Gmax2 user experience / machine reliability

Hi there,

I am considering purchasing the gmax2 with the dual extruder to print tall detailed structures. For background I have an Ultimaker S3, and S5, a kit prusa mk3, and an unmentionable ~$3,000 industrial like printer that has been a continuous amount of trouble for me. That printer was also made in the USA and runs Marlin. It is incredibly unreliable with the amount of machine errors I experience. To the point that I can't print the same thing twice with the same material and get the same result, ever... I can't use it in production and I can't use it for non-production stuff unless I am willing to babysit it and tinker for a day or two. For machine reliability both the ultimakers are 10/10. Everything they start, they finish. The prusa can be fussy but it prints beautifully, I waste a bit of plastic with it, but it is a $600 printer.

Where does the gmax2 sit on this spectrum? How is it's print quality at .15 layer height with pla? How is running it with a 1/2mm nozzle? I am not a tinkerer, I am not going to be upgrading it, I just want to know that once a first layer is down I can expect prints to finish most of the time and that the parts are useable. Please be honest, I don't need to buy this printer and gmax doesn't need an owner with mismatched expectations. You can also message me directly.



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Boy do I have a lot to say about this subject. I have the gMax 2 duel. When it works correctly, it's a wonderful printer. Unfortunately, I have had many issues. I want a work horse that will print the same file again and again. This should be that printer. Mechanically its pretty robust. The issues are mostly with the computer and software, mostly.

1. The biggest issue is that gCreate is under staffed. They just can’t provide proper customer support. As a small business owner myself, I can relate. However, as a small business owner that needs a reliable machine, I am completely disappointed. It takes days and sometimes weeks for them to reply to an email and then more days for the followup. Resolving an issue can take weeks. From a business point of view, it is very frustrating.

2. The computer is under powered and too cheap. A more robust computer board might cost an additional $200. I would pay $500 more. Reliability is what I need.

3. The interface between Simplify3D and gMax is tedious and prone corruption. I will tweek a file for hours making one change at a time only to have the whole file get corrupted and have to start all over. Again, I think this is a problem with the computer board on the printer.

4. gCreate has a heated bed for this machine but they don’t really want you to use it. On several occasions they have asked me to go back to the originally supplied plastic bed. The heated bed is not well designed and does not disperse heat evenly. The temperature variations are huge as much as 40º between the center and the edges. I would consider an aluminum plate instead of glass. It would disperse the heat better.

5.The air chute is terrible. It hangs up on the print and tears the print off the build plate. This is just bad design. It needs to be redesigned and carefully manufactured.

Finally, I want to say that this printer has lots of potential. It’s close being a reliable design. If gCreate can get their act together, solve a few technical issues and fix their customer service they could be a great company. I need a reliable printer and I want to see gCreate succeed
Thanks HMS!

This confirms my suspicions and I'll keep looking for a printer somewhere else. I don't mind spending more money to avoid the endless tinkering and beta testing. I wish them well and will check back on the gmax printers down the road.

Me too! I love the gMax at my work and the staff at gCreate are very helpful when you can actually chat with them more than once every couple months... but the guides here are outdated and sometimes obsolete, and the community is too small to be self-reliant without the staff coming in to answer questions. They're easier to reach via email but even then you may wait a long time. If I ever look at printers for at home I'd wonder what comparable ones you found.
I'll keep you posted as I continue my search for a larger format printer. If you can live with a smaller build volume, the Ultimaker 5S is an excellent printer. I've only had one print fail in 6 months from a loose belt and it paid for itself in a handful of jobs. It'll set you back almost 6k but given what your time is worth, it's cheap for the peace of mind.
The American brand printer I bought has yet to finish one paid gig and I've had it since October. I don't even bother running it...