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Do Not Buy A QU-BD Two-Up 3D Printer

My Experience With The Two-Up 3D Printer From “Quintessential Universal Building Device [dot com]

So as a geek, the idea of owning a 3D printer is all kinds of good. Think about it, dream up something. Build a model on something like “Tinkercad”. And then print it out. To take something out of your imagination. And to then be able to hold it in your hands.

So Kickstarter had technology project for a very cheap 3D printer from QUBD. Now calling themselves “quintessentialuniversalbuildingdevice”. Quite understandably the kick starter for this was very popular. Take a look

www.kickstarter.com/projects/qu-bd/qu-bd-one-up-open-source-production-ready-3d-print

So they wanted $9,000. And were backed to the sum of $413,530 on November 18th, 2013. Not bad going.

So back on the 5th of February 2014, I took the plunge and paid £229.71 to QUBD. That’s £179.55 for a “TwoUp 3D Printer Complete Kit. And “£50.16 for shipping. This was for an April pre-order. So hopefully in time for my birthday. All kinds of good. A geek gift from me to me.

5/2/2014 – Order accepted. And an invoice is raised. And a “Thank you for shopping with us” email is received.

10/2/2014 – Money leaves my account.

Time passes

 

April comes. Still no word. So I think I’ll just raise a support ticket and ask when I can expect to receive my April pre-order.

14/4/2014 – Support ticket raised

7 Hours later I get the following reply…

“We will get this shipped out by the end of the month. Thank you for your patience.

Paula K – Quintessential Universal Building Device Inc.”

 

Ok, not quite the April delivery I was hoping for, but never mind.

 

Time passes

9/5/2014 – No word from QUBD. So I reopen the support ticket.

13/5/2014 – I receive the following reply…

“As you may or may not be aware there were a lot of issues with breakage during shipping of our initial batch of these. Therefore, we have taken the time to redesign some parts and change some of the packaging to avoid these problems with shipping of subsequent batches. This took much more time than we had anticipated but we are currently shipping units out daily. We expect to have all orders that were placed before May 1st shipped out by the end of the month (I know that was our goal last month but we should be able to hit it this time!). We appreciate your patience with this.

Paula K – Quintessential Universal Building Device Inc.”

 

Ok, not cool. The April pre-order has now become the dispatched from America by the end of May. I’m now beginning to think that I may have just been defrauded. So fingers crossed, this will eventually end up on my door step.

 

Even more time passes

11/6/2014 – Right, beginning to get rather pissed off now. Still now word from QUBD. I just about sick and tired of having to chase them up on what should have been a completed order. I reopen the support ticket and as politely as I can manage, ask when the hell I will actually get the printer I ordered.

17/6/2014 – I get the following reply…

“Your tracking number has been sent over to you. Your package should be picked up about 2:00PM tomorrow. Thank you for your patience!

Paula K – Quintessential Universal Building Device Inc.”

 

Really? Seriously? It’s been so long that I had contacted Visa about making a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

But I had emails now from QUBD. I even had a link to the USPS. Apparently the USPS had been electronically informed that they would get a parcel from QUBD to send out to me.

In fact it seems that QUBD have a very open definition of “Dispatched”. Because thanks to the USPS web site, the tracking details for the order showed that they didn’t receive the package until 23/6/2014.

 

Yet more time passes

30/6/2014 – My parcel arrives with customs.

Eventually I get a lovely letter. I need to pay VAT of £39.54. And then a further £8.00 as a “Handling Fee”. Seriously? What the fuck are you handling that costs £8.00? Sod it. I pay up. And then I wait.

 

More passing of time

9/7/2014 – Ifinally receive my 3D printer. Further more I am truly astonished to find the kit is nearly complete, and the parts are in one piece. So one small screw and a small bracket for a 40mm fan are all that is missing.

A small box all the way from America

A small box all the way from America

Nearly all the parts you will need.

Nearly all the parts you will need.

The upper left & right thingy

The upper left & right thingy

OK, problem. The screw thread bar that moved the hot end up an down. The instructions that you need to find and download recommend that you glue it onto the shaft of the stepper motor with blue locktight. Only one problem. The hole for the shaft of the stepper motor, that has been drilled into the end of the screw thread bar, isn’t straight. So this causes problems with how the printer moves. And moving accurately is kind of important.

So it’s off to eBay to purchase a coupler.

 

Yet more bloody time passes

Postman brings small packages of goodness.

A handy coupler on a spring cut.

A handy coupler on a spring cut.

Finally assembled

Finally assembled

The amazing wiring

The amazing wiring

So after a trip to Maplins for some spiral wrap. And stopping in on Screw Fix for some different screws, bolts and springs. I finally complete the TwoUp 3D printer.

Now it’s time to download a whole bunch of different software. Because due to spelling / typing error. The little circuit board that controls the printer doesn’t work properly. So you need to set up some USB to serial drivers. Then download some software. Patch that software so that you can flash the board. Download the software to flash the board. Flash the board. Hope and pray that you don’t screw up. Then download more and different software to control the thing. How do you wire this thing up? And clear instructions anywhere? No. Why should that surprise me.

So now you want to see if it will work. For this, I want to print out a 1cm x 1cm x 1cm cube. How hard can that be?

FFS!

Blocked filament delivery.

Blocked filament delivery.

Well quite sodding difficult it turns out. The fucking thing is fickle as hell. Have fun leveling the print bed. The gantry has so much wobble in it, that there is sod all accuracy. But having a blockage in the nozzle is no fun. Especially has you have to heat the thing up to 190c so the plastic that is in there melts and doesn’t set like glue.

The hot end in bits.

The hot end in bits.

So a small sliver of plastic is removed from the nozzle and the blockage is cleared. It looks like after reading through various forum posts, that Scotch Blue decorators tape is required. So back off to Screw Fix for some Frog Tape.

Can I finally print out a 1c cube?

After many attempts, a 1cm cube

After many attempts, a 1cm cube

Was it worth it?

Was it worth it?

So what next? Well, lots of failure. There is more PLA in the bottom of my bin, than what I have successfully printed out. Here’s some things that have worked.

The Emperor Protects

The Emperor Protects

Strap a mag light torch to your NERF gun

Strap a mag light torch to your NERF gun

That’s it. And these didn’t print out on their first attempts. It’s bullshit! If you don’t get that first layer down good, than the entire print is a write off. If you don’t stand over the fucking thing, it will walk the filament off the guide and just start moving around in mid air. Nothing coming out of the nozzle. Failure after fucking failure after even more fucking failure. Just about flipping all the desks now.

DO NOT BUY A Quintessential Universal Building Device Inc TWO-UP 3D PRINTER

Just don’t.

 

Here’s what I’ve spent out so far…

£179.55 – TwoUp kit

£50.16 – Shipping

£39.54 – VAT

£8.00 – Handling Charge

£22.76 – Screws, imperial alan keys, nuts (M4 & M8), bolts (M4 & M8), washers, springs

£5.99 – CNC 5mm x 10mm Motor Shaft Coupler

£8.99 – Extra Wide Frog Tape 48mm x 41.1m

£18.50 + £4.00 postage – 3D Printer filament PLA 1.75mm, 1Kg

Total = £337.49

 

For not much more I could have purchased a Da Vinci 1.0 Desktop 3D printer. That’s a complete printer. None of this build it yourself bullshit. A bigger build area. A self leveling head and bed. Just take it out of the box like you would an off the shelf ink jet printer for your home. Plug it in. Install the software that comes with it. And print out stuff.

But I suppose I got what I paid for?

 

DO NOT BUY A Quintessential Universal Building Device Inc TWO-UP 3D PRINTER

They do not deserve your money. They do not deserve your time.

Typically I would say that the triangle applies – GOOD, FAST, CHEAP. You can have two out of three at any one time.

Well it was cheap. But it wasn’t fast. And it isn’t good.

 

DO NOT BUY A Quintessential Universal Building Device Inc TWO-UP 3D PRINTER

This has been my experience. It’s embittered me towards this company and it’s product. I’m finding it really hard to give this printer the benefit of the doubt. It’s been a long time coming and it’s been a disappointment. My motivation for me to tinker with it to make it better is failing. Oh sure, you can print out upgrade parts for it. Really? I’m having difficulty getting the sodding thing to print anything. Let alone upgrade parts.

Poor shoddy cheap design.

Totally shit communication.

Crap product.

 

DO NOT BUY A Quintessential Universal Building Device Inc TWO-UP 3D PRINTER

Really – Don’t

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