of all 3D printers. there is no simple "plug and play" or "set it and forget it" solution (that I know of anyways)

You need to do calibrations yourself, now the field is developing rapidly in this department where there are Beta tests of auto leveling and auto bed calibration, which takes a chunk of maintenance out of the equation, but its not universally adopted.

Each plastic you print with will come with its own baggage, and usually other people can offer advice, but only you can really hone in on a beautiful print.

why you should buy the M2 over any others?
the price is low for the caliber of printer it is
it uses high precision equipment allowing much faster and cleaner prints
the machine only needs to be calibrated every now and again (i'd give it about 100 hours of print time)
---notice that some other companies would have you buy brand new proprietary components every 100 hours..... :evil:
the machine is built like a tank.
all of the parts are easily serviceable by you, with very little effort.
the community is incredibly supportive, especially towards beginners (truly a rare quality)

CCVirginia
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:31 pm

Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by CCVirginia » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:03 pm

I have been in a similar position as you, at this four a couple of months now with an M2.

I started to document some impressions here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2538
But really should update it some more with recent experiences. You can see the rest of my journey by searching for CCVirginia.

There has been a lot of learning curve to get good results with a variety of models and materials and I still ask some stupid questions. But, if I would break this down to "printer" and "my learning curve", I would say it is 90% my learning curve. The printer has been very reliable and consistent.

The M2 did print "out of the box" with the default settings and MG PLA. The quality was and continues to be very good. I have had 2 printer issues: A bad belt and cracked extruder, both replaced promptly by MG. So my time (more than I care to admit) has been spent learning how to do this well. What I see on other forums is MUCH more time "fussing with the printer" and quality issues that can be traced to poor printer design. What I have learned is that there are SO MANY factors to getting a great print and it can even vary with the model being printed as well as the materials. I have been using locally available Microcenter filament and experimenting a bit - those experiments do take time!

Other advantages I would point to: MG does really respond to support requests. The support on this forum is fantastic.

One factor for me in the M2 was the open design and being able to use multiple materials. Perhaps (and I don't know this for sure), some printers that "lock down" the filaments to their own limited and expensive brand may be easier because they can tune for just those materials. So, that is a tradeoff you could consider. Of course, you could also just use MG filament and, perhaps, have the same experience.I'm happy with my choice.

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SouthSideofdaSky
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:35 pm

Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by SouthSideofdaSky » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:06 pm

In addition to what the others have said...

Your comment seems to imply that you mostly looked through the google group, then came here just to post this. My understanding is that the Google group is rarely used and has more or less been deserted since the forum here was created sometime around April of last year. This forum is the place you want to be, not the Google group.

So if that interpretation of what you said is correct, you will have a lot more luck browsing around here than on the Google group. There are tons of threads here with information that you will find useful. And actually, a couple of people are currently attempting to compile a list of the most useful threads and other resources regarding the M2, from getting started to advanced techniques. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2756

You will likely find many of those links useful. But even if none of those links answers a question you may have, there are a lot of M2 users here that are not only very knowledgeable, but also very friendly. I am by no means the most experienced person here so I have dropped by several times to ask for help. On every occasion I have received replies that are both prompt and helpful. Additionally, the support directly from MakerGear is very good. The M2 is the first 3D printer I have worked with and it has exceeded the expectations of my work team and I. We are starting to think about getting a second one because there is so much demand for 3D printed parts in my department.

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Jules
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Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by Jules » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:12 pm

No really - it's not hard to use. Buy it assembled - it already comes leveled and pre-tested and ready to go.

Having said that, there are some things that you are going to have to learn - you'll have to learn them no matter which printer you buy - this one happens to be a little easier than the rest because it is so well built. So if you are planning to immediately jump in and pump out masterpieces in a week, disabuse yourself of the notion. But after a week or so, you will be printing nice solid pieces out of PLA, and you will have likely experienced your first filament stripping jam, (and you'll realize that the world does not end when it happens :) ), and you'll have a whole new vocabulary to play with. After a month, you'll actually start to feel comfortable. After that, the sky's the limit.

It took me about two days to remember to breathe (always scary at first) but this machine is really built like a tank. My worst experiments didn't even faze it.

There are instructions that come with the machine on how to set it up - read them and follow them exactly - you won't have any trouble. (They mainly deal with difficult things like removing the zip ties that secure the machine during shipping, and attaching the spool holder with some screws.)

After that, you check your Z-stop and set it (instructions and videos are available) then you are ready to print. If you want to do it right, calibrate your extrusion width first (instructions on the forum here), but even if you don't, the machine will print right out of the box.

If you do decide on the M2, it's a good idea to also get the Simplify3D slicing software - most of the people here use it, and you'll have more help.

And while you're waiting - go browse through the Forum here and get familiar with the Getting Started and HowTo/Guides/Tips sections. :D

nirfriedman
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:54 pm

Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by nirfriedman » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:16 am

Just to add to what people already wrote. I got my machine two weeks ago. Aside from a scary moment at the beginning (due to me not plugging the power plug all the way) the machine has been great.

True, not all information is collected in one place, but most of it is easy to find (here or on MakerGear site). The MakerGear support is amazingly responsive and knowledgable. Having good support and helpful community is crucial for 3D printing, as there will always be technical hiccups that you need to troubleshoot. So far my experience with this machine has been very good.

Enjoy your new hobby!

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insta
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Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by insta » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:26 am

Custom 3D printing for you or your business -- quote [at] pingring.org

bbraml
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Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:50 pm

Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by bbraml » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:22 am

Thank you for the replies! Truly mean it when I say that. when looking, i didnt just go to google+ old group but it was my last stop. Lots of good info to get started if (most likely will) purchase my M2. With that said, is there a specific file type this printer will only accept or is that specific to the software? I've seen people use the Autodesk as well as the Simplify3D. I'm assuming it doesn't matter. I will let you all know if (more like when just don't want to fully commit) i purchase my M2. any more info would be much appreciated.

lem
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:44 pm

Re: looking to purchase a M2 but am getting discouraged

Post by lem » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:31 pm

The M2 accepts G code which is the standard language for programming CNC machines.

There are many programs that generate G code and they all have advantages and disadvantages.

If you are going to spend the money to get this machine do yourself a favor and buy Simplify3D. It is a powerful addition to the M2. Many people on this forum use this program and can help you with the learning curve.

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