Ultimaker Packs Big Volume into a Small Package
The fast, high-detail, portable, affordable, open source 3D printer
Dutch company Ultimaking LTD markets the Ultimaker, a desktop 3D printer based on RepRap open source hardware. As of yet, the Ultimaker comes only in unassembled kit forms: the Complete Ultimaker will run you about $1,575.00, while a kit minus the lasercut parts is also available for $1,450. The Ultimaker is acclaimed for ease of assembly, though Ultimaking concedes that some technical skill is required and suggests that “improvisational” skill would go a long way as well. The kits can be put together with no soldering required, and minimal sanding, if any. The 3D printer itself is renowned for speed, accuracy and resolution and boasts a spacious build volume of 592 cubic inches on a compact desktop footprint.
New to Ultimaking product line is the UltiController, an attachment that allows you to control the Ultimaker without having to keep a PC attached. The UltiController has a slot for an SD card on which you can import files of your 3D designs. The company also sells spools of ABS and biodegradable PLA plastics, in three and ten colors respectively, as well as parts and upgrades for your Ultimaker machine. Their website features a handy wiki to help with assembly, setup and troubleshooting, and tips on 3D design and printing.
A Brief History
Ultimaking LTD was founded by designer Martijn Elserman, IT wiz Erik de Bruijn and mechanical engineer Siert Wijnia. The intrepid trio began selling the Ultimaker back in May 2011 and, according to them, sold 100 Ultimaker kits within the first few months of operation.
While it may not be the cheapest RepRap on the market, at $1,500 it’s still affordable to 3D printing enthusiasts and hobbyists. On top of that, it’s fast, reliable and its capacious build volume allows you to construct larger projects. Those plucky Dutch lads at Ultimaking LTD recently moved their operations from Erik’s house to an abandoned school building, thereby increasing production and reducing lead time on orders from 4-6 weeks to just over three. Additionally, they’ve wrangled a new agreement with DHL to reduce shipping costs as well. Whether you’re ready to pony up for a new Ultimaker today, or you just want to learn more about it, have a look at their website at http://blog.ultimaker.com/.
What Else Is Out There?
The Ultimaker is only one example from a growing number of DIY printers on the 3D printer-market today. To learn more about other 3d-printer companies, feel free to check out our 3d-printer comparison.