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Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby YanivP » Sat 25. Jul 2009, 11:43

Hello,
I recently purchased a new Intuos4 (medium) tablet.
My problem is that the nibs flatten quickly. Actually in such a rate that I am already in my third. The first one took about 3 days to start damaging the surface of the tablet with tiny scratches. I figured that if I used the spring nib it will put less pressure on the tablet and thus will die slower, but no, I painted with it one single day and it's already showing signs of flattening. It may sounds like I'm applying too much pressure on the tablet, but this is not the first Wacom I own. Before owning an Intuos4 I had an Intuos2 tablet in which I replaced only 2 nibs throughout the 6 years I had it!

What is up with that???

This problem has been reported by another artist friend of mine who recently purchased the Intuos4, also describing that in his Intuos3 there was no such problem.

I am quite disappointed by this quality drop considering this should have been "the ultimate tablet" and the new flag product by Wacom. At this rate the tablet itself will start showing wear way too quickly.

Is there anything that can be done about it?

Yaniv
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby s12a » Sun 26. Jul 2009, 07:11

I previously had a Bamboo Fun tablet and I felt its standard plastic nibs were almost eternal. After 10 months of use I was still using the first nib, which probably could have lasted much longer, had I kept the tablet for more time.
I recently purchased an Intuos4 tablet too and I agree that black nibs seem to wear out a bit too fast. Recently I've started using more intensively this tablet and I can already see visible nib wear (not a change in tip shape which is normal, really wear). I don't think this is because of the tablet surface, as it's very similar to that of the Bamboo Fun tablet (matte).

If black plastic nibs wear up so fast, I can only wonder what would happen with other nib types, which seem less durable to me.

By the way, tiny scratches on the surface sheet are, I'm afraid, normal and inevitable since it has a matte texture (I almost rendered completely smooth the surface of my previous Bamboo tablet because of the accumulation of tiny marks due to intense use... mostly in the central area of the tablet though).

As for the drop of quality, yes, unfortunately I can see it too in many aspects (check the links in my signature for example).

What can it be done about it?
Except for buying nib refills, as customers, we can only discuss about this problem(s) and make other people aware about it. Hopefully Wacom will eventually recognize this to be a product quality problem.
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby Wacom » Mon 27. Jul 2009, 09:19

We use the same nibs and nib material as for previous tablet models. But the surface sheet on the Intuos4 is more rough and 'paperlike'. Apparently this increases the wear on the nibs. We are looking into different possibilities for improvements. - One option at the moment is to place a sheet of paper, plastic, glass, etc on the tablet, any non-metallic and not too thick material is possible.
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby Zingam » Mon 24. Aug 2009, 23:57

Wacom wrote:We use the same nibs and nib material as for previous tablet models. But the surface sheet on the Intuos4 is more rough and 'paperlike'. Apparently this increases the wear on the nibs. We are looking into different possibilities for improvements. - One option at the moment is to place a sheet of paper, plastic, glass, etc on the tablet, any non-metallic and not too thick material is possible.


Yeah! It's clear what you could do - 10 Euros a pack of nibs - that's too much! Are they made of gold and platinum? Just reduce the prices of the spare parts! The spare covers are also too expensive!

In US I've seen much reasonable price of less than 5 USD.

That would serve me well enough even though I'm not rich. Of course other solutions are welcomed but even if you change the design that won't help much those who already are your loyal customers.

Reasonable prices of the spare parts is the first you could try and also keep eyes on your partners/distributors to make them sell them cheap enough too.

Many thanks!

s12a wrote:Except for buying nib refills, as customers, we can only discuss about this problem(s) and make other people aware about it. Hopefully Wacom will eventually recognize this to be a product quality problem.


I wouldn't say that it is a quality problem. It's more like a problematic design decision. They've obviously didn't tested it thoroughly or perhaps it is a bad marketing/greedy decision - some marketing guy thought it would be great to make the tablet wear out fast so they could sell expensive replacements \that cost next to nothing to manufacture\ and make the big money!

If a company has strong competition mistakes like that could cost them dearly.
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby YanivP » Tue 25. Aug 2009, 00:11

I do agree that the replacement parts are more expensive than they should be. One of the reasons I'm drawing with a tablet is to save on supplies, I'm not going to waste money on nibs. This isn't a pencil.

Some follow up from the response I got from customer services. It is more than ridiculous:

There is a way to slower the wearing of pen nibs: increase the pressure sensitivity in the Wacom Tablet preferences.

This should solve your problem.


Wow, really? Maybe you'd like me not to touch the tablet at all. That should make it last a lifetime... In other words, they are blaming the customer.

I am going to attempt to "mod" the thing by adding a smooth screen protector (ones they use in monitors). I'm hoping that the smoother surface will decrease this awful wear.
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby Zingam » Tue 25. Aug 2009, 00:16

Wacom wrote:One option at the moment is to place a sheet of paper, plastic, glass, etc on the tablet, any non-metallic and not too thick material is possible.


I think that the above advice by Wacom is more ridiculous . You pay a bunch of money just to put a sheet of paper. :) Nice! (not)

I wouldn't mind it if they've built in the design a paper holder though. :) Now it would be necessary to duct-tape it... and now that is... :)
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby YanivP » Tue 25. Aug 2009, 00:22

This whole thing sounds like a design flaw that wacom is trying to "cover up" with funny home made solutions. Either that or it's done on purpose so we'll buy nibs faster. I know that in my Intuos2 I never had to buy extras. I still have some of those left after years of use.
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby s12a » Tue 25. Aug 2009, 01:09

YanivP wrote:Some follow up from the response I got from customer services. It is more than ridiculous:

There is a way to slower the wearing of pen nibs: increase the pressure sensitivity in the Wacom Tablet preferences.

This should solve your problem.



I agree this is not a reasonable solution at all: It's true that by tweaking the pressure sensitivity the average pressure needed to use the pen may drop a little, but regardless of the setting used, to achieve the maximum reported pressure, the effective required pressure on the pen remains always the same (2048 units).

Now, this would have been a more reasonable solution if it was possible to define a completely custom pressure curve (by, for example, setting that to achieve the maximum reported pressure, only an effective pressure of 1024 units would be needed), which would also avoid the annoying side-effect that with current drivers, on settings other than the "medium" one, the pressure curve is never really linear (with loss of sensitivity/usability especially on "extreme" settings").
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby Wacom » Tue 25. Aug 2009, 10:29

Wacom is aware that the Intuos4 standard nibs tend to wear down faster compared to other models. The reason is the rougher surface sheet material. We are looking into ways to improve that, but we also want to keep the 'paperlike' feeling. We do not see the nibs as a method to make additional profit, the price does not reflect the cost of the material, but rather the work time and handling costs.
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Re: Intuos4 nibs flattening quickly

Postby Zingam » Tue 25. Aug 2009, 11:16

Handling costs much? Wow! 10 Euros are not like 5 dollars what replacements would cost in the US.

Anyway! You suggest to put paper but standard copier paper feels actually more rough to me than the real surface of Intuos 4? Would it make any difference than?
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