A couple of months back I saw this post for an Ultimaker 2 stand in the 3DHubs forum.
Since my Ultimaker 2 has been sitting on what my wife calls “her desk” in “her” office since day one, I saw a golden opportunity to score points with the better half, while possibly gaining a tool to help make my Ultimaker 2 even better. I contacted email@example.com and was able to get on as a Beta tester. We agreed on a price of around $360.00 to get it to my door (Andy has not finalized pricing yet). Shortly thereafter, the stand arrived via FedEx.
Packaging was great. A little damage to the box, but the contents were safe and sound. I had already watched the videos Andy posted on assembly, so my 4 year-old son and I started the assembly right away. The cam-lock design made it stupid simple. Maybe 15 minutes later we had the main stand put together. Once together it is a very solid unit.
Files were provided on a USB stick for all the printable parts that were needed to finish the job. After printing those and assembling the spool holder (all hardware was included) all that was left was to run the power cables through the back of the stand, plug in the fans and power it up.
I have already installed (and recommend) Robert’s Alternative UM2 Feeder. https://www.youmagine.com/designs/alternative-um2-feeder-version-two
It works very well, especially with flexible filaments (NinjaFlex/SemiFlex are those I’ve tried). However, even with that feeder, I was still having some under-extrusion problems with non-flexible filaments, especially when using larger nozzles (.6mm and .8mm). By moving the spool below and providing a straighter path to the feeder, I was hoping it may help eliminate some of the under-extrusion. When first placing the filament through the provided tube to the feeder, I was worried about it causing too much friction and not allowing filament to move freely enough. It turned out to be a non-issue.
It may be a combination of the position and upgraded spool holder, but I have not had ANY problems with under-extrusion since, in over 100 hours of printing with multiple filaments and nozzle sizes. So I’m calling that my number one benefit of Andy’s stand so far.
Being able to place the machine closer to a wall is a big benefit as well. I can still easily reach behind for filament changes but the footprint of the printer is significantly reduced. The Mrs. is happy that the printer is now like any other piece of furniture and there are more options for placement. Wife happy = all happy. Plus, it provides a nice storage area to have all the tools needed in one place.
The precision machining of the stand is evident in the way the printer fits solidly into top recessed area. There are printable pieces that match up to the feet of the Ultimaker to ensure the printer is locked it into place.
Changing the spool takes a couple times to get used to. (No more than my first couple of times with the original spool holder now that I think about it.) You need to use the provided tool to keep the holder from spinning while removing/installing a new spool. One advantage I’ve found to having the filament feed through the tube to the feeder is that it holds the filament while changing spools, allowing for easy ‘re-wrapping’ of the filament on the spool.
The stand also has two cooling fans to help keep the power supply from getting too warm. They do their job and also provide a nice blue light effect. I cannot start a print now without letting my son hit the power button to “light it up”!
Overall I’m very pleased with the stand. The added functionality helping to improve print success and quality is the main benefit I see. It does also seem to make the Ultimaker 2 feel more like a showcase piece rather than just a fancy box sitting on a bench somewhere. Fitting for a higher-end printer in my opinion. Andy does offer different finishes go enhance the look of the stand. I opted for plain old wood finish as I plan to have it custom vinyl wrapped in the future.
The stand does exactly what Andy said it would do. I view it as a tool to make the Ultimaker 2 even better. I highly recommend getting in touch with Andy and giving one a try. He’s great to work with and provided a quality product.