So… My new Ultimaker 2 3D Printer…
This purchase has been something I’ve been building up to for the last couple of years, especially with using 3d printing more often for clients in work projects.
I’d narrowed it down to two printers which I thought were leaders of the prosumer market for quality and reliability, and with enough popularity to have a decent community around them. The first was the Makerbot Replicator 2 (not Replicator 2x, or, although it looks very promising, the 5th Gen Replicator (which isn’t quite out yet so will most likely have 4-6 months of teething issues as most new printers seem to)). The second was the Ultimaker 2. I went for the Ultimaker 2.
I bought it from iMakr Store London, UK instead of buying direct from the Netherlands because I live in London and iMakr offer an included 1 year warrenty, so paying slightly more, but gaining the option of being able to pop down the road / ask advice on any of the inevitable problems you’ll encounter whilst 3d printing, was a good option in my mind. I can’t sing their praises enough for how helpful they’ve been already.
The printer itself…
IS SO DAMN AMAZING!!!
Not to hype it up too much, because all 3d printers have a need for experimentation and learning, but this printer (newest version ready installed with firmware 14.03) has blown my expectations of how it would perform.
As printers go it’s fast and relatively quiet. The heated bed, as you’ll see in the reviews, works like a dream. The fact that its open source appealed to me too. It seems like Ultimaker are fully into its community trying to push the limits of their printers. If you look at the back of your machine, it already has room for a second spool of filament and if you look at the print head, there’s already spaces there for a second extruder. It’s also wifi ready. So these features, although they are not included are likely going to be offered as an extra package if you decide you want to add to your machine later.
Here’s some of the first test prints I’ve been playing around with:
From left to right, a panda cookie cutter, a small globe (printed with no support), 2 Ultimaker robots (one printed in the iMakr store, one at my home studio, to test continuity with environmental temperature difference), one small 10mm cube (to test dimension accuracy) and a test for one of my drawing top toys.
Things I’ve noticed so far…
Like most 3d printers, one of the big challenges is quality of printing on overhanging parts / bottom surfaces (overhangs). Essentially - you can’t print into thin air. So far it’s handling them well compared to a lot of printers that I’ve seen, but I’m lead to believe that it may improve as I master the expert settings and get the hang of support material.
Other than that, millimetre accuracy seems to be very good. Colourfabb PLA/PHA seems to be well worth the extra money for finish and also strength.
Anyway enough for now… back to play time :)