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Ultimaker 2... so afordable... time to embrace the spool. (via Ultimaker https://www.ultimaker.com/pages/our-printers/ultimaker-2)

 

3D printing has been booming as of late. With all the rage manufacturers have created a wide range of 3D printers for users to choose from. Makerbot was one of the most popular printers for a long time and still is. However, one of its closest competitors, Ultimaker, is looking to take that top spot as the hobbyist’s favorite printer. The Ultimaker 2 has been designed and built for people with or without technical knowledge. Getting a printed object out will be easier than ever while it will still possess technical features which will keep the experts interested.

 

The original Ultimaker was known for its speed and accuracy. The second version will boast those same features along with a larger build volume. It has a 20 micron print resolution along with a build volume of 230 x 225 x 205mm. The prints will sit on a heated build platform which will allow objects to be easily removed when done printing. Sitting on a desktop or workbench the printer will consume an area of 338 x 358 x 389mm. The new Cura software which will process the models for printing is also said to run 60 times faster than typical slicing engines.

 

Ultimaker founder, Erik de Bruijn, noted, “Speed often has a big impact on the 3D printing experience, and we have spent a lot of time and effort to come up with the fastest technology. Our machine is so fast that the engine finishes processing before you have the opportunity to press print.”

 

Furthermore, Ultimaker is launching YouMagine, an online 3D printing community. This will be a space where hackers and makers can share their designs and prints. In addition, since Cura is open source along with the printer itself, people will be able to share their modifications to the software or hardware. You may think this is sounds a lot like Thingverse from Makerbot. That is because it basically is except for the fact that Ultimaker is still pushing the open-source philosophy while Makerbot is not.

 

“We want to give people, for the first time in history, very precise control over how matter is organized with 3D printing. Instead of just sharing .stl files, YouMagine allows the community to share native files. Similar to Google Docs, YouMagine allows for synchronized, shared editing sessions to modify existing designs or team up on new ones. Users can download a file from our website, save to an SD file, print and see the results within minutes. Ultimaker is seeding YouMagine with open source design apps so that users can customize the tools without any programming experience. It is our aim to create a brand new 3D printing experience that doesn't require any specialist skills. By making the process more intuitive, users don't need to know syntax anymore; they can simply take items from a drawer, make a print and see what happens,” commented de Bruijn.

 

With all the new features, the Ultimaker puts up a good option for the DIY community to consider. However, the price is still not too friendly for the average hobbyist. It is a nice improvement over the original printer and nice to see that no wood is involved in its structure. The Ultimaker 2 will come fully assembled and run for a price of $2750 out of the box.

 

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