Ultimaker, the New 3D Printer, Reached the U.S.A Coastline
With the initial hulla-baloo of 3D technology gradually spreading wings in the printing domain, here arrives a new invention, all the way from Netherlands. This 3D printer that claims to print bigger and faster than MakerBot printers is here to stay in the United States. The credit behind the 3D printer goes to three Dutch men. The journey started two years ago when the three met at the Fab Lab in Utrecht, Holland. Fab Lab’s manager, Siert Wijnia, collaborated with web designer Martijn Elserman and graduation student Erik De Bruijn to work on the said printer. The name rendered to the machine was ‘Ultimaker’.
“We wanted to have a better 3D printer, not necessarily to start a business,” says De Bruijn. Elserman added, “If Fab Lab wasn’t there, this whole thing wouldn’t have happened.”
The three mentors, however, did not initiate the project with a business outlook. But after the appreciation of its demonstration, last December at Botacon in Brooklyn, they gave a genuine thought about it. “The reaction was wow; this is a whole new step forward [in affordable 3D printing]. I was sure that we could start a working business,” commented Elserman.
Ultimaker started shipping its open source 3D printer in April. Its initial cost was about US$1700. But this price increased with the next shipping in the subsequent order. The price in the next shipping approached $1900. According to the mentors, “More than 120 printers have been sold and close to 70 have been shipped so far.” The delivery of the printers to the destination, from where it has been ordered, takes four to six weeks. The printer has earned quite a good market in Netherlands. A huge propaganda through advertisements in the national TV program helped in spreading the awareness and the consequent selling.
Features of Ultimaker:
• Ultimaker can print with either ABS or PLA plastic.
• The design is very advanced and has been earning high grades ever since its implementation. The Ultimaker has a print head that moves.
• It is compact and weighs considerably less than MakerBot’s print head.
• The Ultimaker’s motors are mounted on the printer’s frame, not on a moving part like MakerBot. This allows for bigger objects to be created at a higher speed.
• The maximum printing speed reached so far has been 350 mm/s during travel and 300mm/s during extrusion.
The users of the machine have praised Ultimaker for its mechanical design. The fact that every minute details have been taken care of by the creators, has been highly appreciated. This special feature has catered to the attention of the tech savvy users, who has a keen interest in the working of the said devices.
The sound response of the first initiative has urged the highly aspiring Ultimaker to dream of a greater scope. They have already laid down the bricks for yet another model with a taller build capability.