Learn the specs, features and price of the Ultimaker 2 in this review.
The Ultimaker 2 was named the Best Consumer Product 2014 at the 3D Printshow Global Awards, and it was also the recipient of the Best Consumer Software 2014. These two awards should already give you an idea of what this 3D printer is capable of. If you’re new to the world of 3D printing, you’ll be delighted with what this machine has to offer. It’s packed with features that will enable you to produce high quality 3D prints.
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This award winning 3d printer works by melting plastic and placing it on a glass plate via an additive procedure. Speed varies from 30 to 300 mm/sec, giving you the option to go with slow or fast prints. The resolution is at 0.02 mm for every print layer, and print results are smooth.
The default settings usually work without a hitch but you can adjust the settings without having to restart the print job. The unit can print up to 9 x 9 x 8-inches or the size of a typical toaster, and this is much larger than what you typically get with other 3D printers so it’s a plus.
Overall, the performance of the printer is exceptional. There are a host of issues with current generation 3D printers, not the least of which is the speed and general low quality of the prints. That isn’t the case here as the prints are not only larger, but the speed and quality is just top notch.
Cartridges and Filament
This 3D printer supports PLA and ABS and it uses 0.3-mm universal cartridges, but for best results you should use only the filament the manufacturer produces. The other filaments from the manufacturer are available in different colors and at reasonable prices. Because the printer supports the most popular filaments, there won’t be a problem with regards to compatibility, good news if you have plans to print extensively.
This printer is fully assembled, but if you’d rather build it from the ground up there’s a DIY kit available too. Even so, assembly is easy thanks to the detailed instructions. The chassis is made up of aluminum and glass and it’s durable, and the device prints at 49 dB, about the sound of a standard refrigerator and quieter than other 3D printers.
The platform is heated so it keeps the design from warping, a common problem with 3D printing. Another notable feature of this printer is its LCD menu: you control the menu with a wheel, making it easy to navigate through the modes and settings. You can also customize the LEDs so you can print in dimly lit rooms.
There’s an SD card and USB cable bundled with the printer so connecting won’t be an issue. If you’re starting out you can also go to the manufacturer’s website and download models to modify or print. Just save the files you download on the SD card and you’re set.
This Ultimaker 2 review can also point out the bundled Cura software works with Windows XP and up, the Mac OS and Linux so compatibility won’t be an issue. In addition, all the components you need to print are here: when you open the package it contains not just the SD card and USB cable but also a PLA filament cartridge and several maintenance utilities.
The Cura software bundled here is open source and designed for those new to 3D printing, but it’s packed with features that long time CAD users will appreciate too. Whether you’re new to 3D printing or seasoned, this printer has you covered.
Cura is easy to use too: just plug the SD card in your computer and run the program. Cura automatically goes into saving mode and shows how much time it’s going to take to print, very handy and essential if you’re working on a complex object and want to know how long it will take.
Support and Help
This printer is based in Europe, the Netherlands to be exact, but you can expect reliable customer support and service wherever you are. Once you order the software you’ll have access to full support: for any questions or inquiries just send them an email and the company is also available in social media.
There’s also a very active community of users that will help out if there’s a problem, and it’s especially handy if you’re assembling the 3D kit. It’s hard to emphasize just how important this feature is because it’s packed with insights from other users as well as tutorials, manuals and FAQs. Aside from the help you get with users, you can also get in touch with company reps who’ll help you if there are persistent problems.
• Layer resolution: Up to 20 micron
• Supported filaments: PLA, ABS, U-PET
• Print surface: Heated bed (50° – 100° C)
• Desktop space: 357 x 342 x 388 mm
• Build volume: 223 x 223 x 205 mm
• Print technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
• Nozzle/filament diameter: 0.4 mm/2.85 mm
• Nozzle temperature: 180° – 260° C
• Speed: 30 mm/x – 300 mm/s
What’s Included in the Package?
Your purchase of the package comes with the following:
• Hex wrenches
• Glue stick
• Glass plate
• SD card
• 0.75kg filament
• USB cable, user manual
• Power supply and cable
• The 3D printer
The product is available from a number of suppliers in the US so the waiting shouldn’t take long. But if you decide to order directly from the manufacturer, it’s going to take 6 to 8 weeks to deliver if you’re in the US so some patience is required.
The Ultimaker 2 is just about what you would expect from a high quality 3D printer. There’s no doubt that the quality of 3D printers have improved significantly in the past few years, but there’s nothing out in the market that comes close to this printer. The quality is superb, the prints are faster, larger and more detailed and it’s easy to use. If you’re looking for an excellent quality 3D printer available, this is it.