Ultimaker 3 Product Spotlight
We recently entered in partnership with Ultimaker and recruited a technician who had lots of time to meddle with the new printers, especially the Ultimaker 3 extended (if you haven’t noticed our Facebook and Twitter feed). So we decided to write our thoughts and experience with the newest additions to our store. We start with the Ultimaker 3 (and extended), because it is the new powerhouse of Ultimaker and has lots of great new features.
- Dual extrusion
- Print Cores
- Optimized material in Cura + NFC spools
- Printing via Wi-Fi & Camera
- Ultimaker 3 app
- Print Bed
- Active levelling
- USB Port
- Optimized cooling
- Why Voxel Factory
Ultimaker 3 comes with an auto nozzle-lifting system to enable smooth and professional dual extrusion printing. It does not require a purge block which reduces print time.
Swappable Print Cores
Ultimaker introduced easily swappable print cores for this printer. They come equipped with EEPROM chip readers which remember the size and type of your nozzle while notifying you in case of misuse. You need to calibrate them only once. They also have a LED status indicator that tells if the nozzles are hot or cold. Red for hot and blue for cold.
For the moment, there are 2 types of print cores AA and BB. AA print cores are for most filaments while BB are for PVA support material as it has a different nozzle geometry to allow better PVA flow and lower risks of clogging. Included print cores are in 0.4mm, but you can get the 0.8mm if you want faster prints.
Dual extrusion is fantastic if you want to print in different colours or materials. It also allows you to print with support material to create difficult geometrical figures that cannot be done otherwise. Best material for support is PVA which is water soluble, meaning that after printing you put the part in water and the support PVA disappears after a few hours. At the moment, PVA works great with PLA and Nylon, other combinations are experimental and therefore not recommended.
Pro-tip: After finishing a print with PVA, make sure you peel off as much PVA as you can before putting the print in the water; post-processing time will speed up.
Materials: Optimized Cura Material Profiles
Cura has now optimized material profiles for each Ultimaker printer and material that remembers the settings. Now we only need to select the correct material and the settings adjust by themselves. Worry not, you can still tweak them once selected. (Tweak them or completely change them)
Ultimaker 3 comes with an NFC reader for spools which recognizes the filament and automatically adjust the print settings on Cura (if the computer is connected to the printer). The NFC reader paired with EEPROM readers on the print core checks if the filament corresponds properly with the filament used and will notify you if there is an error.
Presently, Ultimaker 3 supports PLA, ABS, TPU, TPU95+, CPE, PC, Nylon, PVA and PP. However, with easily swappable print cores, it would be no surprise to see additional material be available without requiring major upgrades.
Print Via Wi-Fi & Camera
You can also start prints via Wi-Fi. UM3 comes with its own little router that you connect to your network and then send prints through Cura. Plus, you can monitor your 3D print remotely as the printer is equipped with a camera. If you see a problem with the print, you can pause or cancel it.
Ultimaker 3 App
We tried the Ultimaker 3 app and it’s pretty neat! First you connect to your printer and then you can import a stl. file, import a model from YouMagine or print a Ultimaker robot. I went with the robot for demonstration sake. The process is very intuitive and simple. There are not too many options for the moment, but that’s perfectly fine as you can print from your phone.
Bed: New Refined Design
The Ultimaker 3 features a heated build plate that’s lighter and stiffer, which reduces vibrations (something we all want). The glass plate is still held with classic Ultimaker pins to hold it nice.
The printer comes with capacitive sensors in the print head that measures the distance between the glass bed and the nozzle. On top of that, the tilt angle is compensated by adjusting the Z height and the extrusion in the first layers. All of this to allow accurate levelling and better print adhesion.
If you don't want to print via Wi-Fi, this printer comes with a 16 GB USB stick from which you print from. Pretty nice since some of us don’t have an SD card slot in our laptops.
New Optimized Cooling
Ultimaker 3 has a powerful, low-noise fan system. Featuring two new radial fans and fan shrouds, it creates greater pressure build-up for an improved airflow. This ensures better cooling, high quality bridging, faster print runs and smooth print surfaces.
Ultimaker 3 At Voxel Factory
With every Ultimaker 3 and 3 extended, we include:
- 3 hours of free training for two people (value of 250$)
- One year manufacturer's warranty (if used with Ultimaker filaments)
- Technical support
- Starter kit option (2 spools of Ultimaker PLA & free can of 3DLac)
- Possibility to lease
Tl;dr: Amazing printer, really good, available at Voxel Factory
- Nathan Orfin