How to identify printer version?

At the moment we have only v3 printers with ballscrew in stock.

Nizzy,

When was the last V2 printer shipped? Mine arrived from your US reseller and it was in fact V2. I am starting to think it is used.

When was the last V2 printer shipped? Mine arrived from your US reseller and it was in fact V2. I am starting to think it is used.

Why are you thinking it's used?

I asked two zortrax employees, both of which said V2 is no longer produced, and the reseller mentioned that he had just got this unit in before he shipped it to me (which doesn't sound as true now), if that were the case it would be V3. I am waiting to hear back with regards to when the last v2 was produced, could be possible I got one of the last ones.

That is true..

Hey Nizzy, if you get a chance, do you know when the last V2 was produced, and when you all stopped shipping them?

Thanks!

What's the deal with the loose hardware on the ball-screw/bed connection?

I noticed Zortrax no longer "floats" the top of the screw like they did with the lead-screw, and I imagine the non-floating screw would introduce a lot of z-wobble in the prints.

Is the "loose" hardware on the ball-screw just a lame fix for preventing z-wobble?

Zortrax, please advise. And while you're at it do you mind letting us know why you would make the move back to ball-screw? 

Is the "loose" hardware on the ball-screw just a lame fix for preventing z-wobble?

Zortrax, please advise. And while you're at it do you mind letting us know why you would make the move back to ball-screw? 

yes, it's to prevent z-wobble. Do not tighten the screws.

I think they had supply issues with the ball screw and went to lead screw...then everybody was moaning big time about the cheap looking lead screw...so they fixed the supply issue and went back to the "upscale looking" ball screw. And now you moan about that... hard to make everybody happy... ;)

I just don't understand the back-and-forth:

v01: Ball-Screw: Had the top "fixed" and z-wobble was a problem.

v02: Lead-Screw: Had the top "floating" and z-wobble was not a problem. (problem solved)

v03: Ball-Screw: Had the top "fixed" (doh!) , then loosened hardware from the factory (introducing slop into the design... especially considering the hardware itself is what pulls up on the bed) to prevent z-wobble. (solved the non-existing z-wobble problem from v02 with a lame band-aid approach... at least that's how it seems)

If the only benefit to a ball-screw was aesthetic (which for this slow-moving application... it sure seems that way) then why wouldn't they stick with the tried and true lead-screw?

And I take it this v03 ball-screw is of a slightly different pitch than the v01 ball-screw (considering v03 is another option in the drop-down menu).

Maybe we can get a Zortrax staff to chime-in, because I'm very curious what they have to say about all of this.

And I take it this v03 ball-screw is of a slightly different pitch than the v01 ball-screw (considering v03 is another option in the drop-down menu).

Um... The pitch on both V1 and V3 is the same.. That is why they are the same option..The V2 is different obviously.. Are you having problems with the quality of prints Josh? Do you ever post on GM website and ask why they went from drum brakes on the rear to disc then back to drum? Why are the calipers not fixed and may be loose when brake is not applied? That what this sounds like to me.. If it is working you have nothing to worry about.. :D  It is what it is...

I just don't understand the back-and-forth:

v01: Ball-Screw: Had the top "fixed" and z-wobble was a problem.

v02: Lead-Screw: Had the top "floating" and z-wobble was not a problem. (problem solved)

v03: Ball-Screw: Had the top "fixed" (doh!) , then loosened hardware from the factory (introducing slop into the design... especially considering the hardware itself is what pulls up on the bed) to prevent z-wobble. (solved the non-existing z-wobble problem from v02 with a lame band-aid approach... at least that's how it seems)

If the only benefit to a ball-screw was aesthetic (which for this slow-moving application... it sure seems that way) then why wouldn't they stick with the tried and true lead-screw?

And I take it this v03 ball-screw is of a slightly different pitch than the v01 ball-screw (considering v03 is another option in the drop-down menu).

Maybe we can get a Zortrax staff to chime-in, because I'm very curious what they have to say about all of this.

The V1 was shipped with the ball screw assembly loosely attached to the plate, just like the V3. This is to prevent jamming from over-constraint. The screws should not be tightened, as others have mentioned.

The answers to your questions already appear in this thread. They had a supply (and possibly cost and QC) problem with ballscrews, so they changed to the lead screw. This resulted in a public hue and cry about the "cheaper-looking" and less sexy lead screw due to misconceptions by the public about the relative merits and applications of each, so Zortrax reverted to the ball screw to make people happy. They both work fine AFAIK. All that is required is precision of travel vs rotation. Backlash and speed, where the two mechanisms do differ, are not issues on a 3D printer's Z-axis. Not sure where you're getting your info about a "Z-wobble" issue.

Thanks Kyle, I didn't notice that v01 and v03 were packed into the same drop-down menu. I guess that answers that question. (I've been only on v02 thus far).

comparing a printers z-axis to car brakes doesn't make much sense to me.

There are good reasons for designing a z-axis drive without up/down slop.

Some software implements constant up/down z-axis travel when the print-head is traveling from one object to another. This is done to prevent the little beads of run-off plastic from forming on the outsides of the parts. When you have a z-axis system with loose hardware (up/down slop) then you can't implement this technique. Yes, I understand Zortrax software does not offer this technique, but I am simply pointing out one of the pitfalls of loose hardware in regard to 3D printing in general.

Some other 3D printing software implements contestant up/down z-axis travel to make up for un-level beds. I'm not a big fan of this technique, but I'm just using it as another example. 

As for how loose hardware effects the current Zortrax, I wouldn't be surprised if as you say there is no visible effect. But by having slop in the z-axis (as it is currently designed) they are preventing themselves from implementing either of the above techniques. Also, considering the current design... unless all 4 bolt/nut combos that are pulling up on the bed are of the exact distance, then you are essentially pulling up on the entire bed with the single-shortest nut/bolt combo. In other words: the entire bed is being lifted by one bolt, on one side of the ball-screw.

Another user (page1?) mentioned the z-axis slop making bed-leveling a pain. Which is understandable considering you cant achieve reliable downward travel with the current design. (you can only achieve reliable upward travel so long as the bolts pulling up on the bed don't loosen over time)

Hope that makes sense.

Not sure where you're getting your info about a "Z-wobble" issue.

I can't remember if it was another post in this forum or on their kickstarter campaign. But I remember talk of Zortrax having users loosen up the top bearing-block on the ball-screw machines. Which if that relieves the z-wobble issue I was reading about then it seems like a better solution than loosening up the hardware that attaches to the print-bed.

All I know is that the M200 gives superior results to just about any other FDM machine on the market anywhere near its price point, and it is being continually improved. I just put my money where my mouth is on that point by buying a second one. While I have a few of my own nit-picks about some of the software and firmware, and to a lesser extent some of the hardware details, I respect Zortrax's engineering and manufacturing expertise and appreciate the realities of bringing such a product to market and creating a viable business. I think a forum like this is appropriate for voicing suggestions and problems, but this is not an open-source project or a community development project. I do not think it is appropriate to continually demand explanations and justifications for every design or marketing decision made by the company.

comparing a printers z-axis to car brakes doesn't make much sense to me.

There are good reasons for designing a z-axis drive without up/down slop.

Some software implements constant up/down z-axis travel when the print-head is traveling from one object to another. This is done to prevent the little beads of run-off plastic from forming on the outsides of the parts. When you have a z-axis system with loose hardware (up/down slop) then you can't implement this technique. Yes, I understand Zortrax software does not offer this technique, but I am simply pointing out one of the pitfalls of loose hardware in regard to 3D printing in general.

It makes perfect sense.. Why question something that works either way? I'm not sure which firmware you are using but the printer Z axis does go up and down while printing raft.. I guess they countered this in printing the part with retraction of the filament. I've printed close to 20 full spools and not had an issue. I'm sure Julia has passed that by a mile.. I could ask a lot of questions about many things but it won't change the fact that they work. I can understand the thirst for knowledge, but if it works... don't fix it.. How much (slop) do have?If it's too much.. Tighten things up a little..

There is also a certain secret component that is built into the platform system. It reduces the backlash to zero...even with sloppy hardware. Can't remember exactly but it sounded like gravy or graffiti...something like that.  :D

The ball bearing block should not be too loose. It should be able to slide sideways but there should be no up and down play.